Haagen Dazs opens no-Indians-allowed store in Delhi

The inaugural Delhi outlet of Haagen Dazs (A Danish phrase that means, "Made in New Jersey," apparently) opened with a "no Indians allowed" policy. The sign on the door read, "Access restricted only to holders of international passports." After a public hue and cry, the franchise operator (who is Indian) dropped the policy and claimed it had never existed.
I immediately called Ramit. "You are an international traveler, and you have a passport, so you can go in", I said. Ramit's response was instant: I tried to enter but they said you are not allowed for you don't have an international passport.

I am normally not given to immediate emotional reactions, but I couldn't resist this time. I was, to be honest, upset. How can they do this to an Indian, in India? Do a story on TOI or NBT? Do it for print or Online? Call other media friends and colleagues? I simply didn't know how to react. Print would have a better impact, but should I wait that long?

Sorry, Indians not allowed

(Image: Times of India)

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  1. “I am still unable to figure out who in his right senses would have advised the dessert company to do something so stupid.”

    Sums up my thoughts well. Who ever thought this was a cleaver piece of marketing needs to reconsider their career path.

  2. “Häagen-Dazs” is definitely not Danish. It’s a made-up name and doesn’t mean anything…just check wikipedia :)

    1. I’m pretty sure Cory doesn’t actually think that it means “Made in New Jersey” either – I rather think this is a reference to… okay, I actually don’t know to what, but I’m sure it is one :P

      1. From the season finale of the fourth season of Seinfeld:

        TOM: What do you mean made up?

        JERRY: It’s made up. Haagen-Dazs is made up. It’s not Danish.

        TOM: You’re crazy.

        JERRY: No I’m not. (to Michael) George. Is Haagen-Dazs Danish?

        MICHAEL: What do you mean Danish?

        GEORGE: (to the guy next to him) This guy stinks. (speaking of Michael)

        JERRY: Danish. Is it from Denmark?

        MICHAEL: No, they make it in New Jersey. It’s just a Danishy name.

        TOM: I can’t believe that. They fooled *me* Jerry.

  3. Lyrics of the song accompanying an advert on the Haagen Dazs website. (http://www.haagen-dazs.co.uk/index.htm)

    “Open up your door,
    I can’t see your face no more.
    Love is so hard to find,
    Even harder to define.
    Oh Open up your door,
    We’ve time to give.
    and I’m feeling so much more,
    Open up the door,
    Open up your door.

  4. They’re owned by Nestlé. Not really surprised. Someone probably came up with the idea that foriegn people have more money and they can have an easier time selling overpriced icecream without any poor people around, and no-one at the table had enough of a soul left to point out the tiny ethical problem.

    1. They’re not owned by Nestle, they’re owned by General Mills and Nestle happens to be one of their international distributors/franchisees.

      Lots of companies will rebrand or license to other companies in the international market, usually because they have enough sense to know that they have no idea how to handle their product in a foreign market or it is too expensive to and instead leave it up to local companies that already have the infrastructure and know-how.

  5. I don’t get it, did he provide a passport or did he just try to go in?

    If it was available to ANY world traveler, I’d see no problem in this…I live in a community where I wouldn’t want 99% of the residents to come visit me. Why? Because they have a racist / xenophobic world view that comes from living in a small town (if Indianapolis could be called ‘small’…sure acts like it).

    I would GLADLY make a rule stating only international travelers are welcome…it would filter out the idiots almost immediately, leaving, yeah, still a good mix of uncouth idiots but a larger mix of people that actually see outside of the 20 square miles they will most likely live and stay the rest of their lives.

  6. I am a white, middle-class American male (oh and evangelical protestant as well), and I would patently refuse to patronize or even enter an establishment that I knew had such a racist, inflamatory OUTRAGEOUS policy. Despite my middle-aged bulge and appreciation of good icecream I doubt I will ever buy this product again.

  7. It’s a fake constructed name, but you have to wonder if it wasn’t faked to not resemble any language.. ‘ä’ would be Swedish, Finnish or German (Norwegian and Danish use ‘æ’ instead, but it’s just a typographical difference really)

    But none of those languages would normally ever have an ‘a’ after an ‘ä’ (two vowels after each other, and it doesn’t really make for a nice diphthong)

    Dutch OTOH does have the word ‘Haag’ (hedge) but the double-vowel gets dropped in the plural (‘Hagen’ not ‘Haagen’).

