Travelling to a new country doesn’t just leave us amazed by the cultural diversity but we knowingly or unknowingly also end picking up habits of the natives. Hence, here is a list of 10 habits this Traveller Ben A. Wise picked up while living in India
1. Shoes Outside = Mom is Happy
I take my shoes off whenever I enter my house or someone else’s home. I find this to be a wonderful habit. Not only because of cleanliness—who knows what I might have stepped on in the street—but also because it feels right. Some people find this curious, “You don’t have to take your shoes off!” but I do it anyway.
2. When a Word Defines Your Emotions! 'Aiyoo'
I do this almost exclusively with my significant other and kids, but I say things like appadiya? or acchaa? when they say something interesting to me. Or sari or thiik hai. Or I say aiaiyooo! when something unfortunate happens.
3. The Head Helps
I wobble my head sometimes while listening to others. Some people find this strange. It took me years to be able to do this. Indians do it so naturally and gracefully—I love the movement and I suppose I adopted it along the way.
4. That's How We Do It!
I might drink water from a bottle by raising it above my lips and letting the liquid arc down into my mouth.
5. Hath Se Khane Ka Alag Maza Hai!
I eat with my hands. I do this almost only at home (unless I’m in an Indian restaurant, even if it’s in Europe or the US). There’s a certain communion with the food, a feeling of its warmth and texture the makes it more enjoyable, that makes the partaking of sustenance more intimate.
6. Can't Live in India Without 'Jugaad'
I try to have things fixed. Jugaad, anybody? India has taught me that many times when we believe something must be replaced, it can be repaired.
7. When in India You 'Adjust'!
I can adjust. It’s okay if the subway is packed. It’s alright if there’s an unusual power cut. It’s fine if I have to wait for something that should work. India has taught me to adapt. I don’t always remember, and I do find myself complaining at times, but, after years of living there, the ability is inside of me.
The Bhagavad Gita. The Vedas. The Upanishads. There is a special spiritual current that flows through them, and it accompanies me wherever I go. I don’t consider myself religious in the traditional sense, but I recognize timeless wisdom when I see it, and I reread these ancient texts—these unfathomable pearls—every once in a while, learning more every time. Those sages, seers, and saints were in touch with something. Something that, in my opinion, transcends both organized religion and atheism. I’m grateful to have discovered their timeless truths, and they have helped me in the course of my life.
9. Haye Garmi!
I know what heat is. I’ve spent several summers in Tamil Nadu, some of them without air-conditioning. When people in Europe or other places complain about the heat, I laugh inside. “This is not heat,” I think. Instead, I smile, and say, “Yeah, pretty hot,” in a sympathetic tone of voice, while thinking about a sun blazing so hot that it can melt sidewalks and cause maddeningly itchy prickly heat.