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Not everything you think about India is true

Gautham Venkatraman

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), India has the seventh largest travel and tourism sector in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This data shows that India is visited quite frequently by people around the world.

In the mind of every tourist, there are preconceived notions about India, and the lifestyle of the people living here. Some tourists think living in India is like living in a land of festivals, colours, and happiness, while some feel India is a country full of poor people, slums and under-developed cities. Some of them feel living in India is like living in a Bollywood movie, and others feel India is one of the most unsafe places for women and children.

While some of these stereotypes hold true for India, not all of them define who we are.

No, we do not speak 'Indian'. There are 22 official and a total of 1,652 languages spoken in India.

Even though there are many street shops selling delicious curry dishes, the whole country or people don't 'smell like curry'.

Not every Indian dish is spicy. Not every Indian likes spicy food. Even though there is a wide range of hot spicy food in India, we also have tasty dishes such as.Shahi Paneer, aam paapar and cheeni paratha which are not spicy at all.

India does not always have hot and sticky climate. You can experience the cool sea breeze at various beaches in Chennai and Kerala, snow in Ladakh, extreme heat in Delhi, and moderate temperatures in Gangtok. India has six ecological seasons. Spring, Summer, Monsoon/Rainy, Early Autumn, Winter, and Late autumn.

Not all Indians get into the IT sector. Not all of them are good at math, science and computer science. We have Indian journalists, musicians, models, etc.

India is not a country of Hindus. The word 'Hindustan' was coined by the Arabs, and it means the land beyond the Indus River. Other religions in India include Islam, Christianity, Jainism, and Buddhism.

Indians AREN'T afraid of speaking to the opposite sex! If they were, our population wouldn't be so huge. In the television show The Big Bang Theory, Rajesh Koothrappali is portrayed a guy afraid to talk to women, which is not the case for every Indian. Most of us are pretty comfortable talking and interacting with the opposite sex.

India is not a poor country. It is, in fact, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It is the sixth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.45 trillion.

Maybe next time, let's not resort to stereotyping and make our opinions based on what we witness instead.


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