I have been fortunate enough to be welcomed into a few different Indian homes and experience true Indian hospitality. The hospitality I am speaking about is a stark contrast from the shopkeeper in Agra who offered a bottle of water as a gesture of “Indian hospitality” before trying guilt me into buying a $200 (American dollars) marble table.
One of the coolest things about international education exchange is the opportunity to meet people from all over the world without even having to leave your own university. While at Eastern I have had the great opportunity to meet friends from all around the world, including India. These friendships I have formed are one of the main reasons I decided to come to India, as well as the reason I have had such a wonderful experience here.
I have had the opportunity to visit several Indian families in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Speaking from experience (although limited), here are some things you may encounter when visiting an Indian home:
- Someone asking you if you would like a cup of chai (tea). My advice: ACCEPT IT! It is absolutely delicious and you will probably become addicted.
- An Indian mother who will take you in as her own almost immediately. This can really make any homesickness you may feel disappear in an instant.
- Expect to be shown pictures of some large event such as a wedding or anniversary. These pictures will most likely be printed in an extravagant wedding book with fancy backgrounds and cute phrases.
- Lots of delicious food and to be expected to eat more than three times what you normally eat. This can be challenging when you decide to wear a saree and it is tied very tightly (no room for expansion).
- To be asked if you want to take a nap or spend the night. This one was unexpected but happened to me more than once when I spent the day with a family. Of course I love naps so I accepted!