Each one of us thinks and acts differently because of the differences in our viewpoint. It sometimes gets tough to make people understand what we wish to convey or what is the true meaning of our discussion. Communication is one such medium that can easily bridge the gap between two people and clear misunderstandings caused between them. Misconceptions generally arise when we listen to someone else perspective about a person, thing or a place and believe it to be that way without any prior experience. When we all are distinguished individuals having an independent existence, then why should we keep the same approach while judging someone or something? As we all know that India is a tourist country, a lot of foreigners come and visit India for vacation. They visit just 10% of our country places and form a fixed image without exploring the rest of it and have developed certain misconceptions about our country which are discussed in detail below: –
10. Indians have abnormal washrooms: –
This misconception seems to be unique and peculiar. Foreigners find it very uncomfortable while using the toilets of the rural area of India as they are very stinky and smelly. There are no toilet papers available. Whereas, this is not the case in the urban regions as there is a luxurious hotel with well-equipped washrooms so their stay will be comfortable and enjoyable.
9. Indian women always wear saris: –
When tourists from foreign countries come to India, they get highly fascinated by the attire of the people of India. They find that there is a different dressing sense followed in various parts of India. For example, in Assam, Mekhala worn by women and dhoti worn by women. In Kolkata, women wear silk saree, and men wore Pajama or dhoti. In Gujarat, women wear Ghagra choli, and lehenga and men wear churidar pajamas and kurtas and so on.
8. A specific way of greeting: –
Generally, when anyone visits India, they try to learn some basic etiquette followed in India like eating with hands, doing a prayer before eating meals, entering in the temples barefoot, “saying ”Namaste” with folded hands, etc. Out of all this the practice of saying, they misunderstand namaste. They generally use this term as a gesture of paying respect only to our elders and not to the people who are of the same age. To them, we use casual gestures like Hi or hello.
7. Land of snake charmers: –
Due to some of the blockbuster superstitious movies in which the role of snakes is hugely significant, foreigners have a misconception that we Indians keep snakes as pets at home which is not valid. Earlier, we could see some of the snake charmers roaming on the road and showcasing their talent of controlling the snakes. This art is generally practiced by the people of Rajasthan and is going on since ages, but recently because of the rules formed by the Government of India to protect the animals, this tradition has become extinct.
6. All Indians are Hindus: –
The name” “Hindustan” was given by the Arabs from which the word Hindu has been derived. Even though 80% of the population of India are Hindus, it is wrong to categorize them as Hindus. As our country has a diverse culture, there are many other religions followed by the people of India like Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam, Jainism, and Christianity. Some of the prominent places like Taj Mahal, Jama Masjid, Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, Dilwara Temple, Basilica of Bom Jesus, etc. represent various beliefs of the people of our country. Still, we have one religion in common named Humanity which is our strength.
5. All Indians are Vegetarians: –
India is a vast country with various religions, so it is a wrong belief that it is solely a vegan country. Around 71% of the total population is known to be non-vegetarian eating fish, eggs, chicken, etc. In states like West Bengal, Kerala, and other coastal areas it is also their staple food. Even though the number of vegetarian restaurants is higher in India, there are also some well established non-vegetarian restaurants as well.
4. India is hot, dirty and sweaty: –
It is quite evident that if you come to visit India during the peak summer months, i.e., from April to June, you will feel hot and sweaty. But at such season you may visit the cool and breezy places in India like Goa, Mount Abu, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and witness the beautiful mountains and the calm beaches.
3. Hindi is our national language: –
In India, no such communication has been coined as the national language. There are a total of 780 languages which are widely spoken by the people of India. Among these languages, 23 languages are spoken more often which include Hindi, Sanskrit, Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Urdu, Nepali, Bengali, etc. Hindi is mostly spoken in the northern and central regions of India and is even used along with English by the Government of India.
2. Indians eat spicy food: –
India is divided into four regions, i.e., northern, southern, eastern and western. Every area has its own culture, tradition, food specialty, etc. It is true that Indian food is blended with a lot of spices like ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cumin seeds, etc. which give an exotic flavor to the dishes. We also use green and red chillis in our food, but not all meals are made from the same spices. If you are a person who prefers less spicy food, then you may try some of the dishes like Dal, Chawal, Idli. Dosa, Malai Kofta, Butter Chicken, etc. I am sure you will be satisfied after having Indian food.
1. India is a poor country: –
It is one of the biggest misconceptions among foreigners and some of the local people that India is a poor country, but it is not valid. India is a developing country which ranks 6th among the wealthiest countries in the world. This perception about India is likely to exist because of the below poverty line people who are seen residing on the streets, but they do not represent India as a whole. The main reason for India being backward is the unequal distribution of wealth among the rich and the poor. Noting the fact that about 119 billionaires possess an accumulated wealth of 76% of the total national wealth, it is evident that India is not a poor country.
There are times when we trust someone blindly and believe everything which is told by them. Making a prior judgment or image about someone or something without facing reality can create a lot of misconception. Misunderstandings always strain the relationships so it is still advisable to have effective communicating and conveying skills to avoid any such thing from happening because a single dispute can be poisonous enough to make us forget hundreds of lovable moments spent together.