Hello India!!!

Hello India!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Culture Shock

Do you know what’s the weirdest thing here is in India? Or should say THINGS? Here are some different cultural practices that are different from America
1)      Laundry
You wash your own undies and hang them inside the house (with clothes lines in the bathroom). People are not supposed to see your under garments. There’s a maid who does your laundry for you with her own bare hands; there are no laundry machines (in our house hold). They dry the clothes by hanging them in the rooftop of the building – and it seems like every building in India has a roof top.
2)      Geckos eat mosquitoes
Don’t be surprised when you suddenly find a gecko lizard behind your shelves, cupboards, or T.V. It’s common to have geckos around the house (in Asian countries) because the geckos eat the mosquitoes. It’s kind of creepy but it’s a secured-creepy feeling.
3)      Indoor shoes vs. outdoor shoes
There’s a difference between indoor and outdoor shoes and it’s crucial to distinguish the difference. Outdoors shoes may only be worn outdoors because there’s cow poop and dirty things outside that you step on and don’t want them to be in the house. Indoors shoes are worn inside the house and they are usually nice clean flip flops or slippers. Why wear different shoes? The roads outside are dirty; it has cow poop, dirty and smelly water puddles, and etc, that’s why we need to wear different shoes.
4)      Food Etiquette
It’s important to note that there are eating rules here in India [though, not every family practices these rules]. On our first night here with Auntie, she put some rice and dal on our plates. We waited for at least a minute at the dinner table. Finally I whispered to Kathryn: “Is she going to give us spoons?” Then it hit me, Indians eat with their hands. “Oops, sorry. Stupid question.” We giggled. Auntie overheard and us and said, “Oh sorry. Spoons!” Another night when Auntie cooked us fish for dinner: The first thing I did was reach for the fish. She stopped me and said, “No, no, no. In Indian culture we eat rice with dal first, then we eat the vegetables, then we eat fish – and if there’s mutton (lamb) then we eat that last.” There’s an order of what you eat first and last. I never knew that.
5)      Shower
The showers here are not really “showers”. It’s kind of hard to describe it. You see, the shower is right smack in the center of the entire bathroom. There are no shower curtains or bathtub. The first thing you need to do before showering is turn on the “hot water heater” so you can get hot water. Then you use a big bucket and place it under the faucet to catch the water. You use a small pale to pour the water on yourself. That’s how the shower works, more or less. Finally, after you done showering, there’s a “mop” that you use to sweep all the water into the drainer.
6)      Curfew
10:00 P.M is the curfew for girls here. Why? Well, for the most part it’s for safety. It seems like once night time hits India it becomes dangerous for girls. Somehow the men’s hormones switch shifts when the sun and moon switch shifts, too. We are encouraged to take a taxi home before 10 p.m. or else we better know some kung-fu to kick some butts if they do something to us. The metro (subway) which is the public transportation closes at 9:30 p.m. I’m not sure, but I guess at night the ‘call girls’ come out… of course none of us are prostitutes so we shouldn’t be out at that time???

India’s a different world – it’s a whole new world.

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