Things Non-Pakistanis Will Say To Pakistanis Living in North America

By Kanwal Rafiq | 2 Mar, 2017

We’ve all seen it. The look on your friend’s face when they find out you’re a Pakistani. The widening in the eyes. The questions beginning to pop-up over their head in large imaginary speech bubbles. You know, the ones we all love answering so much. And patiently you do answer them, but mentally you’re rolling your eyes and lifting an eyebrow.

So once and for all, I’ve picked out the most popular ones to let our beloved friends know what really goes through our mind when these questions are asked.

1. “But you parents aren’t here.” 

When it’s Ramadan and you’re fasting. “Here, eat this. Your parents aren’t here.” When you’re at a party and everyone is getting lit. “Here, drink some. Your parents aren’t here.”


2. “So where are you REALLY from?”

I was born in Canada…oh wait, but my skin color says I’m not a “real” Canadian right? Hold on one second while I just pull out a detailed account of my lineage from

3. “What do your parents think about marrying someone of your choice?”

Ever heard of honor killings? It’s a real thing. And pretty much all of Pakistan believes in them, obviously including my parents. Long story short, I’d be dead (lol jk).

4. “You’re from Pakistan? I knew you looked Middle Eastern!” 

Wow, your geography is actually quite impressive. *rolls eyes*

5. “Is Pakistan a desert?”

Yup, and camels our main source of transportation. Just gotta make the most of whatever you have right?

6. “Why do you guys marry your cousin?” 

Simple. Because us brown people are creepy exotic creatures who do all kinds of weird shit.

7. “So like, do you guys hate India?”

Hate is a mild description of what I really feel for the “others.” God forbid we ever eat their food, share their culture, or watch any of their movies. You can’t trust them.

8. “Do you guys only eat curry?” 

Yes, we are culturally superior and any other cuisine doesn’t compare. My nostrils crave for that refreshing aroma of onions and spices mixed into a big pot of delicious yellowish-orange goodness. And my taste buds accept nothing less.

9. “Do girls go to school in Pakistan?”

Well we live in a strictly male-dominated society so what do you think? We obviously don’t have any successful women coming out of Pakistan like Sharmeen Obaid or Fiza Farhan.

10. “Do they get internet there?” 

Well either we’re living in a desert or in a cave. It’s impossible for wireless signals to reach places where you’re literally under a rock.

11. “Is it safe?”

My parents visit every year and they’ve never had a problem. But people are out to get you there. It’s not like the rest of the world where good and bad humans coexist.

12. “Aren’t you hot?” 

Followed by a stream of dreadful questions like “so you never wear a bikini? Even at the beach? But why are you so strict about it? what if it’s 50 degrees?” And then the simple closing statement, “I could never.” …Well, what do you want me to say?


Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below!

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