Xenophobia Begins At Home 1: Indians


Actual Indians May Vary

Actual Indians May Vary

Background:
The Indians are one of our nation’s oldest trading partners. Widespread contact with India in pre-Hispanic times is evidenced by a great number of sanskrit loan words in our national language.

What We Call Them:
Bumbay– From Bombay, which is a city in India. It is by no means the only city in India from which all Indians come from.

5-6- For their loan practices. The math is probably complicated, but the basic rule of thumb is you borrow P500, and you pay P600.

What We Say About Them:
They stink, and so does their food. That’s pretty much it, I guess. Also, they can be called upon by yayas and mothers to kidnap disobedient children. Or, possibly, to take them as payment when said yaya or mother cannot cough up the P600 she owes.

Why We’re Douchbags For Saying It:
We all smell weird to other people. Filipinos, they say, smell of fish. Surely some culture in the world finds that abhorrent. Probably everyone else who isn’t Filipino or a fish.

Older generations of Filipinos actually gag or have asthma attacks when encountering Indians or their food. Aside from being absurdly OA, they conveniently forget that some Filipino stuff like bagoong and various meals made from gastric juices and animal innards are pretty fucked up, too.

As far as kidnapping goes, we’ve got things back-asswards. Indians are more likely to get kidnapped than your average child. Criminals probably think that a person who can afford to lend money is worth kidnapping.

Common sense holds, however, that a person who lends money is only really worth kidnapping if money owed is actually collected. One doesn’t have to work for the World Bank to know, though, that paying our debts is not a Filipino virtue.

–OneTamad

21 Comments

  1. I’m not very kind to Bumbays, especially when driving. They have the tendency to swerve in front of me and I, in turn, let loose a torrent of violent curses before trying to run them down.

    Work hasn’t improved my view of Indians; they don’t take kindly to criticism. Anyway, yes, we Pinoys are quite a boorish, racist lot; ironically, we’re also extremely sensitive.

    I will wait for the Chinese installment in this series 🙂

  2. Yes. They are horrible people. I swear to every god imaginable. I’ve read the Chinese post and I love the fact that I’m somehow in line for the throne of the dragon emperor.

  3. Nothing new here. Edward Said called it “Orientalism”. For a people and a country that prides itself in being the “Only Christian Nation” in Asia, ethnic stereotypes against Indians were designed to degrade their Asian Civilization based on Hinduism, from whence came Buddhism. The problem really is the Filipino sense of themselves as “white” and their definition of their National Identity as anti-Asian.

  4. Zaide, on the other hand, really played up the “Only Catholic Nation” angle, saying that that was why the Philippines was so abundant in natural resources. I promptly threw out his textbook after that.

    You might want to check this out, since you’re into history.

  5. When I came to phil 4 years ago I found Filipinos to smell awful. Yea, I later realized that that awful smell was like fish (I had never smelled fish before!) I am from north India, it’s a land locked area and we do not get to eat that much fish. I now love the fish and the smell! However, I was not considered to smell. Not all Indians smell just like not all Filipinos do not smell. I would say the percentage of Indians that smell is similar to the percentage of Filipinos that do.
    When I first came it was very hard for me to read Filipino expressions. I found them to be poker faced. Apparently, the feeling was mutual. I was the poker face for my Filipino colleagues. 4 years on, I think I can make myself better understood to a Filipino then probably to another Indian.
    Work wise, yes Indians ARE horrible to work with for any foreigner. Well here’s the life’s priority list for an average Indian: – 1. Work, 2. Family
    This is how it will typically look like for an average working Filipino: – 1. Family, 2. Friends, 3. Religion, 4. Work, 5. Hobby (the 4th and 5th can be interchanged.)

