India Uncut

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

The North and the South, relatively

In response to this post, reader Vimalanand Prabhu writes in:
Where does the Indian "south" and "north" actually start. For Mumbaites, it is simple. North of us are "North Indians" and south of us are "South Indians". I wonder where the line starts in different states. The northern parts of Karnataka and some parts of Andhra are not really that south.

Some of my friends from Kerala hated to be called Madrasis. For them South Indian or "Mallu" seemed to be much better. For Andhras, it is "gultis". North Indians are referred to as Bhaiyya. But for the (Mumbai) suburban moms, bhaiyya is the one who sells vegetables and fish at their door-step or the doodh-wala bhaiyya. White collared bhaiyyas from UP love to be referred to as Bhaiyyas, but hate the typical Mumbai stereotype. But for suburban moms, they are north Indians and not bhaiyyas.

As regards Maharashtra, they are referred to as "ghatis". But within Maharastra, ghati is referred to be a rustic person, not from Konkan but towards the leeward side of the Sahyadris. So a Marathi person from non-ghati land will feel offended when called "aye ghati".
Yeah. And when I went to Chennai last time someone disparagingly referred to Mumbai as being in North India. I tell you.
amit varma, 10:24 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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