    ‘zs’ on the other hand is AFAIK a digraph only used in Hungarian (where it corresponds to a sound usually transcribed as ‘zh’).

    So whether by lucky accident or clever design, they managed to come up with a name that’s foreign to everybody.

  8. isn’t illegal to restrict access to a pubblic venue based on nationality? i bet it is specially if you do not allow the locals in.

  9. “not to mention that he is risking financial loss by limiting the number of customers that can visit his store.”

    Not necessarily, for the same reasons Prada boutiques, Saville Row tailors and Mercedes garages won’t lose money by excluding some people: it creates an atmosphere of exclusivity and means sales staff are only using their time serving the big spenders. It’s a good idea to avoid being a big fat racist while you’re pursuing this though.

  10. What non-sense! Considering the number of people in India owning an international passport, this new outlet will soon find it hard to do business here.

  11. Why s vry sngl thng sm dt ds rs t th mst grgs f ttcks. f y s yr wn mny nd pn str y shld b bl t llw nyn n thr tht y wnt. Gz ppl stp smply cmplnng bt vry lttl thng. Y dn’t hv t fk trg t vrythng. Pck nd chs fw mprtnt thngs.

    1. mnichols42:

      Discriminating against a billion people is an important thing! There laws against exactly this kind of policy in most countries (India is probably one of them, although I don’t know). How would you feel to be excluded just because of your nationality? Let’s all go get some icecream! Oh no, not you, M Nichols. You’re part of the wrong demographic.

      Wake up, dude. This is a very big deal, done by a very big brand, which is part of a very very big company that should know better. Freedom to disciminate is not an economic right most people will sympathise with.

        1. Damn right it’s righteous, Ezekiel 25:17 fucking righteous, to stand up for the ideal that we’re all equal on this earth. If you’ve really got a theory explaining why owning a shop gives you the right to discriminate against the entire local population I would like to read it.

      1. The only difference is setting, though. In international airports, it’s already a given that some shops you may not enter (well, I concede, you may enter but not purchase) unless you’re an “international” traveller… for tax reasons, which in the grand scheme of things is about as arbitrary as you can get. No one cares. I can’t enter certain areas of a country for religious or political reasons because I’m the wrong skin colour, hold the wrong convictions or otherwise don’t fit the bill. Still, few people complain. I can’t enter the VIP area in a few clubs because I didn’t join their program, didn’t spend enough there, didn’t meet their dress code or (on a few occasions) because the bouncer plain didn’t like my hairstyle. Still, no outrage.

        This is an example of prejudice which is never fun, but seriously, pointing fingers at this is poor sportsmanship: It sucks, it’s an issue, but there are bigger axes to grind than some people not being able to get ice cream.

        1. Some people not being able to get icecream is very different to a specific race not being able to get icecream. Icecream is not important, but equality is.

          This wasn’t in an international airport. In an airport you can’t buy things from certain shops because the goods don’t have import duty imposed on them. Anyone unable to buy from the shops could do so if they were on an international flight.

          1. Sorry if I didn’t make this clear, but my point was thus: I am in no way trying to justify this shop’s policies. On the whole, though, they do not represent a trend (as fas as I am aware), they do not apply a strictly racist policy (believe it or not, but plenty of people have international passports when it comes to being in India… including a number of Indians) and, most importantly, the same outcry would not have happened if they opened this store in a place where an exclusionist policy is already ingrained as being acceptable (like an airport), where they could have the exact same policy and just adjust price to match tax without any loss of face.

            The only difference in this story is place.

    2. how about if i open a shop and (since it is mine) i do not allow black people, women and gay people in? think i can in any civilized country?

      how is it that you fail to see how racist this behaviour is?

      if you wish to open a restricted by your tastes venue you can always open a private club. these are invitation only and you can decline membership at will.

  12. we’ve lived 60 some years without this feeling, but some how i’m brought back to “indians and dogs not allowed.” This is complete bullshit. Haagan Daz is not such an exclusive product. Go to anywhere else in the world and you will see lower middle class people eating it. I would not compare it to the exclusivity of owning a m.benz. Secondly if the owner wanted to create exclusivity, he/she should have charged a serious premium that would only allow only certain people to consume it. But to ban indians in india from walking into the store is complete sh**t. In one single act we’ve gone back to british india.

