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  #1  
Old September 25, 2017, 12:14 AM
iDumb iDumb is offline
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Default How to respond to people who don't know where Bangladesh is?

I always struggled to do this past 20 + years... Before it was more common, people didn't know where Bangladesh was. Now it is somewhat uncommon or atleast i thought it was until today.

I am not the type of Bangladeshi who is eager to bring Bangladesh in limelight. Simply I don't care really. But then again I feel frustrated that a person who is talking to me do not know where it is.

I was in a chinese buffet restaurant at langhorne, pensylvania today. After finish eating, the chinese waitress decided to have some small talk with me.

Waitress: Where you from?

Me (in my head thinking - is she asking for my background, or where I am actually driving from - then i decided i will answer to her just like i answer to most ppl that ask me this question) : I grew up here.

Waitress: So you are American (with a smirk on her face)

Me : Well yes my parents are from Bangladesh

Waitress: Where?

Me: Bangladesh

Waitress: Maybe I thought you were Mexican (looks back at the mexican dish washer with a smile), pointing to him, he thinks your wife is mexican

Me: No we have Bangaladeshi background

Waitress: where?

Me: Next to India

Waitress: So you are Indian

At this point my frustration is starting but I am still smiling

Me: yes to some ppl, i guess, for now I am indian

Waitress: oh ok (goes to the dishwasher guy - they are indian

Walking out of the restaurant i was thinking maybe I tipped her too much.. should have given half ...if i was gonna be an Indian might as well be an Indian.


how would you respond?
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  #2  
Old September 25, 2017, 01:00 AM
DinRaat. DinRaat. is offline
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Top thread, it boils my blood, when I get mistaken as a Indian instead of a bangladeshi, FFS, we are a population of 156 million, the rock you must live in must be pretty deep to not know the difference between India and Pakistan.

Option 1:You could educate her about the rich history of Bengal and how Bangladesh separate from Pakistan.

Option 2: Slap her for her ignorance

Option 2 is better.
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  #3  
Old September 25, 2017, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
Walking out of the restaurant i was thinking maybe I tipped her too much.. should have given half ...if i was gonna be an Indian might as well be an Indian.
What are the negative stereotypes about Bangladesh in the west ? Oh wait, one has to know you exist to form racist opinions against you

I took you for a senior, knowledgeable and no-nonsense poster, gotta work on my observations.
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  #4  
Old September 25, 2017, 07:35 AM
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When I first came out of bangladesh I really used to feel sorry and low when someone could not understand where bangladesh is. Once I came across with a chinese student in my university who asked me during our introduction about my origin. I told about bangladesh but he could not understand. I then told him about India and then showed him about the position of bangladesh with respect to india and after that I even googled him the map and told him about different features of our country. He was surprised to know this country exists.

Then I met with another chinese guy who also didn`t know about bangladesh but for some reason that day I asked him back that maybe you are weak in your geography.. don`t you know about banglades(with a surprise)? I also didn`t give him much attention. The next day he came to me and showed me the map in his phone and told that he learned about bangladesh and also showed me the flag and told about the longest sea beach.. I also then told him about all the other relevant details of bangladesh. We had a nice talk and he seemed to give interest to visit bangladesh.

I thought the later person is different than the previous ones so he had an interest besides my different approach. But i took the same approach next time I faced the question from another person about where is bangladesh and the result was amazingly similar. I don`t know whether it was a personal ego or what that made them to act differently.

