Time has come to leave India. After five months of living and working from India, the end has come and we are, as I write, currently on our way home. Through the time here, I have met a lot of people and learned many new things. I, therefore, thought that it would be interesting to write a blog post following up on the post I wrote when we arrived here.
Generally, I would like to keep this blog focused on software and technology, but for this post, I will be diving into some thoughts and evaluations of the Indian culture. I will at some point in the future make a separate post to evaluate my key learning points from working remote, which will be more suitable for the blog’s theme.
I do not see this blog post as either educational nor valuable to most readers. It is primarily a way for me to reflect on the past five months. Perhaps this interests you, perhaps it does not. Maybe if you are going to India to work, this is pure gold, otherwise I will forgive you for skipping the post for this time. I promise that the second half of the “Goodbye India!” article will be more valuable to the reader.
To get an idea of what our lives have been like for the past five months, I have tried to divide it into the most memorable parts: Chennai, the city that we lived in, the people, the friends meet along the way, the trips, the adventures we had in neighbor states and countries.
Chennai is a busy city with a high population (maybe too high?). This is evident from the traffic jams, and the constant zigzagging while walking on the street. I think that it is an interesting city because of its history (e.g trading point for the East Indian Company), but as the city stands right now it seems that the culture and history have not been as well preserved as other places in India. (e.g. Kerala and Agra)
Primarily I believe that the culture has started to vanish because of the adaptation to a modern business world. Which is perhaps a good thing for Chennai as its economy, according to the locals, is constantly growing. Although Chennai is far from the likes of other modernized cities (e.g. Shenzhen or Kuala Lumpur) it is still easy to see how the city is changing. Lots of construction and new stores popping up. It would be funny to return in a couple of years to see what the city has become.
Throughout our stay, we have made a few friends. Vary from our chauffeurs, Pernille’s colleagues, the hotel staff, and the local puppies on the street (see Instagram feed below to learn what I mean). All of which have been nice people, giving us a broad perspective of how the people of Chennai are and behave.
A few mentionable encounters have been with our chauffeur, who we ended up sharing all good and bad experiences with, our friend, Amulya, from the hotel, who helped us out when we had to go to the hospital (only happened once, and it is a long story), the Danish people we met in Chennai, who which we could share our reflections of India with, and plenty of Pernille’s local colleagues.
Although this blog post is primarily about Chennai and our experiences from the city, I also thought that I would mention some of the places we managed to visit throughout the five months. Traveling back and fourth between Chennai and other states and crountries, sometime gave us a nice freshing perspective on Chennai when we returned. I think for this section I will let my personal Instagram account’s post do the talking.
So what have I learned from India, what am I going to tell people that I meet? Have being in India for an extended period of time changed my view of the world? Perhaps?
I can without a doubt say that the people of Chennai are open and happy people. They spend much of their time either talking face-to-face or on the phone with friends and family. Sometimes this would have a stressing effect on us since we are used to our quiet environment and private space. However, I am sure that, because of our extended stay in Chennai, my openness towards other people have only increased. (maybe only a bit, I am after all born and rise in Denmark)
India’s culture is constantly living and breathing. When we wake there will be a tuk-tuk on the road and grocery shops getting their daily supply. And when we go to bed all the billboards will be flashing and the (insane) mix of scooters, tuk-tuks, car, buses, and cows, will be creating a background noise containing at least one honk a second. Intimidating at first, but fascinating after a week.
I will not dive into anything specific for this topic, but I will argue that I have learned a lot about the state of wealth in the perspective of different countries. While in India, we would sometimes watch Danish TV, and would often find it funny what sort of problems we debate in the news. “This group of people is poor”, “This is corruption and theft” etc. Meanwhile, I look out of the window and immediately lose interest in the problems of the Danish news.
I am not saying that we cannot talk about our problems in Denmark. But I think that we should always remember that our country perhaps has some of the best conditions for a long and happy life.
India is a happy and less structured world with many, many people. Currently, it is a changing culture, with a mix of Hindu temples and Pizza Hut all around. Hopefully, I will get the chance to return one day and see some of our friends and witness what India has become. I am thankful for having gotten to oppertunity to stay in India for such a long period of time and I am sure it will be something I will be able to look back at with joy for the rest of my life.
Pssst…. I actually already finished the second part of the “Goodbye India”-series. If you would like to know whether it was beneficial for me to work remotely, I would suggest you checked out my other post. Read more blogs
My name is Daniel H. Jacobsen and I’m a dedicated and highly motivated software developer with a masters engineering degree within the field of ICT.
I have through many years of constantly learning and adapting to new challenges, gained a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to stay up to date with new technologies, tools and utilities.
The purpose of this blog is to share both my learnings and knowledge with other likeminded developers as well as illustrating how these topics can be taught in a different and alternative manner.
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