Things Not To Say To a North East Indian

ART : Sonika Sil for BeBadass

ART : Sonika Sil for BeBadass

We live in tough times today where sensitivity and political correctness are co-existent and very much the need of the hour. While awareness about minorities and their struggles in the world and in India spreads, it's important for you to do your part by knowing what to say and not to say to anyone from a minority. 
I am a North East Indian girl studying in Delhi University at the moment and I come across a bunch of people saying inappropriate things to me and people from my community all the time. Unfortunately they don't respond well to correction or criticism and so here I am trying to vent out my frustration in the form of a hopefully informative piece incorporating things you should/shouldn't say or do to a North East Indian.
Also considering I am a part of the community, instead of questioning these points, just take my word for it!

 

DON'T IGNORE GEOGRAPHY

First of all, it'd be nice if you knew about the country's geography because as a kid from where I come from, the states and the union territories were shoved down our throats so I am guessing it's the same for you. I've come across a lot of men who say they've studied in the best schools/colleges but when I do ask them if they know about the northeast, they tend to name states like Bihar, J&K, Chhattisgarh and so wrongly on.
When and if I do point out that they are wrong, they brush it off by questioning whether I'm testing their Geography.. I'd at least like you to be well informed about the country and not try to shrug me off when I am trying to correct or educate you because it'd be embarrassing to date a boy who wears his Rolex and talks about how his school was the best yet his knowledge of the states in the country is ZERO. It's not only a turn off for most of us but also shameful for you.

 

STOP MOCKING MY CULTURE & LOOKS

Secondly, please move on from your crusty old racist and ignorant jokes. It's not impressive and it's not funny! It never was and it never will be, unless you're an insensitive ignorant jerk.
I am tired of people asking me if I see things normally because of my eyes being smaller than the average "socially acceptable" eye size in India. Not to forget the "I don't want you to meet my dog because its unsafe" or the "The street dogs are disappearing on your arrival" jokes. Honestly, event hough  I don't eat dog meat, I really think it's time you all should stop shaming a community for its food habits considering I/we don't ever question you spending your kidney's worth on a vegan diet in consultation with a holistic healer.

 

DON'T TRY PET NAMING US

Don't give me/us pet names just because you think our names are weird or because you can't seem to pronounce or even try to pronounce it. If you can pronounce all the international designer names and also practice them at home in your room watching multiple Youtube videos, so that you don't sound like a fool in public, then you can surely learn to call me by a name that my parents gave me. 
Can you also stop asking me "Is it ok to call you Chinky?" if you are a friend, a date or an acquaintance. 
The answer is NO! 
I will not allow you to call me that, I don't care how you mean it and I don't care if it's coming from a good place. Don't Do It. 
And yes I speak for my entire community.

 

STOP THE STUPID QUESTIONS!

Fourthly, STOP WITH THE STUPID QUESTIONS!!
"Do you guys have cars back home?" ,
"Do you guys still head hunt back home?"
"Is northeast in India?"
,
"Do you guys still live in huts and thatch houses?",
"How much for a night" ,
"Is your dad a chowkidar/Driver?",
"Do you guys have schools back home?"
. These are some examples of questions that will probably get you blocked or kicked in the balls because we have had enough and this is 2018, so please do your research and use google not just for looking up freak porn but also about a community and it's culture that belongs to your own country. 
You may think these stereotypical questions that are obviously offensive don't get used anymore to condescend a group of people or individuals in this age, but sadly they do. 
 

 

STOP FETISHISING ASIANS!

Stop saying things like "OMG, I have never hooked up with an Asian person before." when y'all see us. Last time I checked you wreaked havoc when The Chainsmokers mentioned "Asia and India" in their tweet, so how are you making the same mistake? India is in Asia too and I am an Indian and an Asian and unless you're a virgin who hasn't ever dated at all, you have dated an Asian you moron! But I'm guessing you are talking about East Asian girls and I'd have to ask you to step back and stop fetishising oriental looks.
I am not Chinese/Japanese so stop calling me or any woman with oriental features a "ling-ling" because that's downright racist.

 

To my own community of people from North East Indian :
we as people from the northeast sometimes forget to call out our brown friends just because they are our friends and we feel like they don't mean any harm but we need to stop and call them out when necessary, just because they are our friends does not mean calling us names used as racial slurs against us in the streets are okay.
CAN WE STOP NORMALIZING IT?


IN SERVICE OF SISTERHOOD, BY RONGPANG LONGCHAR

ARTWORK BY SONIKA SIL FOR BEBADASS