A Pioneer for Organic Food in New Delhi

Posted by Heiko Pfeiffer • Tuesday, December 6, 2011 • Category: People and Places
On a recent day when going to work to our office in South Delhi’s Shahpur Jat neighbourhood, I noticed, amidst sweets and street food vendors and recent fashion shops that have been mushrooming in the area, this cute little shop called “Dubdengreen”. Inside, unsurprisingly for this densely populated neighbourhood, the space is small enough, the decorations are minimal and the absence of shining and blinking advertisement on the shelves catches the eye. This looks more like a farm house shop, so you wouldn’t be surprised to find mooing cows and chattering chicken in the backyard. A quick look around is enough to confirm the impression: grains and millets are there, fresh vegetables next to fresh fruit and dairy products. This is indeed another shop for farm goods – so how is it different? Well, this one is all about organic.

(c) by Heiko Pfeiffer

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Learn Hindi in Delhi, India

Posted by Heiko Pfeiffer • Monday, November 28, 2011 • Category: Global Career
Coming to India for vacations, internship or job? Regardless the amount of time you are planning to spend here, it is very advisable to learn at least a couple of basic phrases in Indian languages. They will make your stay nicer, your experience richer and they will even save you some money! The "language situation" in India is quite different from other countries. You have many official languages and countless of other languages. In fact, India has the most complex linguistic set up anywhere with literally thousands of languages being spoken. Nevertheless, there is one language that functions as a lingua franca across much of the country. Indians generally refer to it as Hindi!

Whether you would like to speak to the locals at a holy shrine...

(c) by Manuel Menal
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmenal/6324711879/]

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The Last Cup of Coffee – Hunting for Coffee in Delhi

Posted by Darya Dmytruk • Tuesday, November 22, 2011 • Category: Crossing Cultures
[This article is not for those who drink solely tea, or the ones who are certain that a cup of coffee can kill a horse.] When you live in Delhi, you bargain successfully every day with rickshaws on the way to your office and can barely breathe through your scarf in the compulsory traffic jams. Everything is fine until one day you realise, that the supply of “as if it was always there” coffee in your kitchen, that used to be the best moment of your morning, is over. And at this very moment you understand that your day cannot start right, that the sun set and this city had finally got a chance to catch you. If the caffeine-deficiency in your body is not that high and you can still think, you go to the nearest market and try to find something like your favourite Lavazza.

(c) by Darya Dmytruk

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CouchSurfing in India

Posted by Hana Navratilova • Friday, October 21, 2011 • Category: People and Places
The first time I was in India I wanted to get to know the real India - not just the Lonely Planet-India, so I decided to do CouchSurfing. Occupying somebody else’s living room is not just about saving money. It is about sharing. A complete stranger shares with you his home. You can observe his morning habits, you eat with him, you can discuss every possible topic under the sun... Indians, at least the Indian CouchSurfers, are usually very keen on discussing the differences and similarities of their own and your culture. Hence, I got to know a flight attendant, an elephant rider, a family father, a son of a wealthy family etc. So I could see the differences between the lower, middle and upper social classes. It was an incredible experience!

How to wash an Indian elephant
(c) by Hana Navratilova

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Internships in India and China Will Give You an Edge

Posted by Flora Saint-Sans • Friday, October 14, 2011 • Category: Global Career
Why should I do an internship in India or China? Take a look around you. How many students in your school are doing internships in India or China? Not many, I suppose. This by itself is the first advantage of doing an internship there. If an employer has two identical candidates with everything else being the same except that one of them has done an interesting internship during his/her college years, who do you think the employer is going to prefer? Of course, the person with the outstanding internship!

"Chindia Flag": China and India are becoming increasingly attractive destinations for internships abroad

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101 Things to Do While in Delhi

Posted by Daniel Ratheiser • Monday, September 26, 2011 • Category: In Depth
Whether you come for business, education, or leisure, India's capital city Delhi offers you countless opportunities to spend your time. To help you make the most of this mega-city, we have gathered together over 100 interesting, fun, and often unconventional ideas into one handy guide. See how many you manage to tick off before you leave - that is, if you intend to leave behind the city's excitement at all…


ACTIVITIES:

1. Learn Hindustani, the lingua franca of the Indian Subcontinent (that covers the continuum of the standard registers Hindi and Urdu). For Delhi this is a real Must - and will make you enjoy the city all the more!

