Top 10 Myths about Developing Countries

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6.  Joint families and lots of kidsss!!

Well, the source of this myth is easily traceable- The flood of glittering sari clad mother-in-laws brimming with jewelry and their gigantic families on our TV channels. As for the stereotype that we breed a lot- with a population of over a billion, who are we kidding?
These myths were reality once. But now they are nothing more than….well… Myths. The move towards nuclear families and 2 children is about three decades old in India. Towards the end of the 20th century, family planning was introduced in majority of the developing world including India, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar etc. The communist government in China went one step ahead and adopted the oppressive One Child Policy (Although very recently they have provided a relaxation allowing parents to conceive two kids if either of them were single child themselves).

 

7.  No company, just crowd!!

Many foreigners are quite reluctant to form friendships with the local residents. They believe we belong to a different world and therefore, might not find a common topic of conversation.

Well, if that’s what is bothering you, you couldn’t be more mistaken. Contrary to the common belief, the educated middle-class and the rich do have a good global exposure. They are well-read and cultivated and also, big takers of American sitcoms, literature and Hollywood blockbusters. As a matter of fact, most of the queries on sitcoms and movies like Friends, Big Bang theory; Inception etc. on Quora are answered by Indians and Chinese. They do understand and respect western sensibilities and would be more than happy to keep the visitors entertained.

 

8.  Indians speak Hindu and Chinese….well…..Chinese!!

Westerners often obsess about learning the native language of the less-developed nations before they visit, assuming encounters with illiterate population having negligible or poor knowledge of English.  However, this obsession is largely futile for two major reasons. Firstly, most of these societies are multi-lingual especially the ones that cover large geographical areas. In India alone there are more than 300 major languages and if the minor ones are included too, the number far exceeds 1500.

More importantly, English is a very popular language round the globe. A large portion of the middle-class Indians speak very fluent English and almost all of them write amazingly well (thanks to our patchy education system, but more on that later).  It is very common to find hoardings with English content and even small shops display their titles, bills and menus in English (Butter tost and Bhejitable fry, remember!!). And while the local population is no Oscar Wilde, they do know enough to speak bits and pieces that makes sense and would be able to help you.
PS- The majority of population in India and China speaks Hindi and Mandarin respectively, but never mind!!

 

9. Remember slumdog millionaire!! 

The sad truth is- Developing nations are a mixture of most striking opposites. You can experience the most contrasting elements co-existing in these places- richest and the poorest, liberal and the fanatic, heaven and hell!!
India boast of a modern infrastructure, lavish architecture, luxury hotels and spas and almost every product and service that you require to quench your consumerist thirst. She houses the costliest house in the world- Anitilia. Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur is nothing less than NYC in the sheer magnificence of its skyline. Brazil is home to 36 billionaires and 165, 000 millionaires. 9 out of the 300 richest men in the world are Indian. Need  i say more?

 

10. Beware of folks!!

On little investigation, one could easily conclude that this myth simply reflects the present condition of the western society. Yes, I am talking about the discrimination against blacks, Latin Americas etc. Anything that is not white or familiar is regarded with distrust and considered dangerous and threatening.
So, your experiences in these alien lands will simply mirror what you bring in with you. Yes, there are pick-pockets, thieves or maybe even major offenders. But there are many more honest, warm and helping people. People who would burn extra fuel to find you and return that bag you accidentally left in their auto rickshaw, people who would return the extra buck that you paid them by mistake, people who would come forward and protect you from receiving indecent treatment. Honesty and humanity are not patents of the west.

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