Skip To Content

    19 Annoying Things Foreigners Really Need To Get Right About India

    FFS. stop. saying. chai. tea.

    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".

    How many times do we have to tell you this?

    3. The way you spell "Gandhi" is wrong.

    In fact, the way you say it – "ghandi" – sounds a lot like the Hindi word for "dirty". So you might want to stop that.

    4. Hindu is not a language. No one speaks it. Just like no one speaks Muslim or Christian or Buddhist.

    You mean Hindi.

    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.

    Dharma Productions

    6. We are not all, in fact, call centre workers or owners of convenience stores.


    If one more person calls me Apu...

    7. Cricket is not some bootleg, made-up version of baseball.

    BuzzFeed India

    Check the facts, Americans. Baseball actually originated as a bootleg, made-up version of cricket.

    8. All the food in India is not curry.

    Karima Khan / BuzzFeed India

    9. And there’s no such thing as chicken tikki masala.

    What you're trying to say is chicken tikka masala.

    10. If you've ever been here, you'd know that India isn’t all dirty, smelly, and always crowded.

    Getty Images/iStockphoto, Meinzahn / Getty Images/iStockphoto, Mehul Antani / Via Flickr: mehulantani

    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.


    There are over 200 languages in India, and just as many accents – nearly none of which sound like the ones used by Indians on American TV.

    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.

    Yash Raj Films

    Unfortunately, those with specific occupations are more likely to get a visa in the United States Of America.

    15. Stop thinking that Indians are technologically challenged or ignorant.

    We have more internet users than there are humans in the U.S.

    16. And we're way more culturally developed than you give us credit for.

    Eros Entertainment

    Yes, I get Game Of Thrones in my country, filthy crow.

    17. Our life is nothing like Slumdog Millionaire.

    Not once have I ridden on top of a train.

    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.

    BuzzFeed India

    Andre Borges is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Mumbai.

    Contact Andre Borges at

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here

    News moves fast. Keep up with the BuzzFeed News daily email!

    Newsletter signup form