Thursday, March 13, 2014

10 Annoying Facts about India and Indians

1. If you are from foreign country people will keep Staring at you.

2. Can’t Say No - Westerners love to say no. We love it so much so, it’s not uncommon to hear people say, “Hell No!” Indians on the other hand can’t be brought to say no. Asking a yes or no question in India will commonly be answered with, “actually, it is…” Asking to meet at a certain time or to go to a particular place can be met with, “I’ll try, We’ll see.” Indians consider ‘No’ to be very harsh and they don’t like to disappoint. So rather than getting a quick determination on a request, tourists are often left wondering what ‘possibly’ means.

3. Hypocrisy Between Religion and Life
Hinduism and Islam are the most common religions in India. Followers are quick to educate foreigners on the societal laws of the country. And what sounds great on paper doesn’t always translate into reality.Talk of sex in India is commonly avoided. In the movies it’s rare to see two characters kiss. Homosexuality is regarded as non-existent in most circles. And arranged marriage is seen as the poster child for successful unions. It’s no secret there is an entirely different reality surrounding sex in India behind closed doors. Affairs, a growing number of un-closeted gays and a rising divorce rate are just some of the hypocrisies between religion and life in India.

4. Everything is a Headache

5. No Sense of Pride for Historical Landmarks

Travel guide books of India give wonderfully written descriptions of famous monuments, museums, historical landmarks to see. What they often forget to include is the rampant graffiti scrawled across walls, or etched into stone. Indians are infatuated with letting the world know they visited a particular place. As tourists we are bombarded with talk of how proud Indians are of their country. Yet locals and traveling Indians can’t seem to find personal restraint from defacing property which is hundreds, sometimes thousands of years old.

6. Indian Standard Time
Planned a meeting at 9:30? Expect your guests to arrive closer to 9:45-10:00, possibly even 10:30. Indians move to a different time schedule jokingly referred to as Indian Standard Time. It’s not for a lack of clocks. Mobile phones are a personal fixture and everyone is checking them constantly. Punctuality in India is not the same as in the western world; however this is changing with the rapid integration of western standards within the country.

7. I’m in a big hurry!

According to the sign, the queue forms here. I’ll stand in line here with the rest of the…hey wait a minute, that guy just cut in front of me. Hey wait! That guy just cut in front of…
And so goes the experience where queues are involved in India. Talk of corruption is rampant throughout the media and within inner circles. Yet, these are the same people who believe lines are not for them. Indians think nothing of cutting in front of each other in traffic. Heck, most of them don’t even look when merging into your lane. It’s expected that you will see them merging and thus, fall back to make room. While standing at a ticket window after waiting in queue for ten minutes at a railway station, you’ll be pushed from all directions by arms holding wads of money while shouts erupt behind you. Movie theaters, museums, festivals; Anywhere a crowd gathers you can expect to be pushed to the end of the line unless you quickly adapt. There is a fine line between Indian queue etiquette and aggressive western behavior. Learn the difference fast.

8. Apathy Toward Animals

Cows are sacred. Monkeys are revered. The rest of the animal kingdom in India, eh, not so much of a big deal. Trusts for tiger preservation, prevention of cruelty to elephants and a modest group of other NGO’s are gaining traction within the country. But the general reaction to animals by Indians can be sickening. Elephants are pulled from their mothers at an early age only to be beaten, starved, and drugged into submission for later use at temples and popular tourist sites. Stray dogs continue to be a tremendous burden on the country. Sterilization campaigns in the largest cities have been received with mixed results. Perilous reports of continued poaching of endangered species continues with seemingly no triumphant end. Urbanization to house an overpopulated country pushes monkeys, birds, reptiles and countless other species further and further away from their natural habitats.
To point a finger only at India would be unfair. Similar situations are perplexing a myriad of countries across the globe. Animal populations are rising along with humans. The education of how to interact humanely with the animals, how to curb the excessive growth patterns, how to safeguard future existence, is grossing lacking.

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