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Entertainment, Media and Television for Expats in India

Submitted: September 2013

India’s diverse culture allows for many varieties of entertainment throughout its cities and countryside. As you may expect, there are many activities catering to a wide variety of tastes so there is always something exciting to do.


Nightlife

India diverse nightlife features many options ranging from intimate bars and pubs, to multi-level nightclubs. Bars and pubs tend be of two types – cheap, seedy local bars, and classier venues which are only present in major cities. The latter tends to have adjoining restaurants. There are many outdoor parties as well, but the scene has becoming mostly underground and impromptu as they are heavily regulated, and, it is alleged that many are often shut down by police if required the bribe money is not paid. You should note that there are many curfews in place which brings nightlife to an early end; even cities with large nightlife scene selections may close at around midnight. Additionally, legal alcohol consumption age varies, being 25 years in Delhi, and 18 years in Goa, though it is generally 21 years in many other places.


Cinema

India has one of the largest film industries in the world. Cinemas range from small local theatres to large national chain multiplexes in shopping malls such as PVR and BIG Cinemas, and may be found throughout India. Since India is a country of many official languages, the film industry is fragmented, as such, most films are shown in Hindi or other regional languages, with the exception of mainstream Hollywood movies which are often shown in English.


Sightseeing and Tours

India hosts a vast number of tours and has many interesting attractions which you may visit due to its very diverse local population and geography. Many options are made available to you such as visiting the world-famous Agra’s Taj Mahal, to exploring the Ajanta Caves or even touring the Thar Desert. You may find these activities by selecting any of the popular tour guides online such as the Indian Trip Advisor.

There are many more entertaining things to do in India. For a comprehensive list of entertaining activities guides, do visit the websites of Viator and Lonely Planet.


Television and Media

India’s television industry is relatively large and offers thousands of programmes in many languages through a combination of free and paid television services over a variety of distribution media. India’s only broadcast (terrestrial) television provider, Doordarshan, is state-owned and offers just over ten national channels which features programming mainly in Hindi, with some in English or a mixture of both. In addition to these, there are regional channels which broadcast in their respective state languages due to the wide variety of languages spoken in India.

Many people in India opt for paid television services for a greater variety of channels. There are many cable, satellite, digital and internet protocol television service providers in India. Of the wide range of channels which they offer, many are in English, with other languages such as Arabic, French and German also made available but to a lesser extent. Packages and cost vary significantly based on the region and providers, as such, neighbours or landlords may prove to be valuable sources of information when assessing options available in your area. Some of the largest companies which offer television services include Airtel, DigiCable, Reliance Digital TV, Sun TV and Videocon D2H. The areas in which they offer their services and package options may be found on their respective website.

You should note that television licences are not required in India and subscribing to a particular provider is usually a simple process which may be initiated online or via phone call. Proof of identification and proof of address are generally the main required for subscription. Additionally, if you plan to carry your television set to India, you should check its manual to verify if it is compatible with the PAL television signal type (others are NTSC and SECAM) as this is the standard used in India. Devices which are made to operate on a particular standard will not be compatible with those of another, and hence will not function.

There are numerous English based newspapers and magazines available in India throughout the country. Major cities usually have a main newspaper which they publish in English, while there are national titles such as The Times of India and The Hindu are also available. For a comprehensive list of Indians Newspapers, Magazines and News Sites which are in English, please click here.

 

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