    As much as I would love to have a priority list like the Filipino, I will not be able to survive (eat two square meals a day) if I will not have a job in India. To cite just one behavioral example – We love it when our boss calls us on a weekend. It shows that he needs us and that our job is safe. Apparently it does not work this way with Filipinos. For Filipinos, there is more to life than work. In India there is no life without work (except for those who work in the govt! :p).
    Among other things, Indian manners come across as rude to most of the foreigners (not just Filipinos). But they are just fine within Indians. Another example – I would typically say Sorry or Thank you to a stranger, not to a friend or a college I think is like my friend. Sorry and Thank you are formal terms in our country. Indians are not good with social etiquettes and manners.
    One last example (a common cause of disputes in office). Filipinos pay attention first to “how” something is being said and then if he/she is comfortable with the manner, he/she will listen to “what” is being said. If not, a Filipino will blank out and immediately start hating the person who is saying something really important and urgent! Indian on the other hand tends to listen to “what” first and deals with it and keeps the “how” to later.
    To speak more positively for my own sake – we are people of actions then of words or gestures! :p

  6. Harry, that’s very interesting. Thank you for the insight into your culture. Personally, I find Indian culture fascinating, and have always wanted to visit your country.

    Is the high priority you put on work an effect of British colonization, do you think? Or is it because of poverty? Or something else entirely? Like, is it a traditional Indian virtue?

  7. no, do not think it is because of the british. we did not take anything cultural from them. It is due to poverty and population. If you do not work in the govt (which actually is the largest employer as we still have our large industries controled by govt owned companies) you need to work very hard to survive. poverty and population also drives other things like crime, corruption, pollution, competition and aggression. by nature and by religion we are timid people. In spite of being big and powerful we have never attacked any country since our existance, we have been ruled by mogules for 700 years, by british for 200, we gave in to separatist demands and let our country be divided into pakistan and bangladesh, china occupies a big chunk of northern and eastern territories, pakistan – the good for nothing state too cocupies a large chunk of northern territory. Our behavior is situational and driven by harsh conditions.

  8. After reading this, I am now proud of the fact that I am an equal opportunity “hater” who takes care to know of racial stereotypes for just about any race, culture, etc. including my own (all 3 of them).

  9. I think Antibeast gets the undercurrent of the people.

    If the Bumbays provide micro-credit to people who can’t get any loan from bank, friends or relatives – what’s wrong? Last time I checked – no body hated pawnshops for one’s own misfortune – why take out the anger of poverty on a community that actually takes a real risk on its money (and life) and bets on the Filipino to thrive from such help. It’s shameful.

    The Chinese too lend money – albeit, at a higher scale and to a different strata of society. Perhaps that’s why they in their SUVs are envied and respected while the Bumbay collecting micropayments on the bike in scorching sun gets curses hurled at.

    As far as hygiene is concerned, Filipinos take it a step ahead. I have WTF moments every time I see someone use a fork & knife to eat chicken wings or a clubhouse sandwich. At the same time, it is probably ok to eat Dinuguan at a Jollijeep across the street. Or to roast an entire piglet and let the aroma spread in Salcedo Village. To eat such tempting dishes and claim that Indians smell foul like curry is silly. Last I checked, Curry was taking over the world.

    Seems that the Indians are disliked for no good enough reason. Perhaps, they are an easy and safe target for the masses.

    It’s heartening however to listen to all the testimonies of kindness and friendship that the cab drivers recall from their time in Gulf with Indian peers.

    @Miss Choi,

    Although it’s chuckling to accept feedback on driving from girls 🙂 I agree, Indian youths are aggressive and undisciplined on the road – not every single one of them, but a lot of them.

    You are right about workplace too, Indians don’t take to criticism lightly, unless it is grounded and constructive. At times if not all, Filipinos are too nice to be blunt and objective so the sandwiched/roundabout feedback comes across as a whining wastage of time and not something valuable and actionable.

    We are victims of contrasting natures- Indians are too objective and direct while Filipinos would rather shut up than have a confrontation. I have consciously tried to change myself over these years so if we ever work together – perhaps your perception will change 🙂

  10. @Mike: Indians are disliked for no reason at all except for being different. Well, also generally dark skin.

    It’s our sickness, I guess. We hate ourselves for not being white enough, and by extension look down on anyone less white than us.

