If you’re travelling to India for the first time, you will undoubtedly be amazed by the country. The chaos, the colours, the poverty and the progress, the variety and the similarities of India can often be overwhelming. It is indeed almost impossible for a first-timer to really grasp the spirit of all of India in the duration of one visit.
However, if you truly want to understand what India is about, here are some of the things that you must do to have the true Indian experience.
The plethora of tastes available in India is astounding. However, the real flavours of this country can be tasted at the various roadside stalls available on pretty much every corner. Every state has its own rendition of delicious snacks that tend to be spicy, fried and oh so cheap! Find out what’s popular and head to a stall that has a swarm of people around it. You’re sure to have a sensory experience.
To truly understand the lives of the locals in India, travel by the chaotic public transport systems – whether they’re local trains, metros, buses, autos or rickshaws. The experience might involve some amount of pushing and shoving but hey… that’s an integral part of being Indian! The haggling, the confusion, the delays and the jams is the perfect way to feel at home in India.
While urban India has adapted well to western styles of dressing, most of the people continue to dress in their traditional garbs. Apart from wanting to hold on to their roots, traditional clothing is in fact the most appropriate for the weather in this country. The loose and flowing sarees, salwar kameez (for both men and women) and dhotis are found in different variations across the nation. Dress Indian to feel Indian.
Try this out, even if you are the staunchest atheist; just to see what the fuss is about. India is home to people belonging to a multitude of religions and even more castes and classes which have their own traditions which take on almost spiritual roles. Venture into the various places of worship with an open mind or merely strike up a debate on the topic with anyone around you. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear an interesting perspective or a thought that may just change your life!
Taking its cue from the diversity of everything in India, Indian wedding traditions vary as per religion, region, caste and class. The one thing, however, that they all have in common is that they’re conducted in pomp and style. Indian weddings across the board are an elaborate frenzy of festivities involving song and dance, beautiful ornamentation of venue and attendees and of course, gorgeous spreads of rich food. If you can’t manage to get a legit invite, gate crash a wedding because you just simply shouldn’t miss out on the extravaganza.