I am from Germany and it was my first visit to India when I got a chance to work with an NGO in Nashik. When I arrived I was shocked about what I saw. I couldn’t believe the amount of animals that were living on the streets and the poor people begging for money. In Germany there is poverty too but not in this dimension. I needed time to become acquainted to this country but after a while I had a complete different view.
I was overwhelmed by the incredible hospitality in India. My Indian friends invited all of us interns to their homes, took us to nice places, always helped us when we needed their help, a foreigner even offered me to make a call with his mobile phone. Every evening we sat together, having fun. I had never experienced so much cheerfulness of so many people. In my country there is nothing like that, the people are more reserved when they meet a stranger and they need more time to become close with someone. Being very open-minded I just loved this kind of lifestyle, every day we made new friends.
My best experience was celebrating the Ganpati Festival, I never saw so many people having so much power and delight for an event in any country. I really enjoyed the feeling of solidarity and team spirit. But sometimes I really wondered why everyone starred at us and kept following us. Many people told me it’s because of curiosity but in some situations you don’t feel safe. I was glad I had my close Indian friends always around me. What I didn’t like in the beginning was the unpunctuality of Indians. Being German it’s no secret that punctuality illustrates a priority for many of us. For me it’s also a sign of respect. But after a while, I just accepted the Indian lifestyle and somehow I even began to like it. The people in India are more relaxed and their priority is just to enjoy life. Isn’t it a better attitude towards life? Today, I came to know the reason, why there are so many people in the western countries fell in love with Hinduism and want to spend their rest of the life in India.