It can be a little scary traveling to a different country – especially if you’re traveling for medical reasons. So, we’ve put together some basic information about India to help you understand the culture.
India: An Overview
There are about 1.21 billion people who live in India, and these people are called Indians. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the south, the Arabian Sea to the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast. The Republic of India is situated in southern Asia and borders (to the north) China, Nepal, Bhutan, (to the north-east) Bangladesh and Burma/Myanmar, and (to the north-west) Pakistan. The country’s capital is New Delhi.
Manners, Common Greetings, and Customs
The traditional Indian form of greeting is the namaste, which literally means, “I bow to the divine in you.” The namaste is used for greeting, for taking leave, and also to seek forgiveness. To greet someone with a namaste, bring your hands together with palms touching in front of your chest in a graceful fashion. Here are several common greetings:
1. ‘shubh prabhat’- is “good morning.”
2. ‘Shubh sundhyaa’ -Good evening!
3. ‘Shubh raatri’ – Good night!
Religion and Beliefs
The Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Throughout India’s history, religion has been an important part of the country’s culture.
Food – What to Eat
India’s cuisine reflects its vast population and landscape.
There’s meat bathed in rich curries, fried dough covered in chutney and yogurt, and almost every spice you can imagine.
From sweet, syrupy desserts to hearty kebabs, we’ve rounded up some of the best dishes to eat throughout the country.
Some traditional foods include:
• Biryani, an aromatic rice dish cooked with several spices, notably saffron, and a protein (typically chicken or mutton) that’s been marinated.
• Momos: A variation on the traditional dim sum, native to the North-Eastern states that border Nepal (where the dish originated), eaten with a fiery red chutney.
• Idli: A heavy South Indian breakfast food. A fermented batter of ground rice and lentils, steamed in little circular moulds.
• Gulab jamun: Small balls of dried milk, slow cooked and boiled in a sugar syrup.
Weather – What to Wear
The weather is different in various parts of India. Cities along the coast have mild temperatures – not too hot and not too cold. Inland cities have hot and dry summers and cold, or rainy winters.
The clothes people typically wear in the cities are business-style outfits.
Shopping – What to Buy
INDIA IS A shopper’s paradise. In fact, one of the favorite pastimes is shopping in India. You just can’t beat the combination India offers: an incredible variety of gorgeous items, often hand-made, at temptingly low prices. Here’s my list of what buy in India:
1. Textiles. India is famous for cotton and silk clothing, bed covers, table cloths and wall hangings. Many of these come adorned with hand beading and/or hand embroidery and will make you feel like a princess. And you can buy a lot of great Indian clothes online too.
2. Shoes. From inexpensive leather juttis (traditional embroidered slippers) to crystal-beaded, high-heeled evening sandals, shoes in India are fun and frivolous … and very tempting.
3. Jewelry. Indian women love jewelry, and the bigger and more ornate the better. There is an astounding variety of real and costume jewelry — to go with your princess look.
4. Tea. The champagne of tea, Darjeeling, comes from the hills of North-east India; and Assam and Nilgiri teas are excellent too.
5. Pashmina and other shawls. Real pashmina is a type of cashmere wool that comes from pashmina goats in the Himalayas. It is very costly. So, if someone offers you a pashmina for a small sum, such as $10, it’s probably a blend (at best). However, there are many beautiful shawls made in India from wool, silk, cotton and blends of these materials.
6. Scented products. India is, of course, the land of incense. And attar, a type of natural perfume extracted from flowers, herbs, spices, or barks, has been in use in India since ancient times.
Entertainment – What to See
Most of India’s major cities have a busy cultural scene that offers concerts and performances of Indian classical music and dance, theatre productions, art exhibitions and Bollywood movies.
The Indian film industry is the biggest in the world. Cinemas are widespread, from small local theatres and arts centers to large regional and national chain multiplexes in shopping malls. Most films screened are in Hindi and other Indian languages. English-language films are mostly mainstream Hollywood movies. Some of the bigger national chains include:
• PVR (Priya Village Roadshow) Cinemas:
• BIG Cinemas:
India and Medical Travel
Because India has many exceptional medical facilities and doctors, it is a popular destination for medical travel. If you have a serious medical concern and treatment is too expensive or is not available near you, contact Apollo Hospitals Information Centre Kenya.
Apollo Hospitals Information Centre Kenya is committed to our patients, and we reinforce that commitment with our 5-Star Standard of Service. In addition to connecting patients with Apollo group of Hospitals, and coordinating medical travel, we also often facilitate quality local and regional care. Contact us to learn more, and let us offer you the power of choice as we guide you on your journey.
Nov 17, 2017 / Apollo Hospitals Information Centre Kenya