In the cacophony of debate between communalism and secularism, a crucial element that binds India together has been forgotten – its diversity! When choosing to intern in India, then you are opening yourself up to a wonderful land of mystery and diversity.
Land of mystery and diversity
India is a beautiful country with a glorious heritage and rich history. Despite its large population of 1.2-billion people, the country embraces many diverse cultures, traditions, customs, and languages. It is the only country home to over 22 official dialects and yet professes all the major religions of the world.
“In short, India is the epitome of the world”, says Vidushi Malhotra. “People of many different religions live in India, but all are undoubtedly united by one sole feeling of ‘being an Indian’.”
Here’s why we think of India as one of the most diverse places in the world and a unique destination to consider for an internship:
Diverse Physical Features and Weather Conditions
What is unique about the country is that while at one end, in the Himalayas, you have snow-covered mountains all throughout the year, there are other parts of India, like Rajasthan and Gujarat, which only have a few shrubs growing in the desert and the land is more arid.
While the southern part of the country is known to be hot and humid, hill stations like Ooty and Munnar are freezing cold all year round. In a way, there is a place in India for any kind of climate you desire.
New Delhi, where our internships are based, has a humid subtropical and almost semi-arid climate, with relatively dry winters and a prolonged spell of very hot weather. In summer (April to August), the average temperature ranges between 32-45 Degrees Celsius (100 Degrees Fahrenheit). In winter (November to February), the average temperature ranges between 5-15 Degrees Celsius (40 Degrees Fahrenheit). The monsoon starts at the end of June and lasts until mid-September.
Overall, New Delhi is a city with extreme temperatures. But it is a remarkable and fascinating city, steeped in history and we encourage interns that it is only a few months of the year where the weather is uncomfortable. So when packing for your internship trip, plan for New Delhi weather, but if you wish to travel you should consider not only the time of year you will be visiting, but also possible colder climates should you wish to travel further afield.
Racial and Cultural Diversity
“A race is a large biological human grouping with a number of distinctive, inherited characteristics which vary within a certain range” – Anonymous.
The Indian sub-continent is home to a large number of migratory races who are descendants of immigrants from across the Himalayas. As a result, there is a regional concentration of a variety of ethnic elements. The predominant racial types in India include Dravidians, Indo-Aryans, Mongoloids and more.
Interestingly enough, a well-established and well-supported hypothesis proves that Dravidian speakers must have been widespread throughout the Indian-Subcontinent before Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent (Dravidians are native speakers of any of the Dravidian languages of South Asia. There are around 220-million native speakers of Dravidian languages. Dravidian-speaking people are found in Southern India and Pakistan). You can imagine how perplexing India’s racial diversity is!
While you intern in India, you will realise that there are many opportunities to explore areas and historic sites where some of the histories of these immigrants are depicted. This racial and cultural diversity is expressed in majestic and awe-inspiring sites and places.
Rajasthan, in particular, is notably historical for its forts, palaces and haveli’s built by the Rajputs. If you visit the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra you will see the golden age of the Mughal empire. This is where Shah Jahan built his monument to love. A trip to the Taj Mahal is must and trips further afield to some great cities in Rajasthan (Jodphur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer) are also recommended.
As many as 1652 languages and dialects were listed in a 1961 census. However, some are spoken by only a small grouping. Today, India recognises 22 official languages spoken across 36 states. An interesting fact to note is that many of the words in the English Language come from India’s ancient language, Sanskrit.
This is what ‘I love you’ sounds like in 30 different Indian languages:
We had to share that with you 🙂
India is not religiously a homogeneous State even though nearly 80 per cent of the population profess Hinduism. India is a land of multiple religions with followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism and Zoroastrianism.
Hinduism is the dominant religion of India and about 80.05% of the people follow it. It is, however, refreshing to see that Hindus, Muslims and Christians live in the same community. In addition, they celebrate all festivities like Diwali, Eid and Christmas together.
There are opportunities to learn more about these many religions while you intern in India. Regardless of your beliefs, there is room to learn about many of the world’s religions.
India is a country of castes. Caste or Jati refers to a hereditary, endogamous status group practising a specific traditional occupation. It is surprising to know that there are more than 3,000 Jatis in India. Yet they speak the one common language called ‘unity’.
Travelling to intern in India can be a colourful, inspiring and interesting experience. It can also be confusing, chaotic and frustrating. Many love it, some are challenged by it, but no one can come back indifferent.
India almost demands a response from its visitors. The spirit of India eludes easy definition or explanation. India is many things to many people and each individual comes away with a unique experience. The if i could… team love the India and we look forward to helping you plan your internship to this marvellous land of mystery and diversity.