Ex-Google MD reveals how Sikhs are mistaken for Bengalis across Malaysia | Trending - Hindustan Times

Ex-Google MD reveals how Sikhs are mistaken for Bengalis across Malaysia

ByVrinda Jain
Apr 15, 2024 09:49 AM IST

Parminder Singh, in his post, informed how Malay people thought that everyone from North India was a Bengali.

Ex-Google MD Parminder Singh shared an interesting story about how Malaysians refer to North Indians as Bengalis. Singh caught the attention of many people on the microblogging platform X after posting about this tale. His post has garnered numerous reactions, with many even telling their own accounts of different cultures.

Parminder Singh is the former MD of Google.(Twitter/@parrysingh)
Parminder Singh is the former MD of Google.(Twitter/@parrysingh)

Singh, in his tweet, wrote, "In Malaysia, Sikhs are often referred to as Bengalis! I recently learned this fact and the fascinating history behind it. British India had three sea ports - Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay. British Malaya was served by ships from Calcutta and Madras. Most North Indians used the Calcutta port, the majority of whom were Sikhs recruited for army, police, and security jobs. To the Malay people, everyone who didn't come from Madras, essentially everyone from North India, was a Bengali!" (Also Read: Ex-Google MD shares inspiring tale from when he was a sales manager at Apple)

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He further added, "I learned this during a recent Vipassana meditation retreat in Malaysia from some fellow Malay Indians. In a lighter vein, some of them insisted on calling me Parry Dada (the Bengali term for elder brother). I suppose this is the opposite of how many of us North Indians tend to label everyone from the South as 'Madrasis'!"

Take a look at his post here:

This post was shared on April 14. Since being shared, it has gained more than one lakh views. The post also has over 1,000 likes and numerous comments. Many people flocked to the comments section of the post to share their thoughts. (Also Read: Ex-Google MD shares how stranger saved him from car accident, asks Twitter for tales of kindness. They deliver and how)

Here's how people reacted to it:

An individual wrote, "That is so amusing. Reminds me of what a salwar-kurta/kameez is called in Odisha. It is called, believe it or not, Punjabi! Imagine telling the shopkeeper there 'show me colourful Punjabis'".

A second added, "Interesting. In East Africa, Sikhs are called Kala Singha. The earliest immigrant Sikh was one Kala Singh, and Indians with beards and similar turbans like Kala Singh got the same name tag."

"I learnt this when I was talking to a local Dada in Penang, it was quite fascinating as the real Punjabis and Bengalis can't be more different and can't be more similar both, two extreme poles so different yet same," posted a third.

A fourth commented, "Our tour guide told us this when we visited Penang. They have local bread too, which is called Paggali/Bengali."

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