    I say we ban Haagan Daz in India. We show them that we don’t take kindly to this kind of segregation.

  13. It’s entirely possible that this wasn’t even a corporate decision, but one by local management, wanting to keep the “rifraff” out, as they thought they would make the place look cheap. Foreigners, on the other hand, make the place look glamorous. A lot of upmarket Indian restaurants have probably done the same thing for decades, but the mistake here was putting it on a sign. The sign will get taken down, but the policy will remain!

  14. This is not really that surprising. There are “Havelis” – ancient royal residences in Rajasthan, basically touristy places that have similar policies. In this instance, I don’t believe Nestle had anything to do with it. Indians are known to do it to themselves. I used to be an Indian citizen.

  15. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if an Indian company opened a shop with similar policies in Washington. Would it be their right or would it be all over O’Reilly and Beck by the end of the day?

    Do the people who favour the business (in this case, Hawley & mnichols42) think that any private company should be allowed to discriminate like this? What about a private bus company? What about if this private bus company said that the members of a certain race should get preferential treatment? Should they be allowed to do this because it’s their right?

    Quite frankly, I like this picture better than yours.

    1. tll y wht th frst bs cmpny tht nly llws blnd ndn wmn nly nd rfss t llw wht mddl clss mn n brd prms nt t cmpln. Y ppl. Hv y trvld nywhr. D y rlz tsd yr dlsnl lbrl ds thr r ppl wth dffrnt ds. t s nt bt m spprtng th chc f th shpkpr t s bt m dfndng chc.

      1. “It is not about me supporting the choice of the shopkeeper it is about me defending choice.”

        Are you trying to conflate this with Voltaire? “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it” is about freedom of speech, not freedom of action.

        Choosing to have a racist policy and having a racist policy are the same thing. I’d like to stress again that this is illegal in many places.

      2. You know, in the United States and in many other countries, it is actually illegal to discriminate based upon race whether you’re providing housing, goods, services, etc. Your are not allowed to exclude people from your business based upon race, that’s the law. No matter what your opinion of the law, you have to follow it – and people complaining about a business that doesn’t observe it is not unreasonable.

        Now, whether it’s the law in India, I don’t know. But it’s not right, and pointing the discrimination out isn’t wrong.

        If you tried to open a white-only, or black-only, bus service? Yeah, you’d be running afoul of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Good luck with that.

        1. I’m not disagreeing with you but you’re still using US law. You’re right, it SHOULD be illegal to discriminate in India. But apparently, it’s not. You can be indignant about it all you like but it’s India’s business. Not ours.

          1. I said I don’t know if it’s illegal. Do you know for sure that it isn’t? I know for sure it’s illegal in the US and Australia.

            And no, it’s not India’s business alone. They’re as subject to criticism as anyone else.

      3. You people.

        BINGO!!!

        Yes, you are an obvious troll. You have commented ONLY on this thread, your comments are inflammatory, and you just used a classic troll-trope.

        Please crawl back into whatever racist sewer you just crawled out of.

  16. Whatever he meant by “A Danish phrase that means, “Made in New Jersey,” apparently” it is clearly intended as a slight to New Jerseyans! And we demand an immediate apology!!

  17. Uh. “Exclusive Preview to Holders of International Passports”. So this is a special event, before the shop opens, where only world travelers can attend — but once the shop opens permanently, anyone can shop there?

    That’s, uh, not as bad as people make it sound.

  18. This type of store was common in Leningrad and Moscow during the Soviet era. It was not about racism in that case, but about gathering and controlling the flow of foreign currency. Since possessing foreign currency was a capital offense at some points for the average Soviet citizen, they were simply not allowed in the stores.

  19. >> the store owner should be allowed to pick and choose his customers at will, its his store after all.

    1. Can we stop right there with the strawman of equating criticism with outlawing? Is there a Godwin-like term for how threads pointing out racist business policies invariably give way to idiots schooling us all that “it’s his store after all”, as if that fact indemnifies the store against complaining/boycotting/ridiculing.

    2. That said, here in the states, if my tax dollars pay to provide infrastructure and police protection to a business, I damn well better be allowed in it or I WILL seek to outlaw the policy.

