My life in India: interesting & unique facts sharing time! That’s beyond what you can find out about India in standard travel guide books. Last time I shared with you an article about ‘India from A to Z’, focusing on the first trip to this incredible country, in two posts: Part 1 & Part 2. I hope you enjoyed that reading!
Interesting and unique facts shared here are from my experience from living in India for 1.5 years and counting! And from my previous travels (13 times!). Always discovering more and continuously learning, that’s the best part of visiting the world! Facts that are full of fun, often unexpected and now…ready to be discovered by you!
My experience of understanding India, its people, culture, way of living started back in 2009, with my first trip to Bangalore. My actual Polish-Indian story began with our 3 weddings and 6 wedding dresses! That was 2 years ago already. Amazing time, sometimes I ask My Better Half: can’t we remarry together and celebrate again as we did back in 2018? I get reminded by him of the money we spent then and reality hits! 😀 And my life in India? That started over 1,5 year ago, in March last year. Relocating and living abroad experience sometimes might be challenging however it is so enriching! I am thankful for it.
INDIA – INTERESTING & UNKNOWN FACTS
What I am sharing here are some unknown or less known facts based on my daily observations, experience and fun moments spent in incredible India. Join this journey with me! Fasten your seat belt and enjoy! Namaste, India!
FIRST QUICK OBSERVATIONS
AIRPORT: MEN & WOMEN
Most travelers would arrive to India by plane. My first surprise was there: at the airport there are two different lines for security checks for men and women. Hmm. So when traveling in couple or with entire family: that’s the first separation part. Don’t worry, after few minutes, reunion is granted! It just might be a bit less comfortable when traveling e.g. with baby as suddenly your dear partner will be gone in the other queue. So get ready!
22 OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
Already at the airport you will start noticing English and one (or more) of 22 official languages of India. Yes, this is covered in many travel guide books. So what’s unique about it? Let me tell you the practical side of it. We live in Bangalore in Karnataka region. Official language of the region is Kannada. My Better Half is from north of India, speaks Hindi and knows very little Kannada.
Few months back, our huge tree (50 feet / 15 meters high) fell down on the road in our neighborhood, we had many regional offices’ workers fixing the situation. And luckily we had also our neighbor helping with a lot of ‘live’ translations when works were taking place by the road. Hindi isn’t spoken by all. And all these 22 official languages can really differ a lot!
BACK TO ENGLISH OR HINGLISH!
English in India is the 23rd language that is very commonly used. Just few actual highlights first. If you are not used to English accent in India, it might take you few days to fully understand some people speaking. Two weeks ago I was talking to online shop sellers on the phone and I still struggled to understand. But in person it is easier, so don’t worry! The good thing is: really a lot of people have at least basic English knowledge. Or I should rather say it is Hinglish! People love to mix their official local language and English together. So sometimes you might be even able to understand local discussions! 🙂 Each time we travel somewhere, all I hear at home is “pack karo” (karo means do it). So let’s pack and move on!
HOME SWEET HOME
India is very known for colors. Colorful clothes, decorations, trucks, in fact all is colorful! And so are typical Indian houses. I know that most people, when traveling, love to visit houses of local people to experience the real life. So if you have a chance to visit someone’s home in India, do not expect to see white walls. They are often believed to be boring! Instead, each room might have a different color. And I do not mean shades of beige or grey. From yellow, to blue, purple, pink… Rainbow houses!
GODS’ PICTURES ON THE WALLS
While traveling in India you will notice a lot of gods’ pictures on the walls of the houses or buildings. My first thought was: that must be for decoration. Hmm, not really. India is still facing challenges with the garbage management and overall facilities / infrastructure. People keep pictures of gods so that their street or wall area is more respected. Garbage is not thrown out, people avoid dirtying that area. Now it makes sense!
TEMPLES AT HOME
First time when I visited a house in India for a festival, I heard that before dinner we will go to the temple. I thought, of course, that we will go outside to the temple. So all I was thinking was that, back then, I will need to manage walking in saree outside the house. Yes, wearing saree first few times isn’t that easy.
Nearly each Hindu family’s home in India has a temple inside the house. It might be a small (or even big!) separate room or a corner place where poojas (prayers) are done. During poojas fire might be lighten up! Yes, I have never seen so big fires set up at home (the one on the picture is still a small version of it).For me, till date, maximum fire at home was: kitchen stove or lightening up a candle! 😀
ON THE ROAD
When I traveled to India for the first time, it was a business trip. I had to work on the plane a bit so I thought I would catch up with some sleep on the way from the airport to the hotel, in hotel’s taxi. My attempt to sleep finished very fast:
a. speed breakers are everywhere, also on the highways :s
b. on the highway “magics” can happen: people crossing road, cars reversing or going opposite direction
c. everyone horns all the time, trucks have “horn ok please” signs
d. when it is dark, people love to drive with long lights – for own better visibility 😮 (My Better Half believes it is an excellent business opportunity: to produce special glasses that could prevent from being blinded by seeing all these long lights!)
As you can imagine, I did not sleep till the hotel. Instead, I stayed fully awake and alert. Travel experience!
During my second visit to India, I traveled to Goa. Goa is a perfect place for motorbikes / scooties drives. And that’s when I got very surprised that only driver needs a helmet. I took a helmet in my hands, but it disappeared really fast: I wasn’t the one to wear it, it was the driving person. Hmm. What is the difference? Driver is more strategic and needed? 😀 Hmm, I am lucky My Better Half takes perfect care of me now! Two helmets always!
One of my favorite items to smile about: street sellers! Street sellers seem to be everywhere. In fact, just during “core lockdown” we had a bit of silence. Otherwise it is “lemoonnnns” every day at 9 am. And all other sellers before and after. Street sellers sell everything: from fruits, eggs, ice-creams to carpets, stove elements, plants. Often super useful, sometimes super disturbing :p A perfect mix!
THAT’S NOT THE END
It is better to see something once than to hear about it thousand times…
Our journey will continue, that’s not the end. Incredible India isn’t only about these unknown (or less known) facts! Do you want to find out what is unique about doctor visits in India, how notary offices look like or how many maids one family can have? Yes? Then, join me next week too! And let’s travel together. Especially now, with existing travel limitations. Knowing more about a place takes us a bit closer to it in our virtual world where mind travels faster than light. It feels like at home, at my home in India. Shortly I should travel and be back!
Want to add something to this list? Or maybe got super surprised? Add below in comments! Remember: sharing is caring!
Moments that matter, no matter the fact.