Multiple Locations: Y.K. Chandrashekhar Gouda, a techie from Bengaluru who is on a company assignment in Melbourne was in a state of shock when a local resident called him a “Northie” and asked him to behave down under in the south. Gouda apparently could not just comprehend the geographical slur and was in a state of shock for the next 2 hours.
In a similar incident, Parmeet Todhi, an apparel businessman from New Delhi who is on a recreational tour to Moscow was referred to as a Southie and was told to learn the ways of up-north.
Gouda later told a local newspaper, “Yes it was a racial slur. Someone discriminated against me on basis of my ethnicity, my origin. But what was more shocking was that the person called me a Northie. This is the word which I have actually used against many other people all my life. I feel like I am having an identity crises.”
Parmeet also talked to an online daily and narrated the whole incident, “I was taken aback! I was shocked. But more than that I felt the pinch of the word Southie. I have used similar slurs to mock others, a good taste of my own medicine perhaps.”
Noted sociologist Mahishmati Kar agrees that reported cases of geographical racism are growing in numbers among the world population. She said, “As more and more people are traveling within and outside their own countries they encounter more and more Xenophobic people. Such behavior gives rise to geography based slurs. However while using these slurs people forget that directions are relative. You could call someone a ‘westerner’ but be mindful that for the person, who stays to your east, you are also a westerner. Technically speaking only people at the tip of North and South pole can use words against others which won’t be used for them.”
While both the individuals Gouda and Todhi have not decided to press racism charges they have decided to cut short their trips and return to the home country.