I live in Sri Lanka, which is off the south east coast of India. The locals here are as brown as Indians, and honestly, most of them look like they’re Indians. The Sinhalese apparently came from India – historical text about the kings of Sri Lanka states that the first Sinhalese king came from India. There were aboriginal peoples before the Sinhalese came over, and there still are some, but very few, and live isolated in the jungle, or something like that. The Tamils came from the Tamil Nadu (Madras) state in south India. The Muslims arrived – 600 years ago or so – from Saudi Arabia or the like.
The culture has its very distinctive similarities to India. And Sri Lanka has been called the cleaner, hassle-free version of India. Rice and curries are the predominant food, same as India – but different types of curries. So, yeah. Pretty easy mistake to make. 🙂
Yeah, it’s exotic, but I’m getting SO used to it. Mostly. The majority of the culture shock is over, although I still get annoyed at being stared at – ALL THE BLOODY TIME – every single time I go out in public and by everyone. And annoyed at the little boys – 10 or 12 or 15 or 18 or 25 or whatever – who are constantly trying to chat me up, flirt, and all the rest of that nonsense. Sigh. I went to the Colombo Museum yesterday – without dh – and it was packed with flirtatious little boys. Who also kept trying to read what I was writing. And it’s now official that “I’m turning Japanese“. No, I’m serious – I was, yet again, mistaken for a Japanese. BTW, I’m so pasty white I could disappear in a pile of snow. No one in North America would ever mistake me for a Japanese – I’m so obviously NOT! Welcome to my freak show . . .