India: to go or not to go?
The decision to go to India was an easy one. This was a chance to see a completely different country and a culture that I was not familiar with at all. What comes to mind when you think of India? Poverty, tuk tuks, crazy driving, curry, blazing summers, bollywood & sari’s? You’re completely right. But only half right.
We come up with great stereotypes of places & people (it’s a brain reaction to sums of information) and the only way to break this is to expose yourself to said places and people. Some of this takes courage & putting aside beliefs (that no-one likes to part with) but often, you come out the other end having learnt something. The trick of course- is to be open to new information that may change your beliefs so you can rearrange the pre-existing stereotype.
India is in fact also a country of great culture, respect for other cultures, a country filled with a rich history, contrasting landscapes between greenery and desert, brilliant food and very accommodating locals.
Here are some fun facts about India:
1. It’s the 2nd most populous country in the world with over 1.2 billion people (after China).
2. It’s the most populous democracy in the world.
3. Cows can be and are often found walking the streets as they are a sacred animal and are considered a sign of good fortune.
4. Chess is said to have originated from India.
5. The word ‘pyjamas’ was incorporated into the english language when the British ruled India and took it from the Hindustani language (modern day Hindu & Urdu).
Next time you have a look at your bucket list, take into consideration the lesser travelled places. You might be surprised by what you find there.
Pictures (top to bottom): Streets of Old Delhi (pretty sure I was walking around with my mouth open), countryside, Amber Fort in Jaipur (which is as beautiful inside as it is outside- blog post to come).