One thing is to go on a vacation or business trip to a country far away. But another thing is when you move to other country to live. Especially if the country you are moving to is so much different than your homeland. But that didn’t stop Agate from moving to India.
Read our interview with Agate and you will find out more!
– Please, Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself!
My name is Agate, I am in my early twenties. I am born and raised in Latvia, Riga. Right after getting my degree in communication, public relations, I decided to leave my comfort zone and change everything I know for unknown – I moved to India.
– How Long It’s Already Since You Moved from Latvia to India?
I have been living in India for half a year now. As for the future – I don’t know what it holds. India has a lot to give, so I definitely want to keep exploring it.
– Where Exactly in India Do You Live?
I live in a small city named Muzaffarnagar. It is located 120 km from Delhi. It is definitely not the safest place to live in, but I have learned to listen to people when they tell me that doing something is not safe.
Geographically its location is very good, because it is not too far from the capital and not too far from the mountains.
There are definitely more people here than in “smaller” cities of Latvia, but the rule still applies – everyone knows everyone. City is quite far from what I am used to in the context of development, but it is moving forward.
– What Do You Do in India? Do You Study or Work?
I would like to think that I am in the search of my path. I am thinking of continuing my studies and pursuing master’s degree, then again I am debating on going into business. Currently I am slowly but surely going into business, but I am not ready to give up on my education. I am just waiting for the right opportunity.
– Was It Hard for You to Get Used to India?
India definitely is something completely different from what I am used to. I am still not completely used to it. At heart I am Latvian so the hardest thing for me has been exchanging Latvia’s peace for India’s menace. Wherever I go there are plenty of people around.
Another thing is culture. Indian culture is very rich with traditions which vary from place to place rather even from house to house, to say. In these 6 months I have learned very little of what it has to offer.
– What About Indian Dood? Are You Used to It Now?
To be frank, I have been struggling with Indian food, because, one, it tends to be very spicy, two, there are some spices that I just can’t get used to. But altogether at home I get food that is less spicy and when eating out I can always get dishes that are less spicy or ask for the dishes to be made less spicy.
Another thing is that it is not too hard to find continental food, when I am missing something closer to my taste buds.
Indian food varies from region to region. From what I have tasted I have some favorites in every region.
– In You Opinion, What Are the Main Differences Between a Latvian (or European in general) and an Indian?
The main thing would be that we, Latvians, get too much caught up in our head. We are very stressed out. Mainly because our most important value is career whether it is to feed the family or to pursue our dreams.
Indians take things more easy and they tend to find peace in any situation they are.
– I Know That You Are Married to an Indian Guy. Can You Describe the Wedding Ceremony?
I have not had the big ceremony yet. My wedding was extremely small and fast in comparison to “big fat Indian weddings”.
Indian weddings on average take 3 to 5 days. Starting from religious rituals, continuing with a party and ending with the actual marriage ceremony, sometimes followed by wedding reception dinner. They are very rich in rituals that I still haven’t quite figured out yet. Indians like big and loud weddings with an endless list of guests and continuous music and dance.
India still has the tradition of arranged marriage. But in urban India it has taken the turn towards match fixing, in which the bride’s and the groom’s families act as the match makers.
– Where Else in India Have You Been So Far? Any Favorites?
I have traveled around some parts of Northern India. My hands down favorite destination is mountains. That is also my favorite thing about India. You can find unbelievable peace there, especially when staying in less crowded places, which tend to be the less approachable hill tops. So far my favorite hill station has been Dharamkot in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
Himalayas are full of hill stations and I have explored very little of them. So that is a place where I will definitely be returning.
As for the cities, Chandigarh is the cleanest city I have been to. It is developed and full of greenery. There are plenty of tourist spots in and around the city. Also the nearest hill station Kasauli is just 1.5 hr drive away.
I have not been in Southern India, which is in my future plans. I am sure it will be whole new experience.
– Is There Something You Miss from Latvia?
First definitely is my family and friends. Other than that I miss peace that Latvia offers and easy access to everything. In Latvia, it does not take too much time to go from home to a beach, to a mall, to a forest, to a pub, etc.
I miss system. In Latvia I know where I have to go to get certain things done and how I need to act in certain situations. Here it somehow is not that easy. Even such little thing as crossing the road does not have system.
Another thing is food. I miss Latvian food and even the smallest things about it, like sour cream.
– What You Would Miss from India Now, If Moving Somewhere Else?
The diversity, which sometimes might be tiresome, but at the end of the day it is what makes India “India”.
I think I would miss constantly finding out new things. The culture is so rich that it is simply impossible to learn everything.
All pictures used in the article are from Agate’s personal archive.
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.