Joke – India


An Indian man is driving down the road and sees a Sardar sitting out in the field, staring blankly at the sky. The man asks the Sardar, “What are you doing there?” The Sardar responds, “I’m trying to win a Nobel Prize.  I hear they give them for being out standing in your field.”


R.C.D. first starting hearing jokes like these around the age of 10 or 11.  He heard it on a trip to India to visit his grandparents.  He doesn’t remember the exact time he heard it because jokes like these are apparently very common.  He explained that they are the similar to “dumb blonde” jokes in American culture.  I asked if Sardars in India were stereotyped as unintelligent, and his response was no.  He just said it was someone to poke fun at.  I checked with a second reference, who wishes to remain anonymous as well, to answer my question.  I found out they are indeed seen as dirty, stupid, and not well spoken in English at times. My second source said part of this was due to their physical appearance with their long hair and beards.  The other part was credited it the types of jobs they are normally associated with. Sardars are characteristic with taking more labor-intensive jobs; ones that require more manpower and strength than actual intelligence.

Sardars are people from the Sikh community. They can be easily identified because they wear a Dastar as part of their religion.  There are about 28.5 million Sikhs, most of which reside in Punjab, India[1].  Their group size may seem large, but in reality, they only make up about 2% of India’s population.  This may be reason for why people make fun of them.  Not only do they wear Dastars that many are unaccustomed to, but they also represent a small minority.  Others may also feel intimidated by their increasing population and influence.

I am not entirely sure of the context this type of joke is used it, but one can image it should be fairly similar to that of other blazon populare.  These jokes are fun when done in small groups of friends and peers, but most likely considered rude in public or with a Sardar present.