Stereotypes of Indian people about foreigners are very strange, not quite realistic, but for some reason, most people believe in them.
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Indian stereotypes about foreigners can surely be considered one of bad things you meet as a foreigner in India. Here I will mention the most popular stereotypes:
- “Foreigners are not like us”. The more I travel, the more I realize that all people are the same and yet ALL people are different. Of course, mentalities of the countries play big role on psychologies of nations but…Our bodies and psychics work the same way. But in India I see that many people like to pay attention to differences between the groups of people more: even between each other, not just with the foreigners. In India there is belief that people from the same cast, religion and similar financial background have much more chances to successful marriage, for example, as if it means they will have similar natures also. Because of this accenting on differences, with foreigners Indians imagine the differences to be much more just, which often sounds to me as we, foreigners, can, I don’t know, fly, suppose, ha-ha. Many Indians really perceive us as some sort of aliens: they stare at you as if you had fallen from the sky – or at least it feels so (and I know that many foreigners feel so, not just me), sometimes Indian people wonder when you perform ordinary human actions, when you can say a few words in Hindi, or opposite – they demonstratively ignore you, don’t say “Hello”, for example, while saying to others if they meet you every day (explaining that they are shy), etc. Sometimes I really feel like saying: “People! I’m JUST a human! ”
- “Foreigners don’t know anything about our culture”. It can be considered the part of previous stereotype but it can be separated into different stereotype as well. Mostly it is used to make Indian guys not to have the desire to marry foreign girls. But even if you get involved in some fight with Indian person: I have seen such things not once unfortunately – people will just say that you are different, you are not Indian and don’t understand Indian culture, as offence. Which often sounds racist;
- “Foreign girls are easy and don’t have family values”. Well, yes, this is exactly how Indian parents, unfortunately, tell to their sons. This is something Indian people believe about foreigner women really a lot. The reasons for that are: a) White prostitutes are more popular in India (and Indians don’t think that Asian prostitutes can be popular in “western” countries); b) Indians believe when “western” movies show women mostly jumping into bed with men right after they met, that’s it’s true for most; c) Indian girls, if they date, they mostly hide their relationships, most don’t post it on social media as well – no kissing pictures with their boyfriends online, while “western” girls post it, and not just when they know already that they are going to marry this guy. And yes, “western” girls have to find their future husbands themselves for sure, so they can’t skip dating if they don’t want to stay unmarried forever (the moment Indian people find strange), while Indian girls can rely on arranged marriage (which “western” countries simply don’t have!). This is what makes the difference but it doesn’t make foreign girls “sl*ts”, however, Indian people have different opinions. If some Indian is married to a foreigner, people may feel that it is even ok to ask something like: “But foreigners are easy?” They don’t know about that in “western” countries there also can be the girls who want to remain virgins before marriage as well, they don’t know about that Russian guys, suppose, don’t mostly send harassment messages to unknown girls, while Indian guys a very famous for that “worldwide”. Also, they don’t know that women who marry for money are very judged in “western cultures”, while it’s considered ok in India. And, the most important, people don’t understand that they actually aren’t doing anything good with spreading this stereotype, just make Indian guys send their genitals pictures to foreigners as well and put foreigners in more danger…And after feel offended if foreigners feel bad about India…;
- “Foreign girls can’t cook”. This is another “don’t know where it comes from” type of stereotype. I have met more Indian girls who can’t cook than foreign girls, frankly. I don’t know any Russia girl who can’t cook. In India people have very cheap maids, so not every girl feels the need to know cooking, it’s just not necessary. Plus in “western” countries the girls move out from parents usually much time before they get married while in India most of the girls live with parents right before their marriage, so they know there is always somebody to cook for them, which can’t happen when you live alone and hiring a personal cook may cost more than your own salary in “western” country, the restaurants too are usually quite more expensive there than in India…I have learnt cooking Indian food very fast and everyone around was so surprised about it, as if I built a rocket, ha-ha;
- “Foreigners are rich”. Well, people in India think that if you could afford to travel abroad, that means you are rich. They don’t know that India these days is considered one of the cheapest travel destinations in the world and that in your country you, most probably, get a lot of things paid by the governments, such as education, hospitals, pensions etc., which are almost unavailable in India and most people who to earn for everything themselves. Also, they don’t know they put you in more danger of being robbed or fooled by this stereotype. It’s ok when they cheat you with prices when you just travel here, but if you live in India suppose, it becomes extremely irritating.
How do you feel about Indian people stereotypes about foreigners? Have you faced any of them yourself?