I was chatting with another Indian writer on Twitter about growing up in America, trying to fit in, and the like and cracking up about the stereotypes out there about us. Every group has them, which got me thinking – what a perfect blog post
Shekhar Kapur’s Devi – badass enough to help bust some myths
The following is my handy-dandy guide, put together with the help of my friends – an utterly crazy lot, so don’t say I didn’t warn you – to dealing with the Indian in your life:
1. We eat meat. Sure, some of us don’t, but a shit ton of us do. Take my brother for example – die hard meat eater. I’m almost certain that if he could, he would survive on a diet of steak, and steak alone, all day every day.
2. We know how to speak English, and without an Apoo accent. Of course, we can all do the Apoo accent, with the requisite head shake, but that’s to make each other laugh, not because we really speak that way.
3. We don’t all worship cows but seriously, cows are kind of amazing – so maybe we should. Have you ever seen their eyes up close? Uh mah gawd, they have some eyelashes bitches would kill for.
4. We can probably drink you under the table – have you been to one of our weddings? Do not test us.
5. We’re not all Indians, but because we want to really fuck with you, we all kind of look the same. Don’t worry, I suck at this one, too. I couldn’t tell a Bangladeshi from an Indian from a Pakastani if I tried. I’m getting better with my Guyanese peeps, but that’s probably because they’ve yelled at me so many times for mistaking them for Indian that I’ve kinda put some effort into the nuances of the distinction. Which is all to say, I don’t really care, but other folks do and since I’m supposed to be helping you handle the Indian in your life, just remember, there’s a chance that Indian isn’t an Indian at all.
6. We don’t know every Indian, so if you’re tempted to mention your friend Priya in DC, don’t bother. I can guarantee we don’t know her. That’s not to say we don’t know Priya in DC, because we do since every tenth Indian girl is either named Priya or Priyanka, we just don’t know your Priya, so yeah, don’t mention her.
7. We’re not all doctors or engineers, we don’t own the convenience store down the block, nor do we know the owners, and sorry, but we can’t all fix your computers, although I do know this guy Ravi at TekServe who has worked wonders on my laptop…
8. We don’t speak Hindu. No one in the entire world speaks Hindu. Sit with that one for a second.
9. We’re not all Patels. Don’t get me wrong, there are Patels every fucking time you turn around, but I swear, not all of us are Patels.
10. We don’t know how to make roti. Most of us can’t even cook Indian food. Some of us don’t even eat it. Those are the stupid ones, of course, but regardless, they exist.
And there you have it – it’s by no means exhaustive, but shit, it’s a start.
Now go forth and mingle with an Indian, just don’t ask us about Bollywood.