In Australia, because I do not have the typical Indian drawl or an American or British Indian accent, the people here wonder whether I really am from India. “How do you speak such beautiful English?” I shrug their ignorance with a smile. What I can't shrug off as easily is the ignorance among my fellow-Indians who make comments/questions such as these:
“I hardly find north Indians here, only south Indians... They are not the same.”
“Aussies are white so they're all beautiful.”
“Only white people are racist.”
“I had to change my name to an anglicised one because people here could not pronounce it properly.”
“Do north Indians eat with their hands?”
“White skin means you'll get skin cancer.”
“White people don't find dark-skinned people beautiful.”
“White people cannot eat with their hands.”
“Aussies can't speak or write English properly. Not like us Indians. We speak British English.”
“Their (Aussie) media focusses only on Australia.”
"Aussies cannot be poor."
"People here are lazy. They work only from 9 am till 5 pm."
"Australia's so expensive. There's no point of buying anything from here."
"If you have to become Australian, you've got to drink beer, eat steak and play pokies."
"Aussies don't even know where India is."
"All they (Aussies) know about India is because of cricket."