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The Incoming Trainee's Information Kit 

Dear Trainee,

Though we have strived to give you as much information as we can about our city, the necessities and the rest, feel free to contact any of us in case you require any more information.

Karan Khanna
karanitep@hotmail.com

Other people who you can contact : Priyank Narayanan, Namrta Malhotra

General Information

Languages:

Delhi being the capital has an influx of cultures and languages. Delhi doesn't have any language of its own. Hindi, English, Urdu and Punjabi are widely spoken. You will also find many people speaking in many different languages because every state has its own language or dialect, which may not be understood by the other persons. However English is the working language in the offices and you should not face problems even if your level is English B.

Politics:

India is the largest democracy in the world. We follow the British system of Parliament in which the Prime minister is elected and has the main powers. The President is the ceremonial head. Delhi being the capital is totally influenced by politics. People love to discuss politics at work and free time. The President's residence is called The Rashtrapti Bhawan. It is a very massive complex spread over 500 acres in the centre of Delhi.

Currently, the Bhartiya Janata Party is the elected party running a coalition government with some of it's allies. The Prime Minister of India is Sri Atal Behari Vajpayee. The current President of India is Sri K.R. Narayanan. For more information, check out The Times of India or any other national daily.

Climate:

Delhi has four seasons -- Summer, Autumn, Spring and Winters.

Summer

The Summer in Delhi is rather unpleasant. .Temperatures shoot to about 47°C once in a while, Though the average maximum temperature is about 42 degrees, the nights the temperature falls to a minimum of about 28 degrees. The days are extremely hot and often accompanied by dust storms. During the summer months from April to mid July you should wear a cap or hat during the day, wear cotton clothes, do not expose skin and use sunscreen lotion. And finally drink lots of liquid. Water during this period may be contaminated so insist on having boiled or mineral water (any time of the year)
 

Rains : The Monsoons

Rains always come to Delhi a little later than predicted. There are bouts of rain during early July or sometimes late June. The monsoon comes at the end of July. Depending from year to year, the rainfall can be torrential. The monsoon season is around mid August and till about early September.
 

Autumn

The fall season starts just after the rains. It is not too pleasant in early autumn because of the humidity. This season remains till about the beginning of November.

Winter

Winter in Delhi is very pleasant. The mornings are foggy and the nights cold. But once the sun does shine the days are balmy. Very cricket-like weather.

Spring

Spring is pleasant and balmy. Temperature ranges from a maximum of 25 degrees to a low of 10 degrees . Delhi has spring during the period of mid February to about end of March. Light woolens in this weather would do well.

Culture and Behaviour:

Every individuals perception and attitudes in life are reflections of his or hers cultural background. There are certain aspects of Indian culture and Behavior which you need to be aware of before your traineeship as we are no different. We have certain norms and traditions that are followed, and if you are unaware of, might be a cause of embarrassment.

Following is a comparison of Indian culture vis--vis the western as percieved by a renownded psychologist.

(P.S. A lot of these things may not apply to you and us (the next generationas) these are just observations and a point of view. Please do not bear them to a great deal - just keeping them in mind would suffice)

a) Collectivism

Whereas western culture believes in individualism, we in India believe that life exists only as a society. In a way our lives are run with the support and cooperation of our fellow beings. This is also one of the chief reasons why social motivation gets an upper hand in our work environment.

b) Security at work

Most Indians are brought up in a security cocoon and its time to come out of it. This is carried over to the work place. You may find people content with what they have and lacking in initiative. Do not under estimate their capabilities. It is just that most Indians prefer the initative coming from the other end.

Your stay in India will most probably lead to enough contact with the Government Sector. There you will see how job security kills of the drive to attain higher goals. Do not let frustration overtake you.

