15 things one shouldn’t just assume before traveling to India

So I was doing some reading on the internet for another post that I wanted to write, and I saw chronicles of past visitors to India, most of them moved me to tears, and not always pleasantly.

I read about isolated incidents of misdoings of my fellow country folk, and how those incidents quickly became larger than they were, they started to define perceptions of possible travellers. While I understand the need to share experiences and warn fellow travellers of the dangers that could crop up unannounced, but making blanket statements is like saying all things white are ice – misguided and utterly inaccurate.

Here are some of the most common, and personally most irksome assumptions made before people travel to India, and there are endless travel tips on how to counter the consequences of these assumptions, get real people. Carry some common sense and you should be able to avoid the following –

1. Assuming that all the food and water will upset your tummy, and lugging along too many medicines.

A college care package created for my soon-to-be college bound & poor sister :) It's a medicine box filled with halls cough drops, vaseline, visine, bandaids, advil, alieve, tums, neosporine, pepto, saline drops for the nose, blistex, calamine lotion, and benedryl.
2. Assuming that blanket statements about the country are accurate.

All Generalizations Art Print, by Chris Piascik
3. Assuming that nobody will ever fleece you for being a foreigner.

Foreign female tourist in India- tips for female travel in India
4. Assuming that everybody will always fleece you for being a foreigner.

25% decline in foreign tourists after Dehli gang rape.
5. Assuming that everybody has a patriarchal value system with convenient loopholes for hypocrisy

Before the gang rape of a physiotherapy student in Delhi last December, most Indians were reluctant to have that critical but uncomfortable conversation about violence against women. I was living in Delhi at the time, and in addition to the usual sus
6. Assuming that everybody has a collectivist view of themselves.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves ~ Carl Jung❤️☀️
7. Assuming that everybody has an individualist view of themselves.

Individualist culture  (2)
8. Assuming that you will either love it, or hate it.

"Love hate, such a fine line"
9. Assuming that you will neither love it, nor hate it.

"Indifferent Captain" Art Print by Teo Zirinis on Society6.
10. Assuming that slums and the associated poverty are what India stands for.

 

Calcutta Slum Life
11. Assuming that all Indians take interest in gossip and ask very uncomfortably personal questions.
12. Assuming that all Indians do not take interest in gossip and ask very uncomfortable personal questions.

monogrammed pillowcases are like the 12,854th priority in my life, but I still really want them.
13. Assuming that mainstream Bollywood is the only form of Indian Cinema.

Margarita With A Straw Movie Poster
14. Assuming that you will be given preferential treatment because you’re fair skinned.
15. Assuming that every stranger on the street is out to get you.
India is perhaps one of the strongest examples of the Gestalt school of thought in psychology that believes that the whole is different from the sum of parts. Because if this isn’t true about India, I’m not sure what is.

Until next time,
Try not to make too many assumptions! 😛

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