A Cultural Tiff- Delhi v/s Mumbai

If you are a traveller and aspire to travel the world, visit India.

This is not a travel advertisement, it is a statement which suggests that India is no less than a mini world in itself, a mesmerizing place with distinctive cultures and different languages. It is indeed true that under popular opinion, abundance of something diminishes its value, but the case is  quite contrary in India. India lives for its vastness, it treasures its abundance, it cherishes its profusion. It is home to many cultures thriving at small distances; it caters to a huge population and their different perspectives.
Two of the most popular cities of the country are: Delhi, the capital city and Mumbai, its very own financial capital. Both these cities are situated in different geographical locations, while Delhi is in the North, Mumbai stands in the west. These two cities are often seen as stark opposites but also have similarities which have not been accepted and explored yet.

The culture of Delhi stands as a representative of the typical North-Indian culture. Over-friendly people brimming with hospitality and delicious, high-in-calories food are the essentials of Delhi, whereas Mumbai enjoys its carefree, open minded people who come from all across the country, making the city a true metropolitan. Although the cities have their own unique cultures, one thing which is predominant is the cultural tiff between the two cities. Mumbaikars and Delhites, as they call themselves, hold preconceived opinions about each other. This mockery and constant banter between the two is carves a line in the cultures, which cannot be overlooked.

Delhi shares its borders with Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab; these places inadvertently influence the cultural practices of the city, on the other hand Mumbai can be seen as an amalgamation of many communities, with predominance of Gujarati and Maratha populations. Delhi thrives with its festive celebrations and traditions, when in Mumbai it’s impossible to get an official holiday.

Mumbai never sleeps, such is the culture of the place. While in Delhi, people enjoy a fairly different lifestyle. Delhi believes in utilising its weekends to the most when it comes to socialising. Hospitality is in Delhi’s blood, the people here shall not leave you until you are stuffed and might be risked to death by overeating. Mumbaikars on the other hand enjoy their private life and small world. The influence of western culture can be easily seen in Mumbai where freedom and modernity is often sensed in its very air. Delhi is believed to hold on to its own share of conservatism and orthodox ideology. Delhi is the friend which wears its heart on the sleeve while Mumbai is the complicated one which will not easily reveal its understanding of life, it will take you some time to understand it.

Youtubers and media experts from both the cities often comment on the cultural differences. Their content openly reflects the different culture in cities, and it is obviously followed by mockery. Delhites never fail to make fun of the western pronunciations of the Mumbai crowd and Mumbaikars never go without pointing the “Desi factor” of Delhites. There is nothing wrong with cultural differences, but these shape the changing the perceptions of today’s youth. People tend to adopt a stereotypical idea of the North Indians, looking down at Delhi and the surrounding states as ideologically less refined. However, this judgement is largely preconceived without accounting for the developments being carried out in North India. Mumbai too has its share of problems as the ‘City of Dreams’ can hardly fulfil the aspirations of the huge number of people that flock to the city. The difficult lifestyle and the sad predicament of the migrated population remain sore points.

There is one aspect, however, which people from both cultures can equally relate to and that is: traffic. Both cities are no strangers to roads filled with vehicles. But then again, there is the contrast in weather, which becomes a point of difference: when Mumbai says we don’t have extreme summers or winters, Delhi is quick to taunt Mumbai’s lack of seasons, the unpredictable rains and the constant humidity. While Mumbai is called pretentious, Delhi is laughed upon for the local slangs. When Delhi boasts about its greenery, infrastructure and history, Mumbai flaunts its civilization.

This never ending tussle is enough for people to build more stereotypes. On a more serious note however, the encouragement given to this cultural tiff often obstructs experiences and opportunities for people in the country. People do prefer Mumbai for jobs because of its culture but they also look for the rich variety in Delhi. Cultural stereotypes taint the reputation of these cities and influence the decisions of those trying to choose between the two cities, while in reality, both the cities are equally equipped. We live in a country which is known for treasuring each of its cities and cultures. Acceptance and open mindedness is the only way by which our country can be truly appreciative of its diversity.

Picture Credits : traveltriangle

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