Stereotypes: Arabic vs German vs Indian vs Filipino

I woke up at 6 AM, had my breakfast, drank green tea, showered and then I went to gym just in time for my 8:30 AM circuit training. I followed that by a yoga class at 9:30 AM; then I showered again and I got ready to start my weekend (which happens to be on a Friday here in Dubai).

I looked at my watch, and it was 10:50 AM, “Oooh shiiiiit, I’m late”. I had to make it to McDonald’s for their yummy big breakfast before 11 AM and it would take a normal person 15 minutes to go from my gym to the nearest McDonald’s, not including the lift time and walking time.

So what would a typical Lebanese guy do? A reasonable man, would just say, hey, I can’t make it on time and the rules at McDonald’sstate that they would not serve breakfast after 11 AM. Nope, not me… I ran to the lift, then I went down, ran from my lift to my car, put the seatbelt and sunglasses as I was driving, drove like maniac (breaking the speed limit) until i reached there on 11:05 AM.

Me: I know I’m late, but is it possible to order breakfast?

Girl, looked at her boss: Can we still serve breakfast?

Boss: We only have big breakfast.

Me: Perfect, please give me two meals, with coffee, take away.

I was thrilled. I was very happy. But what is the point of this story? I am not trying to bore you to death with the nitty-gritty of my life; here is what I am trying to do.

Despite considering my self the black sheep of the Lebanese people or the Arabic world as a bigger group, I realized that my behavior was so typical of my people, the Lebanese people and the greater Arabic region. I broke the speed limit law and I tried to negotiate my way out of another rule in McDonald’s.

Can you break this speed limit?

Title: can you break this speed limit?
From Flickr
User: John Talbot

So this article is slightly different from my usual articles. I do not aim at covering all stereotypes associated with Arabic people, German people, Filipino people or Indian people ( I have already done that in separate posts); my target is to highlight few areas where cultural and behavioral traits vary to a great extent. So let’s get started.

Attitude Towards Rules and Law

Arabic (The rules do no apply to me)

Arabic people don’t really believe that rules were made to be broken, they do not, really. A typical Arabic person believes that everyone should follow the rules strictly; Everyone but himself or herself of course. He/she is always the exception. After all, rules were created for human beings of average intelligence, but nooo, he/she is way too intelligent for rules to apply to them.

Note: My crazy driving (breaking the speed limit), going to McDonald’s to negotiate a breakfast meal after 11 AM are perfect examples how Arabic people try to find their way around rules.

German ( I follow the rules religiously)

German people are notorious for their love of rules and their strict adherence to what the law says. It is an admirable quality and possibly one of the most essential pillars in their success and prosperity as a society and an industrial nation.

Girl a work

Girl a work
From Flickr
User: Ben Raynal

Filipino (No one is looking?)

No one is looking? A Filipino is likely to break the law. Standing in line is taking too long at the Filipino Embassy, overtake your kabayan, why not? You can’t sell food in Church. Why? sell food in the church.

Indian (Is this law enforced?)

If a certain rule is enforced and punished by law, an Indian man would follow such a rule strictly. If not, then he is likely to ignore common sense and social norms and do the activity which serves his best interest. Example, In Dubai, speed limits are enforced aggressively by Dubai Police with Cameras and Radars, So Indian people usually drive extremely slow, most of the time considerably under the speed limit. On the other hand, an Indian man would likely remain seated in a Metro while a lady is standing and hanging on during the trip. Despite the “gentleman” code frowning on such behavior, law doesn’t forbid it, so the average Indian is not motivated enough to adhere to the unspoken and unenforced code.

Attitude towards work

Arabic (I am the boss, bosses drink coffee and read the newspaper)

Have you heard this story? There were 10 teams competing in a rowing competition, each team has 9 members. German, French, Chinese, Japanese, etc… and one Arabic team, selected randomly from multiple Arabic countries.

The race was completed, all 9 teams arrived, all except the Arabic team. Few minutes passed and the Arabic team was nowhere to be seen. Half an hour later, the Arabic team arrived. Unlike, the other 9 teams, where one team member was giving directions and 8 other members rowing; In the Arabic team, 8 members were giving directions and one member was rowing.

Obviously, this is a joke, but it isn’t so far from the truth. Most Arabic people are not hardworking and would prefer to boss people around rather than do any actual work. Hell, most of my friends, after getting their Engineering or Business or Pharmaceutical degree, end up doing an MBA or a PMP. Hey, they all want to be managers.

German (I will do my best, always)

Hardworking, intelligent and creative. Germany’s brain power and work ethic is the main reason why it is the 4th biggest economy and the 3rd in terms of exports volume.

Filipino (Hi Sir/Maam, how can I help you?)

