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 people from India that foreigners find annoying or not-so-pleasant:

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. Continue reading “What do foreigners find most annoying about Indians overseas?”

You Know You’re Indian If (funny):

Some fun facts and beliefs about Indians living abroad! 🙂 U r desi if: Your parents drink 6 cups of tea a day…. When you are unwell/sick, everyone turns into doctor advising what to do…. You have a 40 lb. bag of rice in your pantry…. read all..

Some fun-facts, interesting observations and comic beliefs about Indians living abroad!  🙂
U r desi if:

  • Your parents drink 6 cups of tea a day.
  • When you are unwell/sick, everyone turns into a doctor advising what to do.
  • You have a 40 lb. bag of rice in your pantry.
  • Your parents lecture you in English “No English; you should speak in your mother tongue at home!”
  • “You want an iPhone? When I was your age, I didn’t even have shoes!!” Parents quip.
  • You have to call just about all your parent’s friends ‘Auntie’/’Uncle.’
  • You arrive an hours (or two) late to a party and think it’s normal.
  • Your dad is either some type of engineer or a doctor or a taxi-driver… or owns a convenience store.
  • Your parents blame everything bad on bad Karma from previous lives.
  • Everything you eat is savored in garlic, onion and tomatoes
  • Your parents talk for an hour at the front door when leaving someone’s house.
  • Continue reading “You Know You’re Indian If (funny):”

The fading hue

The bright yellow saree with flowery pattern clings to her tall slender body, almost exposing her. She wears it with grace – her walk measured, her stance determined. Her lips are wide; her smile is big – like a Bollywood movie actress, but less assuming. She speaks with politeness, yet determination of a teacher…a short story..

The bright yellow saree with flowery pattern clings to her tall slender body, almost exposing her to the imaginative eyes. She wears it, the saree, with grace – her walk measured, her stance determined. Her lips are wide; her smile big – like a Bollywood movie actress, only less assuming. She speaks with politeness, yet determination of a teacher. Her animated hand gestures and a fair complexion mislead you to think that she could be Italian. Her attire, the controlled manners, and the lowered eyes give away the secret however, that she is Indian. As she walks from guests to guests, she leaves behind a trace of French perfume; she leave behind many turned heads.. Saying that she is pretty does not do a complete justice.
On her right shoulder she has a flower tattoo – not a real tattoo, no! Her mother would not allow that. It is a kind of tattoo that some kids and teenagers make out of sticky and shiny glitters. She is no teenager, not by any measures except some traces of childish youth left in her heart. She has her own kids aged 3 and 6, a boy and a girl, left for the evening at her mother’s house.
It is a January, a wintry cold weekend. They are gathered for a social evening at her friend’s house, a mansion actually. The big house stands on the outskirts of Surrey, British Columbia. The sunlight from the west filters through the huge windows accenting the silky curtains that seem to never end, not even when they touch the marble tiles of matching floor. Continue reading “The fading hue”

911 – The Emergency Call

The firm knock on the door made her jump. Even though she was expecting this knock, the police arrived much faster than she had imagined….She looked at her husband; he was pacing nervously in the far corner of the living room…..A short story

The firm knock on the door made her jump. Even though she was expecting this knock, the police arrived much faster than she had imagined.

She looked at her husband; he was pacing nervously in the far corner of the living room. They exchanged a brief glance – both of them nervous,… beyond nervous.

The officer knocked again, this time much harder. Unwillingly, she walked to the door and turned the knob without making a noise.

A tall RCMP officer in full uniform was standing at the door, with his hand cautiously placed on the gun holster.

“Mrs. Sharma?” The officer inquired.

“Yes… Yes!” She said twice; her voice barely audible..

The officer peeked inside the house before actually stepping in. He spotted her husband standing motionless in the far end of the living room.

“Ma’am, I am Officer Wilson; we are responding to the 911 call…the emergency call” He said; he turned his head and looked around the house, inspecting the premises while still standing at the door.

She did not say anything in response.

“Is that your husband? Mr. Sharma?” He looked at her husband with a piercing gaze.

She just nodded, without saying anything again.

“Anybody else in the house? Any kids?” Continue reading “911 – The Emergency Call”

Why Indian/desi guys find white women more attractive!

A previous article discussed – Why white women find desi or Indian guys less attractive?. Now, ask the guys from India about White woman; these desi dudes hold no grudge against white chicks. In fact, it is quite the opposite.So, why is it that Indian guys find white women more attractive?…

Human relations are complicated by nature; there is always something deeper, something more than meet the eye. Inter-racial relation are even more complex, even though they have been around for ages.

A previous article discussed Why white women find desi or Indian guys less attractive?. Now, ask the guys from India about White woman. No matter what these white women think about the Indian guys, the desi dudes hold no grudge against them. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

So, why is it that Indian guys find white women more attractive? There is no simple answer; at least nobody admits that it is so black and white – or should be say ‘brown and white’!