And of course, the younger generation is quite like anywhere else in the world - progressive and open but with strong values.

c) Shyness

Indians are known to be quite shy and not very outspoken unlike quite a few of you.. You have got to realize that you are in a completely new country and have to make the effort to get to know people. Indians may seem aloof and brusque. You will, however, not find them lacking in friendliness and accessibility.

d) Love of food:

Cold cuts, Raw fish, Hard bread - Do not really appeal to a lot of Indians and we prefer our own curries and cooked vegetables. A lot of families use chillies and spices to add taste to their food. you must be careful in pre-warning them if you are sensitive to chillies and spices. Your home stay will introduce you to some of the best home cooking in the world.

e) Speaking abilities :

Most foreigners are quite pleasantly surprised with our English speaking abilities.  Most people speak basic English, and are adept at conversing in teh language. Though, you might have to careful with your accent, as Indians speak English in a very 'dictionary' accent, with no hint of any dialects and slang.

g) Close minded and Orthodox:

A lot of societies in this world are very different from ours and a lot of things which you may see or experience during the course of your traineeship may come as a shock to you. A lot of Indians have this tendency to be very close-minded and conventional, and not accept the fact that people may have completely different lifestyles to their own.

Indians believe that their destiny is not for them to decide, it has already been decided by God. Notions that you may not quite grasp, neither can a lot of us. Attitudes like what shall be shall be are prevalent in the Orthodox families.

You will also be invited for dinner in families and quite a few Indian houses eat with their hands and might not use cutlery.
 

h) IST ( Indian Stretchable Time):

The Indian concept of timing is very flexible. It is not necessary that if you are on time the other person has to be on time too. The time in Delhi is quite flexible. When you go for an appointment it may be true that you have to wait, but in the whole crowd you might also find a lot of people who are very particular about time.

Being late by about half an hour is quite normal. Though this is a concept that is followed more in the case of Socializing and Parties, which usually start late. If you have to travel to the station or the airport it is always advised that first you call up the station and the airport to confirm the arrival/departure of your transportation.

This is not a universal phenomenon, and it is quite standard that if you are going for a Corporate appointment, a fixed time means exactly that time. And of course, AIESECers themselves are very particular about time, and your reception at the airport should one worth remembering - for the right reasons.

i) Emotional

As mentioned above, Indians feel very strongly about collectivism. From that emerges the emotional nature of Indians. We tend to take a lot of things to heart and wrong word here and there can unknowingly hurt the sentiments of others. Come down and we will explain this at length.

National Holidays:

January: 26th Republic Day
February: 28th Maha Shiv Ratri
March: 16th-17th Holi
April:9th Ram navmi
May:11th Id-ul-zuha
August:15th Independence Day
October :2nd Gandhi Jayanti,
3rd October Dusshera,
23rd Diwali
December: 25th Christmas

Festivals

As you already know that India is a secular country so it has a lot of festivals too .The main festivals are Holi ( the festival of colour), Diwali (the festival of lights)etc. Diwali is the biggest festival which is celebrated all over India. There are many stories behind the celebration of Diwali. But the bottom line is that it is time to party and light up the sky

Security and Crimes

In a big city there will always be crimes. You do not have to be afraid -- just careful. You should never leave your luggage out of your sight and do not go carrying a lot of money at one time. At night, especially the girls, should not travel alone. However the locality you are going to be staying in is one of the more secure and upscale of Delhi. So you do not have that much to be afraid of.

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Some important things to Remember:

* Visa

When applying for a visa for India, ensure that you apply for a work permit if you plan to stay in India for more than 6 months from date of issue. If you are on a short term traineeship (3 to 4 months), then even a business visa would suffice. Also note that visa is valid from date of issue and not upon entry in the country.
 

* Insurance

It is better to be insured when arriving in India. However, medical costs are not very high. Relevant details would be available at the Indian Embassy / High Commission in your country.
 

* Currency

You can carry travelers cheques, credit cards like Visa, Master Card and Diners card which are widely accepted or American dollars which is easy to convert. Money can be changed easily at American Express in New Delhi. AIESEC would assist you in this. The currency in India is called Rupees

100 paisa = 1 Rupee

43 Rupees = 1 Dollar

63 Rupees = 1 Pound

The main denominations are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500. Be careful not to mix up 100 and 500, as they look similar.

Price levels in Delhi

1 Loaf of bread 12/-

1 bar of chocolate 15 - 20/-

Cinema Balcony = 80 - 100/-

Discotheque 500 - 1000/- per couple (cover in some discos)

Dinner in a restaurant McDonald's = 100/-, restaurants = 200 - 400 per head

Drinks (Cola) = 8- 10/- beer 30/- at shops, 50 -100/- in restaurants

Clothing

Most people dress modestly in the city. For work you will have to carry formal outfits but Indians would like it a lot if you wore the traditional dress (Salwar Kameez).In the weekends you can wear shirt, jeans etc..

