Ten things you should know about India

Katie Zurita

1. There are many Indias.
Not only are the different regions in India distinct in terms of language, cuisine, attire, festivals and interpretations of religion, we also find huge variations in consumer mindsets as a result of socio-economic background - from an upmarket, educated, English-speaking, global sensibility at one extreme to a rooted-intradition, often illiterate, local-language speaking parochial world view at the other.

2. Class distinctions rule.
India has always been a highly class-driven society. A mix of income, education and occupation define your 'place' in society, and your place in society in turn defines who your friends are, who you sit down at the table with, who you would think of marrying, and what sorts of jobs are open to you. It is critical to signal clearly who you are and where you belong, and one of the most overt symbols of status in India is speaking English.