The term NRI, as we all know, is used to refer to Indians who do not reside in their motherland. They own the Indian passport but if they live outside for more than 180 days, they are officially called NRIs. Non Residents of India are not only dealing with their long distance relationship with India but as a result of staying away for too long, have become a victim to a new phrase – Not Really Indians.
Here are some of the typical stereotypes made by a vast amount of Indians about the lifestyle and simply the existence of NRIs:
1. Lingo Troubles
This is a classic stereotype and an issue that NRI children who have been born or raised abroad and specially in a western society have to face every time they step into their motherland. The minute people hear your accent; they assume you do not know a single word of Hindi or any other Indian language. They also assume that you have attitude and adjustment problems with everything and everyone around you. No matter how hard you try to fit in by speaking the language of the Indian state you are in, the second your tongue rolls a vowel differently, you become a Not Really Indian. It is quite hilarious how different people react differently to your ‘non-Indian accent’. Some just resort to making harsh judgments about you and make sure you know that you are not welcome there, while others just try to act as cool as you by talking to you in a very very horrible fake American accent.
2. Swiss Bank Accounts Everywhere
If you are an NRI you have to be rich. No excuses. You just are plain rich. Even if you are a scholarship student who lives on bank loans, your whole family is filthy rich. That my friend is yet another stupid stereotype people seem to believe in. According to some intelligent people, if you have the money to buy a ticket and get out of one country, you are richer than all the Sheikhs in the world. That is just down right silly and generalising. Sure if you convert other strong currencies into Indian Rupees, you will think the NRIs are rich but what people fail to understand is that the NRIs are not spending money in Indian Rupees out there, their expenditure is in the country’s currency.
Let us not forget the millions of Indian workers that lead a miserable life in the Middle East. They work endless hours just to feed their families back home and help them build a bright future for the next generation. They are NRIs too.
At this point, I don’t really know what defines a rich person. A person who can afford a plane ticket, a person who can pay for school, or a person who owns mansions and Porches? People need to seriously stop and think before making such stereotypes. There are Indians who have a place in the Top richest people of the world list, but people just choose to ignore that and focus on the Indians residing outside of the country, who are normal like them and make normal earnings, but are just in another country.
3. Not Desi Enough
Oh this is my favorite one out of all. I have never in my life understood what not being desi enough means really. Is it because some of the NRIs are not used to the same amount of spices in their food? Or they do not dress the same way? Or simply because they did not grow up in India? Well, they are called NRIs for a reason. How can people expect NRIs to be desi when they were not brought up in the same environment as them? Forget the country or even the state; every child is brought up differently in every little society. You just have to be open-minded and stop treating NRIs as aliens.
4. SRK fan base
For all the Bollywood freaks out there, it is time to clarify something. Yes Shah Rukh Khan is one of the best actors in the Bollywood industry, thus why he is called the King of Bollywood, and yes there is a huge fan base of him, well basically because he deserves it but no, not all NRIs are in love with him. Just because his movies made a little more sense than the recent ones (actually a whole lot more sense) and he knows how to actually act and melt the hearts of the audiences, does not mean we live because he lives.
People from various countries have been fans of Bollywood movies for more than 60 years, thus it is safe to say that NRIs do appreciate other actors and actresses. I know, what a shocker.
5. Not-so-street smart
This stereotype took its origin from all the incidents that have taken place thanks to the so called ‘spiritual’ gurus and the lovely autowallahs (three-wheeler drivers). Since the innocent NRIs are clearly not aware of all the scam and lies spread out in the streets, people take advantage of that and lure them into stupidity. Street food venders or taxi drivers have known to lie, cheat or rob NRIs who are not aware of the prices, roads or even the lifestyle rate of India.
Here is where the cunning people are wrong, NRIs may clearly not know the ins and outs of the country but they are not complete fools that would blindly follow any talk given to them.
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