Now I acutally don`t feel sorry if someone doesn`t know about bangladesh rather I feel pity that his country could not educate him properly to know about us. To this date there is enough reason to know about Bangladesh. There are huge countries where land half the size of bangladesh is almost free of any population but they cant dream of giving shelters to refugees but we are bold enough to share our tiny bit of land with others. Just an example but if that humanitarian effort doesn`t feel me proud then it is better to step back before someone ask me this question.
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  #5  
Old September 25, 2017, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy_1
What are the negative stereotypes about Bangladesh in the west ? Oh wait, one has to know you exist to form racist opinions against you

I took you for a senior, knowledgeable and no-nonsense poster, gotta work on my observations.
no need for being so sensitive and go on personal attacks. this is not a thread about India or Indians but it is so hard to keep the billion plus cyber swamy army these days.

lately you are going on personal attack spree. it is cool to argue (or maybe even name call) at certain times. but statements such as 'Oh wait, one has to know you exist" is taking a swipe against an entire nation. doesn't matter if you end it with a smiley emoji or pretend it was in jest.
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  #6  
Old September 25, 2017, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mufi_02
no need for being so sensitive and go on personal attacks. this is not a thread about India or Indians but it is so hard to keep the billion plus cyber swamy army these days.

lately you are going on personal attack spree. it is cool to argue (or maybe even name call) at certain times. but statements such as 'Oh wait, one has to know you exist" is taking a swipe against an entire nation. doesn't matter if you end it with a smiley emoji or pretend it was in jest.
You of all people should know that I harbor no animosity towards BD or it's people, my comment albeit not in good taste was a direct response to the snide remark from iDumb, which I am pretty sure somehow escaped your eyes. I did not mean to offend anyone. Chill Mufi da.

You are right about one thing though, being the only regular poster from India I am like a one man cyber army
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Old September 25, 2017, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy_1

I took you for a senior, knowledgeable and no-nonsense poster, gotta work on my observations.
Some general comments :

1. You don't have to reply to every single post that has word India or Indian in it. It is not your duty to defend India here though you may feel so.

2. This is a Bangladeshi forum and a little bit of India bashing is expected ... again don't take it upon yourself to defend silly things ..

3. High school to college (a bit less) to grad school to now at work .... i encounter with Indian Americans on daily basis ... and brown code of conduct dictates u laugh at those stereo types ... the waitress in the back isn't thinking .. oh I got tipped well ..that Brown guy must be Bangladeshi and not Indian ... maybe psyche of indians in India is different ..

4. This may be a little hurtful but it is not the west that have such stereo types but even in Bangladesh (east Bengal) ppl joke about how cheap ppl are in the west Bengal ( I am just a messenger _ do not shoot ..I am sure there is no truth to it ..)

5. There are noakhali sylheti chatgiaya bashing in jest here all the time .. but God forbid if someone utters India .. it is full blown assault in retaliation .

I don't want you to get banned but some of your replies when defending India is very cringewortht ... there is a Bangladeshi guy who is like that here ..adamnsu ... gets cringe worthy when "defending" bd ... it's embarrassing and I am sure many of your fellow Indians will equally feel same ...

It's not your battle ....
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  #8  
Old September 25, 2017, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReZ_1
Now I acutally don`t feel sorry if someone doesn`t know about bangladesh rather I feel pity that his country could not educate him properly to know about us.
Rez thank you for sharing your experience. I am very nonchalant about this . This is a waitress who obviously is not interested to become more knowledgeable. It's ok not to know things but it is the follow up questions and response that dictates if the continuation of the convo is warranted or not ...

I had a patient once that spoke soninke only . I have never heard of this language before but I had to find a translator to communicate with him . That week when I got free time I read about soninke more than I should . It's the curiosity . And a proper behavior when u don't know about something ... now saying something like "anybody speaks African language " would not only only be ignorant but offensive ...

So to me it is how you respond when you are told something that matters rather than not knowing about it ....

I said "next to India" ..she says "oh so you are Indian " ... you can't educate at that point ..just agree and walk away ..
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  #9  
Old September 25, 2017, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
Some general comments :

1. You don't have to reply to every single post that has word India or Indian in it. It is not your duty to defend India here though you may feel so.

2. This is a Bangladeshi forum and a little bit of India bashing is expected ... again don't take it upon yourself to defend silly things ..

3. High school to college (a bit less) to grad school to now at work .... i encounter with Indian Americans on daily basis ... and brown code of conduct dictates u laugh at those stereo types ... the waitress in the back isn't thinking .. oh I got tipped well ..that Brown guy must be Bangladeshi and not Indian ... maybe psyche of indians in India is different ..

