26 Mar

India has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, boasting 22 officially recognised languages and over 1,600 dialects. The people of India are renowned for their incredible tolerance and acceptance, which makes it a unique and welcoming destination for travellers.

 However, India is also grappling with challenges such as population density and limited resources, which can impact the quality of life of its residents. One of the standout aspects of living in India is the lack of personal space. Even in "heavens" like Fort Kochi, which boasts modern amenities and infrastructure, the demand for space is high due to its coastal location. The city needs help to cope with its growing population and resource demands. Dirty streets and water channels filled with plastic bottles, paper, and other debris reflect these challenges. Nevertheless, urban areas in India offer more significant opportunities for employment, education, and access to services. While living in densely populated areas is complex, the remarkable sense of community and care for one another shines through. Families live together and look out for each other, extending beyond just blood relations, such that a cousin is considered a brother or sister. 

Teaching students in India is an absolute joy as they are enthusiastic about learning and are determined to memorise every new word introduced to them. Though their fast accent can sometimes be challenging, their warmth and hospitality make up for it. Lecturing at The Sacred Heart College in Cochin and meeting Fr. Joseph, a new-generation Catholic Priest, has shown the eagerness of the young, educated generation to explore the world beyond their borders, indicating that India's fast-growing economy is here to stay. 

As the world shrinks, it is up to us humans to devise solutions to live together in harmony, perhaps with less, as Fort Kochi exemplifies. In conclusion, my experience in India has been incredibly enriching, despite the country's challenges. Its unique blend of cultures and languages and its people's incredible tolerance and acceptance makes it an extraordinary destination. I eagerly look forward to my remaining six weeks here. Nani!

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