1. Fair skin attraction – First thing first, it is a culture thing that Indians prefer fair skin, especially on a woman. Many attribute this to Bollywood where almost all the leading actresses have milky complexion, but fair skin preference goes way back, even before black-and-white flicks took over Indian cinema. Many of the matrimonial advertisements often include ‘fair skin’ mention or requirement. The white women win hands down, if you just go by the skin color. So, this is good first impression, to start with! The fair skin criteria goes beyond the Bollywood actresses, and is common among all India cultures – home or abroad.

2. Stronger sense of independence – Compared to an Indian woman raised in an Indian society, a white woman from West is much more independent and self-reliant. In western culture (Western, as in Europe and America, not as in cowboys), the women have much more say in their personal decision-making, compared to Indian society where families dominate and control women’s upbringings.

3. Less family control – This is more of a continuation of previous point. The women from India are often controlled by the family in many important aspects of their life, including selecting a life-partner. So, the family interference is much more in the case of Indian women, and this is a turn-off for many guys – even by desi standard! Continue reading “Why Indian/desi guys find white women more attractive!”

Plight of a woman in the NRI Marriages

A traditional woman from India wants to save her marriage at every cost, even when it is an unhappy marriage. In the NRI marriages, society abroad takes full advantage of a women’s desire to make things work. In the name of the compromises, in the name of the family pride, women overseas are suffering from this hidden but cruel treatment every day.

“Indian men are the most ugly men on this planet. Their hearts so ugly that u can not even imagine. I am Indian married to an Indian, the pain and the suffering he has given me and continues to give me, is crazy. Why?……. Indian men in India may be good, Indian men who come to the west are ugly ugly men…may god give me courage to remove this painful lump( my husband) out out of my life forever.. ” Says Katiyani while commenting on this article.

Many parents in India prefer to marry their beloved son or daughter to NRIs.  Their main hopes and wishes for their kids are to see them will settle abroad and prosper. A common man still looks up to the other countries as the ultimate salvation for their offspring.

Yes, arranged marriage is still the most common way to matrimony in India, especially when it comes to marrying abroad. With very little knowledge about a ‘funny dressed’ visitor from the west, people are willing to wed their son or daughter overnight. They don’t want someone else to steal their opportunity – the opportunity of a golden ticket to go abroad.

Marriage is supposed to be a sacred bond, based on mutual love and respect. However, NRI marriages are fundamentally based on greed. It is the greed that results into lifelong headaches for many couples, and heartaches along with it. Continue reading “Plight of a woman in the NRI Marriages”

From desi Hinglish to fluent English

Hinglish – a hybrid of English with influence of Indian languages, especially Hindi. This is a compilation of many resources on the topics related to language barriers, accent improvement and the Hinglish usage. Take a look at all the resources available on the related topics, the help is only a few clicks away…

Those of us born and raised in India speak a very different English than the one spoken in Europe or North America or Australia..a plain fact.If you don’t believe, record yourself and listen!Try it!!

And it is natural, we are molded and shaped by our surroundings; we are always influenced by our mother tongue. As a result, the influence of our first language – often Hindi, is naturally present in our English speech, hence the term Hinglish.

On this site – The Indians Abroad, there are quite a few articles that address the usage of Hinglish and how to minimize it. Speaking Hinglish is not a mistake or something to be overly concerned about, it is just a habit – the way we speak in our own neighborhood. Think about it, even Australian spoken English is far different than the American English. The local factors and the local slangs are bound to influence the way we speak.

Hinglish usage is quite common in India, it is natural. No one cares, and no one should, as long as two parties can understand each-other. However, when we speak the same Hinglish abroad, not everybody is able to understand or comprehend the complete meaning, especially for those who are not familiar with desi terms and desi idioms. Continue reading “From desi Hinglish to fluent English”

NBC’s ‘Outsourced’ – A hilarious culture clash or offensive?

NBC’s ‘Outsourced’ is based on a Call center in Mumbai selling Novelties to American customer. The comedy brings home the culture-clash where India meets America. However, many of us find the sitcom offensive for making fun of Indian traditions and culture ….Read more..

Many call this a strange or bold move form NBC, but it is more of a commonsense if you think about it – controversial shows get the attention from public and media alike. Thursday’s prime-time lineup from NBC includes ‘Outsourced’ – a comic satire on Indian culture through the eyes of American and Western office managers. Nothing original, but different!

The show in itself is hilarious, if you take it with a grain of salt. The Indian way of thinking, the Indian traditions, the office habits of local workers and how we perceive Americans – all on display in half an hour weekly comedy that is lighthearted and fun to watch.

