Moving to India – Basic Things Every Expat should know about India

9 November 2016 - 11:03, by , in Living in India, No comments

Welcome to India

So, you have decided to work in India!

This India, birthplace of civilization, cradle of religion, is home to almost a quarter of the world’s people. India has always intrigued and fascinated the rest of the world with her rich culture, architecture and human diversity deep with history; it is totally addictive with a unique magic, energy, humour, glamour and charm. India is many things to many people, and no one can claim to define her whole essence. Living in India is an amazing experience. Diverse, colorful, and inspirational, as well as confusing, chaotic, and frustrating, India is true culture shock! The poverty is as appalling as the wealth is ostentatious; the way of life can be a confusing mixture of religious traditions and encroaching western consumerism. India has a mystical quality that calls to the seeker.

You are about to embark on one of the most interesting and perhaps, the most challenging, opportunities of your career.  India is a diverse place where modernity sits side by side with the ancient; where camel carts and bicycle rickshaws share the road with modern lorries and imported cars; vegetable and fish markets serve customers who arrive in chauffeur driven vehicles while others come by bicycle, and still others arrive by bus or even by foot.  Here you will have the opportunity to hear great music, and witness wonderful dance, where you may be invited to join in and experience the very essence of the music as it feeds your soul and mind.

It is a place where beautiful wide streets vie for attention with lanes and footpaths and all call visitor and resident alike to explore, to see what lies around the corner or in the next village.  India is a place that leaks into the soul and being of the willing participant. Here cities provide hubs of activity and commerce while a few miles beyond lie the eternal villages and the vast expanses of agricultural land which feeds the millions. Go a little farther and one comes face to face with oceans, turn in the other direction and the great Himalayan Mountains stand regal and stark, soring into the sky, on a sunny day the eternal snows sparkle and beckon.

This is the place of marvelous fabrics, silk and cotton, handmade clothes and tailored suits and dresses, beautiful sarees* and salwar kameez*.  Wonderful furniture can be yours at street side manufactures or sold at Emporiums.

India is a place of universities, great writers, poets, composers. Side by side, serving us and making our lives workable are others who may not be able to read very well but without them we would be less productive. They make our homes and work places function, they are our drivers, our aayas*, our housekeepers and cooks, the dobhi* and the vegetable wallah*. They are worthy of our respect and appreciation.

India is an adventure waiting for you. So, open your minds and your hearts and lift your eyes for you are about to embark on an amazing journey and experience.

*saree – traditional flowing wrap dress for women

*salvar kameze – comfortable tunic and trouser for women

*aaya – a woman who tends children, a nursemaid

*dobhi – a man who washes clothes

*vegetable wallah – a seller of vegetables who most likely will come daily to your street with fresh vegetables

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