Archive for the ‘stereotyping’ Tag

Selective Stereotyping

Isn’t it funny how a lot of Maldivians are very selective about stereotyping and hating the people from our neighboring countries? The following anecdote is a classic example:

A friend and I was walking down Majeedhee Magu when we saw a group of women, most likely Indians but I really don’t know, coming towards us on the same side of the pavement.

“Oh shit!” said my friend. “Hold your breath. Indians stink.”

“What? All Indians?” I said, automatically.

“Yes,” she says. “Ebedybun dows dad.”

“I didn’t, not really,” I said. “You really are xenophobe, you know.”

“Ab dot!” she said indignantly, as we passed the group of Indians by. “It’s just that they never take a shower or use deodorant.”

“You said the same about Sri Lankans,”

“Yeah, the ‘orin’ stink even worse!” said my friend, connoisseur of inter-regional aromas.

“See,” I said. “I find it strange that you consider all Indians and Sri Lankans to be mobile health hazards and yet you keep running off to the airport every time one of the Bollywood movie stars or TV stars come to Maldives. I think I would have to add hypocrite to your growing list of vices.”

“Oh that’s entirely different!” she says. “It’s Soojal. He doesn’t stink.”

“Forgive me if I disagree with you on that point as far as acting is concerned. But the fact remains he is Indian and as far as your personal universe is concerned he fits the bill of being a stinker.”

“He’s not an… Indian, really,” she says after a moments deliberation. “When I say Indians I am referring to those Indians you generally find in Maldives working in houses and those ‘kuni ukaa meehun’.

“And these… other… Indians, the ones you adore on TV and movie screens, they are an entirely different breed despite being the same nationality?” I venture.

“Exactly! So Shah Rukh Khan, Salman, John and the others aren’t really real Indians, you know what I am saying?”

“You’re saying that a real Indian will stink to the high heavens?”

“More or less… you understand.”

“Not really. I understand a lot more about you, though. And that’s an insight enough” I said.

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