Things I learnt when I travelled to India for the first time

In the summer of 2018, I travelled to India for the first time with my family. As a British born Indian girl I was excited to discover my roots and explore my heritage. I wrote an article about my experiences on Gal-Dem so give it a read!

But what did I learn about the specifics of the Indian way of life which is a contrast to the British Indian way of life? Visiting my family in India really solidified this. I decided to write a blog post about it!

  1. It’s common for people to eat on the floor at mealtimes. Sitting cross legged with a plate of bateta shaak ( potato curry) on my plate, eye level with my family I found myself eating more mindfully, really taking in the taste and visual imagery of the food. As I was balancing food on my lap, I couldn’t really eat and scroll brainlessly through my phone at the same time
  2. Even though I’m Indian, I found there was a stark contrast to the way I was viewed by Indian natives. It was obvious I was a tourist from everything to the way I dressed to the way I spoke (more on that in the next post). Relatives would often ask me if I spoke Gujarati (my mother tongue) and I would hear workers talk about me thinking I couldn’t understand them.
  3. The blunt inequality was made blindly obvious to the amount of adult and child beggars on the streets. It forced me to appreciate the fact that I had a roof over my head and food and I that I was travelling India as a tourist, able to visit restaurants and stay in hotels.
  4. Family and culture share different vibes to the UK. The relationship between caste and marriage is a significant value in Indian culture whereas in the UK, it is more overlooked.
  5. The driving in India is WHACK. Constant speeding, hanging on for dear life and cows in the way! There are no rules.
  6. In parts of India, it is the norm to dress modestly, no miniskirts and keep shoulders covered. People will stare.
  7. Navigating the markets is a strength. Big contrast to Camden. People’s persuasion will be dialed up to a 100 and you will have to put your bargaining skills to the test.
  8. If you think Indian food in the UK is good you’ve underestimated how unbelievably Peng and beautiful the food is in India. I developed a serious addiction to Aloo Parathas at breakfast with Indian tea and don’t get me started on the Paneer.

If you enjoyed my post, read my article on Gal-Dem for a deeper discussion on how I reclaimed my roots:  https://gal-dem.com/wanderthirst-reclaiming-my-roots-in-india/

Let me know what you think in the comments x

Twitter: @Naveeshaaa

Instagram: @Naveeshaaa

7 thoughts on “Things I learnt when I travelled to India for the first time

  1. It’s nice to discover other British Indians via this platform. Great little read 🙂

  2. I have been to India 3 times! A lot of what you said are things I noticed as well as India!! Even though I am Indian, I remember locals staring at us, which is something I just got used to in the end!

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