Stereotypes In Indian Context




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A stereotype is a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people.

The use of stereotypes is a major way in which we simplify our social world; since they reduce the amount of processing (i.e. thinking) we have to do when we meet a new person.  By stereotyping we infer that a person has a whole range of characteristics and abilities that we assume all members of that group have. Stereotypes lead to social categorization, which is one of the reasons for prejudice attitudes (i.e. “them” and “us” mentality) which leads to in-groups and out-groups.

Most stereotypes probably tend to convey a negative impression.  Positive examples would include judges (the phrase “sober as a judge” would suggest this is a stereotype with a very respectable set of characteristics), overweight people (who are often seen as “jolly”) and television news readers (usually seen as highly dependable, respectable and impartial).  Negative stereotypes seem far more common, however.

Here are some important stereotypes about india:

Most Indians are poor but Happy

So, what’s common in Slumdog Millionaire and Hymn for the Weekend? I’m sure nobody missed the slums and happy kids running around. Well, the Indian population is divided into three basic demographics – the poor, the middle class and the rich. Even as there is poverty in the country, the biggest economic group is the middle class (good packages, good lifestyle and good homes). Also, some of the richest people in the world live in India. So yes, Indians hate it when you just assume they come from poor backgrounds.

All Indians are IT experts

 Indians have showcased their talent in various fields apart from the Information Technology sector. To name a few current popular personalities from India – Priyanka Chopra (Acting/Singing), Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Politics), A.R.Rahman (Music), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Sports) and Amartya Sen (Literature). In short, the talent pool in India is vast and diverse.

All the marriages are arranged by the Indian parents

 Quite honestly the parents in India are much more liberal than they are portrayed everywhere. Even as a majority of marriages in India are arranged, there has certainly been a rise in the number of love marriages. Also, marriages aren’t really forced upon the kids these days as they reach the right age (Nobody knows the right age anymore).

People from Bihar are stereotyped as Illiterate, Uncultured, Socially Backward

Well, we all grew up listening that whenever you get struck by a difficult situation, try to look at the brighter side, or when life dwindles and lands you in a dilemma, you must think and scrutinise both the pros and cons of the situation.

Illiterate, uncultured, socially backward. These are often associated with the word ‘Bihari’. This has been going on for so much time now that it does not really affect anyone. It does make sense when you are being called a Bihari because you are from Bihar but it doesn’t make sense when it is being related to all possible atrocities.

Stereotypes about women

Some stereotypes about Indian women are as follows:

Our parents find our future husbands.

 Yes, Indian matrimonial ads exist. So do real-time interactions at academic institutions, workplaces, and farming fields. In India, some choose their partners on their own, and others think that parents might know some decent guys who are worth a shot. It is regrettable that some Indian women are forced to marry, but there is no need to generalise that for all.

Women don’t play sports

Nearly 300 women train to excel in soccer in Alakhpura village, Haryana, a state typically known for restricting women’s rights. 11 of them have played nationals and there is one soccer player in nearly every home. Whether it’s Poorna, the world’s youngest girl to climb the Mt. Everest, or Sakshi Malik, an Olympic bronze medallist and wrestler, Indian women can be accomplished athletes, even in traditionally male-dominated sports.

Women are timid and traditional

 When I was told that I could not ride a motorcycle, I bought a Royal Enfield 500cc and taught myself how to ride. I like to wear summer dresses, and have occasional drinks with men. Does that sound timid and traditional to you?  All the women I know, including the ones who live the tough reality of discrimination at home, are fierce and unconventional. Let’s not forget that Indian tradition also embraces Shaktism — the supreme power of the feminine.

Some other notable stereotypes

A Tamilian stereotype originates from the Tamilian Brahmin stereotypes (recent trends refer to them as TamBrams). Tamilians are known for their:

 Curd Rice: Something about this delicacy seems to scream Tamil Nadu.

Rajinikanth: Obviously! If you had been in Tamil Nadu before the time of this great actor you’d have found hordes of MGR fans. They seem to have an obsession for actors.

Lungi : Yes, the choice of wardrobe seems to be a popular stereotype, with most movies depict all Tamilians wearing this piece of cloth.

In india people from north east face lot of ridiculous stereotypes like they often asked such questions :

Q.Hey so since you have small eyes,can you see the actual size of the object or person or do you see the smaller/ minimized version of things ?

Q Do you know how to speak in Chinese  

Q. Do you guys eat your dogs?

Q. Do you understand Hindi?  

Q What do you guys eat at home?Momo’s and chowmein i guess

Q. You must have a lot of boyfriends since you’re a north eastern

 

 


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