5 Myths About India

by - 9/16/2015

1. Everyone is a vegetarian.
I use to think every Indian on the planet was a vegetarian but with huge Muslim and Christian populations and many Hindus consuming meat, only 31% of the population is actually vegetarian. While almost every restaurant in India will offer a Veg or Non-Veg menu you'll have no problem finding Butter Chicken or a Burger.

2. You have to wear loose clothing
I am not kidding you, nothing drives me more crazy than seeing foreigners in India wearing loose fitting clothing. I'm not talking about girls in a nice tailored salwar kameez but the ones in peasant skirts and 3 scarves wrapped around. I cannot for the life of me figure it out. The young girls in India are wearing skirts shorter than I see in Canada. And have you seen a Saree or a Lengha? Indians were rocking the midriff long before Westerners even knew it was a thing. Granted it's everyone's provocative to wear what they want and feel comfortable in! Frankly, men are going to stare whether you're in a tight dress or a burqa :) My day-to-day wear are skinny jeans and a blouse which has caused zero problems for me.

3. Being friendly will lead to unwanted attention
I've found everyone in India to be very helpful and friendly. I've gotten lost on many occasions in the market and had no trouble with putting on a smile and asking MEN for help. I'm not saying to talk to every stranger on the street just don't be terrified to ask for directions :)

4. Everyone is poor
India was recently ranked number 8 with the most millionaires in the world passing Australia, Russia, and France. What is perhaps the most expensive home in the world right behind Buckingham Palace is Antilla in Mumbai, worth an estimated 1 billion USD! It has 27 floors with extra high ceilings (actually making it 60 floors!) and reportedly has 600 servants.

5. Everyone is a Yoga Guru.
You'd be surprise how many Indians have little or no interest in yoga (though my own MIL goes to a yoga group every morning!). As far as I've seen yoga in India is certainly not the same as in Western countries. Typically yoga is more focused on spiritual enlightenment and the breathing techniques of Pranayama.

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  1. The loose clothing thing is crazy, and I would really love for travel guides to update that thing once and for all. In cities a lot of women live in jeans of leggings, in Mumbai that is not unusual to see ladies wearing shorts of skirts. And they don't invite more attention than the ones dressing in baggy clothes. I'd say that in most of India unless you are a lady belonging to the older generation the baggy salwars are out even with ethnic wear, the young generation prefer churidars and leggings with their kurta.

    1. I agree with you Cynthia, Indian guide books need to be updated! India in changing everyday :)