BMS Melton Foundation

Table of Contents

  1. Is Hinduism the official religion of India ?
  2. Is Cricket the only game played in India?
  3. Do Indians go to their offices on elephants?
  4. Are all Indians Snake Charmers?
  5. Why do Indian women wear dots on their foreheads?
  6. Why don't Indians eat non-vegetarian food?
  7. Is eating beef illegal in India?
  8. I see lots of Indian males with their arms around other males. What is the percentage of gays in India?
  9. Is it safe to travel alone in India?
  10. How good is the public transport in India?
  11. Is it safe to drink tap water in India?
  12. How do I contact the Indian fellows or alums after reaching India?
  13. Can I get easy access to the Internet in India?
  14. Is it possible to stay in Youth Hostels in India?
  15. Can I reserve tickets for trains or buses easily?
  16. Where do I exchange money?
  17. Do shops accept money in foriegn currency?
  18. Can we enter temples?
  19. How do I communicate in India?
  20. Can we bargain in shops?
  21. Can we drive in India?
  22. What kind of climate can we expect during that part of the year?
  23. Can we wear shorts in India?
  24. Do we need to get vaccinations before coming to India?

Is Hinduism the official religion of India ? 

India is a secular nation. There is no official religion.  However, hinduism is followed by a majority. Other religions practised in India include Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikkhism among many others.

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Is Cricket the only game played in India?

NO...There are lots of other games played in India but Cricket is the most popular game. It is followed fanatically by a majority of the people. FYI, Hockey is the national game of India. The following are a few instances where India has fared well in other sports.

 

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Do Indians go to their offices on elephants?

Of course not, they use tigers these days !!!! Since the tigers are fast becoming extinct, we are switching over to more conventional modes of transport like cars, buses, two - wheelers (lots of them), three wheeler taxis( called autos) etc.

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Are all Indians Snake Charmers?

No...Not all of them. A few others do boring things like software engineering, business, industrial production, farming etc.

Snake Charming is a dying profession and found only among a very small community.

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Why do Indian women wear dots on their foreheads?

Indian women wear this dot called the 'bindi' as a fashion accessory. It is also worn by Hindu women as a symbol of their marriage.

Ancient Indians were very good archers and were very fond of showing off their talent to whoever asked. So they used to draw small targets on their wife's forehead. This also explains why ancient Indian males had many wives!!!!(just joking)

 

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Why don't Indians eat non-vegetarian food?

A majority of the Hindus dont eat non-vegetarian food due to religious reasons. But non-vegetarian is easily available at most restaurants.
 

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Is eating beef illegal in India?

No it is not illegal......but you may not be able to get beef in all restaurants/hotels. It will depend on the personal policies of these eating joints.

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I see lots of Indian males with their arms around other males. What is the percentage of gays in India?

People put their arms around other people (probably of the same sex) as sign of friendship. It is socially acceptable to go around with arms around a friend.
 

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Is it safe to travel alone in India?

It is safe in some places and unsafe in some. It is always better to travel in a group or atleast have someone else with you. We also suggest that you dont travel alone late in the night.

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How good is the public transport in India?

The public transport system exists but it is toooooo crowded usually. The buses which travel inside the city will be overflowing with commuters.....you can try them if you care for it. You can also find private 3 or 4 wheeler taxis which you can hire but they are much more expensive. We advise all of you to be very careful when travelling in crowded buses or trains.

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Is it safe to drink tap water in India?

No...it is not advisable to drink tap water. Though you may find people drinking from the taps, we suggest that you always use mineral water. "Bisleri" is the most popular brand of mineral water in India. It currently costs around Rs 14 (and Rs. 15 for a cold one).

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How do I contact the Indian fellows or alums after reaching India?

You can contact any of the fellows/alums/TT by just giving them a call. You will find all the necessary phone numbers,addresses and email addresses in the contact addresses section.

 

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Can I get easy access to the Internet in India?

All major cities in India have internet connectivity. But it is not very easy to find Internet kiosks in all places. You usually have to go to the center of the cities to find these kiosks.
Internet connectivity costs around Rs 1 for a minute.
 

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Is it possible to stay in Youth Hostels in India?

Yes....But there are good hotels which are very affordable(for you).  We advice you that you stay in these hotels. We shall try to provide some information on these hotels, but we also suggest that you talk to people who have already been to India.

 
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Can I reserve tickets for trains or buses easily?

Yes it is easy to reserve tickets in advance. One has to go to the bus/railway station to reserve them. One can also book them through travel agents.

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Where do I exchange money?

Money can be conviniently exchanged in counters like Thomas Cooks. They are not found everywhere....infact you will find only a few such places . We shall let you know if you can exchange your currencies at the symposium site.

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Do shops accept money in foriegn currency?

NO. We suggest that you always pay in Rupees. Shops are not allowed to accept money in dollars, unless they are government owned. Lots of shops do accept foreign currency, but illegally. Pay in dollars only if you have no other option.

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Can we enter temples?

Yes, you may enter most of the temples....but we advise that you enquire outside the place before you enter the premises. But make sure that you leave your footwear outside. And dont wear expensive footwear when you visit these temples.

 
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How do I communicate in India?

We feel that communincation will not be a problem because lots of the people understand english. even if they don't, they shall try to help you out.

 

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Can we bargain in shops?

Yes, you could bargain in small shops, especially where items don't have an authentic looking price tag. You could bargain with hawkers on the streets to get things for as less as half the originally quoted price.

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Can we drive in India?

Yes, you can drive in India....provided you have your international driving licence. But we advise that you don't try to. Remeber that the roads are crowded and we drive on the left side of the road.

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What kind of climate can we expect during that part of the year?

The weather will be pleasent ....around 25 degree Centigrades with lot of sunshine. Make sure you bring your sunscreen lotions to prevent sunburns.

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Can we wear shorts in India?

India has no dress code as long as you wear some and they cover the important places:-). Shorts are just fine. But we advise that you wear something that shall cover your legs atleast till your knees or somewhere close to it.

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Do we need to get vaccinations before coming to India?

We shall consult the doctors here and try to get some information. We also suggest that you consult your own doctors for information.

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The list is maintained by the BMS Melton Foundation.
Copyright [BMS Melton Foundation]. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 22, 1999.