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Travel in India/Unmarried Indian women

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QUESTION: Hello,

In India, an unmarried woman is not looked at well by Indian society. Also unmarried males too.

But any woman in India who is over 30 years old and is not married is seen as a horrible person, or possible mental problems.

However in countries such as Europe, Australia, Canada, United States, this is normal. Many women in their 30s and 40s have never been married or never had a boyfriend, and this is seen as normal. Those countries are mainly career oriented sometimes view a woman's education and career as more important than family. Also those countries have extremely high divorce rates so many people are very scared to get married at all because if a divorce does happen, they will lose half of their income and possible custody of their children. People choose to simply live together without marriage instead.

IN FACT, currently in the United States, the population of unmarried people is more than married people. (Only considering adults in this) Majority of adults in US are not married, both male and female. And lots don't want to, or have been widowed or divorced and were very unhappy and don't want to do it again. Completely different mentality. A beautiful, smart, successful 45 year old woman who has never been married, no children, and does not have a boyfriend is seen as normal in America as long as she has a good job/education. No one has a problem with it since she has a successful income and lifestyle.

But in India those same unmarried women would be called horrible names. A girl without a husband (or boyfriend) is considered a threat to society and a loser and a failure at life. Even if she is a doctor or lawyer or professor. Without a husband and children she is a nobody in most parts of India.

Why is this?

(Not just India, also Africa, Mexico, Middle East, Pakistan is similar mentality towards unmarried females)

Thank you

ANSWER: what you've said is correct but only in the rural parts and small towns of India. Otherwise in big metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Banglore - things have changed- Unmarried women in the middle age group are not looked down upon- many female journalists, social workers, teachers, professors, bureaucrates living a respectful life.

Anyhow, to answer the question why are the unmarried female in 30-40 age group looked at well by Indian society? because it is the traditional orthodox conservative Indian mindset- Those people think that

1. Women should look after the household and produce children. She is not meant to get education / job / business / independence.
2. It is the responsibility of fathers and brothers (and relatives) to ensure their daughter/sister is married to a good household of their caste and religion. So if a woman doesn't marry- it also amounts that her fathers/brothers are irresponsible or financially incapable. So, they too put an invisible pressure to get her married.
3. If woman is not married by the age of 30- those idiots also make automatic assumption that she is of loose character - had affairs with multiple men, and hence nobody married her. etc.etc.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Right. Men also have the same pressure as women too. So not just girls.

Well 30 years ago America/Canada/Europe/Australia was also like this too. Also people currently living in very small towns in America/Canada/Europe/Australia (such as farmers) are still like this so that hasn't changed, but for the most part it is like this. But Westernized countries changed A LOT suddenly over the last 15-20 years. So eventually India may become like this but possibly not as quickly.

Yes I have seen a lot of divorces in India, Pakistan, Africa, Middle East.

How do you feel these countries will be like in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? 20? 30? 40?

ANSWER: In USA, you've a 'bible belt' states with conservative mindset. on the other opposite hand you've California.
Similarly India too is made of many regions with their own culture and custom.
With penetration of mobile phones and cable TV- even in the rural parts of India, the scenario is rapidly changing.
however it depends from state to state.
In the North-Eastern States and Southern States, women enjoy relatively more liberty in marriage and property rights.
Delhi-Mumbai-Banglore : dating and live in relationship are happening.
Contrary to that, In the Norther States particularly  Uttar Pradesh and Haryana- there are incidents of "honor killing" even today.

So, regarding your question: How do you feel these countries will be like in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? 20? 30? 40?

Since I'm not a sociologist/anthropologist- so I can only make a educated guess :)
in the next 5 years, there won't be much visible change.
but in 10-20 years, the whole demographic setup would have changed- internet-cable TV would have made so much penetration. so, Delhi-Mumbai-Banglore will be almost similar to today's America- in terms marriage/relationship.
And Other parts of India would have culture - quite liberal than the current.
However certain pockets will continue to live in the traditional conservative ways.

Pakistan: if they get political stability, there will be more economic growth and subsequent percolation of TV-internet and western Culture. At present their Western Punjab part can be considered liberal and forward looking. In other parts, too much poverty and subsequent orthodox mindset.

Middle East: i don't know much except what I read in newspaper. But yes they too are fighting for 'driving' rights of women. and this:
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Yemen-rallies-behind-Saudi-woman-who-eloped-ac

Africa: hardly get to see anything about their society /culture in newspaper! but after 20-30years, perhaps they'll be similar to today's India.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you. I will be traveling to India in January. Last time I went was 2001! So in 2014 I will be going. I will visit Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmadabad, and possibly Bangalore. In 2001 i only visited Varanasi and kolkata so i have never visited the other cities.

What do you feel about these cities, how modern are each of these cities, which ones have you visited? What is daily life like in each of these cities, and how much westernized are each from last time you saw. how much change can i expect from 2001. Oh, and what are main differences within each of cities. Just main points, you don't have to write an essay don't worry :) just general.

Answer
sorry this whole email alert setting went out of my notice.
to answer the question- in general what has improved in India since 2001
- internet/ mobile/ ATM network improved.
- security little better.
- inflation increased- be it rickshaw fares, hotels, food everything. although so did rupee to dollar exchange rate. so journey wouldn't prove that costly.
- new malls and better more professional services.

other than that, same old India.
and, I have never visited any of the cities you mentioned except Ahmedabad. so, i can only tell difference about what I've read and heard. Delhi too unsafe, Kolkata too dirty, Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Banglore better.

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I'm an Indian who lives in India and I'm NOT a travel agent. I can specifically tell you what precautions you should take while travelling in India. for example, In Gujarat State of India, Liquor is prohibited except a very few licenced hotels. In Goa recently 2 teenagers were raped and police hasn't got anyone convicted. In many places, people pose as 'guides' but instead they drug and loot the travellers. There are laws that prohibit kissing and hugging in public places between opposite sexes. In many places, shopkeeper and hotel people charge double money to Foreigners (you see 1$ = 50 Rs. so when guy says 4$ for something you'll think wow its cheap but in reality he sells the same thing for 50 cents to a native Indian person and cheats you cause you don't know the real price.) The Kasmir and some north Indian states, and in Eastern states of india suffer from terrorism, maoist rebels and seperatist insurgents. If you wander around in hostile places you might get in run in to Trouble. as I said ago, I'm not a travel agent, all I can tell you is how you should behave and what precautions you should take while travelling in India.

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I'm not a travel agent, but being an Indian who follows every news and current affairs around India, I can tell you how you should behave and what precautions you should take,while travelling in India.

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