Introduction to India
US author Mark Twain once described India in the following fashion; ‘The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions [...] the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined’.
And his description is actually quite accurate.
India is a fantastically diverse nation with a unique and compelling culture built up over 5,000 years of civilisation. The nation’s 28 states and 7 union territories are separated from the rest of Asia by the Himalayas and foster a huge range of languages, religions and lifestyles.
Deserts, mountain ranges (like the Himalayas), beaches, valleys and jungles all form part of India’s colourful and vibrant landscape while majestic palaces, temples, forts and memorials stand testament to India’s history, nestling amongst the bustling modernity of 21st century life.
While always popular with tourists, over the last few years India has become increasingly popular among foreign workers due to the opportunities on offer in sectors like IT, construction, banking and management.
That being said, some expats have noted that it can be a hard nation to acclimatise to, citing the language barrier and organising healthcare as particular difficulties.