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Culture Shock! India: A Guide to Customs and Etiquette Paperback – 1 Jan 2000
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Because of its extreme diversity, to go deeper into India would have required the author to write separate books for each region, so I thought she did an excellent job and stopped where she had to. I found Culture Shock! India compelling to the end.
I found that I was not at all prepared for what India had to offer - now, that wasn't because I hadn't done enough research, rather because of the random and chaotic nature of where I was located.
Pros: The first few chapters go into topics such as political history, represented religions, holidays, festivals, and other good things to know. The author then takes us through setting up a household, to having servants, how dinner parties are organized and executed, and other feasibly useful information.
Cons: Although this is written by an Indian person, the information within is simply given without explanation. I didn't learn why some of the comments made in the book were true until I had been there for a while, and I didn't realize how classist some of the situations presented were until I had experienced the situation myself.
If you are looking to learn of practical things to do, ways to get around, and what to probably really expect once you step off of the plane on your first visit, I would suggest a travel book such as Lonely Planet, or Fodors.
This book is worth reading, but don't expect this to be your only guide.