    1. racist policy, how do you know the store owners decision was based entirely/only on race?
      there are plenty of legitimate reasons to limit entrance to private property other than race. i have no idea were his store is located (perhaps the neighborhood is rife with petty crime) or the local people are just plain annoying or something. due keep in mind that the store owner is an indian.

      2. That said, here in the states, if my tax dollars pay to provide infrastructure and police protection to a business, I damn well better be allowed in it or I WILL seek to outlaw the policy.

      thats cute now prove your point to all of us and try to gain entry to the nearest financial/research/military institute you can find. i assure you that you will be thrown out or arrested

  20. Was this policy some sort of bastard stepchild of Duty Free Rules, that you need an international ticket to buy products? Did the guy misunderstand that? That’s about the only possible thing that could explain this, other than just being an a-hole.

  21. mnichols42, Choice is a deceptive word. No, you cant have a choice or right to do everything you want. For example, i dont have a right to kill someone else. I dont have a right to take someone else’s property, and i DONT have a right to propagate inequality and racism.
    Its a different matter if these guys did that in their house. Its their house, they can do what ever they want. However, This is a public place – an airport built with Indian tax-payer’s money. Then they expect protection from the Indian Police who again, is paid by the Indian Tax payer. Taking that into account, These a-holes have NO right to place a banner like that. Its offensive as hell.

    PS, if you wont complain if you’re not allowed on a bus, it means you dont have balls.

  22. >> It is not about me supporting the choice of the shopkeeper it is about me defending choice.

    Ahh…a defender of choice is amongst us! Praise be! But…what are you defending against? Others who choose to ridicule it? I sense a paradox here…

    >> I tell you what the first bus company that only allows blind Indian women only and refuses to allow a white middle class man on board I promise not to complain. You people.

    Such magnanimity! With all the other prejudices you are forced to endure as a white middle class male, you still are willing to boldly defend the rights of other racists to discriminate against YOU??!! Bravo, sir! You and those blind Indian women would certainly be on a level playing field if the likes of you were in charge, I’d say!

  23. MNichols42, what if my choice is to burn down shops that won’t allow me in? If the shop discriminates against the local community, will the local fire brigade show up when I exercise my choice of the molotov cocktail surprise? Will the neighbors join the bucket brigade, or will they stick out their ankles to trip you up?

    Even in a nominal anarchy there must be a social contract. You will behave in ways acceptable to the community or the community will not accept you. If you are not accepted by the community you will not share in the things the community provides, such as property rights enforcement (which protects you from gangs of thieves) communal response to accidents and disasters (c.g. fire prevention and response) etc. Outlaws are outside the law, read your Norse Sagas sometime.

  24. Not that I’m condoning the practice, but by way of example there are hotels/hotels which require an international passport to stay. The idea is they are for transient travelers, not locals who want a cheap place to stay. Likewise, Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass used to be available only to non-US citizens.

  25. Those who support the right of Haagen Dazs to racially discriminate based on a philosophy of private property rights and market freedom are making one of the strongest possible arguments against free-market capitalism.

  26. Their license should be canceled immediately for even thinking in this manner. Even if they change their policy, they should be asked to close shop. how can they even dream so such a policy. Preposterous. Are there no Raj Thackerays and MNS goons in Delhi? Delhi is too tolerant.

    1. Gandhi would probably forego the ice cream. He was big on the going-hungry thing.

      To the protestors, settle down Il est what you call humour. And yea me=indian from india.

      p.s. never cared much for HD. never stepping in there ever again.

  27. This is the end logic of unrestricted corporate globalization. Multinational businesses can operate anywhere they like without having any connection at all to the area in which they operate.

    The irony is that Haagen Dazs itself is a foreigner in Delhi. Haagen Dazs doesn’t owe anything to Indians, nor does it have any vested interest in the feelings or welfare of Indians. The only reason Haagen Dazs is in India at all is because it’s a good place to make money, and Indians aren’t the target market.

    So what you end up with is an island within India which is owned and operated by a foreign power, for the exclusive benefit of foreigners. This might not be so bad if it was like an embassy. But if it is an embassy, the power it represents isn’t very diplomatic. And rather than one, there are likely to be an increasing number of them popping up all over town, buying out other businesses and driving the local merchants out.

