India is DIVERSE-full of races, faces, places, dishes, languages and more traditions than I could ever count. Each Indian state has a different local language, dietary norms and all one needs to experience a new culture is visit the next city and eat their local food and meet the local people.
I became a traveller in India. I honestly did not have taste for adventurous travel till I landed in the sub continent. The pristine beaches of Kerala have taken my breath away , I have marvelled at the beauty of palaces in Mysore and Hyderabad and I have a deep connection with Jaipur in Rajasthan, the pink city where my husband proposed to me.
It’s incredible that the local food in Tamilnadu-rasam, curd rice,tamarind rice and pongal are not what is local food in Kerala which is the next state.
The languages and written script of the different parts of India are completely different and I am amazed that I once thought people of India all speak only Hindi.
The diversity is manifest in the people. I have come to believe there is no Indian or Asian race. Ya know, like how am black. Pardon my ignorance but prior to travel, I had a mental image of how Indians as a people look and during my early days in Tamilnadu I often used to mistake some people (mostly clean shaven men) with being African like myself. I of course got over it due to the high number of people who can pass for black people in the South. It’s a bit astonishing for an African like myself to meet black (or is it dark skinned) Indians, especially since the Indians in Nairobi are mostly Gujarati who are quite fair skinned. I guess more so because meeting Africans in India is rare (except in universities and at hospitals).
There is nothing like diversity to spice up life. I am however no longer naive enough to not realise that I marvel more at the diversity because of my previous pre conceived ideas of India and the fact that am a foreigner. Many Indians are proud of where they come from and even if they do converge in the big cities, you will find them with their own. You will find that Bengalis know each other and have found their perfect fish market that sells their favourite hilsa. The Telugu know where to find their pucca gongura puchadi and mixing and interacting with `others’ is done with a bit of caution.
Like our Kenyan tribes, the different Indian communities have their own set of stereotypes .The Tamil people are considered hard working and a tad bit conservative, the Punjabis are considered flamboyant and people from delhi are snobs. I have also discovered that stereotyping is a habit of the entire word 🙂
Here are some pictures of diverse and incredible India…
The guy below is a waiter in Mahabalipuram. His Afro made me think he is from Africa but NO!
A wedding in Siliguri (North East Indian women)
Camping in the wild of Andra-Pradesh
Isn’t Kerala breath taking?
In Jaipur-the pink city and why I love India part 3,4,5,6…….. 🙂