Getting Your Feet Wet in India

When you come to India, prepare for your senses to be assaulted. I tell all my clients that, especially if they’re visiting the country for the first time. Nothing you’ve heard about India quite matches up to the reality. And don’t think “I have been to Mexico, so I know how it will be.” Nothing prepares you for India, except India itself. The crowds, the heat, the apparent chaos, the dirt, the traffic, the stunning contrasts—everything is an attack on your senses. But after the initial shock and with an understanding of the contradictions and the unwritten codes of Indian life, you can start to truly enjoy one of the most fascinating countries in the world.

Recounting an initial Indian encounter

India is a unique country, one that can be quite shocking for some Westerners. Your first encounter with Indian culture will almost certainly be a memorable one, and I’ve heard numerous stories about the initial shock that foreigners describe when seeing India for the first time. One of my favorite descriptions is from Sue Price, a Canadian:

“Life happens all around you—people living everywhere, worshipping, doing business, and sleeping in the streets. Cows, sacred to Hindus, wander freely about the streets. Hindu temples dot the streets and alleys, filled with images of innumerable gods, ornately decorated with vibrant colors and gold leaf, redolent of sandalwood ...

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