Author Topic: Not all Indians are Hindu?  (Read 4559 times)

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Nemesis

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Not all Indians are Hindu?
« on: January 31, 2014, 08:03:48 AM »
Hi all, I had a weird conversation today. Just wanted to run it by you.

A friend of mine (American, not really relevant, but just some background) was chatting with me online today. I was telling him about an activity i was doing with my Indian friend, and then this happened:

HIM: does she wear a dot on her forehead?
ME: No, she does not wear a pottu
HIM: Then how do you know she is Indian?
ME: she is Indian as I am Chinese.
HIM: So she is an American indian?
ME: No, she is an Asian Indian.
HIM: All of them wear it, or they are frowned upon and banned from their homes.
ME: (not sure if he was joking or serious) She's not Hindu
HIM: And not all Englishmen are English...so what's your point?
ME: i don't get your point?
HIM: because you are using google for your answers.
ME: She's indian who is not hindu and does not wear a pottu?

At this point, i thought i better give up and just let the conversation die. So:

ME: Sorry, i have never heard of any indian women who are disgraced and banned from their home for not wearing a pottu. Maybe u know something i don't. Going to bed now. Night.

And then i logged off.

We have always had amicable chats. I never thought there would be some drama over something so simple. Did i say something wrong to set him off?

mechtilde

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 08:15:31 AM »
I can't think of anything you've done to set him off either...
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shygirl

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 08:17:34 AM »
Yeah, you didn't do anything to set him off.  But he does have weird ideas of Indian people!  Wonder where he got that idea?

laceandbits

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 08:21:23 AM »
You can't always explain ignorance.   

diesel_darlin

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 08:39:21 AM »
I can tell you what you did to set him off. Or what you didn't do, rather. You didn't confirm in no uncertain terms that he was absolutely right. He was trying to appear quite the expert, and you pointed out the flaws in his argument.  ;D

bopper

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2014, 08:41:18 AM »
I think your friend may have had an assumption that all Indians are Hindu and therefore wear a pottu.
You know what there are some Indians who are not Hindu.  I think if you had said "Only Hindus wear a pottu (dot), and she is not Hindu" then that would have helped.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 08:47:56 AM »
How did the fact that your friend was of Indian decent come into the conversation? Maybe there was something in the initial way it was presented that created.

But since this was over chat, I would think there was joking going on, especially the line about "so what's your point" and "your using google for your answers".

Nemesis

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2014, 08:58:46 AM »
Hm..could it be that my words sounded condescending?

Maybe he was joking. I am not sure. There is no intonation, so i can't be sure. I took the "what's your point" to be quite confrontational. And i took the google comment to be accusatory.

The conversation before that was quite normal. It was more focused on the activity, but maybe I brought it upon myself by saying "Indian friend" rather than just "friend".

Hmmmmm

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2014, 09:07:59 AM »
Hm..could it be that my words sounded condescending?

Maybe he was joking. I am not sure. There is no intonation, so i can't be sure. I took the "what's your point" to be quite confrontational. And i took the google comment to be accusatory.

The conversation before that was quite normal. It was more focused on the activity, but maybe I brought it upon myself by saying "Indian friend" rather than just "friend".

So what's your point is a very jokey phrase amongst my social set and family. 

LadyL

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2014, 09:18:45 AM »
ME: No, she does not wear a pottu
HIM: Then how do you know she is Indian?


This is a weird way to joke around IMHO. I would read it as someone ignorant of Indian culture, not someone making a joke. I live in a city with a Little India district and the majority of Indian people I interact with do not wear the pottu. Not all Indians are Hindu (or practice Hinduism, even if that is the religion they were raised with) just as not all Americans are Christian/practice Christianity.   

Twik

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2014, 09:52:15 AM »
I suspect that your friend is one of those with the world-view that nationalities and ethnicities have a single given religion. All Arabs are Muslim. All Irish and Italians are Catholic. So, an Indian has to be Hindu. No option for her to be Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or to have no religion at all.
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Teenyweeny

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2014, 09:58:42 AM »
Ha, he sounds like my BIL who genuinely thought that all Jewish people dressed like Hasidic Jews.  :o

He took correction with good grace though!



rose red

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2014, 10:05:43 AM »
I had a hard time understating after "what's your point."  What does google and Englishmen have to do with anything? 

It may have helped if you wrote back "Not all Indians are Hindu.  Only Hindu wear pottu."

bloo

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2014, 10:08:57 AM »
That's the one thing that's difficult about chatting through text or online. My brother was once internet dating a girl living in Alaska. I asked him if she lives in an igloo. But he totally knew I was kidding!

NyaChan

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Re: Not all Indians are Hindu?
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2014, 10:12:06 AM »
Wow, guess I should let my family know they've been remiss in allowing me to hang around  ::)  Maybe they can't throw stones because their own foreheads and the foreheads of their ancestors have been bare as well.  There is so much religious diversity in India that this kind of makes me laugh. 

I can't think of anything you said that would have offended the average person.  I'm thinking that he realized he'd said something off when you corrected him and was trying to brazen through it to avoid losing face or admitting that he was wrong.

On my mom's street growing up, she'd get to celebrate the holidays from four different religions because her neighbors, though Indian, all had different beliefs and they all shared in the celebrations. I hear it made for good eating and a lot of fun.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 10:14:07 AM by NyaChan »