About.com readers share their reactions to India culture shock.
How did you feel when you first arrived in India? What things do you find difficult to cope with in India? Here's the place to get it all off your chest.Share Your Experience
choose for yourself
- I'm a indian but born in New Zealand, first time i went to india in the boiling hot summer i was shocked with this country being so different, i could'nt understand if it was a good experanice or bad but now i do i agree with some issues in india which are very negative and some people think as every indian is like a wrong person they met or india is horrible becoz of someone elses experiance i think i person should decide for themselves what they feel about india not what someone else thinks, after my first visit i am so attached to the country as you meet generations of family, wondeful festivals and celebrations and the country like no where else, if going to australia ,america, england or NZ you will get the same feeling same mcdonalds but nothing like indias pani puri. :)
- —Guest NZ-Indian
India loves and welcomes everybody
- These are the actual lines written by MJ whn he came India ..he left this note scribbled on his pillow,,,and this is us ( India ...love India...it will love you like a mother....lines by MJ....“India, all my life I have longed to see your face. I met you and your people and fell in love with you. Now my heart is filled with sorrow and despair for I have to leave, but I promise I shall return to love you and caress you again. Your kindness has overwhelmed me, your spiritual awareness has moved me, and your children have truly touched my heart. They are the face of God. I truly love and adore you India. Forever, continue to love, heal and educate the children, the future shines on them. You are my special love, India. Forever, may God always bless you”
- —Guest Karthik
Shocking but I Want to Come Back
- As i've read everybody else above, India is indeed a shocking place but i definetily can't wait to come back. Coming from México is a cultural shock but the thing i apreciated the most is how they live hapily and i know it sounds conformist but they don't care about what their neighboor is doing they are just fine with who they are. On the other hand i was offended about how wealthy (and not so wealthy) people treat the less fortunate it's like they don't even exist and is such a shame because they're such a rich country. I would really love to come back but i'm afraid about doing it without a guide.
- —Guest Ignacio reyes
- i love to travel, and have visited/lived in many places, India included. When i first landed last year in May, it was raining heavily! SO hard that when i stepped out the rain drops felt like pellets hitting me, (i will never leave without an umbrella again!) I was in India until September, so i also got to experience the excruciating heat, got a nice tan! ;) In the shopping districts it seemed like there were beggars everywhere, and mangled children, missing their limbs, it was a horrid site, but not as horrid as the way people (tourists included) treated them. I loved the food and the clothing!! Bought about a suitcase full of salwars, and sarees for me, my mum and friends, they loved it! I also bought fresh tea from the tea plantations in Wayanad Pradesh. Stocked up on some natural remedies, which are expensive back home. Got a shoe custom made, picked out the materials, heel size, and accessories and designs (much cheaper than it sounds). It is vibrant, colorful and friendly place!
- —Guest Wanderer
Colourful country but big culture shock
- Arrived in India in a heat wave in the south. Found it a massive culture shock. Having previously visited China 6 yrs earlier I much preferred China I am afraid. Pluses in India were its colour and vibrancy and seeing Elephants. Minuses were definitely the dust, dirt and some v strange men. I went with my girlfriend who is black and their constant letching staring was v unnerving. They also were perplexed when she said she was from the UK. Some insisting she was African. She is actually British West Indian origin. This insular and quite backward mentality I suppose we should have guessed would exist but we werent expecting it to be so blatant. It was something that stuck in the mind and tarnished any positives I may have got from India. I would never go again and wouldnt recommend it to anyone unfortunately. Strange country with strange attitudes I couldnt understand.
- —Guest Raddoff
ACCEPT INDIA AS IT IS..
- India is very beautiful country and I love it.You'll love India more if you accept India as it is.Dont try to change it, you'll be heartbroken.
- —Guest AJAY
Message for foreigners
- I see that whenever India is being talked about, the words ‘Culture’ and ‘Heritage’ accompanies it. Unfortunately, those are mere words and hold no real value in India. People are satisfied with lifestyle of watching movies, listening to songs (all plagiarized), going to a mall with boyfriend/girlfriend, getting a white collar job, getting married, building a house, having a kid, getting old and dying. They have no culture, no variety, no passion in their life whatsoever. They are not allowed to take a brave step towards choosing their career as it is unsafe. You will never see a famous painter, architect, archaeologist, music band, scientist, novelist who is of Indian origin (there are rare exceptions). Having an uninteresting lifestyle, they all turn their attention towards increasing the population which is unfortunate and heavily reduces human value in India. India may seem to be colorful for an outsider who comes for a visit. But the reality is far inconceivable for a foreigner.
