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Cringeworthy Stereotypes about South Indians reinforced by Bollywood!!

I am a South Indian and I am not a ‘MADRASI’!!

Indian Cinema has been greatly influential in our society ever since its evolution. Be it fashion trends, larger-than-life wedding set-ups, family gatherings or even general perceptions, Bollywood has shaped our thinking and way to look out at things.

It is said that our films are the reflection of our society. Unconsciously, over the years, Bollywood has succeeded to fool our minds into believing certain stereotypes that still reside in our minds.  From ‘Masterji’ in Padosan to SRK eating Noodles and curd, Bollywood has often stereotyped south Indians and never bothers to do some research.

Here is some stereotypical portrayal of South Indians by our Bollywood movies:


South Indian men are fond of ‘lungi’:

Bollywood mainly showcases South India Men in a lungi (a garment wrapped around the waist and extending to the ankles) with a white horizontal tilak on the forehead. Makers tend to confuse with ‘Veshtis’, a more formal type of cultural wear commonly worn at weddings.


South Indian women love traditional attire:

If Bollywood to be believed, all South Indian women only wear heavy Kanjivaram saree with jasmine flowers pinned in their long braids and of course, the tilak is omnipresent on their forehead too. But in reality, they lead lifestyles no different from the women in the North and are styled in modern clothing too.

Highly distinctive accent of English and Hindi:

Think Mithun Chakrabarti’s cringeworthy accent in the movie ‘Agneepath’ or Deepika Padukone's accent in the movie ‘Chennai Express’. Why couldn’t any of South Indian characters speak the proper language? Rather, South Indian states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu are among the highest-ranking English-speaking states in India. So, Bollywood please stop faking the accent!! nobody in their right mind would say "Yenna Rascala"

South Indians are always vegetarian:

Eating non-vegetarian food is made a big deal of in Bollywood movies as shown in the movie “Meenakshi Sundareshwar”. South Indian cuisine is not only about idli, sambar, dosa or, vada. Why doesn’t anyone ever mention Pongal or poriyal or even chicken 65? Yes!! South Indians are fond of non-veg too.


South Indians are always ‘Madrasi’ and that too Brahmin:

Every South Indian character in Bollywood would have a last name like Iyyer or Ayenger! that doesn't mean that all of them are Brahmins! It’s high time, one should refresh their Geography knowledge and should know that there are five separate states in South India, each speaking a different language. Not to mention, Bollywood has always chosen to portray the ‘Upper caste’ but there is more in the region. Not all are “Brahmins”.


All are ‘Rajinikanth’ fans:

Stop making Rajinikanth references all the time, not every South Indian is obsessed with him. This is the most ridiculous stereotype Bollywood movies think that people from South India keep a photo of Rajinikanth along with the deities in the house temple.


Loves Carnatic Music:

Pick any South Indian-centred movie, one can surely find Carnatic music played in the background. Please, there is more to music in the South than just one tune and people equally admire modern music.


All are excellent Bharatanatyam dancers:

Though one would love to be called so, not all people from South India can pull off a perfectly choreographed Bharatanatyam or a Kuchipudi dance. In fact, Bharatanatyam is considered a sacred form of dance, whose dancers were patronized by temples in ancient times! it required years of training. Some of us are just not patient and hard-working enough to learn Bharatanatyam.


South Indians are obsessed with scoring in Exams:

Now! this stereotype is something that makes every southerner swell with pride! but trust me, it's not always true. Even though South India has some best universities, believe us, it is quite easy to find someone here who cares a lot more about movies, fashion, and bikes than exams. But Bollywood is always interested in showcasing all South Indians as serious and over-smart. Contrary to your deep-rooted belief, All of us are not genius like Ramanujam, So stop asking us about the concept of infinity and the theory of relativity. 


Ayyo’ is the most favorite word:

As per Bollywood, every South Indian utters words like ‘amma’, ‘appa’, ‘ayyo’ ‘murugana’ etc at least once in a sentence. Please don’t believe this. It’s not true and there is no such phrase in any South Indian language.

The South Indian culture refers to the culture of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. So, imagine the diversity of culture, customs and cuisine. And people must understand that South India is a generic term and they all are not the same, just as all North Indians are not the same. I think it's high time for Bollywood to stop stereotyping South Indians because what they portray has nothing to do with real life.

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