Despite the Philippines being an Asian country, Filipinos are not typically known for being hard-working. Filipinos love having fun, singing, dancing, acting, they love social interactions and leisure activities and thrive in related areas. Two more common traits are, Filipinos are very friendly and they like to multi-task. Considering these traits, Filipinos excel in customer service, health care (Nursing) and administrative related jobs.

Note: It would be stupid to imply that whole nation can lean towards customer service, as you still need the Engineers, Programmers, Medical Staff, Politicians… for a society to function properly (referring here to a Filipino working in the Philippines), yet, A typical “oversees Filipino” would be employed in customer service, Nursing or administrative work.

Indian (It sure looks like I’m working hard)

Indians work hard if placed under pressure, pretend to be working hard if left at ease. So Indian people always appear to be working hard, they are very careful about maintaining such an image. On the other hand, Indians are not creative and tend to rip off the success of others.

Example: remember the video “10 hours walking in NYC as a woman”? It took Indian creativity just 12 days to rip off the idea and make “10 hours of walking in Mumbai as a woman”. A huge percentage of Indians are copy cats and are pretty bad in tasks requiring creativity.

In the Gym

Arabic (I am a the hero, for few seconds at least)

Arabic men go the Gym to build muscles and bulk up. They have ginormous biceps, shoulders and chest but they somehow forget to do “legs workout day” and end up having thin and weak legs that are greatly disproportionate with their overdeveloped upper body (i.e. chicken legs). Ask them to run 400 meters without stopping, they will probably fail to do so, because their cardio capacity and endurance is non-existent and their muscles were just developed for display purposes only.

Arabic women visit the gym to lose weight. They are completely terrified of carrying weights; Somehow, they believe that if they do accidentally carry some weight, they will wake up to a scary realization that their body has turned so masculine, perhaps like the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Fit and sexy girl

Fit and sexy girl
From Flickr
User: Nathan Larkin

So what do you think? is she sexy? do you agree with me? Here is another photo, hell yes, she is sexy.

Another Photo

Another Photo
From Flickr
User: Nathan Larkin

German/ European ( Unstoppable)

This is possibly applicable to most West and North Europeans, UK, France, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands… etc… So this part is going to be slightly generic and not about German people only. Europeans are usually the fittest in the gym. A European man is usually interested in building a strong body and would probably follow a strict cross-fit like* training, balancing his cardio and strength workouts.

European ladies in the Gym are very fit, you might be shocked to see some of them even carrying heavier weights than men. (Note to the Arabic ladies who might stumble upon this article, yes European ladies still look feminine and sexy despite carrying heavy weights ). European ladies usually have extremely high endurance because they are very persistent and committed in their training; they do consistently beat men in endurance challenges.

At the gym From Flickr User: Andrey Naumov Original:

At the gym
From Flickr
User: Andrey Naumov

Filipino (Lets dance)

Let me paint a small picture to you about life in Dubai before I can dive into the details. Different nationalities tend to live in different communities; example, Motor City and Dubai Marina have high percentages of European people, Satwa and Deira have high percentages of Filipino, Mirdif has high percentage of local Emirati people, Karama and Bur Dubai have high percentages of Indian people, Discovery gardens has a high percentage of Arabic people.

If you go to any gym in any area having a Filipino majority, Zumba would certainly be the most popular class, heavily attended by both Filipino men and women. In contrary, Arabic culture creates a homophobic atmosphere resulting in absolutely no men attending any Zumba or dance related classes; European and Indian cultures seem to stand on the neutral side on this matter.

Filipinos love dancing and they are pretty good at it. I just love watching them dance before my strength/cardio class begins. On the other hand, Filipinos tend to be less enthusiastic about less “dancy” classes where strength, power and endurance are required. Even when attending such classes, Filipinos tend to carry less weight, do less repetitions and take longer breaks while their European classmates are going non-stop like machines.

Here is a video from Fitness First Burjuman Center (The most crowded gym I have ever been too)

Indian (I follow a healthy lifestyle)

Indian men and women tend to have average gym related behavior. They aren’t the fittest around the gym, neither are they the laziest; they have low levels of obesity (it could be the diet / healthy lifestyle). The majority of those who join the gym, do so for health purposes and have no intention of becoming professional athletes. A typical pragmatic Indian behavior.

So that is all for now :), I might expand this article in the future if I get more ideas.


Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, the Human Breeds, I am very grateful to anyone who does, even more to those who take the time to write a comment. I do apologize for not being so consistent in writing and I especially apologize for not replying to most of the comments. I will make no excuses and no promises for the future but I just want to let you know that I do read all the comments and I sincerely value every second you spend voicing your opinions, views and observations. Thank You.