  28. I think it is a bit interesting that people are claiming this is mainly racism. Surely the *Indian* franchise operator could be racist against his own people. However, it is more likely that the discrimination at hand mainly or at least partially socio-economic. Check out fair and lovely skin whitening creams, people expressly ask for fair skinned mates on dating websites, India is full of this type of behavior. This is because darker complexions are associated with lower castes.

    Does he have a right to do this, well it actually depends on the laws in place in Dehli or India. Hopefully after years of having British only clubs in India they passed some laws against this type of stupid behavior.

    I don’t think, or at least I hope that, Haagen Daz as an international chain isn’t stupid enough to pull something that would be this horrible for their publicity.

  29. Just as a side note, it is not Haagen Dazs’ corporate policy, but an independent decision made by the (Indian) franchise owner. So the odd thing about the whole debacle isn’t that a foreign company is banning the locals from partaking, but that a LOCAL business owner is banning the locals from partaking.

    Does that mean he can’t eat his own products?

  30. This sort of thing happens all the time in Asia. The first time I booked a hotel room in Macau at the ferry docks in Hong Kong I was treated to a binder with pictures of the available rooms and a double-columned rates list. One column was the rate for Whites, the other for Chinese. The Whites prices were lower by at least 25%.

    I questioned the Chinese salesman showing me this and asked him if perhaps he hadn’t gotten the order of the columns reversed or something. Why do you want to discriminate against your own ethnic group? He was slightly annoyed that I was assuming discrimination – to him it was a purely pragmatic matter. He explained that the assumption was that a Chinese traveller would, at least half the time, set up some kind of business in his hotel room (girls, gambling, whatever) and so the hotel wanted a cut of that. A White guy was just a tourist and so you wanted to give the lowest rate possible to encourage his custom.

    An amusing side note was that, at the time, the guy who pretty much owned Macau at the time was the crime boss Stanley Ho. He retired to a couple of compounds here in Canada: one in Vancouver and one in Toronto. His retirement caused a rather severe but short-lived gang war: see the Kingpin’s retirement in Daredevil.

    I also note that the Three Gorges Dam’s main construction contracts were limited to foreign firms as the assumption was that local companies would run rackets with shoddy construction material and the whole thing would fall apart killing millions.

  31. This is not news.
    “Access restricted only to holders of international passports” has standard practise for years, in many kinds of establishments in many countries (cheap hotels in Australia spring to mind).

  32. geeze, back off of mnichols. he didnt say he supported the owners choice, just that he should be allowed to make it.

    1. In the case of racism, supporting another person’s “right” to practice it *is* practicing it. This is logically equivalent to saying “look, if some guy in Alabama has a diner and he wants the colored people to sit in the back, well, I don’t think that’s right, but it’s his right to make that decision.” Open and shut case.

      Haagen-Daz should pull this guy’s franchise. I know I’ll think twice about buying their product again.

  33. also, if he truly supported racism, as many seem to think he does, he probably wouldnt be on this blog.

  34. hah, i hadnt noticed he had only posted on this thread. perhaps we do have a troll on our hands after all.

    1. I’m so glad I refreshed before posting an angry comment to you!

      We get this kind of trollery all the time. If one of the Boingers posted “Snow is White – but why?” we’d have a discussion of ice crystal refraction and so on…but some jackhole would come in and say that snow is ACTUALLY black, and that it says so in the Bible or some such nonsense.

  35. This reminds me of going camping in Sinai at the Red Sea 10 years ago when I was living in Cairo. A handful of Egyptian friends and I went to a Bedouin camp (Ras Shyton) to vacation at – and they refused to allow us entry. When we asked why, the owner explained that they only allowed Israeli tourists to camp there. We were offended. “Is this Egypt or Israel?” my friends contested. The owner countered, “The Israeli tourists don’t like your kind here.”

    There’s two issues: 1) The Bedouins consider themselves Arab, not Egyptian, and so their sense of Egyptian nationalism is thin. A few of us were non-Egyptian, but with Arab names. The Bedouins then also insisted that no Arabs were allowed there… despite being Arabs themselves. 2) If Israeli tourists at that camp preferred the owner to rent camp spaces ONLY to them, rather than allow equal access to Egyptians and other Arabs, then they were racists– and the “policy” was yet another extension of European colonialism/zionism in the Middle East. (Refer here to Aimé Césaire’s “Discourse on Colonialism” for connecting the dots.)

