18 Apr Women travellers in India
In some parts of the world, women are still in a delicate position and it is a secret to anyone. It is the case in India, indeed being a conservative country, with loads of codes whether clothing, habits or manners. Those are some facts you have to consider during your trip. Here are some tips in order to explore this country with confidence.
First, we want to remind you that India is an amazing country and there is nothing dangerous by going there. But we want to warn you about the cultural differences that can be significant especially between men-women relations.
Ignore them if they stare at you
The thing you’ll notice at first sight once there is the local people staring at you. Indeed indians are curious and have no disconfort to stare at you. You will have to ignore it even if it can sometimes be intrusive. Do not try to respond, it will only make them stare at you more. If you’re alone and you don’t want to be disturbed, you can wear sunglasses in the street or put your headphones. In the train, a book can be your best friend.
As in numerous countries, it is likable to adapt to the local fashion in order to limit unpleasantness. Indeed, even if their clothes are not that pretty, it will allow you to keep traveling safe and serene.
The ideal outfit : Trousers with a tunic are what most of the indian girls are wearing, usually with a scarf. This outfit will allow you to cover your shoulders and your head if you’re planning on going to temples. Otherwise, large pants with a t-shirt that covers your shoulders are also good. It is important to consider the fact that in India, it is advised not to wear clothes that draw attention with transparent blouse, skinny pants or short clothes as miniskirts.
In the beach it is the same ; lots of indian girls swim with a t-shirt and a short. So if you want to swim wearing a pretty bikini, you should cover up as soon as you’re out of the water.
In the transports
Well, there are some advantages being a woman in India, especially when taking public transport. You have to know that it’s absolutely normal to see a woman pass ahead everyone to buy a train ticket. It’s a right that everyone know and respect. In the subway or train, there are some wagons reserved for women only and beware of men who dare going there because they are not welcomed at all. The security checkpoint in stations, airports and subways are also equally divided between men and women. A man do not touch a woman and vice versa. And if there is no woman in the checkpoint, do not let any man examine your coat or bag, it is forbidden !
And if by bad luck, you’re facing an embarrassing situation of a man you feel too close to you or pushy, ask for help. Indian people will not hesitate to take action. Most of them want to give a good image of their country and do not support this kind of inconvenience.
Other advice : prefer the upper bunk if you’re taking the train. It is more intimate and clear from wandering hands.
- Whether you’re married or not, wear a wedding ring in order to signify visibly that you’re not available.
- If an indian become too insistant with indiscreet questions about your private life, religion… Try to end the conversation not to encourage it. Again, their curiosity has no limit.
- Avoid as possible physical contact whether you know the person or not. To say hello you can say “Namaste”.
- Avoid wearing too much jewelry that seem costly.
India is a country that fascinates or frightens completely. But one thing is certain, this country doesn’t leave indifferent. If you’re travelling to India and you’re a woman, try to put aside your concerns, keeping in mind that some risks are possible in any country of the world. If you’re travelling alone, you might discover the different aspects of the Indian culture that you possibly wouldn’t have noticed in another context. You’ll meet amazing people and face unusual situations daily. India isn’t just a country you visit, it is a country you live in the inside.