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Those Damned Desis

When I first moved to Canada to attend University, I was obviously aware of the huge Indian population. What I wasn’t so aware of are the weird (and often ridiculous) stereotypes that exist within non-Indians about desi culture. Over the years, I’ve made a list of the assumptions people have made to me or around me about Indians, and attempted to clarify as many of them as possible. So here it is –

  • All Indians are Punjabi – People from the different states of India have very little in common beyond geography. Trust me.
  • Indians don’t know English – English, believe it or not, is the only language spoken all over the country. Most Indian majorities don’t even speak Hindi (which is the national language, BTW) fluently. Even the fucking beggars in Slumdog Millionaire speak English. What does that tell you?
  • Slumdog Millionaire is an accurate and well-rounded representation of Indian culture – Bitch please.
  • Indians are cheap – The Script’s ‘Breakeven’ is clearly based on the Dollar-Rupee exchange rate. Now if you’d care to explain why $4 on a slice of pizza is absolutely ridiculous?
  • Living in the USA is the ultimate dream – Though this is true to a great extent, I’m sure it wouldn’t be so if the Google headquarters were located elsewhere.
  • The Kama Sutra is nothing but ‘Indian’ for Sex for Professionals – Didja read the part about how women should learn art and science? Or the part discussing how to live a healthy and financially stable family life? No? So you’re just a presumptuous little twit then? I thought so.
  • ‘Indian’ is a legitimate language – In response to this, I recommend that you visit the page of someone wise on Tumblr – “In Indian we don’t say ‘I love you.’ We say ‘That’s not even a language you ignorant imbecile.'”
  • The Brown People-Terrorist Relation – Honestly bro, most brown people have more useful shit to do than to spend their days planning a bombing in the West. Get that narcissistic pole out of your arse, North America, and whack yourself in the head with it.
  • India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. is all one huge nation – This doesn’t even deserve to be dignified with a response.
  • All we eat is curry – I really thought that this was as a joke. Ain’t nobody got time for this! And in relation to this, I found that a lot of people think that –
  • Butter chicken is the only curry there is – Sweetie, 42% of Indians are vegetarian. We know how to make veggie food like no other bitches can. Please keep your lentil veggie burgers to yourself and let me add my chaat masala.

So all in all, people need to wise up, and learn that we aren’t just a nation full of stinky, hairy, cab drivers. It’s honestly appalling that cultural ignorance is still as widespread as ever before. And I sure hope that this article made someone see our existence more clearly.

And if this isn’t enough, I suggest you look at this before you ask anyone from South Asia anything at all.