We human beings always strive to be distinct. No two human beings are same, even twins don’t share common characters. But still we try to generalise people based on the social groups, age groups or gender they belong to.
According to Wikipedia…
In social psychology, a stereotype is a thought that can be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality.(Wikipedia)
India has 29 states and each state has something peculiar about it, and based on the part of the country one is brought up, he/she is stereotyped, a few of them are:
All Bengalis like fish (well most do but not all)
All south Indians have dark complexion (Rekha, Vidya Balan don’t have)
Most Biharis are either on politics or are IAS (many are taxi drivers in Mumbai)
South Indians don’t speak Hindi (I know a few who are fluent at it)
All Gujaratis are businessmen (Haha!!)
“Oh you look like a Bengali !! ”
” Your name sounds like a South Indian, are you from the southern part of India !? ”
My surname Jadhav (read as Yadav by almost everyone); thanks to Lalu Yadav; makes everyone think that I am from Bihar! When I tell them that I am a Maharashtrian the quick retort is, “Oh you don’t look like one!”
Oh!! What kind of Maharashtrian you are, who doesn’t like Vada Paav or Misal Paav??
People try to guess your whereabouts just so that they can predict the type of a personality you may have. Well, for someone like me who was born and brought up in Chhattisgarh, worked in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka. That’s the reason my Maharashtrian friends call me pseudo Maharshtrian.
However, it’s easier for people to guess that I am an Indian. Yes, all the credit goes to my accent 🙂 and I am super proud of it. I have come across different types of stereotypes that people have for Indians. I have listed a few of them here,
1. We all wobble our head ( I do but not my friends)
2. We all are vegetarians( hell no..I am not)
3. We are a land of snakes and snake charmers (it’s an old story when a snake charmer used to roam around with a snake for the sake of money)
4.Cow is our holy animal so we don’t eat beef. (Only few Hindus in India don’t eat beef, my Cousin is an exception who eats anything that moves)
5. Love marriages don’t exist in india, we only marry someone whom our parents select ( I personally don’t know the percentage though I googled it..but most of my friends have had love marriages)
6. We take dowry and child marriages are still prevalent here.( Dowry and child marriages are restricted only to the rural parts of India as both are punishable crime)
7. We know and play only one game Cricket ( hockey is our national game, Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom, Leander Paes, Vishwanathan Anand have made tennis, boxing, chess and badminton popular in India )
8.Women in India are not at all safe ( yes, there are places in India which are not safe..but then it’s our responsibility to avoid unsafe places at unsafe times)
9. We don’t follow traffic rules or lane culture (yes, but we are improving)
10.We dance and sing at every event. ( we like to celebrate, we like to enjoy every moment of life, and nothing wrong in it)
11.All Indians are stingy (we believe in investing money and there is nothing bad in it)
12.We try to jump in to the conversation without listening ( that’s more of a personal trait, isn’t it!?)
13.America is the dream destination for most of the Indians and if not then ME( well why not we are amongst the most populated country in the world so we try to navigate various opportunities around the world)
14. People in India only work in IT sector ( not really , I work in energy)
15. We live in joint families( not all..but we love to stay with our parents and also with our cousins and their cousins)
Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Isn’t it where the discrimination starts? If it’s a boy then the room must be blue and if it’s a girl then the room must be pink.
1. You are a woman and you can’t drive. Hell no!!!(Few of my male friends have accepted that I drive well)
2. You must not be good at Maths (Isn’t Shakuntala Devi a female)
3. You only love shopping and gossiping (Oh hello…. I love to watch cricket World Cup too)
4. Black is my favourite colour not Pink!!!
5. You are a woman and you must be good at cooking ( all the well-known chefs in the world are men!)
“Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him — or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night
The fact that these things are considered, “the norm” and are expected to be done in a peculiar way. It’s not the nature that defines someone but the way they are nurtured. Each person is an individual and it is perfectly normal for a Maharashtrian to not to like Vada Paav, for an Indian to not to wobble, or for a women to run her own business while a man stays home with the kids. We need to get out of the mental boundaries and try to be more open to accept the person and not to stereotype them to a particular social group or gender. Can we???
“I don’t fit into any stereotypes. And I like myself that way.”
― C. JoyBell C.
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