    Indian moneylenders are actually pretty cool, and have tided over many a family through hard times. But being Filipinos, we tend to forget this when it’s time to pay up.

  11. Xenophobia? What about racism and bigotry? Hottest selling pa-beauty creams are Gluthathione, St Flouride, industrial-strength skin-whitening Eskinol lotion with Papay Extract. All of these products makes your skin smooth and white not brown like Filipinos.

    Filipinos measure beauty by the color of the skin. Pag tisoy, tisay, tsinito, tsinita ka magandaaaa!

    Filipinos measure IQ by the englishctzes you speakengese. Pag-magaling ang englischtzes mata-as ang IQ!

    Pag-nando-on na sa America, nangkaliskis ng Tilapia! Hmmmppfff!!!! Ang yabang talaga!

  12. Mr. Pacifico, racism and bigotry spring from xenophobia.

    We are on the same side, sir. We just do our preaching with lame jokes and pictures.

  13. onetamad, I am not worth calling “Mr.”. I am just a cyber-bum.

    You have a good artsy abstract taste of preaching. It is not even lame jokes. It is a goot joke that hits right at the heart of the issue.

  14. Zaide was a tool of the predecessor of CIA. Zaide never told us it was Howard Taft that appointed Jose Rizal as a national hero. Zaide never told us that Americans were not interested in colonizing Philippines. Philippines was an accidental colony by the America. America did not come to the Philippines to wrest control from Spain BUT because America was at war with Spain. Pres. McKinley ordered Admiral I-forgot-his-name to route the Spanish Armada in Manila Bay without intention in invading Philippines. Zaide is a Filipino, therefore, a fool.

  15. This is what US Pres. McKinley has to say, proof that America really didn’t want Philippines and its low-IQ inhabitants:

    “When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them. I sought counsel from all sides—Democrats as well as Republicans—but got little help. I thought first we would take only Manila; then Luzon; then other islands perhaps also. I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way—I don’t know how it was, but it came: (1) That we could not give them back to Spain—that would be cowardly and dishonorable; (2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany—our commercial rivals in the Orient—that would be bad business and discreditable; (3) that we could not leave them to themselves—they were unfit for self-government—and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed, and went to sleep, and slept soundly, and the next morning I sent for the chief engineer of the War Department (our map-maker), and I told him to put the Philippines on the map of the United States (pointing to a large map on the wall of his office), and there they are, and there they will stay while I am President!”

  16. This is what US Pres. McKinley has to say, proof that America really didn\’t want Philippines and its low-IQ inhabitants:

    \"When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them. I sought counsel from all sides—Democrats as well as Republicans—but got little help. I thought first we would take only Manila; then Luzon; then other islands perhaps also. I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way—I don’t know how it was, but it came: (1) That we could not give them back to Spain—that would be cowardly and dishonorable; (2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany—our commercial rivals in the Orient—that would be bad business and discreditable; (3) that we could not leave them to themselves—they were unfit for self-government—and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed, and went to sleep, and slept soundly, and the next morning I sent for the chief engineer of the War Department (our map-maker), and I told him to put the Philippines on the map of the United States (pointing to a large map on the wall of his office), and there they are, and there they will stay while I am President!\"

  17. After the Americans routed the Spanish armada, The admiral sent a frigate to Hong-Kong to fetch Gen. Aguinaldo. Month after Gen. Aguinaldo arrived in Manila he declared independence. The Americans helped draft the Malolos Constitution then the “independent” Flippers turned against the Americans in 6-months. TOTALLY AN ACT OF BETRAYAL.

  18. @Renato: What the hell has that got to do with anything, you rambling pedant?

    And your “proof” explicitly states that McKinley “did not know what to do” with the Philippines; nowhere does it say that he didn’t want it or “its low-IQ inhabitants”.

    You’ve been leaving your comments all over the site, but what is it you really want to say? Are you hating on America? Are you hating on the Philippines? Do you want to expose some conspiracy? Why don’t you write a coherent, cohesive article, your beliefs, your manifesto–whatever–and we may post it on the site.

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