And SAIP Means What?
At Karma Kerala, we aim to best advice our customers as to what to expect of the mustachioed Keralite. Unlike the rest of India where pesky vendors and beggars hound foreigners, Kerala stands apart! In fact, the locals tend to not interact unless approached to, first. Clearly, far more mysterious than anywhere else in India.
This is not to say that there is no sign of the culture shock that happens when a white person walks about town. Often closed spaces like a train or bus journey brings about hilarious encounters. Curiosity takes over and personal boundaries fade away when the Malayali, the native Keralite, manages to overcome the shock of seeing a ‘Saip’ in close proximity.
You’ve guessed right ‘Saip’ refers to whites exclusively and is the modified Kerala slang version of the colonial ‘Sahib’. However, there is no need to be alarmed in being addressed or talked about as ‘Saip’ as the word has shed its connotations of oppression to be a well-liked slang that reeks of bonhomie.
The newest and the current favorite is ‘Saip Shock’ – it embodies the curious state that makes perfectly sane people go dumbstruck. With the number of such ‘Saip shock’ incidents on the rise they are often portrayed in local pop culture to much amusement.
Nothing quite hits the Saip Shock affliction on the head as this hilarious blog post by a white living in Kerala.