1. Do you wear that dot in the middle of your forehead?
That dot is called a bindi. It’s an accessory that a lot of Indian women put on when wearing saris. Trust me we have bindis in every color and the real skill is coming home with it still on your forehead by the end of the night, otherwise, they only last like three seconds before falling off and onto the floor.
2. Are your parents like really strict?
No, they are not. They're not tiger parents and no if I don't get straight A's I won't be exiled from my family. I never went to Kumon (after-school math and reading program popular among us brown kids), got average grades, and my parents still love me.
3. Are you going to get an arranged marriage?
Maybe, maybe not. The choice is mine, and no that doesn’t mean my parents are going to force me to get one. I have a say in my love life and my parents respect that. Arranged marriages are not at all what movies make them out to be. It is simply your parents having your best interests in mind by finding someone they believe will be a good match for you. PLOT TWIST: Indian parents were the original dating apps and matchmakers, and you can say NO to whoever they choose for you.
4. Can you say something in Indian?
First off, Indian is a nationality, not a language. There are 22 official languages spoken in Indian, but over 1652 mother tongues. I speak Gujarati, and it's actually a lot of fun being bilingual.
5. Why aren’t you studying to be a doctor or engineer?
My parents let me decide my career, and I am now studying to be a Speech/Language Pathologist. Honestly, I can’t do needles or math so both the options listed above were not for me. But those Desis who have chosen to be a doctor or engineer, s/o to you for being amazing at it, and keep doing you.
6. Are you allowed to date someone who isn’t the same color as you?
Yes, dating is allowed, and who to date is a completely personal choice. Love sees no color, so why do you when asking that question?
7. Why is your food so spicy?
It’s called flavor. We add spices to our food to give it more flavor and taste. The spices bring every dish to a whole new level, and to be honest if you aren’t blown away by each bite, you need to change your tastes.
8. What tribe are you from?
There is a big difference between American Indian and Indian American. Just because both those words have Indian, does not mean they are the same. One is a group native to American before Columbus got here, and the other is from the country India. Honestly, guys, it’s history 101.
9. Are you guys related?
No, we’re not. Just because we share the same last name does not mean every Indian in the world is related to each other, chances are we know who that other person is that you are talking about but no we are not related to each other. For example, the last name Patel is a very common last name for among us Gujaratis. It means headman of the village which is a long history lesson that goes back to how the state of Gujarat was created. Feel free to google to learn more about it.
10. Why don’t you eat beef?
A majority of Indians don’t eat beef because we view the cow as a sacred animal who is a source of food and symbol of life. Eating beef is again a personal choice, and I know a ton of people who do eat it. They’re not going to go to hell or anything, they just will have a harder time being reincarnated and come back as a fly or something. (just kidding)