4. This may be a little hurtful but it is not the west that have such stereo types but even in Bangladesh (east Bengal) ppl joke about how cheap ppl are in the west Bengal ( I am just a messenger _ do not shoot ..I am sure there is no truth to it ..)

5. There are noakhali sylheti chatgiaya bashing in jest here all the time .. but God forbid if someone utters India .. it is full blown assault in retaliation .

I don't want you to get banned but some of your replies when defending India is very cringewortht ... there is a Bangladeshi guy who is like that here ..adamnsu ... gets cringe worthy when "defending" bd ... it's embarrassing and I am sure many of your fellow Indians will equally feel same ...

It's not your battle ....
Sir, if you are in a room full of foreigners and there are some snide remarks being passed about your people wouldn't you be inclined to defend them?

Yes, I get it now, I might have overreacted, sorry about that. It is just that I really admire you as a poster and I actually learned quite a lot from your posts in the financial thread, so it was kinda shocking for me when you made that comment and that triggered the response. Anyways, all cool now, again I did not mean to troll or offend you or anyone.

Have a great day
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  #10  
Old September 25, 2017, 09:43 AM
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@idumb, was she Caucasian?

Sometimes, I mistake people of southeast Asian descent as Hispanics. I'm of that descent as well, and when they ask where I am from, I usually reply south America...and then they would blurt something out in Spanish. ..I'm flabbergasted.

I get mistake for a Sri Lankan most of the time from curious eyed Sri Lankan girls in college.
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  #11  
Old September 25, 2017, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
Some general comments :

4. This may be a little hurtful but it is not the west that have such stereo types but even in Bangladesh (east Bengal) ppl joke about how cheap ppl are in the west Bengal ( I am just a messenger _ do not shoot ..I am sure there is no truth to it ..)
.
Didn't know that, it hurts
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  #12  
Old September 25, 2017, 09:55 AM
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No need to apologize . I am not offended at all . That post was a general observation about you nothing particular about this thread ...

Yes you should reply ... but by posting all that about "senior poster blah blah " it seemed to me u took it personally ..


My point is ..we might be making distinction between us ..but when you are in a land where majority is not brown ... ignorance will mark you based on your color ... a brown guy is an Indian and a Muslim ... Sikh ppl got murdered post 9/11 and called filthy Muslims ...

Now u can be a dumbass and chant shikhs are not Muslims or you can stand up for racism overall ... because victims background should be irrelevant ...

Hence i find it funny that u would take offense in some stereo type that I myself would face ...
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Old September 25, 2017, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDumb
My point is ..we might be making distinction between us ..but when you are in a land where majority is not brown ... ignorance will mark you based on your color ... a brown guy is an Indian and a Muslim ... Sikh ppl got murdered post 9/11 and called filthy Muslims ...

Now u can be a dumbass and chant shikhs are not Muslims or you can stand up for racism overall ... because victims background should be irrelevant ...

Hence i find it funny that u would take offense in some stereo type that I myself would face ...
Agreed 100%, we brownies gotta watch each other's back while in the west, often we end up doing the exact opposite. For an average blue collar American we are all Arabs after all
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Old September 25, 2017, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklemalp
@idumb, was she Caucasian?

Sometimes, I mistake people of southeast Asian descent as Hispanics. I'm of that descent as well, and when they ask where I am from, I usually reply south America...and then they would blurt something out in Spanish. ..I'm flabbergasted.

I get mistake for a Sri Lankan most of the time from curious eyed Sri Lankan girls in college.
its because you go to CSI, which is full of SL students

But you can pass as Bengali very easily as well. If I didn't know you are Guyanese and saw you in Jamaica or Jackson Heights, I would have easily said "bhai kemon asen? bou baccha bhalo toh" (translation - how do you do?)

on topic, I think most in the urban and big cities of USA are familiar with BD. But probably not at smaller cities. To them, anyone who looks brown are Indians. Heck, they even confuse Indians and Arabs.

