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Life in India: Be Present and Put Others Before Yourself

by Katrina Hanson
Life in India: Be Present and Put Others Before Yourself | AIFS Study Abroad

No one here says “I have no time.”

Before coming to India, my life was scheduled by the hour, sometimes the minute depending on the day. Being a highly organized individual, I appreciated having my days and weeks scheduled in advance. I felt less stressed knowing what events and tasks I had to attend to the following days, rather than winging it the day of.

…. now it is all starting to change. After coming to India I began to experience days where I would not know anything I was doing until it happened. Needless to say it stressed me out. Meetings would be scheduled at ____ o’clock and would not start until at least 30 minutes later, which I slowly began to realize was just a cultural piece I needed to adjust to.

Back in the States, punctuality is engrained in our minds from when we were young, as children who had curfews developed into being on time for school and now work. Being here has taught me more about living in the moment and being present where I am at.

Life in India: Be Present and Put Others Before Yourself | AIFS Study Abroad

The concern for others is a large part of the Indian psyche.

In India, people are present where they are at. Whether or not they had time to meet with you in their also very busy schedules doesn’t matter – they will do it, because relationships are highly valued in this culture.

As a guest in this country, I think it is a beautiful thing that the priority of the people are people – not viewing others as a liability to one’s job and previous set plans. Viewing the person as being more important than the schedule is a humbling way of life. I am beginning to learn to emphasize my priorities towards things that matter more in life.

India you are changing me. Thank you for teaching me to be more present than punctual.

This post was contributed by Katrina Priyanka, who is studying abroad with AIFS in Hyderabad, India. Read more about Katrina’s adventures in India on her personal blog.

Life in India: Be Present and Put Others Before Yourself | AIFS Study Abroad

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