Articles by Arwa

Travel Tales from Kerala, India

Passion for road Trips” was started in April 2007 by Subodh. Updated actively since June 2009, this blog focuses on travel tales from Kerala, India. These are budget travels, mostly on a two-wheeler and bring forth the mesmerizing beauty of God’s own country (as Kerala is sometimes known).

An engineer by profession and a traveller by passion, Subodh occasionally blogs about his travels to places outside Kerala including Coorg and Bangalore.


November 2, 2010 3 comments

Gift etiquette around the world

When do you give gifts in your country? Do you choose a different gift depending on the occasion? And if you receive a gift is it polite to open it straight away or wait until later?

In continuation of our series of collaborative posts by PocketCultures contributors, we bring to you this time the different gift etiquettes across different countries of the world.

Gift Etiquettes around the world -


by Arwa, regional contributor for The Netherlands / India

Indian sweets
Photo Credit – Shooz

The diverse cultures, religions, regions and festivals in India collate together to form a wide canvas of exciting colors and emotions. This diversity from the North to the South and East to the West is evident in the differing customs and traditions throughout the country, one such example of which is giving and receiving of gifts.


October 13, 2010 8 comments

Rotterdam's Open Market

One place that showcases the multi-cultural outlook of Rotterdam is the open market (open markt) situated in Binnenrotte, next to the Blaak railway station. Every Tuesday and Saturday, the Dutch as well as the city’s expat population head towards the market for their weekly shopping.

Open Market in Rotterdam

Fresh fruits and vegetables, anyone?


October 11, 2010 4 comments

Do You Speak Dutch?


English is widely spoken in the Netherlands, but since Dutch is the official language, knowing a few basic Dutch expressions will go a long way in ensuring a smoother visit and better integration.

Check out these basic Dutch expressions that will help you ask the right question to the right person :


September 22, 2010 Comments disabled

Patat Frites: a popular Dutch snack

If you are in The Netherlands, your chances of not bumping into any road side stall/vending points selling the world famous “Patat Frites” is very small – nearly zero probability. Also known as the “Vlaamse Frites“, the traditional Dutch fries consist of long, thick potato fingers.

Photo credit


July 28, 2010 12 comments

Rajasthani Sweets and Snacks

As much as Rajasthan is famous for its beautiful palaces, majestic forts and colorful folk dances, the state is also a food lover’s paradise. As I write this post, my heart is longing for all the Rajasthani sweets I have grown up eating!

Rajasthani cuisine has a variety of delicious and lip smacking sweets and snacks. So, if you have a sweet tooth, try out “Makhaniya Lassi” or “Mawa ni Kachori“; if you are a brave heart and cannot resist spices, then go for either “Bikaneri Bhujiya” or “Mirchi Bada”.

If you are not aware of any of these, don’t worry. Just read on :-

Makhaniya Lassi

Makhaniya LassiMade up of sweetened yogurt, with a dollop of cream, this is my personal favorite. A pinch of saffron here and butter there – the drink is ready.

Makhaniya Lassi is a cool drink to beat the extreme summer temperatures. For added flavor, a host of dried fruits are sprinkled on the top.

The Lassi is easy to prepare at home – takes a few minutes and is generally had after the meal. Photo credit


July 19, 2010 22 comments