One of the reasons that makes India such a great destination to travel to, is its people and hospitality. India is a diverse multi-cultural country that is home to numerous different ethnic as well as tribal groups.
Yes, the population in India is high. It is the second most populous country in the world – people are almost everywhere, but they are as diverse as they come. Indian people can make anyone feel comfortable and intrigued with their boisterous and ever-welcoming nature.
Indian cultures, languages and traditions are diverse and vary from region to region within the country – but there is still a lingering sense of “Indianness” that you will feel everywhere. Though there is diversity in the country ranging from linguistic, to religious, racial to caste and ethnic groups and sub groups, India is the best example in the world for “Unity in Diversity” because amidst little differences and cultural conflicts there exists an intriguing harmony between individuals or groups belonging to different backgrounds and cultures, which is interesting to witness and experience.
Good hospitality is an ancient tradition in India. A motto was coined to reflect this centuries ago - ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ (meaning “guests are equivalent to God”) and the tradition continues to exist even today in the country! But India’s hospitality doesn’t apply only to fancy hotels or resorts. If people like you and are convinced that your intentions are true, there’s a chance that they will welcome you into their homes and provide you with comforts and good food, even at the cost hardship on their part – and if offered any money or payments, they consider it an insult. If this is the way common people treat you, you can only imagine how amusing your treatment will be in hotels, lodges or resorts.
Every celebration or gathering that happens in India is almost always carried out pompously and gleefully – be it a wedding function, religious celebration, and even movie releases or cricket match screening. Furthermore, funerals too, for that matter, are carried out with drum beats and dances in a few parts of the country since it is believed by people in these places that death is only a passing on from one form to another, and the dead person should be given a merry farewell from the world, and their legacy commemorated in a cheerful manner!
It is not uncommon for tourists to be invited to village festivals or festive celebrations by people in India – and this is aa great opportunity to witness all this pop and frolic that these celebrations are about. These are a delight to watch and experience, and to get acquainted with some friendly locals who may be able to give some amazing recommendations for things to do (and not to do) in the area.
However, there are some pointers for first time visitors or people unfamiliar with the culture in India need to know about:
Indians have been described by tourists and travellers in the past as eternal optimists, philosophical, resilient and the world’s best hosts. Hence, a tour to India can never feel complete without its colourful and riotous populace!