If you were thinking that you knew the meaning of the word hospitality, come to visit India, and afterward, you’ll realize that you have another understanding of this concept. Indian hospitality is unique, it doesn’t resume to generosity and welcoming, values that other countries have them as well, it’s also connected to the Indian spirituality and the pure joy of having you in their home. The sincere joy brought by your presence there, makes you question your ability to be as happy to have guests as the Indian people.
It took me a while to get used to the openness with which people invited me to their homes but after a while, I understood that the way how they are treating the guests its part of their culture and ancient traditions. According to the Hinduism, Indian people value the existence of everyone and everything, in the same philosophy, receiving guests also form a part of India’s values. I was impressed by a beautiful and meaningful quote that embodies the relationship between a host and a guest in India, saying “Atithi Devo Bhava” – Guests are God! This phrase suggests that it’s deep inside their culture and religion to treat guests with the same respect as God.
In order to promote this principle, there are some Indian legends and stories where a guest is revealed to be a God who recompenses the host for the hospitality. That is one of the reasons why Indians practice humanity towards guests at home and in all social contexts.
As a solo traveler, I received a lot of kindness and hospitality from all the people I have met. I was honored to be presented to all their families and their friends as their guests and happy to feel part of their community. From the amazing food to the travel advice and tours received from my hosts, I found out how meaningful is the sense of Indian hospitality.
I learned many things in India about life and people but one thing that I truly value more is to enjoy and respect more the time with my guests at home. I received so much kindness and smiles as a guest, during my travel in India that I want to give it back to the people that will visit me at home. I will treat my guests with the same joy and good energy that I witnessed in India!