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Ask Shalu

If you are visiting India and would like to know something then why not ask me. What better way to get your questions answered by a native of India! If you have any questions; no matter how silly they are, send me an email on or use the contact form here. I will try to answer your questions as best as I can.

Your questions answered by Shalu

Question on buying water

I am staying at a couple 5 star places, but most of my lodging will be Bed and Breakfasts. Is it safe to buy water from a grocery store? Do I have to worry about people refilling water bottles in stores or just on the streets?

Buying bottled water is fine from stores. Just do not buy from an individual on the streets. Shops/stalls are generally fine. Make sure that the lids have been factory sealed and not glued together. If it is then, it probably has been refilled with tap water. Further reading on water buying guide in India.

Wedding question – what to wear in an Indian wedding?

My friend asked me to buy 2 saris to wear to his wedding in Pune. He has been impossible to get in touch with. Will a lengha work as well, instead or should it be a sari? Does it really matter. It is a sindhi wedding.

Lehenga is fine; it’s a wedding dress that can be worn by the bride and guests alike. Saris are great as well. I personally would wear a Sari but a lehenga would do great as well. You can wear either one of them. Here’s how to wear the sari.

Question on what to wear in India (for females)

I was particularly worried about what to wear in India. I bought a bunch of brightly colored trousers. Some of these trousers are fitted but they go to my ankles or heels. I plan on wearing tops. What do think?

Your clothes seem to be fine as far as tops and trousers are concerned. I would refrain from wearing skimpy clothes. Perhaps you could consider wearing Indian clothes. Jeans and tops are fine. I prefer to wear jeans that do not show the shape of the bottom or tops that hide the hips. Although, its perfectly fine if you don’t. Perhaps I am being too conservative. You can also wear combat pants as they can free you hands.

Question on celiac disease

I have celiac disease. I am very concerned that no one in India will understand what gluten is? I cannot digest gluten and get really sick if I do consume it. Gluten is in breads, sauces (as flour), pastas etc. I usually eat a lot of salads, except I won’t be able to enjoy that in India as the water is an issue. Rice, potatoes, corn is all ok. Do you think it will be difficult for me to find safe foods to eat that do not contain gluten?

You are right about the celiac disease, it’s not common. I do not think anyone would understand if you tell them that you have celiac disease. What you need to say is that you do eat wheat products. Flour in Hindi is AATA (pronounced, aaa taaa and wheat is GHEHU, pronounced gee huu . Remember those two words. Let the waiters know.

Namaste World. I am Diya. My life in India: (Multiculturalism for Children). Teach kids about India

India for kids