What do foreigners find most annoying about Indians overseas?

Every culture, every race, every lineage, every ethnic group has some quirks that irk the outsiders.Here are some of the desi traits about the people from India that foreigners find annoying or not-so-pleasant:

1. Self-isolation and slow to adapt: Indians are known for their reserve nature. They don’t mingle well unless you are part of their social circle; and the social circle is mostly Indian friends. Sometimes this behavior is mistaken for aloofness and showing general disdain, and others may find it annoying. Socializing is a skill that Indians need to acquire more and improve.

2. Parental overshadow (momma’s boy syndrome): Many westerns (Western meaning Americans and Europeans, not cowboys and cowgirls) avoid dating Indians because most of them don’t move out of their parents houses even after the college is done. And, parents try their best to hold on to their kids and ‘baby’ them even when the ‘kids’ are in their 20s or beyond. Annoying? – probably not, but lack of independent living? – yes.

3. Big houses and cheap clothes: The Indians love the concept of mortgage – saving every penny for down-payment and then spending everything on a big house, bigger than their cousins’ or brothers’ houses nearby. And in the process, if you have to penny pinch from everywhere else – that’s okay.

4. Body odor and dental hygiene: Some Indians (and then the perception becomes for all the Indians) do have the problem of body odor, bad smell from the mouth and the dental hygiene. This problem is not-so-common among the younger generation, but a perception is there.

5. Staring without smile: Yes, have heard this many times where an Indian guy just stares at the girl(s)/ladies passing by without any smile. Maybe a culture thing from back home in India? A very annoying habit nonetheless.

6. Indian accent: Well, not your fault; everyone have their own accent, their own way of speaking. Indian accent, even though not as bad as some of the other foreign accents, still stands out and creates the language barrier. A lot has been written in this blog about ‘how to lose your accent’…maybe worth a try!

7.Smell of cooking all over the house and the backyard: Indian cooking is known for flavorful herbs and spices with unique smell. Unless you are accustomed to it, the smell can be unpleasant and irritating to non-Indians. And, in some cases, the dress and the clothing carry the smell outside the house – umm yummy… or not!

8. Frugal: Yes, need no explanation. This one applies to the new immigrants and the first generation of Indians the most. The second generation (those born and raised abroad) and beyond don’t seem to be stingy by habit.

9. Conversing in Hindi or mother tongue while in English company: Indians have this habit where they switch over to their mother tongue while talking to other desi friends or colleagues. Nothing wrong with that if you are in your own desi circle. However, in the company of other English or foreign colleagues, it is just rude to speak in Hindi to each-other while others are feeling awkward for being excluded from the conversation.

10. Lousy tippers: It is true that Indians are perceived to be bad tippers to the waiters and other service providers. This may stem from the habit of being frugal. Make sure to include a tip in your budget…it is a common expectation.

11. Bragging about India and Indian culture: The good Indian values vs. the bad of the western culture! Many Indians will go to all kind of lengths to explain or show that Indians are superior. Every race thinks highly of itself, Indians are not behind in expressing this, may be a few steps ahead.

12. Head Wobble: For those who are not familiar with the gesture, the head wobbling is a motion that is somewhere in between the up-and-down nod, and the sideways head shaking. So, it is somewhat rotational motion of the head – a light head shake combined with a head roll. Not everybody understand this gesture and it leaves the other person guessing. Try to stick to the simple up-and-down nod instead.

13. Don’t take the criticism well : Now that all these annoying habits are outlined above, let us see how well you take this criticism! Feel free to disagree and share your feelings! By end of the day, these are just the perceptions and you have the power to change them.

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22 Replies to “What do foreigners find most annoying about Indians overseas?”

  1. I’m surprised that the matter of being a noisy neighbor is not included in this list. From the UK to the USA, the unwelcome reputation of “an Indian function” is rather common. The adults chatter loudly for hours on the front of their home rather than taking their conversation indoors. The children and unsupervised and given the run of the front yard, the street, or the courtyard.

    Body odor is still a problem among some of the younger generation. Oddly, neither social class nor age seem to be determining factors.

  2. One more point to be noted. I find Indians are loud and noisy, especially North Indians. Indians speak so loudly that whole neighborhood can hear it.
    We Indians are still clannish / castesists and prefer to talk to people of same language !

  3. The writer forgot to note that Indian men are the worst kind of jerks in the entire universe. They don’t respect women. Indian men are egotistic, users, players, fake, hypocrites, and thirsty for women. They should have sent all those bastards to their Mission to Mars then left them all there!

