Israeli Backpackers in India
“Hey Tony, have a nice trip in India. Don’t waste your time in Kasol, go further up to Spiti or Kinnaur (in Himachal Pradesh) or some more beautiful places. You should make good use of your stay here,” explained one of the experienced traveller to a young Israeli boy leaving Dharamkot, which is around 10kms from Dharamsala.
In our articles based on our month-long trip to Himachal Pradesh we have mentioned about the growing number of Israelis visiting certain parts of India. This small advice given by a middle-aged woman to a young traveler speaks a lot about the prevailing condition.
India is a hospitable country and everyone is welcomed. But at quite a few places in Himachal – Manali, Kasol, Dharamkot – we felt like strangers coming from a different country. Shop hoardings inscribed in Hebrew, cafes catering only to Israelis, locals being more friendly to them and not too welcoming to others, were some of the observations we made during our trip.
In Israel military service is mandatory for men for three years and women for a minimum of two years after going through brain washing activities, the younger lot leaves everything behind and heads to India in search of fun, solace and drugs. What they don’t leave behind is the arrogant and brash attitude, often associated with them.
Our interactions with some of them were not very memorable. We were seated in a cafe at Dharamkot having our breakfast, when a mother and a kid walked in, giving out chocolates to everyone in the cafe, I guess it was her sons’ birthday. She distributed chocolates to every Israeli in the cafe, she never approached us! This is a very small event, its not about the chocolate, but a small act like this can speak a lot.
Watch this video below showing the ignorant behaviour of Israelis at a guest house, and it’s made by an Israeli production, so good they recognize that as well. Its a lovely video and a funny way of looking at things.
No wonder at the places I mentioned earlier in Himachal, there was a Rabbi, looking after the runaways, probably guiding them on a better path?