Interethnic relationships in India characterised the history of Europeans from the arrival of the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. The German religious communities which emerged in India during the nineteenth century point to the complex relationships which existed between the migrants from Europe and indigenous people. The perspectives of Christianity, orientalism and racism, which determine European views and actions in India, led to the development of a series of perceptions which the Germans in India, whether short-term visitors or longer term residents, perpetuated. Many travelogues devoted positive attention to the Indian landscape, although descriptions of cityscapes often contained negative language focusing upon poverty and disease. Heathen and heathenism became part of the everyday discourse of nineteenth-century missionaries. The discourse of the German missionaries in their numerous publications about India rejected and even ridiculed Hinduism and Islam.