The patriotic buzz of #UninstallSnapchat and #BoycottSnapchat and the united efforts of my fellow Indians that lead to many netizens uninstalling Snapdeal app instead, for no fault of its own has lead me to believe that we Indians are so united whether it is for the right reason or for the most lame reason, our patriotism (by patriotism here I mean it virtually, just like any trending twitter topic) towards our country will flourish and break apart even the most powerful force(by force here I mean the “allegedly” word that’s barely visible to our naked eyes). All this unity was so overwhelming to catch up with on an Easter Sunday holiday. Well we Indians do leave a great impact globally. Here’s a TV commercial by #Lufthansa which depicts this kind of global influence.
Anyways getting back to today’s post, I wanted to let you guys know the stereotypes I come across by being an Indian Christian living in India where majority of the country is Hindu.
Indian by birth, yet I am challenged to prove it regularly, sometimes as a part of a joke with my mates or sometimes as a part of a situation where my friend’s mom would ask me if I am taking her for a drinking spree. The second statement will make sense after reading my complete post, but all these funny and serious moments take place regularly because living in Mumbai as a Catholic girl whose hometown is Goa, whose looks are barely Indian (everybody points this out specially the close ones) and whose ancestors were Portuguese calls for “that’s not true at all” in my mind for so many hideous stereotypes I face.
Firstly it begins with the religion I follow, I am Roman Catholic and this being a minority religion practiced in India where the population is merely 1.55 % of the total population, it’s funny how some fellow Indians perceive us, it begins with calling us “paowalas” or cracking lame pao jokes, to accusing us of being drunkards, to accusing of us westernizing India(PS:- Pao is a type of Goan bread had for breakfast in most Goan homes). Its really hard explaining to people my true nature especially when you are a non-drinking, vegetarian so called “paowala”,judged based of religious stereotyping. The one reason why I am a vegetarian today after giving up eating animals since 3 years is because I really love animals and eating a dead animal’s carcass does not give me pleasure or peace of mind. Through this post I will just try proving most people’s assumption is not really what it is. Well we Christians(at least my family and me) never do take all this at heart and laugh it off and so should you after reading this post.
Here is a list of ridiculous situations/questions/comments I deal with when people realize my so called “Origins”. *based on true events*
- You never drink? What rubbish, you are a Catholic. You are definitely lying.
So by this you mean to say that consumption of alcohol is not a choice by an individual but is a religious necessity? What if I tell you I am an orthodox and consumption of alcohol is not permitted? Well I do not really follow the orthodox customs of my religion but I have never felt the need to drink or smoke and that is simply my choice. Drugs were never a choice either so hell no, being Catholic does not mean we(most of us) get high in the name of religion. DRINKING ALCOHOL IS A CHOICE !
- What men!!! O men, bloody, no men, all bloody men,bugger.
I am not sure why people around me begin including words like “men”, “bloody” in their statements, I barely remember using them in my talks. Not sure why it’s used just around me. I also remember how my math professor would always mock me using the word “men” in almost every statement. Initially it did manage to piss me off but a little annoyed expression was just enough to end the mocking. Also this is not just left there, it also continues with my colleagues and seniors in office. Mostly I ignore this but sometimes I just keep wondering WHY?!!!
- Are you a “pao” addict too? Why are Christians called pao’s ?
Err to begin with, I do not eat pao or pav, its Maida and being brought up in a health conscious family, just like any Indian family my mom makes pretty decent chapattis so get over the pao jokes and its linkage to Christians. Sigh! An impossible wish to ask for if you live in Mumbai and are a part of I.C colony/Orlem or Bandra(I call it Bandruhhhh 😛 )…
- Can you teach us how to jive / disco dancing? Since you are a Catholic you must be a pro at these dance forms.
Absolutely NO! , I really don’t know either and to top it all I am very shy, so dancing in public or at parties is not my kind of thing but I do love the Indian Classical Dance form – Bharatanatyam. I also have 5 years of experience in the same. So if you want to learn some kick-ass mudras, I’ll be happy to teach them to you in precise Sanskrit.
- Do you party all day? Do you go clubbing? Mostly only Christians party the most…
I seriously wish I did. But why should I be so happy in life? I’ll rather just go to office, earn a living and enjoy a quiet life. How does being a Christian decide a person’s take of having fun in their own terms?
- Do you speak Hindi? I bet you don’t. Do you speak Hindi in an accent ?
Well I was raised in India, so yes I do speak much more fluent Hindi than most people I know and definitely without an accent. I clearly do not pronounce Hindi words like a foreigner or speak with “tumka”, “pahadega” etc
- Do you really ‘eat the body of Christ and drink His blood’?
Oh yes we surely do this, I mean we are deemed as meat eaters so why not just be like the Cullen & Wolf clan combined ?
- “Christian chicks are too easy “
Why not try me if it’s that easy 😛
Really? I don’t think so. What’s easier would be a hard knock on everyone’s head who thinks so.
- Why is Good Friday good? Are y’all happy about killing your own God?
Since we are the first people to actually find a God in His physical form, we decided to just kill him anyway. Like seriously? How could this even be a thought? There is much more to the sacrifice that God made by having His only Son die at the hands of humans, at least that’s what we believe in.
- Do you eat meat all day/everyday? You seriously can’t be a vegetarian …
Of course I eat people too whenever I can. Because who would believe I am a vegetarian and the only non-veg stuff I eat are eggs. Sigh!! But no I really eat people once I am bored of them.
- Will you ever marry? Why do Christians get divorced so easily?
Nah, I’ll rather live with cats and perform black magic on people who marry.But to be honet I don’t really know any couple who have been divorced personally so how does religion determine a bond between two people?
- Do you wear traditional Indian clothes?
No never, I just wear my track pants/pyjamas even when I am attending a Hindu wedding or an important interview that’s going to make my life.Just about everywhere.
- Do you go about converting Hindus all the time?
When I am told that we tend to convert, I am puzzled as there are so many sects and we ourselves have no clue which group is doing it. We do not even know which group to condemn. So not sure about this whole conversion thingy but yes we do love helping people in need.
- You can’t really do yoga because of the Hindu chants ?
Why can’t I? It’s a different thing I am lazy but nobody told me why I shouldn’t do yoga being a Christian.
- You have never been to a temple right ?
I have been to so many temples. At the end of the day it’s the same God we serve but in different traditions. My favorite Indian festival is Ganesha Chaturthi. My father and I have always been a part of the immersions that take place during the same.
So all in all Indian Christians are just a bunch of peace loving people who are definitely #MoreIndianThanYouThink. Some of us love keeping up with our Indian culture and heritage. We are all not #AgreezKiAulad. We are Indians first. Following a particular way of living is a choice. Some of us drink, some don’t, some like to wear traditional,some like to westernize their outfits etc , the list of choices can go on.
PS: – This post is for fun and entertainment purpose only. I am not trying to hurt anybody’s religious sentiments or beliefs through this post. If I have hurt anyone’s sentiments through this post then please take a look at the picture below of some really cute animals which should make you smile,rather than dragging me to court or getting someone to send me death threats: P Just Kidding. Constructive criticism is always welcomed by me, so do leave in some.