Stereotyping &

This has been in my drafts for a really long time.  I was just waiting for my aunt to send me the pictures to post along with this.

I never liked stereotyping but as I am experiencing some things off late, I now understand the reasoning behind it.  Though some border around ridiculous. There was this one time when I was talking to some one in the US ( back in those days 🙂 ). I distinctly remember this conversation because it made me wonder. Is this how people still think of India? This lady I was talking to had this weird impression that elephants roamed around on the streets of India. The typical elephants, snake charmers image. It also made me wonder how ignorant she was. Of course, I was polite enough to just tell her that things were not so …blah blah… Yet in the back of my mind I kept thinking that this was weird! 

Anyways, on that note, I wanted to say that after close to 2 years and immense effort, I finally showed an elephant to A! 🙂 On my trip to Tirunelveli late last year, we went to the Nellaiappar temple. There I was told not to take any pictures. Then how do I now have pics to post? Well, money talks. One could sit on the elephant and go on a ride in the corridor for a price. The mahout said, give me a little more money and you can take pictures too. So, there you go! 😀 A glimpse of the elephant in the temple. 


By the way, the one other time A might have seen an elephant would have been at the Bronx zoo. Though I have a feeling he took a nap just around the time we were near the elephants. 

So much for being in India the land of elephants supposedly roaming on the streets!!! On a parting note, I am yet to see a snake charmer in all these years I have lived here!!! Hmm….next post? May be I should make a field trip to go in search for one now that A’s school is on summer break till mid June! 😉


PS: I am sorry that I have not been very active on the blogosphere due to various circumstances. I know that that is just an excuse…pardon me. Hope to get back to commenting and replying to comments – get a semblance of normalcy in my life too that way! 🙂

13 thoughts on “Stereotyping &

  1. “What did tarzan say when he saw a white elephant approaching?”

    here we go…

    Apar: I’m sure we can find Snake Charmers in our city!

    Lets go asearching one 🙂

  2. Oh, my! I am sorry there are still such ignorant people in my country. 😦 One thing I have learned about India; partly from blogging, and partly from just knowing people is never to make assumptions about it! So many of us don’t understand that India is a huge, vast, amazing land with many different cultures and traditions, as well as very modern technology—and not THAT many elephants! 😉
    I suppose people think there are tigers running around everywhere in Bengal. 😮

    I don’t want to generalise, but I really found very few who knew aboutor read stuff from other countries. I thought that most I met felt that their world is their county or their state or at max the country. They have the stereotype image and are stuck with that! Well, if only it were true, been hearing about how the Bengal tiger population is dwindling!!!

  3. but i have seen elephant roaming around in the city. the mahout took it for a ride almost every week or two for BEGGING. i feel so bad for the graceful giant which is used for such purpose.

    have seen the snakecharmer too many a times… on nagpanchami.. begging again… but with a snake in hand it is more of threatning..

    but it feels bad that our country still has that image, stuck in people’s minds.

    Yeah, I had seen elephants on the streets with the mahout collecting money when I grew up as a child…as in not roaming around in groups but one elephant several times 😉 Though since June ’07 that I came back, not seen a single one! We did manage to see a camel with the guy giving rides for money…may be I must put up that pic of A too 😀 No snake charmer… 😦

  4. I loved the pics!

    As for ignorance – well, there’s only so much that we can do, I guess.. I was once asked an American colleague if we celebrate ‘Independance Day’ , the day we got ‘Independance’ from Pakistan?????

    Thanks & welcome here Smitha! Well, when do we celebrate that Independance day?! One more holiday 😉 LOL!!!!

  5. What no elephants? Just kidding.
    I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know a lot about India.

    I guess it is kind of like Canada, where we drink beer, live in Igloo’s and say ‘aboot’
    for ‘about’ EH? 😉

    By the way, that temple. Oh, what I would give to walk right there where you took the photo, and to touch the pillars!

    Thanks for sharing, Apar. So, all those beautiful costumes I see on TV are just that? Costumes? 😦 I would have liked to have lived when people dressed like that everyday.

    LOL!! I guess every country has been stereotyped!!! Some more than others. Come over to India, there are loads and loads of temples like that one. In fact some of the temples, even this one, some pillars produce the musical notes when tapped! 🙂
    The costumes, yes…some are just costumes. Though every part of India, we have various dresses that we wear. Come festivals/weddings season, you will see more colourful clothing all around 🙂
    Come over here; we can go on one huge trip discovering the country – architecture, people, food …:)

  6. Even cows on road is a big shock for them. And they are not very far away from the truth. Of course, everyone knows that a huge amount of work gets outsourced to India and its not just a land of snake charmers, but then images are hard to erase.

  7. I really do hope one day I could visit India. Just seeing all the photographs you post, it really makes me long to go there. To see it for myself.

    It would be dream! I wish I could come right now and take you up on that offer! Wouldn’t that be fun? I probably would never want to go back home!

  8. LOL…this elephant-and-snake-charmer thing’s become a joke on the internet, even! Guess them westerners don’t get the jokes too quick 😀

    Nice pics 🙂

    I’ve never seen a snake-charmer either! 😕

  9. There was one temple I went to in Kanchipuram recently, and there I spotted my last elephant. Of course, everyone was taking photos for free there! I never have the patience to take my mobile, click and save a photo! I am more interested in temples now than I was in the past. Kanchipuram has a lot of them, I discovered to my joy!

    Destination Infinity

  10. how on earth did I miss your posts!!??

    terrific pics!! A sure looks like he had fun 🙂

    stereotyping exists everywhere and esp to do with india.. but once they get here they fall in love with it 😀

  11. My friend in the USA said the same thing during her 1st visit after moving there..people there think there are elephants roaming the streets, we dont have roads, its all junglee!!!

    but then i guess thats cos tourits do seem to enjoy taking pics of our slums and down trodden places more than developed areas!!!

    Cute pic..brot back memories.. tirunelveli..
    and am shit scared of that big beast… really!! 🙂

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