Things I’ve learnt from living in India

I said goodbye to India this morning. Or rather, goodbye for now.

Many have asked how I feel about leaving. The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity, each day brought its own stresses, triumphs, highs and lows. But the prevalent emotions I feel are that of gratitude and sadness.

Continue reading “Things I’ve learnt from living in India”

India Debunked #12: I Am Woman

In December 2012, 23-year old medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey boarded a private bus with a male friend. She was brutally raped, tortured and murdered. It made headlines across the world and sparked widespread protests in Delhi. I hope the world never forgets it.

Continue reading “India Debunked #12: I Am Woman”

India Debunked #11: Holy Cow

If you’ve ever been to India, you would have seen cows, pigs and stray dogs running wild on the street.

Would it surprise you to know that these seemingly unchecked, freewheeling (free walking, rather) animals have owners? Someone definitely owns the cows, the pigs are owned by ‘low caste people’ (someone else’s words, not mine. I was horrified.) and some stray dogs are ‘owned’. Continue reading “India Debunked #11: Holy Cow”

India Debunked #10: Are You Together?

Arranged marriages still account for the majority of all unions in India. A recent 2013 survey even showed that 74% of young people in India preferred arranged marriages over one where they can freely choose their spouse. Some view this as an archaic, backward process but it is very much part of Indian culture. Even children of the Indian diaspora in places as cosmopolitan as New York and London consider being introduced to potential partners by the parents.

Continue reading “India Debunked #10: Are You Together?”

India Debunked #8: At Your Service

Service is excellent here.

There is someone different to do different things here, everyone has their bit of a job to do. Bringing drinks, serving food, sweeping floors, opening car doors, receiving parcels, sending parcels, picking up cheques, dropping off cash, altering clothes the list goes on. Everything also gets delivered to the home here – fruit, vegetables, groceries, laundry, wine, shopping etc.

Continue reading “India Debunked #8: At Your Service”

India Debunked #7: What’s in a Name?

I was teased about my name as a child. My name is Tania. In the Malay language, ‘tania’ means ‘to ask’. Cruel joke or just coincidence? The story goes that my sisters got to choose between Rachel or Tania for my name. I was too precocious to care about the teasing but it did happen a lot. When I moved to Australia as a teenager, I finally made peace with my name and now I love it. I can’t imagine myself as a Rachel.

In India, name matters a lot.

Continue reading “India Debunked #7: What’s in a Name?”