April 23, 2014, by Tony Hong

India and China : The best of both developing countries

By Shivali Mistry,

Second year MSci Hons Student in Accounting and Finance for Contemporary China,

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China.

Having the opportunity to experience such different lifestyles yet in the same continent has led to some pretty exciting memories in my lifetime. My first visit to India was 18 years ago and I find it impossible to recall important memories of what I proclaim to be the country I mostly relate with in terms of tradition and culture.

Arriving at Mumbai international airport early morning was an experience in itself as I was greeted by the strong heat of India. The strong features of the atmosphere had made me realize my presence in India had become a reality.

During the first week of my trip, we stayed in the rural parts of India, known as Billimora – the hometown of where my grandparents live; which was approximately a 5 hour long journey from Mumbai. The environment had no clear structure to it. In fact the buildings, roads, and people were so, from what I remember, out place in its own way.

Before traveling to India, I had kept an open mind on what I was about to experience within the next few weeks. This approach enabled me to appreciate everything that India had to offer, and to accept the major differences within their culture and lifestyle.
The people of India were very traditional as the women were wearing the common traditional clothing known as sarees, whilst the men were dressed in casual suit ware. The typical living standards were mainly to keep the men in careers, whilst the women were housewives to their families. The role of women in India was specific and general to their daily way of living. But as the generations are passing, careers seem to become more appealing.

Being able to visit many different cities within the current state of Gujarat has widened my knowledge of the different lifestyles that I have been exposed to. The development of the country has been ongoing. The people of today’s India have enabled growth to become rapid, in order to keep up with its standards of being one of the top developing countries.
Westernization of the northern parts of India has been gradually progressing as fashion and cuisine have become a new feature and this is becoming more and more common through time. Although lifestyles are still old fashion, India is still managing to grasp the new editions of the modernized era that it is currently experiencing.

Now we compare India with its largest rival, China. They are both known to be the leading countries in Asia, I have been fortunate to have been able to experience, and make a comparison between the two countries. Firstly, I would like to explain my personal experiences that I’ve had so far. By being a British student living in China, and exploring the many attractions, and major cities during my one year stay, I have an overall perspective on the major conceptions that stand out to me.

As I arrived in Ningbo, the environment and the infrastructure stood out to me as being very modern, and I was able to identify the westernized influences that have occurred within this city. Seeing the differences by comparing China to India, I was surprised at the pace that China was developing. The growth in China is fast in some areas, but the development is still continuously occurring which is happening at a faster pace than India. The fashion also has become more up-to-date, as the Chinese locals find their image very important. Thus, having the latest fashion, and following the current trends, are essential to their current lifestyle. Many foreign features that have adapted in China, is the main factor that encourages its development to be more rapid in contrast to India.

In my opinion China has the ability to gain more development within the next decade, as the entire nation is determined to be more modernized; its constant influences will enable this change to occur at a faster rate, in comparison to India. As India is another fast developing country, it will take more time to reform its entire nation into a fully modernized country. I have enjoyed my time in both countries, and I am interested in the many changes that will occur in the future. Personally, I would expect to see more obvious changes, such as the changes within the environment in India. I would like to see more newly built buildings, and fewer old and run down streets. This change I believe will take a longer period of time to occur, whereas in China, I believe more factories and buildings are yet to be created.

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