Blog shared by Sheryl from Holland :-
I had a wonderful time here Volunteer in India with VWI. I must share about the cultural exchange shock which I get here–You may have to wash your clothes by hand using soap you can get from Pothy’s on the stone. Your host mother will probably show you how to do this effectively, but if she doesn’t, ask! Finally, eating with your hands… I was really worried about this, but I have actually become quite accustomed to it and now miss it. My colleague volunteer told me Indians like to eat with their hands because they feel it’s more natural, and more stimulating, as you’re using all of your senses at once. Your family might laugh at your technique (or lack of) at first, but you will get the hang of it.
I found it much easier to ask for chapatti or dosa with my curry instead of rice, because you can rip these up and use them as a grabber so you don’t get full of curry. The food I had was genuinely delicious. I’m a vegetarian, so I didn’t eat meat or fish, but the veggie food was great. We had a lot of chapatti based dishes, like variety of paratha’s and and a lot of different curries. I even got jam sandwiches for breakfast a few times! Don’t judge any of the food by the way it looks, just try everything once. However, don’t forget to tell your family if you don’t like something. Its best to compare it to something you do like by saying ‘this, I do like’ – with smiles and enthusiasm, then ‘this, I don’t like’ – with a very sour looking face, so they understand clearly. It’s probably a good idea to ask your family the Hindi words for things like that, so you can communicate with them better. They will also love teaching you; it’s another great way to bond!