    Shortly afterward, the second intifadeh started and so the Israelis stopped being tourists in the Sinai for a good while. As a consequence, the Ras Shyton camp began renting to Egyptians, since they were the only vacationers in Sinai any more at that time. My Egyptian friends have since become very good friends with the Bedouin owner and camp there often.

  36. I understand the sentiment of being butthurt at this kind of policy, but it certainly isn’t unique. Last time I was in Cuba, locals were not permitted inside hotels and some dollar stores, as well as a number of other shops. There were no signs on the doors, but there was usually someone at the door to vet the customers and unlock the door. There is also a policy that if you shop anywhere in Cuba, in a local store, you are charged 10X more for being a Tourist. If you question the policy, you are told “but you are a tourist”.
    In various places in Central America I have sat in a McDonalds with an armed guard at the entrance to keep the locals out.
    In Canada, a suburb of Vancouver, Richmond BC, has had some bickering over business’ Chinese only signage and menus. Here is a fairly typical strip mall photo:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Goldenvillage-mall.jpg

    You would think that they would try to expand their customer base by having some signage or translated menus, but they view it as insignificant.

    1. I understand the sentiment of being butthurt at this kind of policy, but it certainly isn’t unique.

      Non-unique evil is still evil.

  37. More seriously, though, I think this is really a molehill -> mountain sort of thing. The original article’s author claims that “Ramit” has an international passport, but “Ramit” was not explicitly quoted as saying that he presented it when he was refused entry.

    There is no racism here. If there were, the sign wold say, “Indians not allowed”, not “restricted to holders of international passports”. Were such a sign up in the States, I probably wouldn’t be able to get in either, since my passport is domestic. (US Fed issue.) But a similar promotion in Mexico or Canada would allow me to get in.

    HD was trying to make some buzz, probably by adding some sort of international “glamor”, and someone with too thin a skin decided to take it the wrong way. The rest, as we see here, is an explosion of hysterical overreaction.

  38. Quick point: They aren’t discriminating against Race, they are discriminating against Citizenship. There’s nothing uncommon about that.

    The fact that this is an ice cream shop is what makes it stupid. Every other case I’ve heard of requiring foreign passports has been travel related – hotels, rail passes, etc.

  39. Right out of Jolly ol’ Englande,

    See the world and rape it and turn the most noble of savages into busboys and their women into prostitutes.

    My Mom’s best friend is Indian…

    When she visited her, they still talk about “What the Fookin’ British did” all over their country. They kept apologizing to her, but she pointed out we have strong Irish roots and, at least, as Americans we kicked the “Fookin” British out in 1776.

    Really dumb move on their part, the prices alone would protect them without any need to give sparks in a powder keg. I mean, what you’d spend going to a place like that will, in local currency, feed a family for a week. Their only fear should have been people who visited the country being ashamed at personal spending habits they’d thought nothing of earlier. Matter of fact, what I’d do is have a ‘guilt free’ thing where the ice cream costs 50c more an order, but that 50c goes to feed some people. That actually does make it ‘fair’ by old world standards.

  40. Ironically, the Haagen Dazs bars in Trinidad are almost exclusively used by Indians – muslims especially as it’s one of the few places you can go to in the evening that isn’t a bar serving rum.

  41. Perhaps they were selling the icecream duty free?

    Oh, I see Arcane made that joke. Tell me Arcane is joking.

    (FWIW in NZ there was a ruling that nationality is not a prohibited ground of discrimination under the bill of rights)

    1. so? what about those who haven’t? and since when you need a passport to get an ice cream in a civilized country? if anyoone asked for my passport in my own fkin country to serve me a beer or an ice cream he would get a nice punch in the face. and that’s about it.

      1. Good points! Yeah, f*ck this shit. You shouldn’t need a passport for an frickin ice cream in ANY country – let alone your own.

        I just cringe at the word ‘civilized’. I can’t help it: reminds me of racist “white man’s burden” orientalism crap.

        1. I just cringe at the word ‘civilized’. I can’t help it: reminds me of racist “white man’s burden” orientalism crap.

          Funny, it always reminds me of what Gandhi said when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

          Myself, I’ve often pointed out that there is only ONE civilized country in the Western Hemisphere…and even Canada is growing bits of thuggery here and there.

