Official name : Republic of India
Capital : (New) Delhi
Currency : Indian Rupie (INR)
Language : Hindi and English
Inhabitants : 1.200.000.000
Visa required : YES
India is one of the largest and most populous countries in the world and a diverse society full of contradictions. The Indian subcontinent stretches over different climate zones, there are numerous cultures, tribes and people. The caste system still plays a major role as well as religion, and there are big differences between rich and poor, between old-fashioned and modern and between the urban agglomerations and the countryside. All these contradictions also have a big influence on Indian clothing and the kitchen.
India as a country
Persians called (a part of) nowadays India the land of Hindustan, the land on the Indus. The Greek changed the name into India. The term India has become mostly customary in imitation of the English name. India is counted among the developing countries with a low average income. Many Western companies outsource entire parts of the work, such as administration, programming and call centers, to India. India is the birthplace of a number of major religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism; Even before the beginning of our era the Indians traded within this area, even in China. Many Kingdoms have ruled over (parts of) India and especially the arrival of the Arabs in the 7th to 10th century has influenced the country considerably. With the arrival of the Europeans everything changed again; first Portuguese, then the Dutch, French and English started to trade and then colonize entire parts. The British would annex the Indian subcontinent and India became a crown colony of the immense British Empire and had to obey the English crown. At the end of the 19th century, nationalist feelings began to play up and, among other things, by the efforts of nationalists Nehru and Ghandi, this was further intensified in the beginning of the 20th century. After WWII, the Colonial Empire collapsed and Islamic Pakistan split from Hindu-India. Wars followed with, among others, China, but especially with Pakistan. There was unrest in politics about corruption, religious issues and slander; politicians such as Indira Gandhi were murdered because of it. India has been a nuclear power for many years, an ICT giant although the differences between rich and poor are only getting bigger.
India is called the world's most multidimensional country and is nothing less than true. From mountain peaks with snow to white sandy beaches with swaying palm trees and from old bazaars to the most expensive shops in classy shopping malls. But also Hindu festivals where tens of thousands of pilgrims pop up, Colonial villages and a kitchen where many countries are jealous about. Subcontinent India has more than one trillion people of every color, shape, type and sort. Minority groups, religions, different languages, customs, cultures - India is a melting pot of everything that runs, eats and smells. As a traveler in this country you can not prepare yourself; it is best to let it come all over you – experience it. Professional beggars, imams and very strict police, you can hit it all. Mysterious smells, colors, deserted beaches but also unique UNESCO ruins, wide rivers and of course the nature parks where tigers and lions can be seen together in one park. Cities like Bombay and Delhi will confuse, amaze and interest you, but also small mountain villages where the English built their villas during Colonial times. You can ride an elephant, have your brain “cleaned” in a yoga village, research the caste system or see where the "Beatles" got inspired. The Himalayas with the highest mountains in the world, the backwaters of Kerala but also train stations where hundreds of people are sleeping under their clothes. Thousands of stories, hundreds of examples of a country you must have visited before you judge and then still.
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