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Through The Eyes Of A Local: Delhi, India

Through The Eyes Of A Local: Delhi, India

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Happy Friday! We’ve got another local’s interview today. This time, we’re learning all about Delhi in India. Are you ready?

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself and where you come from?  

Hello, I am Shweta – a Travel Blogger, adventure enthusiast, parent to a 6 year old, generally interested in trying out new things. I come from the colourful state of Rajasthan, but have lived and worked in different cities in India. I am currently based near Delhi – the capital of India – for the past 10 years.

2. What do you love most about Delhi?

Delhi is steeped in history. At least 8 known cities have been founded around modern Delhi. The Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, constructed the seventh Delhi in the 17th century. In 1911, the British announced the shifting of their capital from Kolkata and proceeded to build New Delhi. There are fascinating architecture, ruins, and monuments all around the city, waiting to be explored!

3. Is there anything that frustrates or annoys you when tourists visit your hometown?

Sometimes touts and poor people can harass tourists and that really annoys me. Being assertive and saying no is the answer.

Jamali Kamali Mosque

4. In your opinion, which places should be at the top of any visitor’s wishlist in India?

India is so varied and has so many sites including Taj Mahal – one of the 7 New Wonders of the World – that it is impossible to suggest just one place to visit. Similar is the case with Delhi. A few monuments and sites worthy of a visit in Delhi are:

  • Humayun’s Tomb
  • Qutub Minar
  • Mehrauli Archeological Park
  • Lotus Temple
  • Chandni Chowk area
  • Red Fort

5. What foods must visitors eat when in Delhi?

Delhi is known for its spicy and tangy street food, known as chaat. But I really wouldn’t suggest this to a first-time international visitor. You could get a stomach upset! Instead, try delectable North Indian cuisine – Indian breads and curry – at a restaurant.

6. What’s your favourite Hindi word? Why? What does it mean?

One of my favourite words in Hindi is the simple ‘Aap’. In English, we use ‘you’ to address everyone – young, old, familial, distant. But in Hindi, ‘aap’ is equivalent to ‘you’ as a mark of respect. ‘Tum’ is the ‘you’ version for people who are younger or familiar to you.

7. What advice would you give to somebody moving to India from another country?

Some prep work in understanding Indian history and culture would give you relevant context. Indians are a hard-working, aspiring lot. They have always been open to settlers from outside. There are several expat groups in large cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore – who help each other settle and are a bedrock for social interactions.

Humayun Tomb

8. If you could describe your hometown in just one sentence, what would you say?

Delhi is a good combination of history, heritage, food, culture and living life ‘king size’.

9. If tourists were to know one thing about the Indian culture, what should that be?

One of the most important aspects in Indian culture is simply how diverse it is – many religions, different types of regional cuisines, 22 official languages spoken, numerous traditional costumes and festivals, hundreds of ancient monuments – all co-exist in this vast, complex country.

10. Do you have any interesting traditions that you’d like to tell us about?

India has a lot of varied festivals and celebrations. Traditionally, many of these festivals were linked to agricultural seasons and harvesting. You’ve just missed the spring, which has Holi – the festival of colours – in the first week of March. Holi, a Hindu festival, celebrates the beginning of spring, end of winter and the triumph of good over evil.

Thanks Shweta – we’ve loved getting to know you and Delhi better!

If you want to hear more from our Delhi local, then you can check out her travel blog: Zest In A Tote, or follow her along on social:

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