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Old 10-25-2015, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
2,897 posts, read 5,278,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ValleDeSilicon View Post
I'm of Indian descent and I'm curious about this.

Judging by a lot of comments on various forums and websites, it seems to have become fashionable to talk negative about India and Indians in the wake of reports of various social problems the country has (which I'm fully aware of and need to be resolved or addressed), such as rape, poverty, caste system, etc. So much so that the most popular opinions often seem to be ones which have a contemptuous or even hostile view of the country and people. Even though there are some things I don't like about Indian culture (as well as some things I like), I still find such comments disheartening. People seem to make blanket judgments, with others agreeing with them (this can easily be seen through upvotes vs. downvotes on websites such as reddit and Yahoo! News).

To that end, does anyone still have a mostly positive opinion? Also, as this is the Asia forum, how do you view India in comparison to countries such as China, Japan, Thailand, or Pakistan?

And in your experience do you find Indians different in behavior when compared to other ethnicities?

Again, I'm asking this purely out of curiosity and wanted to get this off my chest.
First thing I would state is that Indians in India and in the diaspora total 1.3 billion souls. So up front, I can make no comment about such a massive and incredibly diverse set of people.

However, I can comment on those I have interacted with.

1. China. Many have a chip on the shoulder with regards to a perceived battle with China. While there may be roots to this going back to the early 1960s when a border skirmish was fought, there is really no need for it as any such competition is only in the mind.

2. The US. Indians seem to have a deep love-hate relationship with the US. I guess the alliance with Pakistan is partly to blame. It is more than schadenfreude or the usual anti-hegemonic voices of weaker nations. I think it goes much deeper. European friends mention Greece in the same light--almost an obliviousness to the fact that any greatness as far as importance to the world community is well in the past or far in the future. Apparently not easy to swallow. Those embittered feelings are hard to understand today given the warming of US-Indian relationships and the resounding successes of the Indian-American community.

3. The UK. I know less about it, but the two centuries of colonization, stripping of natural resources and the utter botching of the Partition, are deep in the Indian DNA. It seems to be love-hate but only deeper than it is for the US. As it appears to be case with the US, even the most anti-UK Indian would be hard pressed to turn down a scholarship to Oxbridge or a top position on Wall Street, yet feel free to bash the ULK with impunity. Curious.

4. India Herself. What I find very interesting goes back to the Greek parallel. Many young Indians are obsessed with national greatness. Nothing seems more thrilling to climb some ranking regardless of its usefulness or prestige. The Indians I know appear obsessed with rankings, especially if India is seen to leapfrog China, the US or UK. Adding to this is the interminable boasting both of the past and of the idea that India will be the next superpower. It is such a commonplace attitude, it makes me wonder of its genesis.

5. 1-4 aside, I find Indians interesting and interested in being interesting. I like that. Indians can be curious and when they can fight off their tendency to boast, can be quite creative and innovative thinkers. I those, too.

6. Indians can be very sensitive about criticism but feel they can take potshots at the US (more than the UK) with impunity. It is as if the Huffington Post was built by Indians!

7. Hard Work. I have not found they have near the same work ethos as East Asians. They like to play and far more obsessed with celebrity and material culture than most East Asians. Some are smart and some are not, but the ones that are not terribly smart would never accept such an assessment. This is a good trait, but one that can be maddening for those on the receiving end.

8. Personality. I do not know a single Indian I would deem "boring." They want to be in the mix. Many are funny and very engaged in conversation. They have a gift for gab and can talk for 72 hours straight.

9. Deep Inferiority Complex. IMHO, it is only when one observes people who clearly do not have an inferiority complex that one can notice its existence in others. Indians ought to be proud of their culture, their successes, their charms, etc. But instead, Indians can be incredibly defense and sensitive to any criticism against India or Indians, even if that criticism was voiced for reasons other than race or culture and not directed at Indians per se.

10. Deeper Cultural Aspects. Treatment of Women, religious warfare, pollution, and #9 above mean that one must be extra prepared or on guard when engaging in a deeper conversation on India with Indians. Also, many practices we see on TV/interact are horrifying to most Americans and not understood. But instead of helping cross that information gap, many Indians will switch the target to America's problems and issues--a kind more morally, self-righteous indignation. Too bad really, since there is I think great room for shared dialogue that can bridge gaps.

Again, these comments are limited to those I know or whom I have worked with --perhaps 1,000-2,000 or so.

Finally, I like their joie de vivre.

The observations of one person.

S.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,199 posts, read 10,414,132 times
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Not giving my personal perception, but speaking as a whole:

The majority of Americans still have little contact with Indian people, outside of the doctor's office or local convenience store. The culture is strange to those not exposed to it...spicy food, complex language, Hindu religion as a whole, etc. So I'm not sure there is a negative perception as much as there is ignorance/lack of knowledge. We know more about the cultures of people whose immigrants have been here longer....China, Latin America, Europe. That will probably change over the coming decades but for now I'd say most Americans know little about India, and when people don't know or understand a culture there's usually skepticism until they do.

