The Biggest CULTURE SHOCK of India ???

#1 Jun 4th, 2008, 04:20
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#1
Where would you say one would experience the biggest culture shock going to India?
#2 Jun 4th, 2008, 06:53
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I can only guess that the "culture shock" would depend largely on how prepared you are in advance for what you are going to encounter.

Some people do no research and from the second they step off the jet, they're unprepared.

Others will do lots of research; read books; watch movies; check IM & LP sites. For them the "shock" can be a lot less.

I fall into the 2nd category & for me the "shock" factor was minimal but towards the end of my journey in Kolkata, I sympathised with the barefoot rickshaw wallahs and the street people who lay down to sleep in Sudder Street in the very early evening.

Cheers
Zoltan
#3 Jun 4th, 2008, 07:26
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#3
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Originally Posted by hedkandi View Post Where would you say one would experience the biggest culture shock going to India?

The controlled chaos and subsequent bombardment of the senses might hit you like a 'waft of jet exhaust' at the airport you disembark at ..... or on the busy street outside your hotel on your very first morning where you will see but not believe a herd of cows wandering down the middle of the road, while a monkey swings from a tree, and a richshaw driver blows a wad of bloody red betel juice in your general direction as he passes by. My god, no reading can prepare you for the things you see but not believe as a first time visitor. Snake charmers, seemingly on every corner, elephants parading down highways or bathing at the river, wild street dogs meandering about in various levels of healthiness, touts, hawkers, & taxis following you as if you were just declared Time Magazine's most wealthiest person, a constant 'je ne sais quoi' oderous conconction of stink, smog, sweet & spice, temple chants, every imaginable type of honking horn ok please, mosquitoes by the hundreds to welcome you .......... & a hoopoe in a Mango Tree!!!!!

Yup nothing like the first day, first hours, first moments of that arrival to India where you really don't know whether to $hit or wind your watch!
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
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Last edited by PeakXV; Jun 4th, 2008 at 09:59.. Reason: sp.
#4 Jun 4th, 2008, 09:46
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#4
The first day(s), indeed.

Other than that, attending a large mela (festival) with few other whiteys around. Or perhaps just being in the wrong street of the wrong city at the wrong time of the wrong day & absolutely losing it with the next umpteenth whatever-wallah trying to get something out of you.

You've started some strange one-liner threads btw by way of introduction. Care to tell us a little about what brought you to this site, Hedkandi?
#5 Jun 4th, 2008, 10:07
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Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post The controlled chaos and subsequent bombardment of the senses might hit you like a 'waft of jet exhaust' at the airport you disembark at ..... or on the busy street outside your hotel on your very first morning where you will see but not believe a herd of cows wandering down the middle of the road, while a monkey swings from a tree, and a richshaw driver blows a wad of bloody red betel juice in your general direction as he passes by. My god, no reading can prepare you for the things you see but not believe as a first time visitor. Snake charmers, seemingly on every corner, elephants parading down highways or bathing at the river, wild street dogs meandering about in various levels of healthiness, touts, hawkers, & taxis following you as if you were just declared Time Magazine's most wealthiest person, a constant 'je ne sais quoi' oderous conconction of stink, smog, sweet & spice, temple chants, every imaginable type of honking horn ok please, mosquitoes by the hundreds to welcome you .......... & a hoopoe in a Mango Tree!!!!!

Yup nothing like the first day, first hours, first moments of that arrival to India where you really don't know whether to $hit or wind your watch!
All that - the first day...and then the shock of how quickly you get used to it. You just have to choose not to be shocked, or you will be shocked all the time.

Judging by the reverse culture shock on our return, it seems that the things that made the most impression were the colour, the noise, the crowds ... everything seemed so dull and quiet and clean, your senses feel like they're shutting down when you come home, and when you first get to India its like you discover senses you didn't know you had,
#6 Jun 4th, 2008, 10:29
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Peak, you forgot about the camels.

For me, one of the biggest shocks was being a minority. Yep, surrounded by brown people, I was for a time very conscious that I was the only white person around. I got over it; now it doesn't bother me, but when I was first in India, it was a bit strange.
#7 Jun 4th, 2008, 19:44
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I was pretty prepared so there wasn't really too much that shocked me. The only thing though would have to be a man was dying on the sidewalk in Bombay and nobody cared. Everyone just walked by or avoided him by walking on the street.Some women putting something over their noses as he was in his own feces and had lots of flies on him. That really pissed me off how no one gave a shit.
#8 Jun 4th, 2008, 19:54
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#8
I don't think you can ever be prepared for that kind of thing, and although I've never seen it, I'd say that culture shock in India forme consists of the nasty stuff that goes on in families, and the dreadful world of Indian politics.

Maybe London had already prepared me for "nobody gives a shit" ---but here it is honed to a fine art.

The nice stuff I just get on and enjoy just like I always did; thankfully it doesn't go away just because we discover some of the crap under the surface .
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
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#9 Jun 4th, 2008, 21:26
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#9
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Originally Posted by kristinm View Post All that - the first day...and then the shock of how quickly you get used to it. You just have to choose not to be shocked, or you will be shocked all the time.

Judging by the reverse culture shock on our return, it seems that the things that made the most impression were the colour, the noise, the crowds ... everything seemed so dull and quiet and clean, your senses feel like they're shutting down when you come home, and when you first get to India its like you discover senses you didn't know you had,
Beautiful post.

I felt the exact same when I went to Thailand - as if I was opening my eyes for the first time.
#10 Jun 4th, 2008, 22:10
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#10
Getting out of the Airport Terminal in Delhi for the first time.
Amrik
#11 Jun 5th, 2008, 05:22
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#11
Any particular event/holiday or city that shocked you the most???
#12 Jun 5th, 2008, 05:34
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ananda2193 View Post I was pretty prepared so there wasn't really too much that shocked me. The only thing though would have to be a man was dying on the sidewalk in Bombay and nobody cared. Everyone just walked by or avoided him by walking on the street.Some women putting something over their noses as he was in his own feces and had lots of flies on him. That really pissed me off how no one gave a shit.
I had a similar experience in Jaipur (I think) & the woman had 2 babies, and similarly it was the attitude (or lack of) of passers by and police that really shocked me not so much the public homelessness - people die in the street everywhere, I know they do here.. (not as often maybe), but no-one seemed to care in this case. That was the biggest culture shock I think.
#13 Jun 5th, 2008, 17:42
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#13
The toilet of Thampanoor bus station in Trivandrum...
#14 Jun 6th, 2008, 08:03
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Lovely thread.

I agree with what wonderwomanusa said. In addition to that, I also became extremely aware of being female. I remember driving around from office to office in Agra (we must have seen every road in Agra) and not seeing *any* women. I thought I was just being paranoid, but my male coworker stated, "where are all the women?". After that, I became acutely aware of how many women I was near when I was out and about. That was one of the biggest culture shocks for me.

-C
#15 Jun 6th, 2008, 08:12
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Oh yes, the toilets..... I forgot about that...

still I managed and I am notoriously squeamish, I have one of those tummies that just heaves involuntarily at a bad smell or bad sight. Although strangely the everyday smells in India were fine (except the outdoor urinals)..and the food no problem - although I can't for instance, force sashimi down without heaving.

Caradmon- first you think where are the women, then you start noticing them, then you notice how beautiful, beautifully dressed and graceful they are overall ...no matter the social circumstances... then you start to take a little effort before you leave your hotel in the mornings -

I was wearing mascara and lippy everyday and I never do here unless I go out.
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