Our internships are almost over and as I look back over the last few weeks I feel like I have learned quite a bit at Intense Technologies, about both the workings of an Indian office and the changing dynamics within Indian culture. I would like to make a few observations.
The Indian office is a relaxed, hardworking environment. People start to arrive around 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. and stay till maybe 6:30 on a normal day. Breakfast is consumed after arriving at work, which pushes back the start of the day a little later. When things need to get done, there is hard work put into the task at hand, but come 1:00 p.m. its lunchtime. Our boss Santosh graciously takes us to lunch, which easily takes an hour. After lunch, people get back to work, but there is always time to chat or go on Facebook. From what I am told, this is a slow time of year and there is not much to do. At other times of the year they stay and work until midnight and work through the weekends. Time is not seen as a limited resource here.
Another thing that I have noted are the changes taking place in India both culturally and religiously. From talking with the locals, mostly Hindus, I can see that among the new generation there are many who do not adhere to traditional values as before. Hindus traditionally do not drink alcohol, but among the younger generation there is a greater tolerance for consumption. Hindus do not traditionally eat beef, but among young professionals there is a shifting attitude towards such an indulgence. I just got back from a steak dinner with Uday, a friend from work. Castes are still relevant to Indian life, but discrimination based on caste is prohibited by law and is diminished in effect in the cities. Dress is changing as well. While many women still wear traditional saris, many alternate between, and combine traditional styles with Western styles of clothing.
India is changing and I can only imagine what it will look like in a few decades.