Travel through India
Journey in India..Rubbish, noise, air pollution, overcrowded streets, people setting up the fire on the footpath, cows & bulls having a walk on the street market, smells, spicy food, spitting on the ground, traffic jams, colors, temples & huts, men holding hands in public, negotiating about the price, head movement for agreement, consideration or disagreement, spirituality, eating with hands, having a bath next to the road, using newspapers as napkins or plates, 3 men on the motorcycle, tuk-tuks, street dogs, rats in the households, monkeys, crowded local buses, lack of personal space, unwanted attention and much more.
Coming from a place much different than India makes it difficult to process and make an immediate conclusion about the new situations.
Spending 7 weeks in India was a real adventurous journey
What I can say now from a distance and period of time is that India, the culture itself and certain situations go deeply under your skin. There were many things I have never seen in my life before. It has been slowly absorbing into myself which I did not notice. The appreciation itself appears after leaving India behind.
At the moment you are there you do not realize it because you face many different challenges such as unwanted attention, air pollution, overcrowded streets, noise, touchy people and a lot more. In that time of observing and learning, I tried to figure out a moderate way of getting into the culture and connect with locals. I consider culture as a huge part of our lives. Therefore, I was fully aware of the consequences that might appear by ignoring it.
I was focusing on my behaviour in order to get along with another culture in an appropriate way.
Locals are friendly and they are always interested in you. They show their interest in a very obvious way. For example, giving an intense eye contact without any emotions or simply by running after you.
Seeing a tall white woman in an Indian world is a huge thing which I could feel straight away. Another evident thing was behaviour towards women. Usually, women stand on not very independent positions in their household. Men have more power and opportunities in their daily lives.
Connecting with women was way easier than connecting with men
Surrounded by women I could get rid of my mask for a while but being in men’s company made me put it back again. I felt impossible to freely show myself, my femininity, my way of thinking and simply to do what I am used to doing. Misunderstanding is a natural part when two different cultures meet. It is important to find a balance within yourself and your protective attitude which you gain because of the potential danger of unknown culture.
The protective, negotiating, sharp attitude which I gained naturally in order to feel safe and confident, was not always a proper way of dealing with daily situations on Indian streets. Without balance it may cost you harm to yourself or to the people around you.
The importance of feeling confident and comfortable with yourself, your actions while dealing with different cultures is huge. Be wise and think twice, observe, don’t judge, find a balance and be open to see under the surface
India is simply unique
When it comes to Indian culture, you do not need much time to have an idea about it because it is just there. It is so visible that it will slap you on your face. No doubts about it. India is simply unique. For sure you will never get bored. You will have a chance to taste delicious, spicy food, to have a company even you don’t want to, feeling of being a famous pop star walking on the street, seeing a bull in a narrow street market and many other special experiences.
The unrespectable, strange and surprising situations will at the end of the day make you just smile. Judging, criticizing and wondering may disappear very quickly because of the huge amount of strange images your eyes might see. No worries processing part will come later, naturally as it came to me recently.
Travelling in India I consider as a great, memorable lesson. It is a big jump into an intense colourful world which allows you to see the beauty in simple things. Important is to have eyes which are able to look.