Whenever people think of India they automatically think of the Taj Mahal, the incredible monuments, the hustle and bustle—and of course they think of it as a country that has over a billion people! Born and bought up in India, I never truly appreciated my country like I do now. I meet people everyday who would love to go there and experience the wonderful culture and adventures the country has to offer. This makes me feel very lucky that my home country is on the top of many people’s minds.
As an Indian I can tell you a million things to do to truly understand and devour the country, but I have narrowed it down to a view which will allow you to enjoy it just the same. Here are a few of them:
Enjoy the street food
Your stomach will be fine and you won’t get Delhi belly! Feel safe to try the street food especially in cities like Mumbai and Delhi. Not only is it the best tasting food (seriously), it’s also extremely cheap and fills up your stomach. I do recommend sticking to places that are crowded, the quality and taste is better. It’s an important experience to try the local food as you will get to know what is parallel to Tim Horton’s in Canada.
Watch a Bollywood movie
Watching an Indian movie in Canada is really different than watching an Indian movie in India. Going into the local movie theatres and watching a newly released Bollywood movie with the crowd can be a great experience. Of course it will be in Hindi but with all that dancing happening I bet no one will care!
Enjoy a cricket match with friends
It may be a gentleman’s game, but in India that notion is completely wiped out! Indians are crazy about cricket like Canadians are about hockey. Going to a cricket match with thousands of people can really make a difference in your trip. With screaming fans and the occasional Mexican waves, cricket might just become a favourite sport of yours.
Shop at the local markets
Whenever shopping in India, always go into the local markets instead of the big shopping malls India has now. You will not only get ethnic stuff to buy but you will get them at the lowest possible prices. Also, the markets, known as bazaars, are full of interesting people and sights.
Strolling around the streets is important if you want to get to know the feel of the place. Walk around and see the sights that you can ONLY see in India. Feeling the energy of the crowds can be a life-changing experience. Also watch out for the occasional cow!
Use public transport
Be it buses, trains, metros, or auto-rickshaws (three-wheeled taxis), India has it all. It is the fastest and most economical way to travel. Most locals use these modes of transportation everyday so be warned that you might be able to get a glimpse of a really, really big crowd at all times of the day!
Going on an Internship in India can be a life changing experience. Going with AIESEC will be more rewarding as you will truly be able to live like a local and experience the “Country with a Billion Opportunities.”
Shreya Dasgupta is currently a first-year student in Simon Fraser University, Burnaby. Born in Calcutta, she has lived in many cities in India including New Delhi and Bangalore. Pursuing a degree in Economics and Political Science, she loves to keep up with current events and her goal is to help the unprivileged. Her hobbies include reading books and visiting different countries. As a member of AIESEC, she loves to meet new people and develop relations across the globe.