The second most populous nation in the world, India can overwhelm the senses. Its ancient culture, densely packed cities, and astonishing landscapes have fascinated and perplexed visitors for centuries. Mark Twain once said of India, ‘… the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.’
In many ways, India is a chameleon. There’s the India of the Himalayas, the India of the Rajasthan desert, Gujarati India, Kashmiri India, Moghul India, Buddhist India, Sikh India and so on. Each of these Indias come together in a noisy tapestry that is the world’s largest democracy.
Negotiating the choked streets, chaotic traffic and sensory overload of any big Asian city can derail the heartiest of travelers. India’s take on this, however, puts the country in a league all its own. It’s an onslaught of busy like you’ve never seen. Thankfully, English speakers can find a sliver of relief in the fact that English is widely spoken in India.
This legacy of the British colonial period has actually proven useful in a country with over 1600 recognized languages! While Hindi is the mother tongue of most Indians, English has emerged as the de-facto unifying lingua franca across the country.
India, like its neighbor China, has also benefited from the economic globalization of the 21st century. Instead of manufacturing, though, India became a global hub of the information age. With a highly educated population fluent in English, along with an abundance of computer scientists, software engineers, and digital entrepreneurs, India is perfectly suited for the role.