Holy Cow! What is and Isn’t True About India

December 18th, 2013 by The JetSetter Team | 2 Comments »

Slide1Everywhere you travel, you’re likely to discover that what you’ve heard just isn’t true—not everyone in Texas loves guns, not everyone in New York is rude. Unfortunately, stereotypes can begin to define a place, leading people to travel to it (or completely avoid it) based on rumors. India is a great example of such a place—for such a large and varied country, it seems to often be pigeonholed. There are a million stereotypes about the country and the people who live there. Here are the ones we hear most often:

No one speaks English

Many US citizens tend to forget that English is a widely spoken language. India is no exception—English is one of many languages spoken there, and is also the official language of the country. This means that government business is done using English. Most universities also teach courses using English, so young people in areas where many are college educated are likely to speak the language. Even in more rural areas, you’ll probably find someone who speaks at least a bit of your language.

Everyone is poor
While there are many very poor areas in India, it is not comprised entirely of them. There are large houses and well-fed citizens everywhere. Many parts of India are highly industrialized, differing only slightly in many ways from American cities. It is not uncommon to see groups of children begging outside a shopping mall while wealthy people spend money inside.

No one eats meat
While there are many individuals in India who do not eat meat, perhaps just as many do. There are a variety of religions and some allow for the eating of animals. Many Indians do not eat beef, and it isn’t a great idea to eat cattle there, as it is both frowned upon and may not be entirely safe. Goat is often consumed, as is chicken. Chicken Tikka is a popular dish in the United States, and it’s no different in India.

The land of snake charmers
Some of the images of India that seem the most iconic portray snake charmers in colorful robes. In actuality, these guys exist only outside of major tourist attractions and charge extremely high rates to snap a photograph. The practice is hardly mainstream, and exists primarily as a means to get tourists to empty their pockets.

When Jason Hartman travels, he’s careful to be informed but not closed-minded. The chances are that no trip will be exactly what you think. Go with an open heart and mind and soak in all the world has to offer.
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