MythBusters!: The Indian Edition
1. Everyone’s a Hindu
Image Source: Sacbee
Hindus only make up about 80% of the population, which means there’s over 200 million people whose religions are still left unaccounted for by this blanket statement.
Muslims make up another 15% and other, smaller and somewhat more esoteric religions such as Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and even Judaism make up the rest . Especially in the cities, you encounter an incredibly diverse mix of religions.
2. The Food Is Always Spicy
Lamb korma-Image Source: Steenberg
For those of you who can’t stand the spice, today is your lucky day! Have a lamb korma or a murgh makhani – neither will leave you screaming in your own mind while simultaneously reaching for more curry. The former is a creamy, nutty dish which people will laugh at you for ordering and the latter is much more commonly known as butter chicken.
If those two are too much for you, I don’t think I can help. Maybe order a glass of water and some saltines.
3. All The Marriages Are Arranged
Image Source: Wikimedia
Not at all true, though it may shock you that 74% of Indians prefer arranged marriage. Arranged marriage popularity has declined in recent years. This decline can also be seen in the increasing number of Bollywood films in which those types of marriages are abandoned for love.
4. We’re All Convenience Store Clerks
Image Source: Flickr
I’m sure you didn’t actually think this. I just wanted to let you know that there are 90 billionaires in India which makes India the country with the fifth most numerous billionaires. The image of Apu from the Simpsons could not be more wrong.
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5. You Can Bargain For Anything
It’s true, you can bargain for most things. And, in many cases, if you don’t bargain and you are foreign, the seller is going to rip you off. But many retail stores across India do not allow bargaining (even though some do!). There are many signs warning customers that bargaining is not tolerated!
6. We Don’t Eat Beef
Mcdonalds in India-Image Source: Motovoyager
It’s true that it’s very difficult to get a decent beef burger in India, and even if you do, it’s almost impossible to ensure that it’s made from a real cow and not a buffalo or bison (the taste is quite different!). But if you know the right Muslims and the right restaurants, an authentic beef burger is not that hard to get at all.
7. We’re Obsessed With The Kama Sutra
Image Source: Metaphysicsknowledge
India has a case of split personalities when it comes to sex. In some cases there is the perspective that the Kama Sutra espouses, which is a liberal, open attitude towards sex. But not all Indians approve of such things.
Every time you think to yourself about India being a sexually free society, consider the many women in burkas and the extremely archaic ideas held by many with regards to purity and virginity.
8. Everyone Is Super Religious
Though India is a very religious country, it also has its nonbelievers. In fact, there are many ancient Hindu sects which focus on scepticism and a denial of God’s existence. The existence and acceptance of these beliefs in Hinduism is what makes the religion part philosophy.
9. We All Wear Turbans
Image Source: pixgood
I’m sure you don’t really think that. Well, I hope not. Sikhs wear turbans as a part of their “Five Ks” which are Kesh (not cutting the hair), Kangha (a type of comb), Kara (a silver bracelet), Kachera (a special type of underwear), and Kirpan (a large knife). Sikhs must carry the five Khs wherever they go. Because of Kesh, Sikhs wear a turban. The five Ks exist so that a Sikh can never hide his or her religious identity.
10. You Can’t Drink The Water
This one is a joke. Don’t drink the water. Seriously, don’t drink the water.