- —Guest Sad Indian
I love India
- I visited Delhi and camps both up in the mountains. and near the source of the Ganges. I found India to be full of contradictions, on the one hand colour, beauty, smiles, on the other poverty, dirt and greed. Delhi had its charms... though I wouldn't have wanted to stay longer than the 5 days I stayed there. It was a very eclectic city and I found it a completely mind blowing contrast to the cities in the UK where I live. I loved the enthusiasm of many of the people, though I found it very difficult to accept the state in which the city was in and the way they treated their country. The mountains were a complete contrast, clean, spiritual, free of any western influences that have consumed Delhi. The people were very different too... not many spoke English so a good guide was necessary. I went to local schools, small temples and stayed at a camp run by Acorn in India (recommended) it was just beautiful. Watching the sunset over the Himalayas is an experience I will never forget.
- —Guest Anna H
Bharatmata ki jay
- So...i was browsing this post...and i thought about the impact that Colonialism played in bringing India...what was once the world'sw richest country, into todays most poorest. Having been to India, although born of the Indian Diaspora in South Africa, I was awestruck to say the least. India is a must visit... For a clearer understanding of the culture and History, read the book Ithihaasa, which discusses the actual History of this great civilization.
- —Guest Vijay
- Astounding buildings like the Tajmahal impress beyond anything I have seen in my well travelled 50 years. Tired of being hassled to death by hawkers and Gift shop employees pushing goods x10 overpriced. I can live with x2. It's tourism after all, but x 10 is robbery. Ans so aggressive when you point out the bleedin obvious. Can you imagine being asked x10 price for an item in Europe or the US and then getting grief when you decline. They have taken that too far. Still great though. Don't be put off visiting. Just never make eye contact with hawkers and NEVER buy.
- —Guest Stuart c
Bored of Indians
- I am Indian but live in France, I have no issues with thr dirt, poverty, corruption etc in India...however I have a huge problem with Indians...and when I say Indians I mean the middle and upper class Indians. Middle class Indians are extremely selfish, cheap, competitive, jealous and weird people with no sense of culture or sophistication at all. The upper class are even worse, boring, fat, mostly ugly and always eating and drinking and showing off their arrogance. Besides all this India is a boring country, there is little or no culture thats enjoyable...a city like Delhi has no major cultural scene besides eating and drinking and meaningless page 3 parties full of idiots...these people are so shallow and boring that it's really shocking. Indians have little more to talk than showing off and money talk...majority of indians are nouveau riche or nouveau middle class...I just cant relate to them after living in a culturally rich and stunning country like France.
- —Guest FrancoIndien
I feel for India
- I have been to India and find it to be mostly revolting. It was colourful and interestingly vibrant however it was the people whom cheated me out of a great experience. Many people that travel India have said it is a horrible place, so I am obviously not alone. These reasons are due to the overwhelmingly saturation of gross misogynistic men and their lying, cheating ways. Also , it is the complete disregard for health and the care of their peoples and environment. I have never ever witnessed such a lack of love and passion for keeping the home and land you live in, clean and pure as much as the words filling the air with the passion for India by its peoples. Ghandi spoke to the Indian peoples himself saying that the Indian people must be able to clean up their own homes (home is country) and practice cleanliness. He was truly a fantastic human, on a global scale however, the way Ghandi thought seems to be a once off, he tried to teach but ultimately failed.
- —Guest Not a hater
- I hope India won't ever lose all of its color, festivals, friendliness and noise and become just a clone of the West. I am always surprised when people go to a foreign country and then complain that everything is not as it was in their land - it beats the very purpose of the visit! When one visits a tropical country like India, shouldn't one be ready for the heat? And in a populous nation, aren't crowds and noise to be expected? It is all part of the package. There are so many Indias within India, for example Kerala is utterly different from, say, Delhi. One common factor is perhaps that people in general would be tolerant of your culture, and expect the same of you. We are a proud people, and at the same time quite friendly, too. While you need to watch your back while in India (just like Indians do!), you can also be sure that you will find people to be kind and helpful. It is full of contrasts and at the same time there is an inherent rhythm to it. It needs to be experienced! :)
- —Guest Maya
India Culture shock
- I live in Canada. Landing in Mumbai. Many people all over. I was doing just fine till we went to the export area and got caught in rush hour traffic. Finding good healthy food, like a fresh salad impossible. I was with my now husband who is from Mumbai. I am starting to have a meltdown by then. Don't you people believe in freeways and grocery stores. I started to fanatize about the grocery stores back home. Oddly I fell in love with India. It IS interesting and very contrasting!
- —Guest bluecamas
Going to India
- I am from India and I would definitely recommend going there. It might be a shock for some at first but it is a beautiful place filled by different experiences, people, and cultures. All you need to do is open your heart and mind and learn away!
- —Guest Hello