1. Let's start with the basics. Calling a drink “chai tea” is the same as calling steak “beef meat”.
2. Naan is literally another word for bread – so again, saying “naan bread” means you're saying "bread bread".
3. The way you spell "Gandhi" is wrong.
4. Hindu is not a language. No one speaks it. Just like no one speaks Muslim or Christian or Buddhist.
5. And speaking of languages, English is one of our official languages – no need to act so surprised if you hear us speaking it better than you.
6. We are not all, in fact, call centre workers or owners of convenience stores.
7. Cricket is not some bootleg, made-up version of baseball.
8. All the food in India is not curry.
9. And there’s no such thing as chicken tikki masala.
10. If you've ever been here, you'd know that India isn’t all dirty, smelly, and always crowded.
11. We don't all ride in on elephants for our weddings, nor do we randomly break into songs and dance like that one Bollywood movie you've seen.
12. We are not all born with every yoga position seared into our memory.
13. Raj's accent from The Big Bang Theory is not an accurate representation of every Indian's accent.
14. We aren’t all math and engineering nerds – we come from rich culture spanned over thousands of years of art, entertainment, comedy and literature.
15. Stop thinking that Indians are technologically challenged or ignorant.
16. And we're way more culturally developed than you give us credit for.
17. Our life is nothing like Slumdog Millionaire.
18. We don’t all look the same.
19. And finally, we are not exotic, not irrelevant, and definitely not an ignorable dot. We're one of the biggest populations in the world, and a force to be goddamned reckoned with.
Andre Borges is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Mumbai.
Contact Andre Borges at email@example.com.
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