1. “No, I do not speak “Indian””
The same way I do not speak American or Belgian.
India does not have a national language but has 22 official languages. With a country so vast and rich in its cultural heritage, I’d be dammed if the entire nation of 1.3 billion people spoke one language. And contrary to popular beliefs, no, “Hindi” is not a national language, however is one of the most widely spoken languages in the country.
2. “Yes, arranged marriages do exist”
Just to add more to the conversation, there are websites like tinder, except manned by the parents 🙂 , and sometimes by the individual themselves. Long story short, boy and girl meet – boy and girl tend to “match” in all aspects – caste, creed, religion, education – boy and girl inform the parents – parents heave sigh of relief – boy and girl are married. That would be a standard answer, there are always exceptions.
3. “… there is more to Indian food that Chicken Tikka Masala”
Whether Chicken Tikka Masala has its origins in India or otherwise is a whole different story for a blog. But there are times one would want to echo this across the mountains – there is more to Indian food than just “curry”. It would be unfair to name the million others – but as step 1, try walking into an Indian restaurant next time and order something else for a change.
4. “…but, you speak such good English!”
Basic – it starts from school and society. People love and embrace their native language but English also helped connect the country across its length and breadth, also beyond its geographical borders. Do not be surprised to see sign boards, menu cards etc in English!
5. “…Yes, Non-vegetarian please!”
There are some parts in India who love their meat and then there other others who will not touch it, let alone, be near someone eating meat. There are people who eat all of them except the ”holy one”, and then there are others who love to roast them all with all those beautiful spices.
6. “No, I do not know him”
X – “There is a new colleague joining us from India. Do you know him?”
Y – “No.”
1.3 billion people, remember? Also, it doesn’t help if ”he” came from same city – or same village – or the same school. You get the point.
7. “Yes, that’s the downward dog pose”
It’s wonderful that you do yoga. But expecting your Indian friend to know all of Yoga?
It’s like saying all Asians know martial arts. (Just for the record, they don’t.)
8.”Bollywood much eh?”
No. Yes. No. Okay, fine. We love our Bollywood movies. We love the songs and dances and we love the ones without. A 1000 movies a year, well, can’t blame us!
We love stereotypes, don’t we! Hope all the Mexicans eating their taco, English drinking tea, Dutch on their boterham, and the other Asians practicing their karate have enjoyed this read.
Have a great day!