  4. THEY FORGOT A FEW THINGS THAT WE(NON-INDIANS) DO NOT LIKE ABOUT INDIAN PEOPLE/INDIA IN GENERAL. I’LL ADD IT IN

    1. WE DO NOT LIKE HOW OVERPOPULATED INDIA IS. OUR ADVICE: PLEASE STOP REPRODUCING UNCONTROLLABLY. HERE IN THE WEST, FROM A YOUNG AGE WE ARE TAUGHT THAT IT IS ABOUT QUALITY AND NOT QUANTITY. WHY ARE INDIAN PEOPLE(ESPECIALLY ONES WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO BRING UP KIDS) HAVE SO MANY KIDS ANYWAY? MEN – KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS OR USE PROTECTION AND FOR THE WOMEN – CLOSE THY LEGS OR USE BIRTH CONTROL PILLS 😀 OTHERWISE, WHAT’S WRONG WITH ABSTINENCE?

    2. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. YA, WE DO NOT WELCOME OVERSTAYERS AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN TO OUR COUNTRIES. IF YOU MUST COME TO LIVE AND WORK, DO IT THE RIGHT WAY. DON’T GO LOOKING FOR SHORTCUTS, NOR SHOULD YOU TRY AND BE SNEAKY. WE ALSO HATE HOW OTHER INDIAN PEOPLE PROTECT THESE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM GETTING CAUGHT. I MEAN, YOU DON’T SEE US(FOREIGNERS) GOING TO INDIA AND STAYING THERE ILLEGALLY, DO YOU?. SO THEN PLEASE TRY TO RESPECT OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS HERE TOO

    3. HUNGRY AND DESPERATE FOR MONEY/WEALTH/RICHES. DESPERATION IS A HUGE NO-NO. DO NOT BE AND DO NOT ACT SO DESPERATE!, LIKE IT IS THE ONLY THING YOU CARE ABOUT IN THE WORLD

    4. NOT OPEN TO TRY NEW THINGS. ADVICE: LEARN TO STEP OUR OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, TAKE RISKS, GET OUT THERE, LOVE THE NATURE AND EMBRACE THE EARTH

    5. SO UNHYGIENIC!. UGH!, HAVEN’T YOUR PARENTS TAUGHT YOU PROPER HAND WASHING TECHNIQUES? THEN PLEASE DO THE FOLLOWING. GO TO YOUR GROCERY STORE, LOOK FOR A PRODUCT CALLED “LIQUID HAND WASH”, PURCHASE IT AND TAKE IT WITH YOU. WHEN YOU’VE BEEN IN THE TOILET/OUTSIDE/HANDLED FOOD ETC ETC = YOU TURN ON THE TAP WATER, RINSE YOUR HANDS AND USE THE LIQUID HAND WASH, RUB YOUR HANDS TOGETHER, LATHER! FOR 1 MINUTE AND RINSE AGAIN, TURN OFF THE TAP. YOU ARE FINISH!

    6. NOT PARTICIPATING IN SPORTS. WOULD BE GOOD TO SEE MORE INDIAN PEOPLE OUT THERE PLAYING SPORTS

  5. Two persons stand out in the comments below. Have you had your satisfaction spitting out? Constructive criticism can arise only in a cultivated mind. Xenophobia is not a cultivated trait. A short look back into history will show that the biggest genocides happened in the west. Indians do not keep repeating that for you.

    Irrational anger displays the disharmony inside. Dialogue is the human tool of importance.

  6. I found this post accidentally and I don’t have alot of free time so I will be quick. All I see in the above post is hatred towards Indians.

  7. Specially for the writer and Mr. DENNY.
    Dear intelligent fellows…could you please kindly elaborate if we indians are so bad then why your government wants us in your country?
    Better i will give u the answer…….
    Because you guys are not capable.
    Not skilled like us.
    Not mature enough yet to take responsbilities seriously.
    Looking for a heavy salary without much education and skills.
    We indians works in your country because of your failure.
    Ha ha ha….better dont criticise any nation as we are human and not perfect.

  8. @mudit jain

    can you tell me if Indians are so good why is India so dirty, unlivable, chaos in cities, worst public transport, no clean drinking water, highest amount of hungry people in world, highest malnourished children in the world? No country invites Indians…… Indians leave India since anyplace, singapore, dubai, sydney or new york is better than filthy India.

    other countries want japanese or koreans but do all japanese and koreans go to dubai, singapore or west for better life? world knows about Japanese or Korean people by looking at how their country Japan and South Korea is. if you are so good turn india into a livable country….instead it is a dirty, hungry, unlivable country.

