India is a fantastic country and a home of culture and traditions. Due to this, you may find some unfamiliar things that you never saw anywhere on earth. Visiting India for the first time may make you experience some culture shock.
A cultural shock is an expression or a feeling a person may have due to the unpredictable cultural surroundings which may differ from one’s own. Different countries have different cultures and visiting a foreign country may make you find feel confused with their way of life in that state.
India is one the country celebrated for causing culture shock to many westerners touring around the country. Either visit for few days or staying for a long time, you will still be shocked because of the culture they have. You may wonder how but Indian way of life can perplex you the moment you land from the airport.
If you are planning to visit India, let me prepare you that you will have various level of culture shock that will make you love the country more or find it weird per say. Expect to have the ‘Oh, wow ‘impression while visiting India.
The following are some of the things that will either shock or amaze you while visiting India.
1. The population
You are not used to seeing so many people in the city? India is crowded from the airport to the market and on the roads. You cannot visit India and miss to talk about the mass of humanity that you get everywhere.
With a population of 1.1 billion, you definitely will not ask for your personal space. In India being shoved and pinched while you pass through the crowded places is a regular thing.
2. Traffic and transport
If there is something that will give you a cultural shock, it is the traffic and transportation in India. Because of the population volume in the city, traffic jam is inevitable. It may seem disorderly and dangerous when you see taxis and buses passing through people anyhow but don’t worry the residents are used to it.
A two-lane road in India becomes a six-lane. Not to mention the animals roaming around carelessly on the way. Don’t get shocked when you see a cow passing you on the way while you walk; you are in India!
Traffic in the railway station is evident whereby; buying a ticket becomes a tiresome and challenging as it involves waiting on long, disorderly ques.
Interestingly, you may even find that some taxi doesn’t have safety belts or even wing mirrors. The drivers here use gestures to communicate, and hooting is not out of the ordinary.
Talk of trash; it is one of the cultural surprises you will get while visiting India. Finding huge piles of waste is not a big deal in India. Every street has litter along the road, and others are lit on fire. This brings terrible odor in the cities, and it can be very annoying at times.
You may find it uncomfortable, but if you are planning to stay in India for a long time, you better get used to it. You may wonder why trash cans cannot be placed at different intervals to put away the garbage.
This kind of life may bring illness you never know! But to those that are used to it doesn’t seem to be a bother.
Indian knows how to cook, and you may like their food at one time or another when you visit the restaurants. Many Indian foods might be the same, but the ingredients and taste might differ. They love their meal with a lot of spices like hot chili.
What will amaze you is that each region in India has their type of food. It all depends on the area where you are staying. On the other hand, if you are a fan of red meat, then try to be flexible. Indian don’t eat red meat, their choice of meat is from either chicken or goat.
5. Crossing the road
In other countries, the only thing that you pay attention when you want to cross the street is the traffic light, or you look whether the path is clear when you pass. In India it is different before you try to cross the way you must first be an expert in maneuvering through the incoming cars.
Buses and other cars do not stop for the pedestrian to give them the way to pass. They always in a hurry and you may find yourself waiting for hours before crossing to the other side. However, you can shuffle slowly between cars or hurry from one space to another until you pass.
6. Gazing and pointing
It is a common thing in India. Foreigners will typically receive attention from the locals in public when they pass in the streets. They will stare at you; take photos of you while you are moving. Do not be upset they are amazed. They will not harm you at all. You may be pissed off, but all you have to do is play cool and smile.
In India, pollution is the order of the day. From noise streets, air pollution caused by smoke among many others. As you walk through the streets, you may find it weird to see people peeing everywhere without worrying. This is because there, not enough public restrooms to accommodate the people and therefore it is difficult for them just to hold on until they reach their homes.
Horns are honking, blaring music, firecracker can be very disturbing if you are not used to noise. You can opt to buy an earplug to avoid this noise while sleeping.
8. Hand holding
In India, you will rarely see men and women showing affection by holding hands publicly, but you will see men and men holding hands. Don’t confuse them to being gay; it is a show of friendship and closeness.
Slums are found in every country, but they are customarily isolated, and you may not know they even exist. In India, it is very astonishing, the wealthy and the poor all live in the proximity. Skyscrapers, concrete buildings and corrugated house all stand together. I think this is because of the high population in India.
Many children and adult can be seen in the city of India. You may be confused seeing so many of them on the road, and some may even rush to you the moment they see you with a backpack. If you give one a coin, most of them will follow you.