I rarely come to Russia now and was surprised this summer to see that bicycle and kick-scooter rentals became popular. It makes me very happy!
When I was in China 2 years ago, I really liked the idea of this service, but I didn’t think it will ever start in Russia somehow. I was wrong.
Some time ago, I posted stories on Instagram that in Delhi, unfortunately, an attempt to introduce this service crashed. There are a few of such bicycle parkings in the center of Delhi (Connaught Place district), but no one uses them – so no of them in the other areas… I am sad that this happens (I would be using this service if it would be available in the area I live in) but according to my observations, Delhi people are generally not very active (I won’t talk about other cities, they say that people in smaller cities walk much more). In Delhi there are all kinds of public transport available, often cheap. And the weather is very hot for 9 months a year (you can read about the climate in Delhi Here), so the Indians find their climate not suitable for long walks and other activities… Can’t say that the Russian -40 degrees are more suitable for it than the Indian +45 though 🙈 But if for me as Russian person (and people from other countries I have been as well) to walk 500-900 meters to the metro from the house, the same amount from metro to the required place, and so on the way back – this is generally nothing (but 2-4 km only like this will be collected in the end of the day). Indians in Delhi for this matter can take a rickshaw for 10-20 rupees. And many people actually do, even for very small distances.
You can see mothers (and fathers sometimes too) with prams walking with their children really a lot in Russia (even at -40 degrees – because they consider walking with kids sort of necessary on a daily basis) but you can’t see many of them in Delhi. Some people like walking in parks – but more in short Delhi winters. Some people walk at late evenings, when it’s already not that hot. In general I can say that Delhi people more want to hide all the time in buildings under air conditioners, don’t consider being outside and active as really important for health or cool. Of course, I can’t talk about everyone, and this is just my opinion. But I guess lack of feeling of safety for women and children, high pollution level (the highest in the world) and almost no sidewalks near to the roads in most of places play bigger role in it. I miss walking when I am in India really a lot, but if I go outside – I end up being stared at really a lot – which is scary (about staring issue you can read Here). In India you can’t do just anything without tonnes of attention if you are a foreigner and it’s sad that people don’t think that they make your life uncomfortable by this.
But…when we go to Russia with my husband, he is surprised that women there at the age of 50-60 are capable of walking for long and are generally still active and don’t feel themselves as old. I know it’s like that not only in Russia (he hasn’t been in other countries yet), Chinese women, suppose, are active till really old age. But I know that in India many women can’t walk for long when they are 50 and consider themselves very old already in just such age (you can even hear from Indian people that their 45-years old mother is “old” and maybe even such thinking makes them to feel old at the first place?). Even though, it’s the country where people live till the age of 100 more often, country of yoga!
I honestly was surprised by such approach, I haven’t seen this from such perspective before, because, again: Russians aren’t the ones who expected to have a good health since we are seen in the world as we drink vodka all the time and even for breakfast by stereotype, while Indians seen as all of them are doing yoga regularly and everyone supposed to be spiritual. In reality: both stereotypes apply only for a very few people. Although, I guess I expected spirituality from way more people in India – because of stereotype. And this is why I am even writing this post perhaps….But my fault that I believed stereotypes and had some expectations…
While spiritual development and yoga are getting more and more popular in the west, Asian countries move more and more towards materialistic and “comfort” priorities (and India is one of them). Did you know that by the number of millionaires China is 2nd in the world and Japan is 3rd? I didn’t expect this countries to be there, honestly. Everything is changing….?