    No country invited me but I left india for good for better life for better people to live with and I’m so happy I did…and I went not because I’m the best but because india is worst place to live in and Im thankful that another country accepted a dirty indian.

  9. All I can see is despise for Indians in this article. Wow, I did not expect so much criticism against us Indians. Also, we never ever say anything against your countries. Calling India ‘filthy’, calling our accents ‘annoying’, I feel like that is extremely immature. Overall, I felt like this article was useless, hateful and disrespectful.

  10. Don’t forget that being untruthful, unreliable, is completely acceptable in Hindi culture — as is leaving your country while thousands suffer through deplorable conditions like public defecation. They didn’t have the b_lls when in India to step-up and clean-up the massive pervasive filth. But i just love when their arrogant a_s has the gall to criticize the US or some local law. Their rate of participation in the military is minuscule. They account for the majority of public corruption at the state and county level through nepotism – that is hiring their relatives. They also abuse the visa system by bringing their entire dirtbag families on work visa to work the counter at their convenience store. It is a total scam. You can’t take a cab, buy cigarettes, liquor, or get your prostate checked without dealing with one of these parasites. The concept of Christian generosity/morals is totally lost on them. Software engineers will lie to your face and then pretend that they didn’t understand you or some other BS. Surprised the suicide rate isn’t much higher.

  11. Loudness! Oh the loudness! Why can’t Indians conduct a conversation quietly?! I live next door to a group of young men who are outside all day and night yelling their conversations to their phones and each other. Can you please just STFU!! They are polite when I ask them to be quiet but the next day, they’re at it again. Serious question, why the yelling? It happens on public transport, work colleagues. I can hear you!

  12. Adding 1 more…

    Indian men think dating apps and matrimonial apps serve separate purposes. But in the West, dating is the pathway to marriage. So it’s really awful when Indian men disrespect women on dating sites but take women seriously on matrimonial sites.

    Most women in the west say they will date anyone except Indian men because of their antiqued notions of using women for dating & sex without the future possibility of marriage.

  13. @Harsha

    Especially North Indians are loud and noisy?
    When i was in north india, all people were friendly and they were not noisy at all.
    But when I transferred to south india, my life was like hell. South indians just like to fight. I changed my house like 3 different places in same city, but what i noticed was people like talk on their phone so loudly in their balcony like they want others to know what they are talking. South indians just like to fight each other without any reason. In their fight they disturb the whole colony. South indians are arrogant, ignorant, selfish, etc.

  14. Very apt article. But let me tell you even if it is evident Indians are too immature and full of their pompous self to take this critique well. In fact it was indeed one of your point in the write up too. It takes a certain intellectual maturity to be able to do that. Most tourist places in the far east even detest Indians for their loud, boorish and ugly behaviour so much so that they are barred from entry in several bars and pubs in Thailand for example. The most riling thing is that they will behave like lumpen uncivil louts and be delinquently full of themselves that if perchance you converse with them thay will start extolling in a one track way about the ‘greatness’ of all things India and Indian as if all other cultures and systems have no merits and value.

  15. Why is this so Americanised?

    Indians seem to be arrogant for no apparent reason, as they have absolutely nothing about which to be arrogant. This is extremely obvious in respect of cricket, of which most Yanks have never heard.

  16. I am an Indian only because of destiny. There is no difference between Afghanistan or India when you focus the under belly of the state, you got Taliban running the raj whereas here you got the Saffron morons running the show. Democracy? Oh yeah thats a loud and pompous on books however the relaity is deplorable, pathetic, there is no democracy at all, lawbrakers are lawmakers over here. Now thats serious irony!
    Indians on other hand are No.1 racists in the entire world, they have got nick names of all races in the world and hate every other states for being what they are . classic example is Karnataka waging war like crime on Tamilians for not sharing water. In north Marthi people hating Bhiharis. Govt is run my thugs and goons. Bureaucrats are busy looting even the last penny from the system, sand mafias, goondas, politicians are hand in gloves in looting tax payers money, now how can you expect to live under selfish indians who are much worse than their former rulers(britishers) infact they were I would strongly say “better” ,I gave me the enlightenment of education, dressed me up neatly, provided medicine for diseases, encouraged me to ask questions on culture and dark belief system, helped me to move out from ignorance to light. The best take away for me from India would be its family values, rest you can straight away put in garbage. Staying in India is simply rotting and wating your life, the world outside has more to offer one should never miss in his/her life rather than thumping their chest with senseless false pride .

