Image Source: Yanidel Street Photography

India is more than the head-bobbing, snake-charming, color-throwing, choreographed-dancing and curry-eating culture that’s portrayed by media; it’s a country that goes beyond the textbook knowledge known to mankind. India is not just the birthplace of yoga, algebra, or treasure house of ancient wisdom. India is a way of life.

Lesson #1: The Importance of Family Values.

India stresses on the significance of family and holds the joint-family system close to its heart. This culture teaches the world to love and respect every family member — drunk uncle, inquisitive aunt, judgmental grandmother, unrelated relative — despite their flaws. Sure, family may seem like a burden at times, but there’s no support system stronger than them.

Lesson #2: Finding a Fix For Everyday Problems.

India is no stranger to the struggles of daily life, such as power cuts at random hours or water shortage during the summers. Despite the rapid modernization and progress in India, there are certain shortfalls that continue to trouble us. But India teaches the world to manage these shortfalls and strive to do better, instead of mull over it.

Lesson #3: The Significance of Going After Your Dreams.

The huge gap between urban settlements and rural villages doesn’t stop the people of India from following their dreams. They understand their dreams are just as important, and fight for them. The housewife-turned-masterchef, the farmer-turned-entrepreneur, the young sportsman-turned-professional sportsman — these are regular stories of Indians who follow their heart even when the odds are stacked against them.

Lesson #4: The Power of Compassion and Sharing.

India continues to see the dark side of poverty, but that doesn’t stop the people from helping each other out. During natural disasters, Indians share their homes and food to people deprived of these basic necessities without thinking twice. This culture is so deep rooted in compassion that people don’t hesitate to help you out whenever you need it.

Lesson #5: The Acceptance of Diversity and of Unity.

Home to a plethora of religions and castes, India accepts this huge spectrum instead of being overwhelmed by its multiplicity and encourages people to live harmoniously. It’s a place where a Hindu celebrates Eid with fellow Muslims and a Christian celebrates Diwali with fellow Hindus.

Lesson #6: The Value of Money.

Indians are infamous for haggling wherever they go. While it may seem irrelevant to non-Indians, bargaining is an excellent way of saving money. This culture teaches the value of money and saving every penny for a rainy day.

India is not just an elaborate affair as shown in Bollywood or Hollywood films. India is a nation of radical change, values, and unique lessons that everyone can benefit from.