I have returned home from a trip to India. It was my first time visiting that country, and it was a great experience. I had the opportunity to learn about the culture and how their society functions, based on their religious beliefs. I met a lot of people and spent a lot of time talking with them about their culture, traditions, festivals, religions and many other interesting subjects.
I spent two weeks in Chennai, training and helping a team of engineers to kickoff their project.
It was a huge cultural shock, everything is so different from the western countries. Here are some of the things that I found the most interesting:
They don't have rules while driving. It's crazy. There are no speed limits, no lines and people cross the streets at any time and at any place. Here's a short video of my experience while crossing an avenue in the city.
They love animals – cows, monkeys, elephants, camels, pigs, snakes, almost any animal can be found in the street. People feed them, they throw away some food to the street so animals can eat something.
Temples. There are temples everywhere, in every corner there's at least one small temple. Seems to me that in the south of the country the Hindu religion predominates, while in the north the Muslim; this is just my opinion based on the architecture of the temples.
They are vegetarians. Most people are vegetarian because of their religious beliefs. Not everyone is, but a lot of them are. The food is really spicy with a lot of flavors and is not common to find beef.
They have serious issues with hygiene. There's a lot of trash in the streets, seems like people don't care about it. I couldn't find a trash can while I was walking on the city. The following picture is from the beach, it was really dirty.
Even if it is a different country, I had a great experience. India is a country with a lot of history and ancient monuments. The flight is very long and tiring but the experience is worth.
I may not return to India anymore, but I recommend the experience, of course if you are not confortable or open to get to know other cultures, I recommend you not to go. You need to be very open minded.