Mumbaikar

Mumbaikar is the Marathi word to signify a resident of Mumbai. Even though the term has been in use for quite some time it gained popularity after the formal renaming of the city from Bombay to its local marathi name Mumbai. Unlike the native Marathi print and publishing media, the English media referred to the city residents as Bombayites. With the renaming and rise in the popularity of the term led to common adoption of the term Mumbaikar. Generally speaking, the term encompasses a whole range of ethnicities and cultures of which Mumbai is a melting pot.

Its a general practice in Marathi language speakers to add the verb kar (which means do or does) to the end of individuals native village/place of residence and refer the person using it. So based on this general rule natives of Pune city are called as Punekar, Nashik city as Nashikkar and so on using. It is also fairly common to find people who have their last name based of this rule, so some natives of Goregaon do have their last name as Goregaonkar, similary Chiplunkar from Chiplun and so on. Similar surnames based on profession with a kar at the end are also very common.

Some of the expected characteristics from a Mumbaikar or the Anglicised Mumbaiite who is native, born and brought up in, or naturalised to Mumbai can be: Easy going person who can mix easily with people. Speaks a dialect of Hindi known as Hindi which is markedly different from other “proper” dialects. It tends to be a lot more informal. Another characteristic is a sort of mild irreverence that comes across when a typical Mumbaikar speaks to others, and people from outside Mumbai (especially from the Hindi-speaking north) tend to feel offended initially when they speak to a Mumbaikar for the first time. This is not to say that they are outright impolite, just that the typical formality that one comes to expect is a bit lacking. A typical address to a person (friend, unrelated person or even a stranger) might start with “Boss…”, instead of the more polite “Bhai-saab…” (brother) or “Sir…” or any other accepted norm of addressing someone. This is especially true of youngsters in college. However, women are most commonly addressed using “Behen-ji” (sister) or “Madam”. Mumbaikars are usually found going about their routine work without paying too much attention to the time or goings-on. Indeed it is perhaps this apparent lack of time that makes Mumbaikars cut down on pleasantries and get straight to the point.

A survey by journalists of the Reader’s Digest, reported in June 2006,[1] claimed Mumbaikars were the rudest city residents in the world from a comparison with 34 other principal cities. Mumbai was bottom with a score of 32%, against a top score of 80% in New York.[2] However, Mumbaikars display great solidarity and large-heartedness in times of peril, examples being the July 26, 2005 flooding[3] and the recent train bombings on July 11, 2006.[4] In both cases, people did whatever they could to help the victims.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: