An Argentinean Woman’s Guide To India
Category : Guest Post
An experience full of excitement, love, and senses. This is life! People has so many pre-conceptions about India as they can also have about every culture that’s different from its culture.
My advice… make your own way and enjoy India, it has a lot of things to offer you!
5 cities: The Golden Triangle + Udaipur + McLeodGanj. 5 senses: smell, hearing, taste, touch and sight.
Smell. Delhi and Udaipur.
Since I was in the airplane to Delhi, I started to experience the Indian culture. The guy who was beside me was sweating with a very strong smell. Then, we got food and the smell was very similar. And when I arrived, it was even stronger.
I found this smell in every place: in the airplane, in the train to Udaipur, on the streets, in the hostels, in the kitchen, in the bathroom. Everywhere.
At first I was shocked but then I got used to and I started to like it.
Here was the main reason of that, their wonderful spices! I realized in Shashi’s Cooking Class.
Hearing. Delhi, Jaipur and McLeodGanj.
Noisy horns, wonderful stories, amazing music, the 6am prayer…
Surely, you know what I’m talking about. I won’t say a lot about that. You know.. traffic jam, many horns sounding at the same time, people shouting “Tuc tuc. Do you need a tuc tuc?” and so many cars using their horn “Boom, boing, boing, boing, bam”.
Stories about marriage, religion and our mission in this life, among others.
They’re very talkative and hospitable. In all of them, I found a friend. I felt at home.
Every time I felt lost in the middle of the night, I didn´t have data to use my cellphone or when I was sad/happy, someone helped me.
Something very important for their culture. I learnt something new! Sometimes, their parents upload their profiles in a website and then they take into account the following points in order to find a wife or husband for their children:
⦁ The horoscope.
⦁ The caste.
⦁ If their parents like the woman or the man.
⦁ If they (the couple) like each other respectively.
They have so many: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity. The first four originated in India and the rest came from outside.
I realized that every culture, every person needs to believe in something, it doesn’t matter if it’s called Buddha, God, Energy… At the end we all need to believe in something, we have more things in common than we expect and we should learn from our few differences.
Our mission in this life.
I hear this story from a woman from Spain who came back from the death. She told us she was in India because she found her mission, she had to talk to the monks and share a formula.
She told us we’re energy, we’re holograms and that we’re here to learn and achieve a mission.
I loved it! They shout, jump or simple relax. You can find all the types of music.
The 6 am prayer.
The Indian alarm clock for me during my trip in India haha.
In every city, you will hear that at 6am someone starts to pray. I didn’t ask about it but I think it’s a tradition before to meditate because I hear it also in my meditation retreat.
Taste. Delhi and Udaipur.
This is India! Spicy, colorful and tasty.
You can love India or simple don’t like it. For people from Occident is a big cultural shock at first because everything is very different: the customs, the clothes, the smells, the temples, the streets, the people.
And, it’s the same with their food. At the begging for me it was hard, it was very very very spicy.
In my case, I had stomachache. But then, I started to enjoy every different taste of each spice.
You get used to eating their food and you start to like it. And this is also life, when you’re trying or exploring something different. It takes time.
My favorites: chicken curry, their bread (I don’t remember its name) to eat with different toppings, the masala tea and the omelet with a wonderful cheese (I’ve never tried such good omelet with a cheese like this one before)
They eat with their hands. They cook with their hands. When you are leaving a Temple, they give something to eat to you also with their hands.
I don’t know how to explain it… at first is a shock and some people thinks that is disgusting but on the opposite I think that everything is tastier. Just, try and then, tell me 😉
Sight. Every place.
How can I pick just some pictures?! It was hard only pick the following ones.
I was amazed by:
⦁ Its temple, the architecture, the colors, every day full of people praying.
⦁ Seeing cows, motorbikes, tuc tucs, elephants and monkeys at the same time on the street or on the route.
⦁ Butcher Shops on the middle of the street.
⦁ Its amazing mountains.
⦁ Women dressing colorful saris, doing rituals at home, working.
As a woman from Occident, for sure I felt that everyone was looking at me because of my clothes, my skin, my features, etc. It was crazy and funny that people wanted to take photos with me.
If someone asks me if I felt unsafe there? My answer would be No, only once and it was because I didn’t follow the advice that some Indian friends gave it to me. You just have to visit most of the places during the morning and try to avoid be alone during the night. But I think that’s like in every city or country, nothing very different as the caution that you should have to take when you’re travelling.
Forget your fears, try new things, trust people you don’t know and enjoy every simple moment. This is not just in India, THIS IS LIFE!
A BIG THANK YOU TO INDIA AND ITS PEOPLE! FOR SURE, I’LL VISIT YOU AGAIN.
See more of her articles here!