Can we afford to stereotype China or India?
September 24, 2010

We love clichés, stereotyping the Chinese as people who will eat anything that has legs and is not a chair, or Indians as people who only excel in singing and dancing around trees. We easily fit economies into boxes as leaping or lumbering and align countries with animals, but in populations that exceed a billion and together cover one-fifth of the earths surface, speak different tongues every 1000 kms and eat varied foods can we really afford to categorize people, nations or economies  into a particular type?

Click on the image above to view the top 10 clichés associated with China and India.

Sure its easy when we’re flooded with information to box things into stereotypes to be quickly  retrieved from the catalogue in our brains, but how often can Shanghai’s Luijiazui skyline represent the countries prosperous financial ascent or how often can Delhi’s highways be displayed as the country’s surge towards infrastructure investment?

Across India and China our nations house vibrant, diverse populations, locations, economies, and cultures. It is what makes our countries so hard to navigate and yet so rich. Our differences are what makes us unique and tolerant of each other. It’s also what adds spice to our lives and makes us such an interesting race. So, at a time when the world order is being turned on its head lets not categorize India as the lumbering elephant, or china as the roaring dragon, lets not say that China’s strength lies in hardware and India’s in software, lets not box the Chinese into hardworking,  unfriendly people and the Indians as an innovative, bureaucratic  race, for we are all different individuals and all working towards breaking through these stereotypical moulds.

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