Clothes would also vary from season to season. During winters since temperature falls down to about 4 degrees Celsius, it is advised to carry a few woolens and for the summers light clothing. Remember to carry an Umbrella for the monsoons.

For men it is simpler as formals are just trousers and shirts. In winters ties are required with a wollen suit. Men should carry shorts to be worn in summers

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3) Checklist

Passport and visa
All relevant documents & Photo-copies of the same
Photos
Money
Medicines
Vaccinations
Ticket
Walking shoes
Flash light
Sun tan lotion
Pictures of family and friends
Music
Important memorabilia
Diary
Student Identity Card
Material for your country presentation.
Sleeping Bag / Blanket if you are coming in the winters

Things you should not carry

Many clothes and shirts are available of international quality for Rs. 300
Food and Stationary.
Camera rolls of international quality are available for Rs. 100 here. (Kodak., Konica)
Books like Lonely Planet are available at a cheaper rate in India for Rs. 6oo.

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4) Once in India

Pick Up:

After your arrival in New Delhi airport you will be picked up by AIESEC DI. You will have at least 2-3 days of home stay before you can shift into your own apartment. We do this because we feel that a home stay exposes you to the Indian culture and you get time to get used to it. After that someone will show you to your apartment and of course take you to work too, for the first day or so.

Housing:

Housing is fairly expensive in Delhi and for a shared apartment you will have to pay as much as 3000/- a month. AIESEC has rented accomodation in East of Kailash, a posh South Delhi locality and in SAouth Extension . You have an option of living alone in an apartment or sharing it with someone. We will help you look for the apartment or we could do so before you come here. The other option is to live as a paying guest in some ones house which does not necessarily mean an Aisecers house always. You will definitely have 2-3 days of home stay before you are put in your apartment.
 

Work

The working hours are generally 10.00 to 6.00pm and it is quite conservative. You have to dress formally for work. Some offices may have jeans wear as their working apparel. This must be clarified with your office.

Salary

You will receive a stipend of Rupees 8000/-. This may differ from company to company some offer subsides in kind which is then adjusted in the salary. In this city, with 8000/-, it is possible to live fairly comfortably.

Here is a detailed Budget

The following is a rough estimate of what a trainee spends during his or her stay in India. There may be disparities between cities and also between trainee's depending on tastes and preferences.

The following is the break up

1. Accommodation -- It ranges from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 5000

Rs. 3000/- includes a room on a shared basis with attached bath.

Rs. 3500 includes, besides the above, breakfast and dinner.

Rs. 5000 is for a single room with attached bath etc.

Security for accommodation (only for the first month, refunded at the end of stay)

Laundry is a little extra (approx Rs. 200/- a month)

2. Transport -- Rs. 1000/- to Rs. 2000/-

Atleast Rs. 1000/- only concerns travelling in an autorickshaw to office and home but depends entirely on where the trainee is staying. The alternative is travelling by chartered buses which is advisable

Travel at night is more expensive as it is generally in taxies

3. Food -- Rs. 2000/-

During a normal day, lunch is at the office and dinner at home.

Food in a restaurant is approximately Rs. 300/- per head. (Please consult the reception package

4. Entertainment -- Rs. 2000/- - Rs. 3000/-

Guys love to party and Delhi is expensive

movies @Rs.120/-

Pubs @ Rs.400

sightseeing trips @ Rs.300

The above can include one out station trip to Agra or Jaipur

So an average trainee in DI spends about Rs. 10000/-.

Food

ALL Indians love food. Indians take a lot of pride in their cooking. There is a large variation in the style of cooking .the food from state to state. Indian food is definitely quite spicy. It is advised that for the first few days after your arrival eat little but take in a lot of fluids so that your stomach can get adjusted and you can enjoy the food too. Never have tap water, always ask for mineral water. When you go to someone's house never put your bottle of mineral water because you might offend the family as all families use mineral water. Almost all houses use Aquaguard, water filters, and therefore it is safe to drink water - but it will never hurt to check.