Speaking personally, I love Indian food and find the culture very interesting and complex. I work in a hospital, so of course interact regularly with Indian doctors & medical staff. Outside of work, Indian folks do seem to be insular and "stick to their own". It's different in major cities where younger Indians will hang out with their friends & coworkers socially, but in most of the country Indians mostly socialize with other Indians (especially first-generation immigrants). You even see that here on City Data....nearly every relocation thread from someone from India wants to live in an area with a lot of other Indians.

Last edited by Natural510; 10-27-2015 at 12:52 AM..
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
2 posts, read 1,726 times
Reputation: 15
As a desi, it does bother me how insular, racist and slow to assimilate many Indians are as mentioned by non-Indians in this thread.

Again, I will probably see things differently especially compared to the 1st generation (like my parents) as I am a 1.5 generation American and was born in India but never lived there in my life.
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:40 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,237 posts, read 19,536,382 times
Reputation: 12991
One thing people should remember is that the vast majority of Indians - about 80% - are Hindu. A large part of Indian identity is tied to that ancient religion. Another 14% of Indians are Muslim.

Being Hindu or Muslim means that you don't necessarily believe much in Christianity or give it any special status. This is one reason why it is not that easy for Indians to assimilate socially in American society, even though most Indian Americans are economically successful.
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:31 AM
 
Location: World
3,657 posts, read 3,519,208 times
Reputation: 2478
Mentality and Behavior of Indians in USA

This Link describes mentality of Indians living in the USA in a funny but true way. Again it describes people who are Fresh Off the Boat and not those who are living here for many years.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:38 AM
 
227 posts, read 240,227 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by munna21977 View Post
Mentality and Behavior of Indians in USA

This Link describes mentality of Indians living in the USA in a funny but true way. Again it describes people who are Fresh Off the Boat and not those who are living here for many years.
I truely believe that the person who wrote that article has either not stepped foot in India for a long time or is just socializing with a real uncouth crowd.
Every culture comes with some nuances. While sitting on the floor and eating food off a banana leaf may sound unhygienic to most but to a large section of the society its very sacred. Also a lot of 'claims' in that article are so generic that it can be used with any culture/race/country of citizenship.
Trust me indians do use a deodrand and they dont wear hawai chappal to work, EVEN IN INDIA!
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:10 PM
 
2,276 posts, read 1,560,368 times
Reputation: 2949
Quote:
Originally Posted by munna21977 View Post
Mentality and Behavior of Indians in USA

This Link describes mentality of Indians living in the USA in a funny but true way. Again it describes people who are Fresh Off the Boat and not those who are living here for many years.
As an Indian growing up in USA, I actually liked the link. Although some parts, like the first half of work suggesting to not talk about personal matter and not socialize at work, did not fit the Indian bill. I think it is the other way, typically Indian's don't like socializing at work & want to get their work done only. But the 2nd half of work and many other area were funny and true, but as another poster said it can easily apply to people of any nation.
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:35 PM
 
Location: World
3,657 posts, read 3,519,208 times
Reputation: 2478
That article describes Indians especially those on H-1B visas or F-1 Visa but again we cannot generalize it on everybody. One thing which irritates me a lot about Indians in USA is their excessive use of Cellphones at Public places. You dont need to be on phone all the time, whether it is shopping, Rest Rooms or while Driving while delaying people around you.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:08 PM
 
2,276 posts, read 1,560,368 times
Reputation: 2949
Quote:
Originally Posted by munna21977 View Post
That article describes Indians especially those on H-1B visas or F-1 Visa but again we cannot generalize it on everybody. One thing which irritates me a lot about Indians in USA is their excessive use of Cellphones at Public places. You dont need to be on phone all the time, whether it is shopping, Rest Rooms or while Driving while delaying people around you.
Isn't that just the younger generation? All the young kids are on cellphone 24/7 regardless of ethnicity. I can easily see a white/Black..American parents making the same comment between texting and instagram and Facebook and tweeter...there is no end.

I am guilty of being on the phone all the time but that has more to do with my age group than my ethnicity. You are not going to see my 60 year old dad on cellphone as you will see my 20 year old siblings.

The part about "staying at work till 8pm or 10 pm" in the article made me smile. At my work, the Indian subcontinent employee tend to stay well past 7pm while majority of coworkers are heading out by 4pm. It is not because we work hard, we are just not morning people. The last people to enter the building are Indians and as so we are the last to walk out. Also we have no sense of time regardless of how high position one is or how crunched on time one is, clock is just not our friend.
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:46 PM
 
484 posts, read 686,677 times
Reputation: 488
I'm not a fan of Indian food that I've tried in the US ... it always seems really greasy and overcooked.
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