  42. What’s an international passport? I have a national passport, pretty sure everyone else with any old passport has a national one too. Anyone here a citizen of InterNation?

    1. Anyone here a citizen of InterNation?

      Does doing Black Meat with a couple of Interzone boys count?

  43. Funny, but I read the sign’s meaning as completely different than anyone else. Blame it on a poor understanding of formal grammar, but “Access restricted to only” and “Access restricted only to” mean the opposite to me. The first means that only people in the list that follow have access. The second means that access is restricted for people in the list that follows.

    So stay out, you dirty international passport holding goons!

  44. @jacquesphoto wtf… I hate it when people quote wikipedia authoritatively and with 100% confidence. Wikipedia content is all user-edited… you are so ignorant to say “so and so is *definitely* not Danish”. I’d be more inclined to believe you if you quoted the Haagen Dasz website, or some random translator website. but wikipedia? jeez…

  45. Well, this is ass, considering that Haagen Dazs is a bodega-level brand.

    Go into any corner store, any 7-11, and under the cigarette papers and across from the 40s there’s the assortment of lame HD flavors. They *can’t* think their brand is exclusive, especially after Ben & Jerry keeps bringing variety and numminess as the competition.

  46. I don’t think this was meant to be a racist policy – as was pointed out, this is only a preview. Someone probably had a reasonable idea for a promotion, told some underlings to make it happen, and ended up becoming racist somewhere along the way. In other words, I’m guessing the “incompetent” rather than “malicious” type of evil.

  47. The process for my handling cases like this is to get confirmation first. Meaning trust but Verify. However the story was first shown to me, trusting a single source is risky. no offense to anyone intended, it’s a case of then being able to say- “Hey- I checked it out, the person who told us about it seems correct.” Then, I decide to act in line with the results of fact checking and my personal ethics. I’m still fact checking this one. I’ll comment more if/when I find more facts to base intelligent comment on. But it’s never out of line to remind each other- confirm the facts before deciding the next action.

  48. I don’t see what the problem is. The Soviet Union had shops that catered exclusively to foreigners… :)

  49. With 2 dozen billionaires, India is not short of ultra-rich. No luxury brand would ever want to keep them out. If they want to be really exclusive, let them charge a million dollars for their ice cream. But, asking people to show passports for eating icecream is ridiculous. I would rather eat Eddy’s and Baskin Robins than pay money to morons.

    One such sign in British India inspired the creation of one of India’s icons – Taj Mahal hotel (that was attacked by terrorists last year). If it was horrible during the imperial era, it is attrocious in modern India.

    It is not about icecreams or passports. It is about a principle.

  50. The obvious, unspoken problem is that the emerging Indian business and wealthy class want to keep poorer Indians (something the Haagen Dasz prices would have have anyway) out of their shiny new watering holes. Caucasians (i.e. implied by “International” casual Indian English) are not riff raff, not merely by virtue of the high per capita incomes, but are still, in the back of many Indian minds, equated with classiness. Most Indians would have to be tortured on the rack before they admit this, but there is a very clear color preference-a light skinned gathering is per se, classier than a less light skinned one.

    The Indian manager of this outlet probably thought he was a genius for using the ruse of passport possession as
    a way to filter the crowd by skin color, but instead fell flat on his face.

    The British did indeed treat Indians as inferiors in the latter 100 years of the Raj. But it is upper-class Indians who have carefully nurtured the old colonial sensibility, claiming it as their own.

  51. This one seems to be a creative publicity strategy. is Haggen Dazs an International airline company or a food and beverage company where you need to carry a int passport along. All Ass***** involved in putting that banner or making such strategy should be taken for a task and dealt with strictly. Those involved in it are to be sued and the outlet to be closed.

  52. somebody please fire the creative/ copy writing team!

    whoever wrote for this ad, must look at some other career path. please DO NOT enter jobs at the foreign office, public relations, tourism, or anything remotely related to communication!

  53. This is an unfortunate incident which happened right in the capital, Delhi.

    Clearly this is a racist attack happening right in the Indian soil. If they can do in our country and in our capital, then what to speak of treatment for us elsewhere out side India.

    But, how the Govt. allowed them to operate with this kind of attitude is not understandable.