In Delhi you get a large variety of food from the Mughlai to Tandoori to South Indian, Chinese, Mexican etc. Delhi is famous for it's non-vegetarian food and kebabs.
 

Telephones:

You have many STD/ISD booths all over Delhi. These booths have a sign in yellow with STD/ISD written boldly in black. When making a local call from a public booth, do hear the dial tone before dialing your number, after you hear the other person speak you insert in the coin (FOR local calls). There are times when your call gets disconnected after a 3 minute beep. Always carry change for such booths (one rupee coins). Manned booths are more convienent and more in number so operating a telephone should not be a problem. Some imporant tele numbers are:

For international calls you have to go to one of the manned booths and pay by the meter. There are no subsidies on international calls. For STD calls, the rates are

            8.00am -- 7.00pm = full rate

            7.00pm -- 9.00pm = half rate

            9.00pm -- 11.00pm = one third

            11.00pm -- 8.00am = one fourth


Shopping:

Delhi is a shopper's delight . You can buy everything you need here at cheap rates. For good quality products a safe bet would be South Extension and Connaguaht Place For getting cheap and good quality stuff its advisable to take an Indian along and if you do decide to go alone remember -- Bargain and bargain hard!!

Remember never to bargain in big shops.
Some cheap shopping markets are

Sarojine Nagar, Gafar Market and Karol Bagh 
Be careful or your money in such transactions

Transport:

Delhi is well connected by buses, taxis and auto rickshaws too .It is always best to travel in Delhi by buses or autos. The auto's and taxi's are painted in yellow and black. You must always pay by the use of the card and meter after reaching your destination. There are places where the facility of prepaid taxis is also available.

The rates for the autos, the most popular and recommended form of transport in the city, are as follows:

  • Minimum starting rate --- Rs. 3/-

    Then let the meter take over. The final rate is 80% over the meter rate. The auto driver is supposed to carry a chart specifing the rates. Insist on seeing it.
     

  • To go outside Delhi you can make the use of tourist cabs, buses and trains. When travelling between two places always confirm the time of your arrival and departure.
    Rail transport withen Delhi is rather poor but for out-station travel , it is not only convninent but also cheap and reliable

    Spare Time:

    There are many places you can go to like restaurants, cinemas, pubs, disco's, museums, art gallery's etc. Some good hang out joints are

    Gunghroos in the Mauyra Sheraton (entry for couples 600/-)

    Fireball in 32nd Milestone (entry for couple -- weekdays 500/-, weekends 1000/-)

    TGIF at Vasant Vihar

    Pizza hut in Defence Colony, GK-I and many more.

    Priya Cinema complex & Priya Village Roadshow; has everything from movies to good food to video games.

    Of course there's always McDonalds. A Maharaja Mac meal combo costs about Rs. 96/-
     

    Must see in Delhi

    An Indian marriage, A Hindi movie, A village, A festival, if possible, A game of Cricket

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    Useful words in Hindi:

    Hello---------------------------Namaste / Namaskar
    Yes-----------------------------Haan
    No------------------------------Nahin
    Thank You-----------------------Dhanya Waad / Shukriya
    O.K.----------------------------Theek Hai /
    Let's go------------------------Chalo
    Water---------------------------Paani
    Food------------------------Khaana

    Conversation

    What is your name?--------------Aapka naam kya hai?
    My name is----------------------Mera naam hai
    I don't understand--------------Mujhe samajh nahin aata
    I don't speak Hindi-------------Mujhe hindi bolni nahin aatee

    At the Hotel

    Room----------------------------Kamra
    Key-----------------------------Chabi
    Luggage-------------------------Saamaan

    At the Restaurant

    How much is this----------------Yeh kitne ka hai?
    Dinner--------------------------Khaanaa
    Tea-----------------------------Chai
    Milk----------------------------Doodh
    Eggs----------------------------Ande
    Potatoes------------------------Aaloo
    Vegetables----------------------Sabzi

    Others
    Hospital------------------------Aspatal
    Hairdresser---------------------Naai
    Chemist-------------------------Dava-Khaana
    Shop----------------------------Dookan

    Other sites to visit:

    Khoj - Indian Search Engine
    The Times of India - Popular Newspaper

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