India is a nation with a wide array of people, languages, festivals, cuisines, traditional dresses and customs.
Unfortunately, we’re still subject to stereotypes and silly questions that warrant for obvious answers that people from other regions ask in bluntness and curiosity.
I’ve been intensely, sometimes aggressively questioned about why I do the things I do or why I don’t behave the way I should being a “South Indian” and that’s when I pledged certain misconceptions need to be cleared right away.
Generalizations and stereotypes in a country with a broad spectrum of people is not acceptable; but asking reasonable, meaningful questions with the good intent of learning most certainly is.
Thus I bring you a compilation of some of the most common, irksome questions/ statements South Indians have been asked/told with clarifications:
10) If you’re South Indian, why are you so fair-skinned?
For people that are oblivious to Fair and Lovely’s plight in brainwashing Indian people to believe being fair-skinned is more desirable, you should know this question generally accompanies an awestruck tone that suggests they think you’re better looking and more superior than people that are dark.
Attractiveness and being fair-skinned are NOT synonymous.
There are fair South Indians, just as there are dusky ones. It could be because our ancestors were more fair-skinned or because we simply weren’t subjected to climates or conditions darker-skinned people down South are.
How about we ditch the shallow discrimination based on skin color and acknowledge how beauty isn’t skin deep?
9) You’re quite good looking for a South Indian
I’m not making this up, this is literally something people ask in all honesty. It’s not even rhetorical, they will stand there expecting an answer.
How about you just tell us we’re good looking and omit the last four words from that sentence and we’ll all be happy?
All I have to say is: Prithviraj, Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai, Ileana D’Cruz and Shruti Hassan will make appearances in this post to convey my point. Yes, we’re kinda hot.
8) Are all South Indians Madrasis?
Quick rudimentary lesson in Indian geography: originally the four South Indian states to have existed were Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
A little less rudimentary update: Andhra Pradesh recently split into two parts: Seemandhara and Telangana.
What you’re probably referring to is Madras, which is now called Chennai, which is Tamil Nadu’s capital and does not pertain to every one of those states in South India.
Not all South Indians are “Madrasis” the same way that not all Punjabis are Sikhs. You’re welcome.
7) How come you’re Muslim and South Indian?
Islam is a religion. South India is a region. Again, understanding the distinction between a region, a religion and how they can be mutually exclusive is important.
You can be Hindu and South Indian, Muslim and South Indian, or Christian and South Indian.
The religion you practice does not in any way, interfere with or DEFINE the place you are from.
6) Why don’t you know Hindi when it’s the national language?
Although a majority of the Indian population speaks Hindi, it was never declared as a “national language” which means not all states are comfortable with speaking Hindi.
Can we respect the differences and move on without being patronizing towards a certain sect of people that don’t speak Hindi? Yes. Yes we can.
5) Will you cook me idli/sambar/vada/dosa?
I mean, the only thing I can cook decently are instant noodles and maybe an omelet so you’d be better off actually going to a restaurant, but sure, since I’m South Indian, it must mean I’m naturally blessed in the culinary art of cooking and serving you idli/sambar/vada and dosa.
4) Can you help me with my Math homework?
I’m sure you can respect how we’re not super excited to do your homework for you because we might be struggling with ours. Apparently since we excel at Math and the Sciences, studying the Humanities would probably make me a total outcast. Thanks, just thanks for letting what part of India I have roots in define my abilities and talents.
3) Is it fun to wear a lungi?
I wouldn’t know because I’m a girl, but not every South Indian man wears lungis and not every South Indian woman wears sarees and a bindi.
No, it is not like what they show in Kashmir main, tu Kanyakumari where people prance around in lungis with background dancers. Yeesh.
Walking around in the streets of Kerala, you’ll realize how the younger generations have resorted to wearing jeans, khakis and the women wear long skirts and salwars.
The way people dress is changing. Get with the times!
2) My friend is South Indian, do you know him/her?
Since the estimated population of South India is approximately 252 million, probably not.
1) Why are South Indian men so hairy?
Woah, is Anil Kapoor South South Indian? Jacky Shroff? Sunny Deol? Akshay Kumar? Exactly. Point made.