I cringe every time I hear Filipinos mention ‘Bumbay,’ in obvious reference to SOME Indian nationals who engage in 5-6, a money-lending scheme that charges the borrower a 20% monthly interest rate.
The term is not only derogatory and stereotypical, it is used inaccurately. Indian nationals are not called ‘Bombay.’ They’re Indians.
Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) which apparently is the word origin of ‘Bumbay’ is a city in India. Even the people who live in the city are not called ‘Mumbais.’
‘Bumbay’ is a decades-old reference to turban-wearing, usually bearded people who engaged in small retail business like selling umbrellas, blankets and other goods. Filipino parents would warn their small kids that if they didn’t behave, the ‘Bumbay’ would come and get them.
Besides, there are other people, Filipinos included, who also engage in 5-6.
Let us retire this old stereotype.
While we’re at it, let’s also stop using the word ‘Muslim’ in a derogatory fashion. I have often heard Filipinos say that the ‘Muslims’ are taking over small businesses in their towns and cities.
To denigrate an entire race, religion or a group of people because of actions of a few is plain wrong.
Just because Hitler was Austrian doesn’t mean all Austrians were Nazis. Just because there are drug lords who are Mexican or Chinese doesn’t mean we should be calling all Mexicans and Chinese drug lords. Just because there are Filipinos who eat dog meat doesn’t make all Filipinos dog-eaters.
This is the year 2017. Our little kids have other bigger things to be fearful about other than being whisked away by the ‘Bumbay.’