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Most popular misconceptions about India(ns)

Having traveled across India for a few months now, I thought this post would serve to best introduce what have been some of the most amazing moments ever. What comes to your mind once India is mentioned? The Big Bang Theory? Crowded streets? Kurtas and saris? I decided to help those who hope to travel to the South East Asian country understand just what (not) to expect!

‘Indian’ is not a language!

It has been a popular thought of most that Indians all use the same language, and it is called “Indian”. Well, it’s not true. The country has very many languages – 780 for precision’s sake! These dialects work to define Indians based on their regions.

All Indian food is spicy

This is certainly not an easy one! If what you’re looking for is a fiery butthole that will make the toilet your favorite place, their food is a sure recipe. Foods from various cultures across the world are very different, and it would be ignorant to assume that you’ll just blend in. Going to India, you might need to redefine the word “spicy”. Most of the times I’ve had to deal with extremely spicy food even after I specifically asked the waiters not to use any. It is a thing; one you eventually get used to. As a rule of thumb, however, if spicy is not your thing, be sure to ask them not to add spices to your food. They will add them, but not as much!

Funny smells in India

I landed in Mumbai, and yes there was a funny smell. Either the carpets in the airport weren’t dried enough or my mind was clouded with illusions from what I had previously heard and read. Whatever it was, I can state that there are places in India that smell funny, and others that don’t. There is also a particular inclination towards taking a pee outside, especially men. Obviously, that should shock you but somehow, you get used to it and it no longer seems to be a bother, at least not as much. You should find the smells of food quite refreshing – they have a wide range of aromas.

India is always hot and rainy

Coming from Africa, I can confidently state that Indian weather is one of the most diverse there is. There are areas that experience snow all year long, whereas most others have summer and winter as their main climates. The beaches are certainly worth checking out, but be sure to check out the timings if you hope to get the best out of your holiday.

Indians are all good in coding, engineering, and driving taxis!

The chance of finding an Indian in the IT sector is particularly high. But let’s face it, it is impossible for everyone to be crammed into one sector. That said, there are pretty dumb Indians just as much as there are super smart ones! But every Indian knows how to sing! I’m yet to find one that doesn’t. Music is part of their culture, and it is common to have them gather around in the evenings just to sing – about anything!

Arranged Marriages

Yes, it’s still a thing. I have been privileged to attend numerous weddings across the country. It is possible to have couples that wed just 2 months into a relationship. It has been working for generations, so it will probably not change any time soon

They bob their heads for everything!

Russell Peters was right when he alluded to Indians’ nodding tendencies. At first, it could be confusing cuz you barely know the difference between yes, no, or maybe. It gets easier with time, and once in a while they actually say it!

Indians dance around trees all the time

Dance is a common form of art in India. Nonetheless, it’s only in Bollywood where you find weird dances in all the weird places you can imagine. So don’t worry about being disrupted by parades of dancers in the streets of India! Okay, not so much disruption.

There are more elephants than bikes in India

People ride elephants in India, but not as much as they do bikes! It’s animal cruelty, plus elephants cost millions. If you want elephant (rides), there are specific places for just that. On that note, I’m yet to see a snake charmer; they are not found everywhere in the country.

Indians only wear kurtas and saris

Most people think that Indians only wear kurtas and sari. Times are changing, even in India. Modernity and westernization have had a considerable impact on the manner in which Indians dress. While saris are still worn widely, there have been numerous changes in the manner in which they are worn, the fabric, designs, and so forth. Name any designer from the west – they have a shop(s) somewhere in India, that does not include kurtas and saris.
We could go on and on about what India is like, but it would be even more satisfying to pack up and define your own experience. It is a unique country with diverse people, and is certain to offer some of the most memorable experiences ever.


  1. Reply


    February 25, 2016

    I love this ,WACERA.

    • Reply


      February 25, 2016

      I’m glad you do. Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Reply

    Dj Njas

    February 25, 2016

    I will definitely pack up soon. I’m hoping to climb Everest before I’m 40.

    • Reply


      February 25, 2016

      So do I Njas! Luckily for you, Nepal is just a few hours from India 🙂

  3. Reply

    J Kamau Muturi

    March 19, 2016

    You nailed it. Feel like an Indian already. Have a question though. Most of the Indians in Nairobi are arrogant and extremely abusive. They are always like…kaza mkundu..utaweka kunduni nini…ni ya mama yako. Is that a part of their culture or is it taught in their education callicurum?