India! India is big, wild and has this crazy variety of basically everything. This makes it the most liberal and most chaotic country I ever was at.
It's hard to find topics but here are some facts which are able to be generalized and you might want to know before traveling India:
It is crazy what nature does if you let her do her own way. Probably this is one of many reasons why India appears so magical to any other country.
I have never seen dogs playing like this; I never saw so many Eagles flying over cliffs and meeting in trees; monkeys running around in mountains, trees and villages, annoying the people living there; snakes finding there way through the jungle; ants cleaning themselves in your water and eat your food, but you live with them, you don't kill ; and cows you will see cuddling and enjoying a walk on the beach in the sun.
It's like my Indian friend Kelly said: "We don't like killing, when snakes and scorpions come we kick them away but we don't kill them. All of this belongs to the respect of life."
How different this is to the actions of many European countries shows the example which my friend Trine from Norway told me: The government of Norway killed all Lynx because they didn't wanted to loose sheep at night, which where hunted by Lynx. Nevertheless by that killing they brought chaos into the entire Eco-system of the forest. So now that there are too much dears, rabbits, and and all the others now to watch out for. If you here both story's what would you rate as "better"?
Wherever you go you always will find or smell plastic. Whoever said India would smell like spices is a liar. The smell of India is burned plastic and poo&pee.
People just burn their plastic and stand right next to it and I guess they even would occasionally warm their hands with it - they have no idea that it is dangerous.
Moreover when you ask for paper cups instead of plastic ones for hot beverages instead of plastic ones they just look at you and ask you: "But why?"
Anyhow, in every bad is something good: The eleven year old Indish boy Lalu who lives with his family in Hampi, sells his chai in paper cups now - it became a good business. Max brought him paper cups and ever since he makes 200/300Lari instead of 60 a day.
India has a strong non smoking policy. Even in TV are cigarettes blurred out and smoking is not allowed on the streets - well, of course people still do, it's a free country p, specially if you have money - the fine for being caught smoking on the streets is 200 Rupis though.
Corruption is everywhere. The moment when it came most clear was when I visited McDonalds with my friend in Chandigarh. It looks like McDonalds, but prices and offers on food differ extremely - funny to see you will find McDonalds designs which you could use as a vintage version in Europe. Anyhow is it good or bad? I guess it's funny and the food is even nicer than the regular McDonalds.
So as you can see Corruption is everywhere - but this means everything, really everything, is possible.
Indians are generally very proud people. But that doesn't mean proud of its people, but proud to themselves. This might still relay to the impacts of the cast system but the habit of "being better than someone" is still a notable behavior in Indian society.
In the same time you will find a lot of critical and social thinking of young Indians! India has nothing to do with a so called third world country if you look at major parts of big cities and businesses. The third world you will find in the slums - it is a part of India which always will exists as long as the communication between poor and rich people is still so difficult. Still - even people in the slums, who suffer probably more than any other people on this planet, love their country. So why? Because it's free and liberal, it's not fair, but I guess people find their greatest happiness in being free. It let all of us the chance to change something as long as we don't give up on hope.
Oh this is great! India is the most emancipated country I ever was at. And yes, I know you will think of all the raping now - specially in New Dehli. But as a matter of fact India deals with a huge problem with too less women compared to the number of men. Where does this gap come from? The cultural impacts of ancient times and marriage policies made a girl a matter of cost for a family, boys used to be the money makers for families. Not only poor families used to give away their daughters, specially rich families there used to be many open cases of lost baby girls. This is horrible story which today let to the fact that Indian women clearly know their status of power. It's not that easy for an Indian men to run away and find an new wife - specially on top of all that, in regions on the countryside it's still forbidden to talk to non-married girls.
Anyhow to sum it up: A modern Indian women you will find everywhere. As police officers, in manager positions, in construction sides and also on the streets yelling and beating their man.
It's a crazy country, without a believe in right and wrong, it's a country which let you be the freak you are. Live it, love it. India is the country which could be called a mirror to this world. It's a cruel, liberal, dirty, wonderful, stunning, modern, poor place.