India! What is India? India is different for different people depending on their experiences. It is a country where I grew up in and it is very close to my heart! It is a country that has given me so many experiences and made me the person I am today. I went there as a scared little girl in a new place with unknown people and came out as a young experienced lady. In 10 years, I learnt a lot of new things and discovered that India is actually the Incredible India. So today I am going to share a few things with you so you know India through my eyes.
#1 India is much more than just a land of snake charmers
Embrace the diversity and forget to stereotype as India is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse countries! More than six religions are there in India and it is a country that speaks more than 20 official languages (on a state level). You will experience a lot of different things in India as there are different kinds of Indian people. Try not to connect with people keeping all the stereotypes in your mind. From being traditional to modern, chaotic and serene, India has it all. It is a beautiful country with great and smart people! The more open-minded you are, the more you’ll love this country.
#2 One should dress respectfully
Some parts of India can be seen as a conservative country when it comes to dressing sense. So in order to blend in and not offend anyone, I suggest you to dress decently and respectfully, especially if you are a woman. Indian women wear Indian attires known as – Sari (Long piece of cloth draped around the body) or Salwaar Kameez (Trousers, tunic and a scarf) which is very decent to look at. The best clothes to go with is normal shirts or t-shirts with trousers, long pants or jeans. Or if you want to feel like a local, you could try the Indian attire. I personally love wearing one as it makes you look so glamorous, elegant and graceful!
#3 Touching the elder’s feet is a sign of respect
When in India, do not be surprised to witness younger generations touching the feet of their elders. It is a traditional gesture in India, where people do so to show their respect. India is a country where people respect their family and elders a lot. Most of the people live in collectivist societies and tend to act in accordance to the greater good of the family. So it becomes very obvious for the youth to be very humble, kind and respectful towards the elders.
#4 If you want to offer help to a poor child, make sure you do it quick
As we all know India is a very big country with a population of 1.3 billion! There are many rich and poor. If you are on the street, you will witness some poor people asking for money. Seeing that you are a foreigner, they will surely run into you for some help. If you do want to help them, then you have to do it fast. If you don’t then be prepared to be stuck in there as you will be surrounded by the whole group within no time. Poor people in India live in groups and when one gets the customer, the other follows.
#5 Magic of bargaining
If you are a shopper, India is a great place to get antique and beautiful things. Indian dress, jewelry, footwear and everything is so colorful and unique. To shop best, you need to practice bargaining. When in the market, blend in with the locals and try to bargain. Don’t be afraid! There are high chances that you do get discounts, and the amount will leave you stunned! If you notice, Indian people are very good at bargaining. So in order to shop worthily, you have to be the best bargainer!
#6 The horns!!!!
Be prepared to hear the musical voice from all the vehicles on the road! Roads in India are a place where it is never quiet! You can hear the honking of the car every second when you are on the road, sometimes when you are inside your home and on your bed too. So if you are coming from a country that has very strict traffic rules and hardly there is any sound on the road, you better prepare yourself for a stressful ride!
#7 The beautiful language
About 10% of the population or 150 million people in India speak English. It is one of the top countries where English is spoken by the population. Even though you can communicate in English, it is also good to learn new words in foreign language. It gives you a better chance to connect with the local people. Few words you could memorize before flying to India are:
Hello – Namaste
Thank you – Shukriya
How are you – Aap kaise hai?
How much is this for – Ye kitne ka hai?
What is your name – Aapka naam kya hai?
Overall it is a country rich in culture and traditions. A great place to explore the world! I hope the above points helped you see a clearer picture of India and I hope it turns out to be useful for you if you ever plan to visit this beautiful country.