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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

India: Ringing the Changes

I first visited India some nine years ago, and a lot has changed since then. India is developing fast, and it seems to be doing so without selling out its culture too much, which is a huge relief, because it's the culture and the people that make India such a phenomenal destination. Here, in no particular order, are the things I've noticed that are completely different to 1998:

But despite the changes, India remains, at its core, the same entrancing country that it was in 1998, with the same attractive qualities and the same irritations. It will be interesting to see how things develop, as India's global influence gets ever stronger and her economy grows. Getting on an international flight out of India provides an insight into the challenges India faces in integrating into the world stage without losing her identity; whereas flights in Europe or North America are fairly reserved affairs, flights out of India are a chaos of coughing, snorting, hawking, sniffing, belching, sneezing and barging, and you only notice it because this is an aeroplane, where this sort of behaviour is generally regarded as impolite. In India itself, the incredible noises of its inhabitants are insignificant compared to the cacophony of culture that surrounds you at every turn, and it's only when the West bumps up against the wonderful madness of India that you notice just how different it really is.

And long may it continue. Where the cultures of southeast Asia are in danger of disappearing in the face of increasing tourism, and the whole world wants Coca-Cola, fridges and MTV, India is still unique, and shows no signs of stopping. Bravo.

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