Prevent Culture Shock! Seven Things You Should Know About Lucknow And Its People!
Ask any Lucknowite what they miss the most about the city and they are likely to whip out a long list. Getting used to the different dialects and comparing everything you eat to the taste back home (especially if you are a non-vegetarian) become an inevitable part of your life. Here, we talk about the Seven Things You Should Know About Lucknow.
Even for first-time visitors, the city welcomes them with open arms, often leaving them awestruck. Beyond the exuberance of the Rumi Gate and the history of the Residency lie some subtle traits that are deeply rooted in the city’s soul. Sure, the internet can tell you all about the best biryani and kebab places in town but there are some qualities ingrained in the DNA of the city that only a Lucknowite can vouch for. These are the things that even Google cannot tell you about.
Let’s give you a sneak peek into what makes Lucknow so different:
Help is always available
The people of Lucknow have a reputation of being polite, courteous and helpful, especially if you are new here or a visitor. Don’t believe us? Try asking for directions from the first person you see and even those passing by will stop to guide you.
But seriously, you will never have to worry about getting stranded or lost here as people are mostly happy to help.
We love a good conversation
Lucknowites are known to be friendly people and we love to talk about anything and everything under the sun. If you ever find yourself in a public place looking to kill some time, keep that phone aside and try to strike a conversation with someone. You might even learn something new about the city.
Our fascination with our monuments is never ending
We love our historical heritage and how! Locals everywhere love their city’s culture but Lucknowites tend to take it up a notch, and rightfully so. Unlike big cities where people hardly have the time to explore their historical monuments, locals here just need a reason to do the same. Want to take your children out? Relatives or friends visiting? The Imaambara is the place to start your tour.
Everybody is a tourist guide
New to the city? Simply hop into an auto and you have your own autowala cum tourist guide. From showing you the must visit places in the city to sharing its rich history, they will take you on a fun ride even if you are short on time. This is actually quite a cool way to explore the city.
We have our own vocabulary
Sure, every city has its own expressions but nowhere else will you find words like ‘Tafri’, ‘Jugaad’ or ‘Bhaukal’. These are just some of the words that make our language… interesting. Then of course there is the tehzeeb of referring to people as ‘Aap’ (and let’s just admit it people, being referred to as ‘Tum’ or ‘Tu’ by random strangers is quite off-putting). The much cliched “Ama Miyan” still sounds better when in Lucknow.
Mehmaan-Nawazi aka Hospitality
It is quite impossible to talk about Lucknow and not mention the ever so famous Lucknawi Mehmaan Nawazi. In the olden days, visitors would be treated to lavish feasts and experiences like no other. (A normal dinner of the Nawabs consisted of 25-30 dishes and the number would go up to 100 on special occasions. So yeah…you get the idea.)
Now, it might not be possible to experience the hospitality that matches the grandeur of the gone-by nawabi era, but if you manage to stay with a local family you will know what the hype is truly all about. People here open up their hearts for you and by the end of it, the city and its people will have a piece of your heart.
We’re a bunch of happy people
‘Muskuraiye Ki Aap Lucknow Mein Hai’ (Smile, for you are in Lucknow), was not coined for just about nothing. Lucknow is the second happiest city in the country and this title paved the way for the phrase that now welcomes people to the city.
Just like every other place, the people of Lucknow are a true reflection of the city’s culture. While the age-old ‘Pehle Aap’ tehzeeb might be fading away in the fast lanes of modernisation, there is something in the air of this Nawabi city that makes it so welcoming and receptive.