India is an extremely diverse country with many states and union territories, and its people can sometimes come up with unsolicited and ignorant statements against each other. While we cannot really call these statements racist but they are quite stereotypical and offensive to those hailing from or residing in that particular state. There is a fine line between diverse cultural habits and certain behaviors branded to a place. For example, every place has its own share of criminals. You can’t just claim that a whole state is the land of criminals. Many people from the northern states of India face a lot of unnecessary and rude comments, especially if they are from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. So let’s take a look at ten stereotypical statements that people hailing from the state of UP are tired of hearing from those around them:
1. “Do You Also Carry A Gun Like In Mirzapur And Gangs Of Wasseypur?”
Though these films are based on real incidents, it does not mean that the whole of UP carries rifles and ammo at home like it’s nothing. Guns are not easily available and affordable (*rolls eyes*). If we judge a state based on shows and movies then we might as well assume that the United States of America is like an old western film and all the people there ride horses. Are you also one of those gullible people who believe that your parents walked 8kms on foot to reach school, now in the 21st century?
2. “Is Paan-Gutka The Delicacy Of Your State?”
Barfi, gajar ka halwa, boondi, gulab jamun, peda, rabadi, malpua, sheer korma are just a few of the many delicious desserts that originated from or are popular in UP. Maybe you should research before you assume that every person from UP thrives off paan-gutka. Maybe if you tried eating tobacco-free paan at weddings, you will know it’s not something to be obsessed with. Again, it’s all about subjectivity.
3. “Wow. Your English Skills Are Impressive For A UP-Ite!”
What do you mean? It’s not like I don’t speak four other languages fluently, right? Assuming that someone’s English is terrible just because they are from UP is really stupid and honestly so overdone. It is a misconception that speaking English means you are smart. English is not our mother tongue and it is understandable that we have the Indian English accent. Whether you speak in dialects or western lingo, doesn’t make you any less of a UP-ite. Rather than giving backhanded compliments like this, just convey that you like the way s/he speaks.
4. “No Offense, But I’ve Heard People From UP Aren’t Very Hygienic”
Of course, we aren’t hygienic. Don’t you know we bathe in cow dung every second day (heavy sarcasm implied)? It’s hilarious how people always preface racist and stereotypical comments with a “no offense”. It’s almost like people don’t want to bother reading up about a state or actually interacting with those who come from the State before they make their judgments and assumptions.
5. “Do People In UP Get Married At A Very Young Age?”
Child marriage may be the case in remote areas still today, but it does not imply exclusively to the residents of UP or any other state. Sadly for you Miss/Mr. Matchmaker, many of us have to try our own luck and hope for the best when it comes to getting married off. While arranged marriages may be popular in our culture, many of us also have to go on our own quest to find one true love. And yes, we cannot get married unless we are of legal marriageable age. While some people may lie and get married in secret before the right age, it is not the norm and is illegal in our country.
6. “Lucknow Is Your Birthplace? I Thought It Was The Same As Kanpur”
You were born in Pune? Oh, I thought Mumbai and Pune were the exact same city! Sounds ridiculous? Well, that’s exactly how we feel when you assume that Lucknow and Kanpur are the same cities. It’s like saying Bangalore is the same as Mangalore when there are so many major differences between the two cities.
7. “You Must Really Be Used To Swearing From Childhood”
No parent would love to swear in front of their child and say crazy and stupid things to get a kick. Did your parents not yell or beat you for swearing when you were a child? Did your teachers sit quietly when you swore at your classmates? If the answer to these questions are yes and no, then there is no difference between the way you swear and the way I swear. All these stereotypes are a product of the rugged portrayal of UP-ites in movies.
8. “Bribes Must Be A Regular Thing In Your State”
Rather than stereotyping someone’s state and saying that it’s a “regular thing”, why don’t you question why the law is so corrupt that people are forced to pay bribes to get even the most basic of things done? Taking bribes is not something that is only restricted to the state of UP. Unfortunately, for us, taking bribes is very common and happens in every part of India, whether you live in Kashmir or Kanyakumari.
9. “City Life Must Be A Culture Shock To You, Right?”
UP totally has no cities of its own and we all just ride in bullock carts to our one-story schools, right? Do you not realize that just because we live in UP, doesn’t mean that we have never been exposed to buildings, malls, nightclubs and the other luxuries that entail city life. Don’t forget that UP is also right next to the nation’s capital, New Delhi. It is good to be aware of your geography and city deets.
10. “Why Are People From UP Always Fighting?”
I think the real question should be, “Why are you watching people fight and not trying to break up the fight?” Just because someone is from UP doesn’t make them more aggressive or more likely to get into fights. And more so, even if you do see someone fighting, why won’t you break up the fight? Brawls are more universal than just a state. You are comparing common human nature to a specific set of people.
Stereotypes exist with every state and if you live in a country like India, it is guaranteed that you have experiences of people saying similar insensitive things about your culture. The only way to tackle these stereotypes is to give them back to people with an extra dose of sarcasm and humor. In the end, all that matters is showing respect as a sign of humanity and spreading positivity in the world instead of filling toxic words in people’s ears. Avoid negative comments and do some reading and keep an open mind. Do tell us some of the stereotypes you have heard related to your state in the comment section below!