Recently, I had chances to interact with a few foreigners who came to visit the Incredible India for official purposes. It was a great experience interacting them and getting to know how different and how similar our cultures were. Despite the cultural and geographical differences, we discovered that there are a few things which we all find interesting like Beauty and Booze. I guess, such worldwide interests act as the unifying factors for people across the world. However, there were quite a few things that they found different or fascinating about India or in other words, the things that they couldn’t fathom. The things for which we could not explain the logic behind them since the most apt explanation for them in India is “chalta hai” , whose most closest English variant would be “that’s the way ball bounces”.
So, here goes my list of things I think that amazed them:
- The traffic: They were amazed to find that despite so much commotion, there were no accidents taking place. They were amazed to find a motorcyclist overtaking a bus with just an inch gap and the pillion rider showing no signs of anxiety as if the bus just behind him was non-existent. They were fascinated at the sight of seeing so many yellow, little-thingies on the roads, better known as autorickshaws in India.
- The food habits: They didn’t understand why the Indians always like to dip the bread(roti, naan etc.) in curry(sabji, daal etc.) before eating it. They didn’t understand why the waiter in the restaurant waited for a minute for them to order curry when they just ordered naan.
- The common language: They were surprised to know that English is the language which is closest to being the common language spoken across India. They were amazed to know that officially, there are 22 languages spoken across Indian and there exist several variants of each language.
- The hospitality: They couldn’t understand why the people were always so courteous towards them. They didn’t understand why we always offered them to take the seat whenever they came around to our desk to discuss something.
As Indians, we sometimes find it hard to understand what is there in India which could possibly interest the foreigners. Maybe, we need to reassess our cynicism and think about it from a neutral(foreigner’s) standpoint of view.