It’s Not Racist When Chinese

24 Jun

I wonder if the Chinese think Indians are funny?

Not in a “Why sir, I quite appreciate your sense of humor! You have suddenly become rather attractive to me” kind of way, but in the same sense that Indians (or certain Bollywood-type people)) find the Chinese funny. You know, like in a laugh-and-point sort of way.

When a Chinese person needs a funny disguise, for example, does he darken his face, wrap a dhoti about his loins, drench his hair in oil, and walk down the street wobbling his head from side to side, doing namaste and periodically yelling out, “Batata vada! Samosa! Butten naan! Chicken tikka masala!”

That’d be something to see wouldn’t it? And I’m sure we’d all laugh gently at such silly shenanigans.

“Ah, those funny Chinese,” we’d say. “They crack me up everytime. I always think I can hold it in, but that first cry of ‘batata vada’…! Irresistible. Sheer comic genius!”


No? You don’t think so? Too complex a comedy for our simple tastes? What a pity. i was going to suggest it for that Bollywood theme park YashRaj is building in Dubai.

Hey, what if they combined it with an African-by-way-of-Mongolia accent infused with Japanese flavors? Total winner!


Posted by on June 24, 2008 in Entertainment, Life, Movies, Video


13 responses to “It’s Not Racist When Chinese

  1. DewdropDream

    June 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    LOL!!! I DO wonder if the Chinese find us funny at all… lemme ask one of my chinese born friends here 😀

  2. Sanket

    June 25, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Maybe we get away with it (and perhaps they would get away with it with us) because of leftover hostilities from the Indo-Chinese war? 😉 Reminds me of Bollywood movies from the 80’s when one just had to put on an afro & dark make up to play a black person – usually as part of the band playing the bongos.

    See Amitabh do pretty much the same thing from ‘Barsaat Ki Ek Raat’ here:

    The more things change…

  3. apu

    June 25, 2008 at 1:33 am

    I don’t think we’ve even begun understanding racism as practised in India…though we can see it all too clearly when Shilpa Shetty is abused on Big Brother!

  4. Overated Outcast

    June 25, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Oh No!! If the Chinese did something like that, then there would be protests outside the Chinese embassy in Delhi and the Tibetan stalls in Chanakya Puri would be attacked by the Shiv Sena’s local chapter (because, all oriental people are chinese, isn’t it?) and of course, Chinese and Japanese (refer to latter logic) restaurants would be banned in Gujrat.

    And of course, Hu Jintao’s effigy would be burnt and made to ride a donkey!!!

    ….. not at all OTT, right?? :P…

  5. Amey

    June 25, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Are there any cute Chinese girls (or angry Indian comunists) around?

    If yes: These kind of caricatures, unless done tastefully (which is rare in Bollywood, Hollywood, or any other media for that matter), are just another form of xenophobia. Possibly less offensive than overt expression, but still derogatory.

    If no: A dark-complexioned man, with hair sparkling with oil, wearing dhoti lungi… been there, done that. Remember the “pakoda” from Bombay to Goa and Mithunda from “agnipath” (among others)? We don’t need others to make fun of us 😉

    P.S. Shameless self-promotion: remember my post on racial caricatures?

  6. Beth

    June 25, 2008 at 11:44 am


    But men in no shirts, shiny vests, ties, and little caps are DEFINITELY funny.

  7. Beth

    June 25, 2008 at 11:49 am

    PS Remember this one from Hera Pheri?

  8. Jawahara

    June 26, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Spot on! Btw, do you remember those dances (late 80’s, early 90’s) in which a bunch of men in black-face and faux leopard loicloths would jump around terrorizing the gori heroine. And they would dance this very savage looking supposed African dance? Even when I was a kid in India I thought these were really offensive.

    But of course, in India (and not just in the movies) it’s totally okay to laugh at fat people, really dark people, too-thin people and people with certain physical deformities. Sad!

    But like someone said we can shout racism when it happens to a glam celebrity like Shilpa Shetty, Excuse me…we’re Indian…we can’t be racist!!!

  9. Amrita

    June 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    DewdropDream – damn they must be real good friends 😀

    Sanket – I think thats where the Chinese went from being goofy or sexy characters (remember Helen in Chin Chin Choo?) to outright evil. Don’t remind me of the blackface. Can you believe Kareena and Fardeen did it just a few years ago? it was supposed to be funny i guess, but I had to pick my jaw off the floor. Damn, those ladies complaining about Angelina’s tan in A Mighty Heart don’t know what they’re missing.

    Apu – of course not, because Indians aren’t racist. Anything we say or do is from the best of intentions. Because we’re Indians. And our culture doesnt permit such chee-chee things. The end.

    OO – whadya mean OTT? More is more, haven’t you heard? People’s sentiment.

    Amey – Just had to remind me of Mithun, didnt you? You know, I keep hearing about what a wonderful movie Agneepath was, what a masterpiece. And all I can remember is weird “HEYinnn” thing that AB perfected in this and Mithun walking around like a cartoon.

    Beth – LOLz, you should do a Fugly post. People are surprisingly kid to it on Youtube I see. Funniest comment was some woman who thought Akki looked like David Schwimmer. Can’t. Get. It. Out. Of. My. Head. 😀

    J – you bet! In fact, that one with Helen teasing that guy in the cage? Simultaneously the best song ever and the most disgusting, creepy song ever. I’m so conflicted by my Bolly-love!

  10. Beth

    June 30, 2008 at 9:21 am

    It _is_ conflicting! Aaaaaaah! Good thing Shashi is there to provide us with something pure and uncomplicated.

    As for fugging, yeah, that needs to happen. I’ll dig through my archives…if I can regain my eyesight after the scene in that song with the woman and the snake.

  11. Amey

    June 30, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Well of course. How can any subject related to Bollywood be complete without a mention of Big B and Big M, hein? (Imagine left hand on waist and right hand gesturing appropriately)

  12. Amey

    June 30, 2008 at 11:03 am

    BTW, you forgot to mention the long-white-robed, sunglasses-wearing “arab” smugglers.

  13. Amrita

    July 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Beth – yay for Shashi! I was looking at those cleanshaven pics of Shashi in Chor Sipahee and I now feel all tingly. Enough to get me over the Jesus get up.

    Amey – how could I forget? especially when they talk in that funny accent and grope random women.

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