You know how your local salesmen keep throwing around the phrase ” imported hai!” to make his things sound fancy? Turns out, we aren’t the only ones fawning over foreign stuff like that. Our vilayati friends from across the world keep coming up with ideas about things that are absolutely normal over here in India.

We’ve all heard jokes about “vegetarian hamburgers” and “cow/chicken/animal gods”, so here’s a lowdown on the other side of this story:

1. Chai

All of us adore this drink, and would readily part with loose change anytime in the day to get a nice hot cup from the nearest chaiwalla . But did you ever think that your beloved drink could be another man’s “spice mix”?


What happened here?

2. Coconut Oil

You know we used to make fun of that one kid who came to school slathered in coconut oil? Well, it looks like the West has decided to take coconut oil as their god. Apparently, there are people in the world who are convinced that nariyal ka tel is the best smelling moisturizer, hair gel, sun screen and every other concievable thing that they could get there hands on. “Summery, beach fresh”, anyone?


3. Baingan ka bharta

Apparently, “mashed eggplant dips” are the new improved mashed potatoes of the First World. “Smoked and spicy eggplant mash”. Yum!


4. Haldi

We eat it every day, have been offered ” haldi waala doodh” as a remedy at least once, and have sung along to “Vico turmeric ayurvedic cream” secretly during breaks on T.V. But never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d find a whole Pinterest board dedicated to things like “banana turmeric chai thick shake” and “turmeric coco-chai latte power smoothie”.



5. Roti

AKA “flat breads”. Such fancy names! Apparently, naan breads are so tasty that people serve them to the family with dips but they just have it all by itself. Just naan. JUST LIKE THAT.


6. Yoga

Every park in every colony has a bunch of aunties and uncles participating in sessions faithfully. It’s really, really good for us, and we’ve been wanting to take it up for a while.

But! Naked Yoga? Underwater Yoga? Anti-Gravity Yoga? Wut?


7. Bindi

All the girls wear it, and there are a million songs about it as well. But along with all of that, there are Pinterest boards. And these people:


8. Thailas

You know, gunny bags. Bags we won’t be seen dead using. Not for anything other than carrying groceries or something. It’s fashion for them. For reals.


9. Ghee

Apparently, it’s a superfood. A special type of clarified butter that has a decidedly nutty taste, creamy texture, burns fat, and aids in detox. Magic! Let’s add ghee to all our food! Oh wait, we do that already.


10. Loofahs

You know, that thing that you find for ten bucks on every road in a small city here? Yeah. It’s synonymous with luxurious organic healthy living in the West. So clean, so fancy!


Wow! What a complete change of perspective!