What's the deal with people from India?

I travel…a lot. Either on business or pleasure, I’m out of town at least once or twice a month. I’ve been to every state in the union, minus 4.
This holiday weekend is no exception, my wife and I spent 4 days in Chicago taking in the sites. (Not real far from home, but we only had 4 days this time).

Anyway, regardless of where we go, we always notice many, many tourists from India. We know they are actually from India because we ask them where they’re from, how long they’re staying, if they’re enjoying themselves, etc.

What we don’t ask them is, why do we see more Indians than any other foriegn peoples at the tourists sites we visit. Whether it’s Dallas, Miami, Boston, New York, or in this case, Chicago, We always see oodles of Indian Tourists. A decade ago almost every foriegn tourist I met was Japanese. Now it’s Indians.
I thought India was among the poorest nations on Earth, and their people were poor/starving. How are so many able to afford to come over here on pleasure? Has there been a turn around in Indias economy, or, as I suspect, has the media mislead me about what exactly is going on over there.

The country may still be poor…that doesn’t mean it does not have a lot of wealthy/middle class people that can pay to travel. In a country with almost a billion of people, let’s say just 1% of their population is wealthy. That is about 100 million people! Enough to see them traveling around the world.

India’s relatively small, educated middle class is probably larger than the entire population of the United States.

That’s 10 million people. And maybe the tourists you see are Americans that are originally from India.

India’s relatively small, educated middle class is probably larger than the entire population of the United States.

India’s relatively small, educated middle class is probably larger than the entire population of the United States.

India’s relatively small, educated middle class is probably larger than the entire population of the United States.

I doubt that many Chinese are hopping 'round the globe on pleasure cruises. With India being the second most populous country in the world, it’s no surprise that one sees many Indians all over the place.


I guess not everyone in India is as poor as they look on television. 1 billion people, 99% poor= 10 million not poor.
Perhaps onlly middle class, but maybe the Indian middle class saves their money for a once in a life time trip to the U.S.?
The real question is, exactly what does that dot mean on Indian womens foreheads?

See, but what I’m thinking is that India’s relatively small, educated middle class is probably larger than the entire population of the United States.

What do you think, acsenray? :wink:

A "once in a lifetime trip to the United States’?! Good God, man!

thank goodness they reincarnate.


The red dot, or tikka mark, is applied as part of various religious ceremonies. For women it can typically (but not always) denote that she’s married.

Maybe you just NOTICE more Indians, not just actually SEE more. For instance Germans travel a lot because they get lots of vacation days and have more money than most. But you wouldn’t notice a German family unless you hear them talking. Whereas Indians you might notice from a bit of distance.

Also, I suspect Indians who can afford it travel a lot because many probably have Indian friends and family all over. The Indian disapora is famous–they’re among the most successful emigrants anywhere, much due to their work ethic and English speaking abilities.

Incidentally, I wonder if Indians in India think “What’s the deal with all these damned backpackers?”

ROTFLMAO! You get my vote as the best post of the day.

There are many Indians working in the U.S., and their parents et al. occasionally come over to visit.

I have vistited India a couple of times myself and in the company of people how have regularly visited India over a period of twenty years or so.

There are certainly plenty of poor people in India, but in genenral the economy is in a good state and for most people things are on the up. This mostly seems to have occured over the last tens years or so as India has slowly given up very left wing policies.

Building is consipuous all over India, new houses and shops, new floors added to existing buildings, new roads and railways. I saw many newly widened roads with trees in the middle of the carriageway. It was explained to me that the trees were too holy to cut down, but the roads needed to be widened and the road users would just have to go round. Everywhere there is traffic.

In the past, India has neglected many of its historical treasures. To be sure, there were not the resources available. But on visiting sites of interest one would typically find a few European visitors all taking an active interest and very few Indian people. When I was last in India about 6 years ago, this had all changed, historical sites now attract hordes of visitors and most of them are native people who now have the time, resources and the inclination to take an interest.

What has brought about this change. Well I am no expert on India, but I cannot help remembering the queues of childen waiting patiently for school, often in rather smart uniforms. I am not sure how free and equitable is access to education, but it is quite clear that Indian people consider it a priority.

India has a burgeoning, well-educated middle class who are keen to know about the world.

In danger of going off topic… If you will forgive an unflattering comparison from a Briton, I must say that this is in contrast to the attitude of Americans. I have travelled all over the world and I have been struck by how few Americans one meets - I recon I meet about as many Australians! America is a rich country, so it is not that people cannot afford it. The stay-at-home mentality of many Americans is, I suspect, a prime cause of failure to understand the real world and, in turn, for Americans to be misunderstood by others. Please don’t misunderstand, I know America has a lot to offer a tourist, but would it not be nice if pkbites et alia could boast of having visited almost every continent rather than almost every state of the union?

India is a wonderful country. Independent travelling in India is not for the faint-hearted, but is still realatively inexpensive and safe. Get out there…

Uh … I was trying to make a point here, but I can’t remember what it is. :o

Someone who would have travelled every country in Europe would be considered well travelled. It is very comparable to travelling all the states from a geographical perspective, and there are definite cultural differences between various states. It is also much easier to accomplish for people who have significantly less vacation days than most Europeans and therefore have to take shorter trips. Also, last I checked, the US was still part of the “real world” Maybe if you were to visit, you would reconsider your prejudice of Americans’ failure to “understand the real world” They understand just fine, thank you.

On the other hand, when you travel the western part of the US and Canada, the foreign tourists all seem to be Japanese.