Weekend Laugh: ‘Ello Governor! Does Nikki Haley Tip Sikh Cabbies Extra?

Dark skin, colorful turbans, well-groomed beards, and apparently driving taxis in New York are what characterize a majority of Sikhs, but South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley distinguishes herself both physically and religiously from these labels.

A recent convert Christianity from Sikhism, Haley never quite fit the stereotypical Sikh bill. Which is why no moment is perhaps more cringe-worthy than when the 40-year-old governor was recently asked if she gives an extra large tip to Sikh cab drivers.

As she answers TIME’s 10 Questions sporting a rose-colored suit and her South Carolina accent, Haley is the epitome of South Asian American cultural assimilation. Even more befuddling is that the interviewer’s cab driver comment comes after Haley reveals the challenges she encountered as a governor when being religiously affiliated with Sikhism.

Haley responds with a chuckle and eloquently skirts around the absurdity, while the rest of us gawk at the stereotype of Sikhs as taxi drivers, and assuming all brown people share some odd affinity toward each other that results in hefty tips.

Watch the video here and be the judge. Does the racial stereotyping make you say “awkward!”?

Medha Imam is an editorial intern at Divanee.com.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like the implication in the first paragraph that Nikki Haley does not look South Asian (or that Sikhs are necessarily all dark skinned. Haley is the biological daughter of two Sikhs and it seems unlikely that she’d look the way she does if everyone in her family had dark complexions). For what its worth she’s always looked Indian to me.