Delhi is a million miles away from home in many ways. So, we’ve put together a list of things that have taken us by surprise, from the national anthem to cows and Mormons, we have truly seen it all.
This is actually a good thing. They go all out with security in Delhi. When ever go you into most shops, metros stations, cinemas etc you first must walk through a scanner before being patted down. Women get patted down behind a screen, whilst guys do it in front of everyone. To be completely honest though, some of these people seem to not care too much about their jobs and just wave you through. Not worrying in the slightest. Or maybe it’s because we’re white… Who knows? In some instances, you also must put your bag through a scanner which makes you vaguely feel like you’re at the airport. They also have guards outside of shops that will check your receipt and the items that you have to ensure that you haven’t been shoplifting. The tight (most of the time) security does make us feel a lot safer and at ease when we are wondering around Delhi.
This is something that most people who have been to India before warned me in advance. It is however, not something that you get used to easily. The stares follow us wherever we go. Our supervisors told us in our initiation classes that was also a Delhi thing. Apparently, people in Delhi do just like to look you up and down and that’s just something that we’d have to deal with.
Indians, just like the rest of us, love a good selfie. They have absolutely no shame when it comes to taking selfies, so it is not unusual to see someone try to find their lighting in the middle of a busy shopping centre. This is to their detriment as they just look like absolute numpties. Another thing which Indians love to do is ask us for selfies. Better yet are ones who you see try to sneak us into the background of their selfies. Subtle is not a word that you will find in Indians vernacular. Also, I am pleased to tell you that the creature known as the selfie stick that was thought extinct in the UK is still alive and kicking in India. Never has better news been shared on an Action Team blog.
- National Anthem.
We very recently made a trip to the cinema to watch the new Fantastic Beasts film (5/5 stars by the way). The adverts were interrupted by a blue screen. We thought that something had gone wrong. It was in fact us that were wrong. A loud voice asked us if we could stand for the national anthem. As it turns out we all could stand, and the national anthem began to play. What was eerie was that we were in a cinema full of Indians who are otherwise quite a loud people and yet it was silent. I could not hear one soul singing the national anthem. We quizzed our supervisor’s son about why this is a thing and he said that the new Indian government pushed for this to happen and that is was quite controversial. For us however, it was just weird.
They seem to speak a weird hybrid of American English and British English here. Whilst they spell colour with “ou”, they call it an “eraser” not a “rubber”. No where in Delhi will you find a “mum” instead “moms” take their place.
Most of you reading this will probably already know that cows and India go together like mince and tatties (potatoes), so you will not be shocked to find out that we see a lot of cows. No day is complete without nearly hitting at least five cows whilst on the road. This is a potential danger when paired with the fact that wearing seatbelts in the backseats is not compulsory in Indian. In fact, many vehicles don’t even have seatbelts in the back. I promise that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Probably.
Indians love to celebrate. As a result, we have had just as many days off due to festivals as we have working at the school. Okay that was maybe a slight exaggeration. But we have had a lot of holidays. We had the opportunity to go and see some of these festivals. One of the festivals we were a part of was Dussehra. Cue them lighting three massive effigies on fire, that are stuffed to the brim with fireworks. Again, completely safe.
When you are out and about in Dwarka, the last thing you expect to see is two white people walking around with badges that say “Jesus Christ” on them. Naturally we were intrigued so we went up and began a conversation with them. Let me say that they were so Americanly Mormon that it hurt. We did have some good conversations with them though. However, after they left Orla was rather confused on a particular matter. Cut to Orla saying, “I thought that Elder was just a common Mormon name.” This was a literal facepalm moment.
Thank you for reading our blog! We hoped you liked it as it was something a little different. Leave a comment below to let us know! See you in 2 weeks!