    Hope Govt. will soon take stps to cancel their permit/license at the earliest and send them back to New Jersey.

  54. hello
    It same for indian and specially to delhian.
    If this was in mumbai.. we mumbaikar would have done some thing

    same same same

  55. Discrimination is not a foreign idea in india, but Haagen-Dasz can’t be allowed to have this privilege. It’s a crappy brand with a shitty name.

  56. everyone in my office seemed to be talking about it, so decided to find out wat all the fuss was about. coming to think of it, once things calm down, this whole controversy might serve them well for the future, like they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity. certainly got my attention. ice cream ..anyone?

  57. This is utter rubbish, i am of indian descent but born in a country n hv lived thru apartheid abt 3/4 of my life so i knw how bitter this is…if i were d Indians in India n esp in Delhi, they shud call to hv it immed closed down by public protest !!!!!

  58. If Indian or locals are not allowed then Why Goverment allowed to open this store.
    Haagan Daz is not a problem our attitude towards this issue is a problem.

  59. Obviously no one told the owner that India is expected to have over $512 Billion in retail sales over the next 2 years…alot more than any international traveler I would suspect…shame on them…will not buy this ice cream anymore…

  60. Haagen Dazs is owned by General Mills which is based in Minneapolis MN USA. If they did this in Minneapolis they would have faced more lawsuits than they ever faced in their entire history. GM also owns Pillsbury which is selling branded ” Atta” or whole wheat flour in India. Lets start with a boycott of Pillsbury in India till the Chairman of General Mills issues an apology and the INDIAN GUYS WHO WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS are publicly castigated.

  61. First, residents should sit the owner down and tell them what idiots they are for following orders from New Jersey Hagen Daaz if he was indeed following orders. If this was the owner’s own genius, well he’s a fool and needs to look in the mirror to check his own skin color. Great, he’ll hopefully see who he is.

    Then, they should stop going to this establishment, and have this stupid place shut down.

    But let me guess. The idiots we Indians are with insane amounts of patience for crap thrown at us, we’ll just throng at the doors.

  62. This is simply ridiculous……..Hw then can do this…By restricting Indians in an Icecream Parlour which is in India….. wat they want to prove.
    Wat is more heartbreaking is that this is done by an Indian…..Simply Shameful

  63. This is totally Ridiculous and unbelievable that any company can dare to enter our markets and insult us. This company should be thrown out of the company with immediately.

  64. I went to the Haagen Dazs outlet at the moment it opened. Well, I ‘tried’ to go. I had been seeing the construction going on and told one of my Indian friend that she and I had to go there when it opened.

    Some time later, after an evening watching some movie at the mall, we saw that the store was opened and a lot of people were inside. I was struck by the fact that everyone was white. I entered the store thinking it was weird, but Hell, I wanted my ice cream. Then, looking back at my friend, I saw she was held back by the guard who was telling her that is was closed. When we heard that, we thought it was weird by just left the place, not understanding what actually happened.

    It’s only some time after that we read about the “advertising stunt” and its denial. Being in Advertising, in India, I tried to figure out where that was coming from and we found out the idea was suggested by TBWA Delhi, as a way to give an international image to the shop.

    I’ve seen a lot of strange campaigns, absolutely inconceivable in other countries, that defy absurdity and sometimes safety rules (i worked for an event where people had to smash an office. Computer, printer, chairs and desks included, with baseball bats and barely no protection. Alcohol was being served at the event and a gang of bikers was invited. I still don’t know how “Destruction + bikers + alcohol” doesn’t sound dangerous for anyone here…) but it always has a logic dictated by culture and habits.

    It’s the first time i see a brand dare something so ridiculously absurd, telling its core target that they are not good enough for the brand. There is barely 2% of foreigners visiting the mall, which is, I admit, huge according to the number of foreigners in the whole city, but I doubt Haagen Dazs is seeing Foreigners as their main target.

    The indian culture being highly based on hierarchy, shop keepers being not too high on this hierarchy, and the possible customers of the store being usually on the higher end of it (the store is situated in Select City Walk, one of the fanciest and most expensive mall in South Delhi), a foreign company denying them access to a shop setting up in their own country is as much a lack of sensibility than of marketing sense.

    They managed to make people forget about it, though, and the store is running fine, now, with lots of Delhiites going there (except me and my friend).

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