Finally I will relate my own impressions about the most different and beautiful country I have visited so far. This first sentence already implies an intense valuation.
On the one hand people live in dire poverty. Delhi with 20 million inhabitants is the best example to see old and sick men and women dying in the streets. To deal with such experiences needs time and also to recognize that aid in terms of donations just increase the dependence on alcohol and the unknown destiny of homeless people.
Especially the north of India is dangerous. To travel in a group of at least 4 people is safe particularly in the evening but after 11 pm going out is a risk.
On the other hand India gives chances. It is possible to meet people from all over the world, from Switzerland, Poland, France, Brazil, etc. The impressions are amazing and not comparable. I love the Indian food and their English accent, even if understanding them can be quite difficult.
As a “white” woman in India you have to follow rules which suppress some of the former behaviours you are used to in Europe. Wearing short skirts or sleeveless shirts is not forbidden but Indians will treat you with less respect and wouldn’t – for example – let them enter holy temples.
All in all living in India does not mean to give up personal values, it is much more important to try to understand the different culture you are living in. Therefore, in day to day life being mindful and interested is a great advantage.
How you will be treated by Indians depends on your personal behaviour. Respect and caution are two of the most important character attributes in this multiplexed country.
Obviously Indian life can be hard but this diverse country is also a great challenge with plenty of faces. India is neither another country nor another continent. India is another world.