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Traveling Alone or Family Travel Whether you want to travel alone, or travel with the kids, parents, or granny, this forum is for you!

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Old 09-04-2006, 02:53 PM   #1
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I am a half indian/half black female from the US who wants to go to India for the first time alone. Does anyone know what kind of reactions I'd get in India (Mumbai and Kerala)? Any tips on dressing, acting? Should I be worried at all, being that I look quite Indian (albeit very South Indian, where the skin color is a bit darker). Any advice will be well appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:04 PM   #2
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I'm going there alone myself in October. I can't imagine why your appearance would hinder you at all.. if anything, it's being female that will be more of a hassle! Just do it.
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:35 PM   #3
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Welcome to the boards!

Can't offer any specific advise, but I'm sure there's someone here that ought to be able to help a bit...
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Old 09-05-2006, 02:39 PM   #4
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thanks anyway!
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:03 AM   #5
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I wouldn't think you'll run into particular problems; if you want to blend in more, you might consider taking along (or buying when you arrive) a salwar kameez. Pick up a good current guidebook to India at the library, and read the section on customs/etiquette carefully - that'll give you a head's up about how to dress and act. Watch out for motorcycles while you're there. My aunt's been twice - first time was great, second time she got hit on the second day, and spent three months in a clinic.

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Old 09-06-2006, 11:50 AM   #6
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Echohaze, I've spent four months in Nepal, whose culture and religion are somewhat similar to India. My first thought is that you sure aren't the first tourist with indian heritage to visit the country !

The fact that you're a black/indian wearing north american clothes will probably get you to explain your story often. I think you'll have great conversations with locals, as some people will be intrigued by you.

But, even though they won't say it out load, if you dress inappropriate, they will judge you. Because of your look, you might be expected more than other tourists to respect their codes of civility, especially if you go outside major cities. I don't think you need to wear indian clothing, but like indian women, don't show your legs, your stomach, nor your shoulders. Just your arms.

Bring a picture of your family along. In a society where arranged marriage is normal, they'll be fascinated to see a racial mix couple. Believe me !

Do you speak hindi ?

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Old 12-21-2006, 10:17 PM   #7
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ok, i'l give u an indian perspective on things...

yes, most ppl in india would be fascinated by your mixed background, and you may be in several situations when u have to explain... but most people will make you feel comfortable, and very much at home. atleast in the urban centres.

there is almost nothing a foreigner can do to "fit in". In fact, indians sometimes find it wierd when foreigners dress in local clothes to blend in. it never works. in fact u may attract even more attention by doing so. in fact, a few indians can look at a foreigner and tell if you are american or european before u utter a word, altho most appearances are the same ! be yourself, be comfortable, but dress a little demurely. i suggest against deep neck, short skirts and a top that shows ur navel !

travelling alone in india is not impossible, even for a girl. if u take long train journeys (overnight especially), i suggest the Air-Conditioned class. not for the ambient temperature, but the fact that "unpleasant expereinces" maybe almost nil. I do the same, being indian !!

oh, for the record, i'm indian, but my parents are from different religions and backgrounds from india... i'm kind of a hybrid myself, so i know how u may feel. feel free to ask me more questions if u must !
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