Advice for young females traveling alone in India

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#1 Oct 20th, 2003, 16:06
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  • breeb is offline
#1
I planned my trip to India because it's been my dream to go for three years, and my parents (dog bless them) bought me a flight as a present for finishing my degree. Im so excited, and am planning to stay around ten months travelling around.

But..when telling people of my plans I have had some really dicouraging, almost frightening warnings about going alone as a female.

So, all the women out there on the forums could you give me a little advice or guidance?

And to all the women who Have had a hard time, I'd love to hear you air your grievances!

India here I come.

Power to the Peaceful
#2 Oct 20th, 2003, 16:31
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#2
hey!!! DOG??? or ... GOD???

pls rectify....
#3 Oct 20th, 2003, 17:12
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I'm an atheist. You know what I mean. I love them dearly. How could I not?!
#4 Oct 20th, 2003, 20:17
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#4
I've travelled alone in India quite extensively over the last 30 years. It's a fabulous country and you'll probably enjoy yourself very much.

If you will wear salwar kameez (that "Punjabi suit" you'll see women wearing -- baggy pants, baggy shirt and a scarf which is not optional -- you'll give people the silhouette that they are used to seeing and will avoid a lot of unwanted attention from the bold and sex-starved men who will approach you.

You should also avoid being alone on dark streets at night, and private contact with strange men. Just because they are wearing shirt and trousers instead of a longhi doesn't mean a man has the capacity for the sort of friendship you and I are used to from Western men -- so don't expect that.

Meet cyberpals in public, in daylight if possible... always. Even at home, this is kind of like saying "don't take candy from strangers" but every once in a while we need that reminder.

If you're lost or need to know what time it is, ask the nearest woman. Her husband will answer, but direct your conversation at HER.

If someone touches you, slap him! Scream "pervert"! Take off your shoe and threaten him with that! But that's a last resort -- better to avoid those situations when possible.

Oh, and if you are on a train and someone asks if they may please sit on your berth while you sleep -- tell him that you know he would never want anyone to ask his sister that same thing and to forget that idea.

Kolkata is a wonderful city and I've never had any problems there. However, if you walk around in tight t-shirts and trousers, or low necklines, shorts, or any sort of revealing clothing, you will have problems everywhere.
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#5 Oct 20th, 2003, 20:53
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#5
Great. It sounds how I had kind of imagined. I need to pack caution, cultural sensitivity, and common sense it seems. I imagine it will be difficult at times, but hey. Is there much difference women should worry about bet. North and South?
#6 Oct 20th, 2003, 23:06
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#6
WONDERWOMANUSA,
Perfect
#7 Oct 21st, 2003, 00:33
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#7
south is much more laid back, friendly, and respectful, in my experience.
#8 Oct 21st, 2003, 00:36
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#8
What's the berth sharing thing all about ? sounds new to me.

As for the north-sound diff. most women I came across said they faced no problems in the south whatsoever. Although most vehicles carrying "hello baby!!" kind of male tourists bore "KL" (Kerala) number plates.
#9 Oct 21st, 2003, 01:20
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#9
The first trip I took anywhere outside of the US was to India, travelling alone. Although "not easy" (and you've already heard why) it was an experience of a lifetime. If you follow Wonderwomen's advice, you'll be able to minimize some of the annoyance. DO wear a salwar kameez...I remember the day I switched off wearing western clothes for Indian garb, and the difference in the way I was treated (for the better) was astounding. Wonderwoman also advised to how to deal with being "touched" ... and do just that. The operative word here is to stand your ground, swing that shoe and yell...unwanted advances....be extremely indignent, and again, ask them if thats the way they want their sister/mother to be treated and walk away. After all is said and done..your positive experiences in India will far outweigh any weirdness, as long as you follow the advice on how to behave. I have returned to India many times since my first trip alone...and travelling with a male makes things go easier..but hey, if there is no one to travel with...that is no reason to hold back on a trip. You're likely going to learn more about the world on a trip like this than your formal education! Good luck!
#10 Oct 21st, 2003, 12:44
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#10
>>What's the berth sharing thing all about ? sounds new to me.<<

Someone pulled that on me about 30 years ago -- coming from Kathmandu and leaving Roxaul, I bought the last available sleeper berth from the train attendant, and it was an upper, on the side, near the door. Um, this was in "3rd class" which doesn't seem to exist any longer.

A couple of young kids travelling unreserved watched my bags all day (I fed them several times and gave them a couple of rupees).

At night, when the train officials threw the unreserveds out of the car, some guy proposed sitting on the end of my berth while I slept. Somehow, I just knew that if I allowed that, he'd have his hand up my saree when I started snoring!

And of course, he'd have to kill anyone who proposed such a thing to his sister, right? <sigh>
#11 Oct 21st, 2003, 16:26
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#11
LOL!! This is so much fun, and every bit as true! :-) OK I know its not fun when u are on the receiving end, so dont get me wrong, I have been felt up more than once on the train, and I am a Bloke!! :-)
#12 Oct 21st, 2003, 19:48
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#12
Oh, Mpop

Again you are telling same thging.
Do you think all indian male are waiting for single foreign woman?
And they don't have any work?
Do you think 3rd world ??? people are just outside your world?
Do you think all male of your 1st and 2nd World are gentleman?


"I am learning a lot"
Please give little more time
Thanks
#13 Oct 21st, 2003, 20:29
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#13
A lot of the uneducated Indian men seem to assume that non Indian women are loose and sleep around with anyone.

These guys even hassle women when they go overseas and quite a few of them have been arrested here in Hong Kong. These people give the country and all Indians a bad rep. In Hong Kong and China Indians are by far the most hated of all Asians and Indian men are labelled as perverts. Its a shame as most of the Indians here are very decent people except for a small minority who probably are here illegally.

Indiaguide this behaviour is rude and unacceptable in my country and most of the western world. If someone tried this in the US he would get maced, beaten up or arrested. If someone tried that with anyone I was with I would take him somewhere quiet, tie him to a chair and beat him up every hour for a few days until he was too messed up to hassle any woman ever again.

Bill
Too Many Gandus, Too Few Bullets.
#14 Oct 21st, 2003, 20:59
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#14
A lot of Uneducated Indian men?????
A small Minority who probaly are here illegally????????????
#15 Oct 21st, 2003, 21:03
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  • indiaguide is offline
#15
Do you like India without indian( Male and Female)?
or India with only indian woman
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