Today we had to leave Saint Xavier’s and our host families. We attended our last Indian assembly and said our goodbyes and then it was off to Barefoot College, a pratical school for women who cannot read or write. The women are taught both independence and craftsmanship for their own and their village’s benefit. It was truly inspiring to see these women do their best to learn and acheive despite their poor backgrounds.
The days spent with our host families were absolutely amazing. We saw Indian life from a whole new angle. All of these new thoughts made us realize, that despite spending multiple lessons studying this fascinating country, many things in this land have surprised us. We ran around with red dots on our forehead, never really knowing what they did or why they were there and greeted everyone with the word “namaste” despite the fact we had no idea what it meant. Here are the ten things we didn’t know about India
- After a visit to the toilet, they use water hoses
There’s no toilet paper. Only a hose. We have no idea how they use and we’re not interested in finding out. #DontWannaBeTestSubject
- From a plastic bag to twelve bathrooms
The streets of India are a strange place. In the left side of the road, there might be multiple million-dollar maisons placed neatly side by side and on the right side of the road, there might be a family of eight living beneath a bag of plastic.
- Cheap, strange food
If you’re a coffee-lover, you better bring your own beans. Otherwise your early mornings will be hell to get through. The food is extremely hot and spicy – even the breakfast. However, if you are the type that like hot food but usually can’t afford it, India will be perfect for you. You can easily eat three dishes for less than 50 kr..
- Sweat, bathe, dust
You’re constantly surrounded by – and covered in – dust. It’s in the air, it’s on the roads and it’s on your clothes. The hot weather doesn’t really help either. You sweat. A lot. We have never in our lives had to take so many showers, but that’s the price you pay for 30 degrees celcius in October.
- Men get touchy
There’s not that much more to it. Stay near your group and it won’t happen so often.
- Animal welfare
They may be ‘holy cows’ but their treatment is far from fit for a god. They roam around in the street, constantly having to dodge scooters, tour busses and cars. And the most surprising thing of all: this all happens in plain sight. The scooters just drive right past the cows; apparently having to manuver past a cow or two on the road is quite normal for most Indians.
If you don’t like the sound of a car honking, then you shouldn’t go to India. In Denmark, if someone honks at you, you will think about it for hours, and perhaps even take it as an insult. In India, honking is used as a means to tell people you’re there and thus the streets of cities as well as the countryside are full of honking. Also, if you wanna cross the street, you just have to walk and hope you make it to the other side.
- A snitch in every class
Formally they’re known as ‘prefect’. Their job is to walk around, inspecting their classmates for everything from their socks to their nailhygiene. These students get special perks. They also wear a name tag with the title ‘prefect’.
- Their kindness
Despite the conditions that some of these Indians face on a daily basis, we have been greeted with nothing but smiles and open-mindedness. Everyone is eager to talk to you and for that we are very grateful. We endorse everyone to travel to India!
As you may have noticed, we have only made nine points on this list. This is to illustrate the fact that things never go as planned in India.
Posted by Maiken, Emma V og Anna