From FlickrCC http://www.flickr.com/photos/62223880@N00/295142265
Every year I go to India because my parents are from India and I’m half Indian. India is a really beautiful place. There are many gardens, parks like what we have in the USA, but what sets it apart are the old and historic monuments and temples. The other thing that strikes me is the sheer number of people everywhere. Most people are very friendly and more than willing to go out of their way to help strangers. I see many more youth than I have seen in any other place that I’ve ever been. I was told by my parents that 1/2 the population is younger than 26 and that 30% of the population is under 14. Everywhere I’ve been in India has been very colorful, and lively. The streets are filled with makeshift stores such as pan vendors, tea stalls, vendors selling toys or ice cream, and fast food in little push carts. There is hustle and bustle everywhere. The other thing that is unusual about India is the variety of vehicles that you see on the streets. Apart from cars and motorcycles, you see auto rickshaws (three wheeled vehicle) cycle rickshaws, and scooters which by the way are different from motorcycles. Just so that you know, the big cities and even some small ones have malls, broad streets, multi storied buildings and modern stores and manicured gardens, and modern cars like the cities in the US.
New emerging cities have sectors instead of neighborhoods and many gardens, and parks in the sectors. Sectors are basically mini towns which have their own shops, hospitals, parks and gardens. The parks are different than ours. The majority of the things in the park are made out of metal. Metal slides, metal monkey bars, metal see-saws, etc. Instead of the ground being covered in grass or turf, the ground is covered in dirt and gravel. We get even dirtier when we go to park in India than here! I see a lot a kids playing cricket, badminton, tennis and soccer. When we got to that park we are always welcomed by every child in the park and play with kids of all ages. Its so much fun!
India also has a not so pretty side as do all places. There are many people whom are without a home. The things that I’ve seen like homeless kids on the street I can’t ever erase from my memory. Many people will do anything for money, they will go when all the cars are stopped and knock on peoples windows asking them if they would like a magazine or just for money. Some just stand outside stores in hope for a treat. Some people build shack like stores right on the edge of the street. Despite all the poverty I feel that there is a lot of love.
Almost all middle class and above class homes have servants working for them. Servants become part of their family. For a pay the servants do chores like driving cars, cleaning houses, washing clothes, washing dishes etc. Since the servants are like part of their family, house owners take care of the servants education, healthcare, and families. Most of my very good friends in India are servants kids. I am told that as more and more poor families give their children education it is getting harder to find people who are willing to work as servants. Which in my opinion is a good thing.
The rich kids in India live very similar lives to the kids in the US. All of them speak English, and go to english medium schools. Most kids learn at least two other Indian languages. The language of the state they live in and the National Language, Hindi, as well as English. There are 27 official languages and over 100 dialects spoken in India. I feel India is like one giant melting pot of different languages, religions, and cultures. Did you know that almost all Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Persian holidays and traditions are celebrated in India, even Halloween?
I love everything about India, the natural beauty, the history, the culture, the languages, the people, the hustle and bustle, the colors, the dust, the smell, the noise, and chaos. The good and the bad. I hope now you see why and I hope one day you are able to experience it too.
Coming soon to blogs near you…… India part 2!