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Clichés about India

Questions People From India Are Sick Of Answering: 

1.     “What caste are you?” 

I have chosen to CASTE aside antiquated means of social stratification. 

NB from IndianSamourai: About the castes: post


2.      “How come your English is so good?” 

I’m from the country with the second-largest English-speaking population in the world. You? 

NB from IndianSamourai:Ok but English is a fluently spoken by less than 10% of the population! 


3.      “So, do you speak Hindu?” 

Yup, fluently. And I can say a couple of things in Muslim and Christian too. 

NB from IndianSamourai:Hindu is a religion, Hindi is a language (spoken by about half of the population, though it is the official language).   


4.      “Do people in India really sing and dance all the time like in Bollywood movies?” 

Totally. Just like people in America constantly get attacked by extraterrestrial forces of evil and then saved by leagues of superheroes. 


5.      “Will you get to ride an elephant at your wedding?” 

Can’t make any promises, but an elephant is pretty likely to be involved, yes. 

NB from IndianSamourai:Elephants actually still happen… Though horses are more common and now luxury cars. 


6.     “Cricket is just like…a lame version of baseball…right?” 

APOLOGIZE, TAKE IT BACK, AND NOBODY GETS HURT. This is a really wicket thing to say. 


7.     “Will you pleeeease cook me Indian food?” 

Nope, I will be doing absolutely naan of that. 

NB from IndianSamourai: Naan is a bread commonly used to pick up the food and it sounds like “none” with the Indian accent. 


8.     “Why would anyone get an arranged marriage?” 

Because it’s basically just the original OkCupid. Anything’s easier than dating, amirite? 

NB from IndianSamourai: A post coming on this topic soon! 


9.     “Do you ever get sick of curry?” 

Literally no. Primarily because a couple of other foods are also available to me. I do appreciate your curryosity, though. 


10.   “Can you teach me yoga?” 

I mean…I can try…but you’re probably better off, like…asking someone who knows yoga… 

NB from IndianSamourai: Yoga is not actually so commonly practiced in India; it has picked up lately in the metros after it became trendy in the West.  


11.   “And what’s that other holiday where you throw the colors? I love that one.” 

HOLI shit, you dumb. 

NB from IndianSamourai: Holi is a festival in March when people throw colours at each other. 


12.   “How come India is in Asia but you aren’t Asian?” 

Stfu, man. South Asians are Asians too. 


13.   “Are you Arab?” 

When’s your birthday? I know what I’m getting you. 


14.   “I’ve heard it smells awful. Does it smell awful?” 

You smell awful. And racist. You smell racist. 

NB from IndianSamourai: I have to say, you encounter many “funny” smells… 


15.   “Everyone basically does tech support, yeah?” 

Yup, 1 billion people, all day every day, answering phone calls from America. 


16.   “Do you only eat spicy food?” 

Ya, all my taste buds were singed off at birth so now I can’t taste food unless it’s doused in hot sauce. So glad someone understands.


17.   “Are you ALL vegetarian?”

 NB from IndianSamourai: See: post 


18.   “But you actually do pray to cows, right?” 

I’m praying to a cow right now, asking that you leave me alone. Moooove, bitch. 

NB from IndianSamourai: Ok but they DO worship cows!! See: post 


19.   “Why do you need sooo many gods?” 

They give me the patience and spiritual fortitude to keep from punching ignorant people. 


20.   “Hey, can you help me with this math?” 

I don’t even know enough math to count all the racist assumptions you’ve made today. 


21.   “Omg I love saris! Can you teach me how to tie a sari?” 

Yeeees! After that, let’s paint our nails and give each other bindis and do each other’s hair and stay up all night talking about cultural appropriation! 

NB from IndianSamourai: I was asked by my French dentist whether I was going to work in a sari so I guess it is a justified question. Let’s say that in “corporate” India women don’t really wear saris anymore though they still wear often salwar-kameez (a tunique with some kind of leggings or loose pants). 


22.   “No offense, but like…what’s the third world like?” IMG_0387.JPG

I rode an elephant to school every day and Mowgli was my classmate. 


23.   “Have you ever ridden on top of a train?” 

Only when my elephant was broken and my camel was at the garage. 


24.   “It’s basically just like Slumdog Millionaire, right?” 





Interview for Internations

My blog been featured on (a good platform to meet fellow expats everywhere in the world). Here is what I had to say to them! 


Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to India, etc. 

I am a Parisian girl in my thirties. I moved to India in 2006, as this is the only place (outside France) where I could find a job after finishing my business school. And I have been having an eventful life ever since! I have changed companies, jobs, cities and loved it all! I am currently based in Mumbai. 

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences? 

I started my blog the day I landed in India. Initially it was to share my experiences with my family and friends and it ended up as some kind of “therapy”: writing to understand better whatever I came across and startled me in this amazing country. 

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours? 

I have some entries that have received good feedbacks, some funny, like When Jane meets Tarzan; some surprising, as When Superman saves Indian Samourai; and, finally, some interesting, like Why Indians. 

Tell us about the ways your new life in India differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock? 

I had an easy landing as I met an Indian guy a couple of months after arriving and he answered a lot of my questions. I had some difficulties with my first Indian boss which made my life tough. I had a few shocks here and there but generally it’s been a smooth journey… 

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in India? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made? 

I had traveled in India (and other developing countries) before, and since a young age, so I had an idea of where I was going. I wasn’t really prepared though. But I also didn’t have any expectation (bad or good) which I think helped a lot. 

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?  

I have so many! Maybe you can check this list on my blog, which refers to my daily life here, namely My Stories in India. 

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in India?  

  • To be patient – it takes years to start understanding India and there is no end to it… (I like this saying “If you have patience India will make you lose it, if you don’t have patience India will teach it to you.”- I think it is true and it is also a circle!)
  • To be open-minded (easier said than done at times believe me!!).
  • Always try to understand why Indians do what they do (especially at work), otherwise it will drive you crazy and things won’t get done. 

How is the expat community in India? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats? 

I always have had 3-4 very good expat friends, mostly French, but I don’t really know the expat community. It is relatively easy to find expats (through or though we are not so many in India… However, I find it not so easy to find like-minded people – especially since expats usually stay a maximum of 2 years and you evolve a lot after 2 years when you stay in India. Your point of view, your understanding of the place and people keep on changing. 

How would you summarize your expat life in India in a single, catchy sentence? 

Living in India is probably the hardest and yet most rewarding challenge I will ever take up!  


Ah those Malus*...

* Malu = short form of Malayalee, people from Kerala (a State in South India) where people speak Malayalam.