    TL:DR World outside is better than India

  17. I left India in the mid sixties with my parents for a new life in a foreign country. The discrimination and marginalisation we faced in India, as a small minority, was soon encountered in our new country. Thankfully, the population was much smaller and it was possible to survive with a higher standard of living. On return to India for visits, not much had changed, except a larger population and a higher degree of dismissive indifference if you happened to mention the corruption, hygienic standards and pollution.
    Indians are well educated, but the education stops with a culture that refuses to acknowledge it’s failures. There remains a silent anger towards the British, who were there for three hundred years, as the root cause of the nation’s many dilemmas.
    Perhaps this is reflected in the rip offs to tourists as a means of exacting for past loss.
    Sad for India as it has to instil some cultural values in it’s school curriculum and stop the race for as many degrees as possible.

  18. All I know for sure is that the immigrants from India who have migrated here to nz which is swarming with them do not speak English which is a language barrier, or follow our rules regulations policies and yet they expect to be treated like the superior ones as if we are the foreigners in our country.. they are obnoxious rude , lack clarity in thoughts and are totally ignorant… I understand they hang out in their own groups with there own but if you are working in the same place least make an attempt to try interact or communicate with others who are non Indian.. I’ve worked alongside a lot of Indians mainly punjabis in different types of work, and honestly they are the worst to work with.. they make out they don’t know how to do a particular task when it’s really just common sense or life skills smh they’re so cunning and sneaky like that… they all congregate in the staff room at lunch time talk in there own language loudly , make a big mess staining the tables with curry spices arrrgh turmeric or curry powder and they don’t bother to clean up after themselves.. and they wash in the kitchen sink or put their hands under the tap to drink from it.. so primitive.. bad manners.. so when you tell them about these in appropriate disgusting habits and how it’s not acceptable they act dumb… make out they don’t understand or pull out the racist card on you.. like seriously gfy.. that I am not.. I have goodNZ/ Indian friends who were born here or have lived here Ive known a very long time .. I’ve been to Indian weddings in a sari.. dances.. made Indian food and embraced the culture through my friends I was privileged.. as they have also experienced and enjoyed my Maori culture values and traditions.. Indian males have the gall to stand and stare at you, and they don’t care or consider who’s around.. so because of this they land themselves in a very heated and defeated situation.. they stare at females non Indian mainly raping you with their eyes and tongue wagging.. with one thing on their mind..believe me it’s not a handful of them like that it’s the majority of them( our city is swarming with them.. God defend NZ

  19. I am an indian with over twenty yrs of work experience and these are some of my observations:-
    1. Indians are low on Integrity. They practice contextual morality. Within the extended circle of family and friends they are honest & committed, but outside that circle they are quite capable of lieing, cheating or distorting facts/info.
    2. Most indians are incapable of subordinating self interest to societal/national interests.
    3. Despite education, most Indians don’t have a sense of national identity which is stronger than their ethenic, linguistic, caste or communal identities.
    4. Most Indians lack self-discipline. They will follow rules & regulations so long as there is some one to enforce those rules. When not under such supervision, there is little compliance. There is little sense of responsibility towards the society.
    5. Most Indians donot have the character to face critical feedback, no matter how objective it is and how politely it is given. And hence they donot like to give critical feedback to others, especially at workplace.
    6. Maintaining harmony in a working relationship is top priority for most indians, which inhibits candour as known and practiced in the west.
    7. Most Indians are quite credulous.
    8. Actions & thoughts of authority figures are seldom subjected to critical examination. They are easily elevated to demi-god status. Undue power and previleges are hence granted to those in positions of authority, leading to semi feudal order at the workplace.
    9. Repressed Indian male sexuality is the cause of the high rate of sexual crime against women. This is best explained by the psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar in his book ‘Intimate Relations’.

  20. Wow.. this describe more then perfectly how indians are where I live. The problem is that they might get huge houses but the whole value of the neighborhood drops as soon as they move in. Not because they are genetically Indians, but because they behave like Indians (as written above).

    Not only their culture is extremely closed to the countries in which they live and work.. they tend to make people run away from their homes due to the noise and smell they emit.

    You can tell you are going into an Indian neighborhood just by the smell and that’s not healthy or respectfull to the country which you chose to live into.

    I do sincerely hope to be able to find a place with no Indians nearby.. not due to racism, I don’t dislike them as persons.. but for my wellbeing. I want to be able to live in a noisefree/odorless environment.

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