Ever wondered what life might be in India? Reader Azania is here to tell all!
I live in Mumbai which is a busy, metropolitan city in India. Life here is awesome! Because I live in such a big city I get to meet people from all over the world - it's a real metropolis! However global we become, though, Indians will always be Indians at heart. The climate in Mumbai is hot and humid in the summer, and it floods during the monsoon. If it rains heavily, school is cancelled and we get a chance to have fun in the rain - it's our equivalent of a snow day!
Western clothes are now a part of life for Indian youth; whatever the stereotypes say it is very rare to see someone in a saree heading to college or work. The saree is usually reserved for cultural festivals, but there are those who find traditional dress more comfortable and choose it over western styles... it's a personal choice. In the villages, things are much more traditional and Indian dress is what you would see. The saree I am wearing in the picture is 25 years old and belongs to my mum - it's made of pink silk lined with green, with hand embroidery. It is draped in the traditional gurjarati way. The saree is really heavy and hard to carry, but I really love it!
Religion is diverse too... many people are Hindu but Muslims, Christians, Jews and Parsis are common also; I guess we don't have too many atheists though! In the city we all do our own thing and what religion you are is not important - what kind of person you are is much more important. In rural areas there is more of a religious bias, but as the literacy rate rises that may ease off. Some Hindu sects require followers to be vegetarian but others are less strict and do eat meat! Indian culture is still very strong and very much valued. The picture shows me with some traditional Kathakali dancers in Kerala, one of India's most beautiful areas - this was taken on a school tour.
India is a pot pourri of cultures which intersect at every turn, and our food shows our love of variety. It ranges from curries to steamed rice with dal (a sort of veg gravy made with pulses) to overseas influences like lasagne and garlic bread! There's a street food vendor who sells raw mango and tamarind near my school - that's him in the picture - it may not be the most healthy or hygienic snack, but it's definitely the most delicious! Schools here have a strict uniform rule - it does get boring wearing the same kind of clothes every day, but it really does help you to feel a part of the school. I go to a co-ed school which is just a short car journey from home. We have a catchment area system, but it is not strictly enforced, so I have friends from all around the city.
My life's ambition is to be a journalist and bring the truth to people all around the world; I would also love to be a writer. I am interested in what is happening all around the world, but I am happy and proud to be Indian - this country has made me what I am!
Wow... Azania's account really brings India to life! It is a country I have always wanted to visit - how about you? COMMENT HERE to tell us if you've been to India or would like to visit; or if YOU are an overseas reader who would like to share your story with DREAMCATCHER!