It is the same with Hispanics. To rest, people from Guatemala, Honduras, DR, El Salvador and others are all Mexicans!
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Old September 25, 2017, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mufi_02
its because you go to CSI, which is full of SL students
Sri Lankans there are mostly Tamils? or Sinhalas? Just curious
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Old September 25, 2017, 10:15 AM
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Just to get a kick out of Roy.... (I told this story here before)

One fine Saturday morning in 1993 (been in US for few years already), waiting for friends to finish their Walmart shopping, I sat on the bench right behind the cash registers. A gentleman (southern with heavy accent) sits beside me. I am college student he could figure that out already. So we start talking. The dreaded question comes up.

Where are you from?

I am from Bangladesh.

Where is that at?

Next to India.

How long does it take for you to drive (Implying in a car)?

I am sitting and thinking how to answer this. Finally after a brief pause, I said, "Pretty long time."

Luckily my friends came out of the registers.

I said, "Have a great day, Sir!!" and left.
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Old September 25, 2017, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy_1
Sri Lankans there are mostly Tamils? or Sinhalas? Just curious
I think mostly Sinhalese. I might be wrong as I am assuming based on my high school SL friends who were all Sinhalese.
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Old September 25, 2017, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mufi_02
I think mostly Sinhalese. I might be wrong as I am assuming based on my high school SL friends who were all Sinhalese.
Makes sense, since the Sri Lankans in UK and Europe are majority Tamils and they don't get along well in the west is what I've heard
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Old September 25, 2017, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigers_eye
Just to get a kick out of Roy.... (I told this story here before)

One fine Saturday morning in 1993 (been in US for few years already), waiting for friends to finish their Walmart shopping, I sat on the bench right behind the cash registers. A gentleman (southern with heavy accent) sits beside me. I am college student he could figure that out already. So we start talking. The dreaded question comes up.

Where are you from?

I am from Bangladesh.

Where is that at?

Next to India.

How long does it take for you to drive (Implying in a car)?

I am sitting and thinking how to answer this. Finally after a brief pause, I said, "Pretty long time."

Luckily my friends came out of the registers.

I said, "Have a great day, Sir!!" and left.


Allow me to quote Twain - "God created war so that Americans would learn geography."

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

For them the world consists of only Blacks, Whites, Mexicans, Arabs, Chinese, Commies and Kardashians.
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Old September 25, 2017, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklemalp
@idumb, was she Caucasian?

Sometimes, I mistake people of southeast Asian descent as Hispanics. I'm of that descent as well, and when they ask where I am from, I usually reply south America...and then they would blurt something out in Spanish. ..I'm flabbergasted.

I get mistake for a Sri Lankan most of the time from curious eyed Sri Lankan girls in college.
Technically, Southeast Asian is the region from Myanmar to Vietnam, and all the way down to PNG. We are South Asian. And you would be of South Asian descent.

Don't feel bad, I get mistaken as Hispanic all the time. I also speak Spanish so I just go with it.
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Old September 25, 2017, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mufi_02
its because you go to CSI, which is full of SL students
Why would CSI have lots of SL students? I've never heard this before.
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Old September 25, 2017, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mufi_02
I think mostly Sinhalese. I might be wrong as I am assuming based on my high school SL friends who were all Sinhalese.
I don't know how old you are Mufi, but most of my high school SL friends were Tamil. I think the war had a lot to do with the shift .
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Old September 25, 2017, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankees
I don't know how old you are Mufi, but most of my high school SL friends were Tamil. I think the war had a lot to do with the shift .
You went to high school in Staten Island?
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Old September 25, 2017, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
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You went to high school in Staten Island?
Nope, in Manhattan. Are there lots of Lankans in SI?
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  #25  
Old September 25, 2017, 05:28 PM
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Lol, people have a blank expression when I say BD. I usually just follow with a '...its a tiny country beside India'
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