A Christian Missionary touring South India, in the year 1842, provides this description of the Tirunelveli Brahmin, which I found quite amusing. ( source) (page 46)
The Bramins here… assume a haughtiness of air, which is rarely seen in the neighbourhood of Madras.
They consider themselves exalted so far above other human beings, as to lose sight of all distinctions of rank in those below them; and they hold all, including Europeans, in equal contempt. If you meet a Bramin in the road, and ask the way to any place, he will very seldom condescend to speak, and yet, with true native courtesy, he will never rudely pass you by; he will stop and point with his finger to the right direction. If you further inquire of him the distance, he will hold up his fingers, according to the number of miles, and if you still ask if the road is straight or winding, will draw his finger through the air to mark the various turnings; and when he has satisfied all your inquiries, will again move on in perfect silence.