By Lindsey Galloway
With its 26 million people, Delhi has been described as a microcosm of India, with trappings from the country’s many cultures, religions and traditions. Centuries of global trade, conquest and colonisation have made the city one of the world’s most multicultural. And residents who adapt to this ever-changing culture are embraced as fellow ‘Dilliwalas’ – the term residents often call themselves, originating from the phase ‘Dillwalo ki Dilli’, the place where the people with big hearts live.
This diversity makes it easy to find your own niche. “Delhi’s vibes are a lot like the aroma of a nice coffee shop,” said Nishchal Dua from New Delhi, a territory within larger Delhi and capital of India. “You can smell multiple things the moment you enter and it’s entirely up you to pick the one you like.”
Delhi’s vibes are a lot like the aroma of a nice coffee shop – you can smell multiple things the moment you enter and it’s entirely up you to pick the one you like
The city is the country’s political and fashion capital, giving it a vibe that evokes a blend of New York City with Washington DC, according to Anjhula Mya Singh Bais who lived in New Delhi for six years. That does mean it can be a little harder to assimilate in than in other Indian cities though. “Delhi is more about who you are, where you come from, what you are wearing or driving, so it takes time to break in,” she said.
Despite its diversity, Delhiites young and old unite over one thing: the love of a good party. Weddings here last from five to 10 days and can have as many as 1,000 guests attending the events, parties and traditional ceremonies. While weddings around the country tend to be multi-day affairs, Delhi has gained a reputation for having as many as 60,000 weddings on a single auspicious date. And weddings have grown so extravagant that lawmakers have even put forward bills to curb excessive spending. “It’s not unusual to see the groom coming to the wedding in a helicopter on D-Day,” Dua said. “I’m not kidding, my father is a pilot.”