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When foreigners hear about India, they have many perceptions about our country. Some of them say that is one of the greatest countries in the entire world due to the extra ordinary culture and heritage and some criticize it due to our population and illiteracy. Well, I cannot say that my country is perfect; every nation has its pros and cons but we Indians believe in harmony and peace. We believe in tolerance for all religions and we are among the few countries, which celebrate every possible festival as if it was own religion’s festival. Talking about illiteracy; our government is trying their level best and have claimed that by 2022 we would be able to eradicate illiteracy from India. Specific measures are being taken to go digital and have a cashless economy. There are certain misconceptions, which are completely wrong, and I would like to clear those misconceptions foreigners have about India.

10 Misconceptions Foreigners Have About India

misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaPhoto by R.Mitra aka @the.photoguy (instagram)

1) The weather is extremely hot throughout India.

I do not know why everybody says this that India is extremely hot. Yes, I agree that we are a tropical country and we are not as cold as London or America. There are cities in our country, which remain cold throughout the year like Jammu, Kashmir, Srinagar and Manali; if you were looking to go on a vacation where you prefer being in a cold place then my advice would be to go to these cities. Just so you know, Kashmir is also known as “Heaven on earth”; if you do not believe me then you should google photos about this city and I bet that you would definitely be intimidated by the photos. However places like Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai are a little hot during the summer season; but as much as I have heard you people like to get a little tan; so if you really want to be tanned then you could visit these places. This was one of the many misconceptions foreigners have about India.

misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaPhoto by jennn

2) The food is very spicy

I do not understand why everybody thinks that Indian cuisine is spicy. Yes, our popular dishes like Chicken Tandoori and paneer butter masala may be a little spicy but they are not something, which is non-edible. The misconception that everybody has that we Indians put a way lot of green chilies and red chilies in our food is false. Moreover, we have a large variety of cuisines and dishes; in fact every region you visit in India; you will notice that the food is different and the style of making food varies from place to place. There are even dishes where there is not a dime of spiciness in it. Therefore, don’t worry dear foreigner we have enough food to keep your belly contended.

misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaPhoto by bdearth

3) Not all of us are Hindus

Well, this is a genuine misconception and one of the most common misconceptions foreigners have about India. Yes, a vast majority of our population (nearly 80%) follow Hinduism but that does not mean that all of us are Hindus. Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism fill up the rest 20% of our population. All of us together live in peace and harmony. Many also believe the fact that we fight among ourselves; yes, we do! We are a family of 1.2 billion and where there is love; there would also be fights. It just makes our love grow fonder for each other.

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misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaPhoto by stu_spivack

4) Not all of us are vegetarians

It is true that some of us do not eat non-vegetarian food; but that does not mean that all of us are vegetarians. However, I would like to inform you people that our vegetarian dishes are also very delicious; we have dishes like Paw bhaji, daal baati choorma, chola batura, makke di roti along with sarsa ka saag, vada paw and paneer butter masala which would taste better than non-vegetarian dishes if you eat from the right place. In Hinduism, there are many classifications like Marwari, Gujrati, Bihari and Rajput. Some of them eat non-vegetarian dishes and some of them do not probably that is how this misconception came into existence. This is one of the most common misconceptions foreigners have about India.

misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaPhoto by Padmanaba01

5) No thing called as “Indian Language”

Before I start to elaborate on this particular topic, I am telling you foreigners in advance please do not panic as because English is universal and most of us Indians can communicate fluently in the language. We have around 122 major and recognized languages but there are many unofficial languages which you might come across. If you go to Kolkata, you would be hearing people conversing in Bengali; if you go to Bangalore people would be conversing in Kannada, for Hyderabad, it is Telegu and similarly for Gujrat, it is Gujrati. However, no matter where you go; you would find enough people who are fluent in speaking English and would love to help you in whatever way you want them to.

misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaFeatured Photo by jafsegal

6) 7th largest GDP in the world! Not a poor nation

One of the many misconceptions foreigners have about India is that it is a poor nation. I do not understand how did they came onto this conclusion because India has the 7th largest GDP in the world; 3rd largest in the world if you go by the purchasing power parity. Although I have to accept, the part that some of our citizens are living below the poverty line but our government is trying their level best to eradicate poverty and that could only happen if the upcoming generation is educated. Moreover, for this particular purpose the government is trying their level best to induce the parents of the children to send them to school and at least give them secondary education.

misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaPhoto by Santini Roberto

7) Every Indian is tanned or dark skinned?

India has a sub-tropical climate so it is quite natural for our skin to be a little tanned. But before you judge each one of us, I call on you to search about Indian actresses like Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor or even actors like Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar; I am sure they would change your mind about how you view us Indians. If you still do not believe us then visit our national capital Delhi or Jammu and Kashmir; I am sure the boys and women would definitely change your mind.

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misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaPhoto by 4Neus

8) Always a Kurta or a Saree? No way

We Indians do not live in the dinosaur era; we have adapted western clothing decades ago and we are probably the largest producer and wearers of western clothing. However, I would definitely say that we Indians really shine when we wear our traditional clothing. This is one of the most common misconceptions foreigners have about India. Just so you know, Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Jockey showrooms are available in every locality of our major cities; and I feel it would be a little cheap as compared to the price in USA or UK; so make sure you shop around.

misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaPhoto by cherylfoong

9) Some of us also prefer coffee to tea

India is the largest producer of tea in the world but this does not imply that we do not like coffee. Yes, we do have a large variety of tea like Darjeeling tea, Assam Tea but we do like to take other beverages.


misconceptions foreigners have about IndiaPhoto by StevenSimWorld

10) Yoga is not practiced by everyone

You might have heard that Yoga did originate in India but a vast majority of the population do not like practicing it or are too preoccupied with other activities like gymnasium or gymnastics. If you get a chance then I would suggest you to attend a yoga session when you visit India. If not the exercise just give a try to the meditation, trust me it would make you feel relaxed like never before. Meditation also helps in improving your memory and concentration.

Therefore, these were some of the misconceptions foreigners have about India. I hope I cleared the major ones; just so you know that we Indians are very friendly people and treat our guests with a lot of respect; so, if you were planning a vacation then I would request to come and visit our country and I can guarantee you that you would not be disappointed.

Like I mentioned right at the start no country is perfect, every nation has their own strengths and flaws. The same goes for my country India, no matter what it would always be the greatest nation to me and I strongly feel that our strengths and humble attitude always over shadow our flaws. We believe in the motto “Athithi Devo Bhava”or “Guests are like our God” and we strongly follow this; if you are a foreigner and you are reading this article I call upon you to visit our country; trust me it would be once in a life time experience for you people.

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