A haveli courtyard in Old Delhi
(c) by Varun Shiv Kapur
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/varunshiv/3968814237/]

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Being a Chinese Tourist in India!

Posted by Roberta Mazzoni • Friday, September 16, 2011 • Category: People and Places
Lili Jiang, 23, is a Chinese student from Sichuan Province, China. In July she went to travel in India and she has decided to share her experience with us.

KM: So, first of all, Lili, how come you decided to go to India? Isn’t it still a quite unusual destination for Chinese tourists?

Lili: Well to be honest, I think you are right, there aren’t many Chinese tourists in India (yet!), and on the plane I had a hard time explaining to the Chinese hostesses and passengers why I was travelling to India as a tourist. Most of the Chinese people on my flight were going to India for business purposes and they didn’t understand why I was going there just for fun! The hostesses were actually worried for me, telling me things like: “Why are you going to India? Are you mad? If you need help you can stay with us, here’s our Indian phone number!” Despite their concerns though, my experience in India was great! The main reason why I decided to go was that I’ve always felt an attraction for India! We’re neighbours, yet so different!! My friend (who was flying from Hong Kong, while I was flying from Beijing) and I were scared we would miss each other in the airport. Luckily enough, I guess I looked too different from my Indian sisters and brothers and my friend recognized me right after I got out of customs!

(c) by Lili Jiang

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Delhi Walla: An Interview with Mayank Austen Soofi

Posted by Laura Mansour • Thursday, September 1, 2011 • Category: Arts and Beyond
Knowledge Must recently had the chance to interview Mayank Austen Soofi, the famous delhiwalla blogger (www.thedelhiwalla.com) who also wrote four books on the city of Delhi and its people. Few other people have tried to experience and write about the full diversity of Delhi’s neighbourhoods, sights, foods, traditions, ethnic groups, and religions. For the last couple of years Mayank Austen Soofi has been exploring Delhi deeper and deeper, and the web community continues to be astonished by the kind of stories he manages to dig up.

(c) by Mayank Austen Soofi

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Teaching German in India: How Hindi Eases a Teacher’s Life

Posted by Andrea Walter • Monday, August 15, 2011 • Category: Global Career
Teaching your native language and with it your cultural background in a foreign country like India is an adventure in itself. Let me give you some examples. Little did I think about that a cartoon picture of a woman can make grown men blush and turn their heads down when mentioning “der Po” (German word for “bum”) while talking about body parts. Also, as I am used to say “Gesundheit” (“bless you”) to a sneezing person in Germany, here, people just apologize for sneezing. Another one: Once, one of my students asked me with an expression close to horror in his eyes “I heard Germans eat food that is not completely done!” It took me a moment to realize that he was referring to some of the ways meat is prepared in Germany and once more realized the differences between Germany and India when it comes to perception, behaviour and food.

Teaching German at Language Must's New Delhi classroom
(c) by Andrea Walter

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Shahpur Jat - Knowledge Must's New Home in Delhi

Posted by Daniel Ratheiser • Monday, July 25, 2011 • Category: People and Places
At Knowledge Must we are very happy to present you our new home in Delhi, Shahpur Jat, one of the city's most sympathetic neighbourhoods. Shahpur Jat is an urban village in South Delhi, located near Hauz Khas and within the historic walls of one of the ancient capital cities of Delhi, Siri Fort. Representative of the city of Delhi like very few other neighbourhoods, vibrant and yet relaxed, chaotic and still tranquil, Shahpur Jat's contrasts never fail to leave a lasting impression.

Shahpur Jat children playing cricket along the Siri Fort wall
(c) by Sourav Das
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/souravdas/2163672748/]

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Discovering India for the First Time: The Feelings of a Franco-Egyptian Girl

Posted by Laura Mansour • Monday, July 25, 2011 • Category: People and Places
At first glance one could say that there is no point in comparing Egypt and India, but when I came here I noticed that there were quite some similarities between these two countries. When I first arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi I had this strange feeling of familiarity. Facing me there were hundreds of Indians staring at me but it didn’t disturb me, the same thing occurs in Egypt, so I am quite used to it. I only realized that I was in India on the way to my flat, when I tried to explain to my taxi driver who didn’t speak a word of English how to get there. From that moment I understood that in India things could quickly get more complicated and that I had to sweat it out. A challenging programme was waiting for me; will I be able to measure up to it?

