5 Great European Trips For Culture And Skiing

Having travelled to 20+ countries and living as an expat for over 10 years abroad, I certainly have a different way I look at my own country now..

I’m surprised at reading how much disgust is being expressed towards India on some posts. Well, I have a different, maybe controversial opinion on this..

Having travelled around so much I have developed an innate sense of respect for India. It definitely has a vibe that I find unique than all other places I have been to..

  1. Its multi-layered Culture

India has 22 official languages, total of 121 languages and 19,500 dialects spoken all across. This should give you a sense of how much diversity exists in the country.

As a foreigner, if you land in North India and stay there for a week and then if I blindfold you and drop you off in South India, you’d think you are in a completely different country for a while. There is still a beauty, a thread which connects the whole nation, I call it the thread of culture here..

Kathak artist performing the age-old dance..

Punjabi Celebrations

Culture of Joint families is still strong..

2

. The Respect to Old, Young and Foreigners..

I have never seen such deep respect imbibed within oneself as part of the culture, in any other country (yet).

Son seeking his fathers blessings..

Kumarika (young girl) being worshipped in Bengal (Durga Pooja)

Tourists welcomed wholeheartedly

3. Thousand years old traditions

A simple ‘Namaste’ speaks a thousand words. It could mean respect, it could mean welcome, it could be a courteous greeting…

Fasting - Karwa Chauth - Wife fasting for the well being of her husband

Arranged Marriages - Where not just the bride and the groom, but two families come together..

4. Secularism and Tolerance in the truest sense

For thousands of years people have been trying to split the country apart based on religion. Hundreds of terror attacks, hundreds killed, but still, the country always gets back on its legs stronger without any divide and tolerance.

Countries are known to have gone to war for a single terror incident and some countries are known to shoot and kill protestors just for throwing stones at them..

There are still forces at play everywhere in the country trying to incite mobs in the name of religion, garner votes in the name of religion and tear the country apart in the name of religion. But India has persevered through all this and will continue to do so..

Pay homage to Ram and pay homage to Rahim too

Hindus who come to pray at the Hanuman temple in Gaddeajijpur village in Uttar Pradesh, also need to pray at the Jind Peer Baba Mazar, as per local customs. That is the only way their prayers will be answered. This rule has been in place since 1930.

A foreigner visiting Haridwaar - The holy site for Hindus, the base of the river Ganga.

I know of countries that would basically behead/lash you if a person of another religion stepped into their holy site!

5. Festivals!

Diwali, Holi, Eid, Christmas, the list goes on and on..

Did you know? As per UNESCO,

Kumbh Mela (the festival of the sacred Pitcher) is the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims

on earth , during which participants bathe or take a dip in a sacred river. Devotees believe that by bathing in the Ganges one is freed from sins liberating her/him from the cycle of birth and death. Millions of people reach the place without any invitation

A study about the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage in India will be presented at an annual symposium on South Asia hosted by the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

‘Mapping the Kumbh Mela’, a study by 50 Harvard faculty, staff and student researchers who travelled to Allahabad in January this year, documents and analyses the processes involved in the Kumbh Mela, billed as the world’s largest human gathering.

Isn’t it dumbfounding, that a not-so-infrastructurally-developed country can hold an event of such magnitude without any hiccups consistently year over year? I guess thats what prompted Harvard to use it as a case study..

6. Unparalleled Architecture and monuments

Meenakshi Temple - Built in 6th Century - 170ft tall

Who doesnt know of the Taj Mahal?

Awe inspiring Ellora Caves..

One of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, Ellora caves. Dating back to the 6th and 10th century, these are a group of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain caves. UNESCO inscribed the heritage site in the year 1983. There are a total of 34 caves temples. These comprise of 17 Hindu, 12 Buddhist, as well as 5 Jain caves, and are a proof of religious harmony prevalent in those times. Extending over 2 km, these caves are a display of architectural marvel of ancient India.

Hawa Mahal - In the pink city - Jaipur

Golden Temple - Amritsar

7. Cuisines

This is the best part about India!

Every state you visit, you get to experience an entirely amazing culinary experience. I have never experienced such a stark contrast between states in any other country..

Enjoy a Gujarati Thali..

Or a South Indian meal (Saapadu)

Maybe some Punjabi?

8. Democracy in the true sense

The people could literally topple governments! You get the maximum number of votes, and you get selected the Prime minister. Simple.

The politicians tend to sway and influence the gullible people at times. But how long will that continue? The choice and power still lies in the hands of people.

Any common man can file a Public Interest Litigation in the court against a Public servant or an influential personality.

A consumer can lodge a case against and brand, low or high profile in the consumer courts.

I could literally go on and on..

Does my country have any issues? Oh yes!.. OHHHH YES!! and they are plenty!

We have this..

Fake Godmen - Yes, these jokers still exist

Corruption..

Bad roads in places..

..and the worst of all. No proper infrastructure to nurture impoverished children! This is the biggest bane of my country!!

….and plenty more

But I’ve matured to realize that every country has a dark underbelly and my country is no different.

Considering the fact that its only been 72 years since its Independence, it has come a long way from where it started. We have already made our presence felt in space. Mangalyaan was the cheapest orbiter launched to Mars by ISRO!

The more I travel, the more I realize that the people are the same everywhere and have similar interests and goals all across. But India being a cultural hotpot of so many religions, heritage and traditions is like an entity of it own. I have come to respect the diversity, tolerance and the serenity amidst all the chaos.

Cheers!

Source : https://www.quora.com/How-has-traveling-abroad-changed-the-way-you-look-at-your-own-country

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How has traveling abroad changed the way you look at your own country?
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