The premise of ‘Outsourced’ is based on an an Indian call center in Mumbai selling American novelties. According to NBC, the Outsourced revolves around “the all-American company Mid America Novelties whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India and a manager, played by Ben Rappaport, is being transferred to India to run the operation…”

The sitcom touches on a variety of social and cultural Indian issues including arranged marriage, a young woman working in the call center to support her parents, how Indians view the American women, the Indian Accent and the fake American accent…. Continue reading “NBC’s ‘Outsourced’ – A hilarious culture clash or offensive?”

Her social drinking troubles

In this day and age, the double standards are alive and well – in India and abroad. This is a short story, through the eyes of a modern woman, struggling to adjust to the Indian society and the social norms….

Her parents drove for two hours from Seattle to Surrey, B.C. They did not have a choice. They had to be there. For the entire drive, Meena – her mother – looked out of the car window. She was not admiring the scenery or the landscapes; her brain was racing with troubling thoughts and imaginations. She was worried about their daughter, Anita.

“I am not sure how to tell you this, but I have to; people are starting to talk!” Out of the blue, that was a bombshell from Rani, Anita’s mother-in-law, when she called on Wednesday.
“I don’t understand, what happened?” Meena asked; her voice trembling, and barely audible.
“Can you come over this week-end? Then we can talk,” Rani said after a pause.
Her hands shaking, Meena put-down the phone and slumped into the sofa.

“What’s going on?” Meena called Anita within minutes after that call, the suspense was killing her.
“Hi mom, how are you?” Anita was caught off-guard.
Her mom was quiet on the other end of the line.
I don’t know what you talking about, mom,” Anita added.
“Rani just called me.”
“I don’t know what the big deal is about. Everything is okay mom!” Anita said.
“You tell me now, or I am coming there tonight!” Continue reading “Her social drinking troubles”

India through the eyes of my American Classmates

For someone from India, life as a new student in America can be quite interesting. My classmates come from a very diverse background, not to forget in all colors – white, brown, black, yellow, pink, dark pink…well, sometimes it is hard to tell the real color with all the makeup on!

“So how do you like it here, in US?” This is a common icebreaker with new classmates from other countries.
“I love it; it’s fun!” is my general response. After all, I don’t need to complain about my homesickness to everybody.
“I would love to go to India, but am little bit worried about the safety and stuff over there; ….”  Some hesitation about a country far away is quite normal among Americans.
“Stuff like what?” I like to explore what they think about India.
“Well, it is a new place; plus I don’t speak Indian.” Some say this as a joke, while other are clueless to the Indian languages.
And sometimes, the things get slippery after such small talk! That is where the snakes, the elephants and other wild animals jump into the picture. Some questions, asked even with the utmost seriousness, beg for a chuckle, if not a full blown laugh!

I like my American classmates and friends just as much as my desi colleagues, well almost. At least, that’s what I would like to believe and that’s what I try anyways. Many of these firangs are my close friends. We eat together, we study together and we goof-off together. It’s a fun bunch of people I am surrounded by.

I am one of the five Indians in our class. There are students from everywhere – Canada, European countries, Australia, Kenya, Mexico and Korea…to name a few. They all come from a very diverse background, not to forget in all colors – white, brown, black, yellow, pink, dark pink…well, sometimes it is hard to tell the real color with all the makeup on. 🙂 Continue reading “India through the eyes of my American Classmates”

Many Indians abroad dating exclusively whites only!

There seem to be an emerging and perhaps growing trend among the new generation of Indians abroad who prefer to date whites only…instead of dating someone from desi circle.This ‘chat’ on the social network site is a quick glimpse into their psyche…

19:19 Me
Are u okay if I use this ‘chat’ for a blog post…a post on ‘Some Indians abroad dating whites only’ ?

19:19 Neelam
No, not really! Plz!

19:20 Me
my loss 🙁

19:20 Neelam
haha….sorry

19:21 Me
🙁

19:21 Neelam
may be..you can change the name and place…a little

19:21 Me
I should do that.
Why though?

19:22 Neelam
haha I don’t need publicity..or hate mails…lol

19:22 Me
okay cool, thanks

19:23 Neelam
haha np

…………

A friendly warning: Take this post with a grain of salt, especially if you get indigestion from racial mix and deviations from the strict social norms. Continue reading “Many Indians abroad dating exclusively whites only!”

The night before Babbu’s wedding

A sea of beautiful brown skin. Some bare-feet, others testing their newly bought shoes on the dance floor, dancing away with Kesha’s ‘Tick Tock’ song blaring through the whole house. The young, the old, the guys, the girls – all mingled up and ready to party, setting up their own pace. …Babbu and his passe head out for a night out on the town….One last night, he is going to enjoy his ‘single’s’ life….at least that’s what he thought…

A sea of beautiful brown skin. Some bare-feet, others testing their newly bought shoes on the dance floor, dancing away with Kesha’s ‘Tick Tock’ song blaring through the whole house. The young, the old, the guys, the girls – all mingled up in the mood for a party, setting up their own pace. Loud music, louder commotion. Kids running all over – a complete chaos. Everyone is lost in the moment.

