10 things that the world will never understand about India
Here’s a list of 10 things that many people around the world would never understand about India.
Stereotypes drive us as humans. They help us classify others in our minds.
A lot of stereotyping boils down to personal experiences. However, quite a few are formed through word of mouth… repeating the same (and often concocted) stories over and over, till they become the truth.
This is an attempt to address those who judge an Indian, before even meeting with them.
- Not all Indians speak bad English, or with an Indian accent. Despite Russell Peters saying so, most educated Indians speak better English than their counterparts across the globe.
- There is no language as ‘Indian’. Instead, there are over 22 official languages and hundreds of dialects spoken across the length and breadth of the country.
- English speaking Indians, number almost double the entire population of the United Kingdom, the birthplace of the language.
- Everyone does not work in a call centre. Most of us have normal jobs and lead normal lives, doing normal work.
- Everyone is not a mathematical genius.
- Everyone does not eat curry. Indian cuisine is extensive and varies from the outright bland, to super spicy. Try visiting an authentic Indian restaurant to get a taste of the variety that Indian cuisine offers. You’ll be shocked.
- Nobody dances around trees to court their spouse. Do you hang around near your beloved’s balcony and speak ‘Shakespearean English’ to court them? Or do you climb towers using your beloved’s long curls? No? well neither do Indians. The portrayal of Indians singing and dancing around trees is, like the examples before, fantasy.
- Melodrama is not a way of life. Quite unlike what you see in a Bollywood movie, Indians don’t walk around speaking in exaggerated tones with exaggerated expressions and exaggerated hand movements.
- Everybody is not poor or malnourished. Yes, poverty is an issue that India faces, but not everyone is poor. In fact India has one of the world’s largest public funded distribution schemes to cater to people below the poverty line. The fight to alleviate poverty is on. We may not have reached there yet, but we’re getting there.
- All Indians do not want to immigrate to the USA. While most of us sympathize with those who lose their jobs to a cheaper ‘import’, consider this. The H1B Visa, which has caused a huge furore in the US, is handed out to approximately 180,000 people every year (as per this report). Assuming that all of them are Indians, it still accounts for approximately 0.015% of the population of the country. The balance 99.985% of Indians, are happy living their lives, however unexciting or mundane it may seem, in their motherland.
The next time you come across someone who lives with preconceived notions about Indians, share this.
The result would be, as an Indian would say… BOLTI BANDH.