10 Things The ‘Modern’ West Can Learn From India

10 Things The ‘Modern’ West Can Learn From India

The Western world may be advanced in many aspects, but India is a world of it’s own. Our unique take on many subjects may seem unusual, but most of the time it’s those quirky views that make India such a beautiful place to live in.

1. Family and Relationship Values

In India, whenever there’s a fight, we don’t break our entire family apart over it. We try our best to work through it, and in the end emerge as an even stronger family. Also in India, parents are kept in very high regard, and that’s why you won’t find most of our elderly lonely and depressed in nursing homes, but rather living their golden years gracefully with us. Most Indians grow up with their parents and grandparents both.

2. Water > Toilet Paper

How can a place so obsessed with hygiene be so dirty when it comes to personal hygiene? Toilet paper is a massive waste of resources (i.e., trees) and is harsh on your skin and not nearly as effective as water is when it comes to ‘piche ki safai’.

3. How To Show Guests A Good Time

We place our guests on the same pedestal as Gods. Perhaps you’ve heard of the saying, “Atithi Devo Bhava”, which translates to “The Guest is equal to God”. Even if visiting for a few minutes work, you are greeted with a glass of water and a warm welcome.

4. We Can Always Make Room

Unlike in the western world (where there’s more than enough room), India is forever welcoming to refugees, even when we’re already overpopulated. This point hits home for me, as I’m a Parsi and my ancestors seeked refuge, and India was accepting as always and we found it here.

5. Jugaad

Now officially recognized in the Oxford dictionary, Jugaad means A flexible approach to problem-solving that uses limited resources in an innovative way. Give Indians a problem that seems unsolvable and they’ll come up with a 100 different creative AF solutions.

6. Our Food

India has a completely different outlook on food. You won’t find such tasty food (most of which is vegetarian) anywhere else. We also highly condemn wasting food, whereas in the west, some places waste up to 1/3rd of prepared food.

7. Respect For Elders

Our children are taught at a very young age that one should respect their elders. This sanskaari teaching could prove very useful for all those parents in the west.

8. Wholeness in Diverseness

While we may have our differences, India is a land of several religions, cultures, and languages. And as such, everywhere you go you’ll see different people living and working under the same roofs. Everyone is given a chance when it comes to our government, and guess what. We’ve had female prime ministers and presidents and our government is as diverse as it can be. But the USA still hasn’t seen a woman as the president, and all except for one have been white men.

9. How To Be Accepting

In such a diverse country as India everyone is accepting of all the different cultures and types of people. If you take a look at our history, no matter who came across us, we let them in and soon they were part and parcel of India.

10. How to Celebrate a Festival

With so much culture there are festivals around every corner undoubtedly. Indians know how to celebrate. Vibrant colors, lip smacking food, smiles, and gifts unending.

Bonus: Even Strangers Are Fam

We call our rickshaw drivers “Bhaiya”, our parent’s friends “Aunty” and “Uncle”,  the household helps “Didi”, and what not. In India we all are one big happy family. (Nahi yaar kaafi senti ho gaya. But you get it.)

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Persias Tadiwala is a student on a journey to discover the ways of this world.

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