Every now and then, a car pulls up to the front of the house dropping off new guests. Tomorrow is a big day for the Gill family. Their only son Babbu is getting married.

By the time the sun touched the western horizon, the house is all packed full – to the limit. More guests trickle in – from as far as India, London and Vancouver. For a two story bungalow, the full blasting air-conditioners cannot subside the heat and smell – the smell of perfumes, sweets, masala, incenses and liquors… all mixed together.

The house in Brampton is a short drive from the Toronto airport. Raj – Babbu’s cousin, has been to the airport three times already, picking up the relatives as they arrive from all over the places. He is the most excited about his fourth trip, however. His three cousins from England are arriving next, the cousins he has not seen for a long time.

As the dusk turns into an early night, a black stretched limousine pulls to the front of the house. It is a part of the night-out planned for the groom and his passé. One last time, Babbu is going to enjoy his ‘single’ status before shackling down into the married life. The limo driver steps outside the driver seat, polishes the already clean windshield with a black cloth, like a ritual. Then he lights up a cigarette, while some of the elders watch him with a look of disapproval.

The groom and his passé of five friends get to the limo. Continue reading “The night before Babbu’s wedding”

The hidden social classes abroad – the Fabs, the FOBs, the ABCD

The Indian society in the foreign lands has its own social classes, its own divisions. From outside, these divisions are not very visible, not very noticeable. This should come as a no surprise to those who have lived abroad amongst other Indians…the FOBs…the ABCDs..read on…

You think you left the social class system back home, when you left India? Think again! 🙂

Perhaps, classes are part of our social life. May be this is how society works – one group of people trying to put down the other group while struggling to prove its own superiority. And NO, we are not taking about the social divisions between whites, blacks or Hispanics abroad.

The Indian society in the foreign lands has its own social classes, its own divisions. From outside, these divisions are not very visible, not very noticeable. This should come as a no surprise to those who have lived abroad amongst other Indians. You may see these partitions less if you are very isolated from rest of the Indian society overseas.

These classes are not based on your last name, cast or creed. Rather, the division is based on your social acceptance among the Indian diaspora. This somewhat hidden division is less visible to an outsider – those who are not Indians or not a part of Indian community. Continue reading “The hidden social classes abroad – the Fabs, the FOBs, the ABCD”

After-school daycare

A short story. A little girl adjusting to a new school, and a father to the new language and a new country….

“I don’t wanna go to the daycare after school”, she had told her mom before the bed time.
“We will pick you up soon after you get there. I promise.” Mom tried her usual trick.
“Yous said the same yesterday!”
“I promise, I will remind your dad to make sure!”
“I don’t like it there.”
“I am sure you will make new friends.”
“I already made two new friends – Hailey and Shira,” she said in a less complaining, and more of a bragging tone.
“See, I told you! Now get some sleep.”
“Goodnight mom. Love you.” As if she already forgot the quarrel from moments ago.
“Goodnight Isha, love you too.” She gave her a big kiss and tucked her in for the night. Continue reading “After-school daycare”

Desi in da club…or not!!

A Club in New Zealand denied a Sikh man’s entry because he was wearing a turban. Even if you win the case in the court, even if you force the club owner to accept the Sikhs, would you really go to that club? I understand that is not the point but think about it…

I will never forget this experiment. Many years ago, I and a desi friend of mine were refused the entry to a night-club in Montreal, Canada. There was a cover charge – an entry fee, and we were okay with that; but I guess, we were not ‘okay enough’ to be a part of the crowd inside. Realizing that we were dressed too casual for some of the upscale clubs in that area, we went back to our hotel, changed into something more formal and had no problem after that.

Not sure if it was our ‘outsider’ looks or just the dress code that was the problem for the club, but appearance does matter. You are always judged on your looks, no matter who you are and where you come from.

And, you can say this about any country; this happens everywhere, every day and every night. I have heard stories about some night-clubs in India refusing entrance to foreigners, including Nepalese and those from far north-eastern states.

Recently Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club in New Zealand denied a Sikh man’s entry because he was wearing a turban. The Sikh community is crying foul and calling it a case of racism. On the other hand, the club management is calling it purely a policy issue, and has nothing to do with the racism according to them. It is a private club and they have their own rules, at least that’s what they say. The Sikh Council of New Zealand is seeking action from Human Rights Commission against the club, and is willing to take the battle to the court. Continue reading “Desi in da club…or not!!”