The first days I decided to gather my courage and discover my neighbourhood. I made this leap to have a glimpse of India’s living conditions and culture and I quickly realized that I was not in an environment that was completely foreign to me. I was walking along the main market of Malviya Nagar when I had this strange feeling: it was a mixture of a dream and a flashback from my time in Egypt.

The panorama that stood in front of me, the city of Delhi with its crowded streets, noises and smells, reassured me somewhat. I found here the same hawkers shouting their slogans, the same sweltering atmosphere of the days of extreme heat and also the same frame of mind: bargaining. Nothing better than going to shop in a local market or to launch into the traffic jam to feel fully immersed. Crossing a busy intersection involved similar risks! However, it reminds me of how my cousins in Egypt who used to take my hand to help me cross the street – now I can proudly say “I can cross the street on my own!”

It is true that when when many people think about these two countries, one word comes first in their minds: poverty. Children, the unemployed and handicapped are the most affected by poverty and it is a fact that one often comes across beggars, touts and children who are trying to sell roses. Nevertheless, you have to go beyond that kind of stereotype if you really want to appreciate the splendour of these countries. Simple people, always welcoming, with a sense of mutual support, that is what I found here, not to mention the gorgeous sceneries which are classified among the Seven Wonders of the World.

Some scenes particularly struck me. Just look at these pictures and try to tell which country it is:

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Fasting in India - The Hindu Day Fasts

Posted by Rachayta Gupta • Tuesday, June 14, 2011 • Category: People and Places
Fasting is an integral part of Indian tradition. Fasting means holding oneself back voluntarily from eating something certain or even any kind of food for a definite period of time. In Hindi language it is called “vrat”. A fast can be partial or prolonged, e.g. for a duration of 24 hours. There are also some fasts in India which are observed for a week or more, examples being Navratri fasts, or Muslim fasts during Ramadan and Jain fasts. In Hinduism each day of the week is related to planetary constellations and devoted to a certain deity. These fasts are generally observed according to one’s individual needs. The day fasts can be understood in the following manner according to the different days of the week:

(c) by beggs
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/beggs/99275271/]

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Rediscovering My City – Guiding a Walk through Old Delhi

Posted by Rachayta Gupta • Monday, June 6, 2011 • Category: Crossing Cultures
I had never made the experience before of how it feels to guide somebody in a place that is so well known to me. On the 28th of May 2011 I held my first guided tour of my native place Old Delhi – and it gave me such a fresh feeling of being a representative of my culture and not just a sheer local of the place I have been living in for almost all the years of my life. If you ask locals of Delhi about Old Delhi, their first reaction often is a feeling of discomfort. It is a place which is mostly considered by people as a cobweb of streets that are overcrowded and where you can get lost easily if you walk alone and don’t know the place well. Even for me living in Old Delhi, before preparing for this walking tour, my locality was just so humdrum and tiresome – everything was so fatiguing to me.

(c) by Soham Banerjee
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/soham_pablo/427918971/]

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Corporate Responsibility First Hand – An Internship with Organic India

Posted by Anna Niedermeier • Wednesday, May 11, 2011 • Category: Global Career
“Not the eye that is focused on the work piece, but the eye that scans the horizon at leisure will discover all new interconnections.” (Carl Friedrich Freiherr von Weizsäcker)

This quote aptly describes my basic motivation, which is why I am in India. I find myself in an orientation phase, and felt the desire to leave my daily life to look beyond the box. I want to give myself some time before I begin the next phase of life. A time to think about how I want to shape my future. A time when I want to find role models who inspire me. A time when I left my habits behind to learn new ones. Simply a time to broaden my horizon. For this purpose, it is fruitful to leave the familiar and immerse yourself in another culture. Exactly that was a secret dream of mine that had been growing within me for quite some years.

(c) by Anna Niedermeier

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India Celebrating Cricket: Foreigners Witnessing the 2011 World Cup

Posted by Helena Trapero • Tuesday, April 26, 2011 • Category: Crossing Cultures
I have been two months in India already and I thought I have seen crazy things, chaotic traffic, and incredible scenes. I didn´t realize yet that I didn´t know anything about cricket. I noticed that they were broadcasting several matches on TV, but I didn´t pay any attention really. Suddenly a Cricket World Cup semi final was taking place in the north of India and everyone was just crazy about it. Two days before the event everyone was talking about it and asking me who did I support: India, for sure.

Cricket dominates Indian sports, from the high Himalayas...
Photo by grabka dot org
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/grabka/530597438/#/)

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