1. Both have Columbus to thank.
In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus renamed me and you. After his 2-month maiden voyage, Chris Columbus moved India and Indians 8,000 miles closer to his ego. If it were up to him, Canada would be called North India. Today, we celebrate Columbus for murdering everyone he saw after the worst commute of his life. Apple maps vs. Google maps.
2. “This is Indian country.”
Because Columbus “discovered” the people he met in the Caribbean, and named them after a people he never met in Asia, an “Indian” can be a confusing term to some:
“Hey, so what are you?”
“Oh, cool. Wait, so dot or feather?”
3. Booting out the Brits.
Benjamin Franklin and Bhagat Singh. One fat, rich bald white guy. One zealous, young, poor brown guy. Both harbored a dislike for English tea and tyranny. One wrote that to gain independence, we’d have to hang together. The other was hung by the Brits at the age of 23.
America may have produced the most pornographic webpages of any other country, but India was the first to turn sex into a science. A few hours in the caves at Khajuraho (the O.G. Playboy Mansion) and you’ll understand why Indians really invented yoga. Heff would be proud.
5. Rock the Vote!
What’s the Indian equivalent to the “I Voted” button? Yep, you guessed it, apparently the next closest thing: a middle finger marked with indelible ink. Just a slight technicality between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest.
6. Where the Tea Party is a big deal.
It’s safe to say that in both countries, you will attend some pretty crazy Tea Parties. A dynamic place to discuss social issues with absolutely no agenda. Fear not, there’s always “a couple of Cokes” nearby.
7. Both are cow-loving countries.
Both nations respect the value of a cow. In India, a cow is divided into different parts, each believed to be a different god. In the U.S., a cow is divided into different parts, each worth about $65 and change. Steak is truly heavenly.
8. Dance, dance revolution.
Dancing with the Stars. Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. So You Think You Can Dance. Dance India Dance. The list of reality dance shows is endless in both countries. There’s even one called “Dance Moms.” I can just imagine the Indian version: “Aunties Gone Wild.”
9. Invincible Superheroes.
The battle of the bad asses. “Chuck Norris died…but he’s alright now,” versus “Once Rajnikanth was shot by a man…but it killed the man.” Mutually absurd hyperbolic claims about each man’s toughness, attitude, and virility. Their memes are national pastimes.
10. “Holly, meet Bolly.”
While the U.S. is home to the largest box office market, India is home to the largest market by number of admissions. Do you really want to see George Clooney and Brad Pitt dancing around the trees? This is why God made Bollywood, to fulfill your strangest fantasies. But Bollywood makes up only 20% of Indian films. There’s also Tollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, and, yes, even Sandalwood (look it up).
11. Two sophisticated intelligence agencies.
Make no mistake. Like Langley, the Indian aunty gossip circle is an intricate network of double agents, espionage, and sabotage who are well-versed in propaganda, fear-and-smear tactics, and yellow journalism. When you want to collect real dirt, these women can be vicious in extracting, collecting, and then destroying information. While the NSA watches us, the IAIA (Indian Aunty Intelligence Agency) watches them. It’s not gossiping, beta. It’s called networking.
12. Chip leaders.
Potato Chips and Pentium Chips, the U.S. and India import a lot of both. Credit George Crum and Vinod Dham as the father of each billion dollar industry. From running apps to ruining appetites, both chips go fast.
13. Home of the ‘Hunger Games’.
Tributes, starvation, and rebelling against the Capitol. Both the plots of national waves in the U.S. and India. Gandhi and Katniss are like two peas in a pod. One refuses to eat and refuses to kill. The other kills in order to eat. Both fans of the voiceless Avox.
14. Outrageous fight sequences.
With the creative liberties of Bollywood, it’s no wonder that WWE wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin said he wanted to act in a Bollywood film. The opportunity to fight a pack of 12 bad guys, diffuse a bomb, and come to life 3 different times, all at the same time, is too much to pass by.
15. The American Dream.
If there’s one thing white folks and Indian folks both believe in, it’s the American Dream. Now that Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft, Indians everywhere are hoping those squiggly red lines under their names will finally disappear from Microsoft Word.