Getting to Know Delhi's Multiple Faces

Posted by Peter Beland • Saturday, May 29. 2010 • Category: Crossing Cultures
"Medieval mayhem, opulent metropolis, stately maiden aunt: give it a chance, and this unruly capital will capture your heart. Yes, it's crowded, aggravating, polluted, extreme, and hectic, but hey - nobody's perfect."
- Lonely Planet India, 13th edition

These were some of the first words I read about Delhi. A city officially of 15 million inhabitants, but in reality more like 20 million. A city of djinns and city of dreams for the capital's millions of migrant workers. Mega malls and glittery condos take root next to fields of marigolds where sari-clad farmers lay out their produce on nearby roadsides, hoping to attract Delhi's middle-class suburbanites on their way home from work. One of the world's most polluted cities, it boasts more parks than most Western capitals.

© Photo by Knowledge Must

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Living in India as a Western Woman

Posted by Esther Motullo • Monday, May 10. 2010 • Category: Crossing Cultures
I came as a woman to India, my choice of destination for fulfilling the next endeavors…

… and guess what, I’m still in India and believe or not: I am still a woman!

What is it like to be a woman from Germany living in India? What a simple and complex question at the same time! Let’s begin with the daily routine, pulling the bicycle out of the garage, preparing for the regular ride to work. This seemingly not worth mentioning act is today welcomed by a burst into heart full laughter of the by now well-known neighbor. Shortly after he asks in Hindi at least for the third time, what in the world I’m up to. Despite all the attempts of the most obvious explanations, ranging from the enjoyment of riding a bike, exploring the new city, saving money, looking for an exercise - to mention a few - he still seems to bang his head on what to make of this shockingly awkward picture. I will come across this almost paradigmatic reaction several times more on my way to work. I don’t mind, not the least, because it adds a significant amount of entertainment to my daily routine. I am grinning over some of the ones out there, bumping into each other or on good days crashing into street lights while staring towards the cycle lane.

© by Biswarup Ganguly

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