As you may know, a stereotype is a popular belief or generalization about something. I’m fairly certain you’ve heard some Indian stereotypes yourself, but most of them are false assumptions. However, India truly is full of contrasts and contradictions, and there’s even a saying that if something is true about India, the opposite will also be true. Let’s check out these 10 popular Indian stereotypes and see if they stick.
Indian cinema isn’t just Bollywood
Aside from Bollywood there’s Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam, Bengali, Punjabi and even Bhojpuri. All of them contributing regional films to Indian cinema. If you think about it Bollywood gets the money, while the regional cinema gets all the praises and accolades.
Not all Indians obsess over cricket
It’s a stupid assumption that everyone loves one thing or another. People are different and they like different things. So just like not every American is a gun-holding redneck married to their cousin, cricket is not for everyone in India. Some even hate that game, and choose to follow sports like tennis, badminton, or football instead.
Eating spicy masala curry all day, everyday!
Would you believe that Indian cuisine goes way beyond curry? Well, you should, because most of the people there enjoy eating dal/sambar, rice, chapatis/rotis with vegetables, mildly spiced or fried, fish and meat, including beef. Like I said, way beyond just curry.
Not all Indians are IT experts
Come on, did you really think this through? In India only every 0.5% of educated professionals work in IT. They are good at it, but that’s not the point here.
Indians are uneducated and poor
Funny how after “all Indians are IT experts” we get this, huh? It is probably one of the worst stereotypes, especially since education is extremely important in India. Even poor village families do everything they can to give their children the best education possible. And in big cities children often pay extra tuition to study additionally after school just to get ahead of their class. That said, there is, of course, a poverty issue in India, just like in any other country.
Not all Indians have “that” thick accent
There are at least 260 million English-speaking people in India, and I can tell you for sure the majority of them don’t sound like Raj Koothrappali from the Big Bang Theory or Lilli Singh aka ||Superwoman||.
Indians worship hundreds, nay – Millions of gods!
About 330 million, to be precise. What a crazy religion this Hinduism is, right? Well, kind of wrong. While Hindus believe that god is in everything, it’s all manifestations of the one source and the creator of reality — Brahman. That’s why every living and nonliving thing is considered to be sacred. Hinduism doesn’t force you to follow a specific path, telling you worship any deity they need to.
Cows roaming the roads
When someone says “India”, you imagine holy cows trotting along the road somewhere. But do they really? Yeah, they are all over the place. You can even find them chilling on the beaches in Goa!
Hindu, Hindi – same thing, right?
Hindu is the religion (as in Hinduism), and Hindi is the language. BTW, the spell checker wants me to correct it to “Hindu”. You’re part of the problem, Google! Anyway, you may be surprised to hear that a lot of Indians don’t actually speak Hindi. In fact, every region in India has its own language!
The land of Snake Charmers?
Probably every movie about India ever has a snake charmer. Is it because these snake charmers conjure up images of something ancient and exotic? Not really sure, but it portrays their country in a really backwater-y light. Even though these serpent fans can still be found here and there, snake charming is illegal in India and has been for a number of years.