India: A tongue-in-cheek travel guide for EMTs

India is beautiful, fascinating and somehow incomprehensible. Our general knowledge about the Republic of India, which emerged from a British colony in 1947, is mostly characterized by TV stereotypes. As typically Indian, Europeans sometimes consider the turbans, Bollywood dancing and the spicy cuisine with those delicious curries.

But that’s exactly where false assumptions begin: There doesn’t need to be any curry powder in a curry. It is simply the name for a wide variety of dishes from the southern Asian cuisine based on sauces with vegetables, fish or meat, such as the Chicken tikka masala. The CTM, as often abbreviated on restaurant’s menus, is regarded as the most popular Indian dish, though it has its origin in England. India travelers will also be looking vainly on the menu for the popular dish Beef Vindaloo: Beef is a taboo for most Indians, at least for those who belong to the confession of Hinduism.


For all medical professionals, who love traveling to exotic places, we have collected a short list of surprising facts on India, which should not only be of interest to Indian forces, nurses or doctors, and whose knowledge might make you a slumdog millionaire one day:

Become a pulmonologist in Mumbai

This harbor town on the west coast of India was previously called Bombay until it got its new name in 1996. With a population of 12 million people in the central areas of Mumbai and another 6 million residents in the suburbs, it is the biggest city of India and one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Heavy traffic and the local industry are filling the air of Mumbai with smog, so that the inhaling of the air in the city for one day is the same load as the smoking of 100 cigarettes.

Durch Verkehr und Industrie entspricht die Luft pro Tag in Mumbai dem Rauch von 100 Zigaretten
Durch Verkehr und Industrie entspricht die Luft pro Tag in Mumbai dem Rauch von 100 Zigaretten
© Foto: Flickr/tawheedmanzoor – CC BY

Chiral diagnostic: Keep an eye on the left hand

The chirology is a well-known examination method of the naturopathy. In this, the palm of the hand and the palmar creases are interpreted as representatives of the physical constitution, character and psyche. However, anyone who studies hands in India must keep something else in mind: The left hand is considered unclean in India, since it is usually used as a substitute for toilet paper.

Die linke Hand gilt in Indien als unrein – da meist ein Ersatz für Toilettenpapier

Make time for family anamnesis

Asking for pre-existing diseases inside the family, our patients mostly tell us about one or two siblings, their parents and end up their stories with the grandparents. In most cases, no surprising diagnoses can be inferred from the relatives who are usually five to eight different individuals. In India, the question of chronic ailments of the closest relatives may be somewhat more extensive. The world’s largest family lives in India: A man has begotten 94 children with 39 women.

Durch die Größe der Familien fällt die Anamnese meist umfangreich aus

Only a sated medic is a good medic

It’s true: You’re not you when you’re hungry. But the supply of food is not always that easy when working in an emergency ambulance service. The fast food company with the golden M secures the blood glucose levels of EMTs worldwide. But anyone who wants to satisfy his munches with chicken nuggets or a cheeseburger in the Indian city of Amritsar will have a problem. There you can find the first and only vegetarian McDonalds restaurant. It has been established in 2012.

It is also important to remember that with the average income of an EMT in India, you would have to work for about six hours to afford a Big Mac.

Die erste und bislang einzige vegetarische McDonalds-Filiale der Welt in Indien

Authority qua office thanks to mustache

What gives a policeman the insistence on an official action? What brings him respect? A sovereign appearance, a quiet, prudent way, combined with assertiveness, eloquence, etc. All this is conveyed to young police officers in their training at the police academy. But if that is not enough? In the state of Madhya Pradesh fortunately the universal remedy for an official’s authority was discovered: A mustache! There, policemen even get a bonus on salary if they grow that kind of a beard.

Mehr Amtsautorität dank Schnurrbart

Do you speak Anal?

If you are asked this question in India, then your opponent does not want to analyze whether you are still in the anal phase of your inner development. Anal is a language spoken by 23,000 people in India and Myanmar.

In Indien und Myanmar wird auch die Sprache "Anal" gesprochen

Did you know, that you already speak Indian?

You cannot believe? But you might use this certain word even daily. Anyone who jumps into the shower after a sweaty shift and washes the hair, is using a shampoo. This word comes from a Hindi word: Champu (Sanskrit: ष्ण्गाग्र). It means massage and stands for the foaming of the hair and scalp.

Das Wort Shampoo stammt von einem Hindi-Wort ab: Champu

Apply the brakes

Anyone who does not lock the brakes of the gurney when transferring a patient onto the stretcher will make life itself unnecessarily difficult. The same applies to a parked rescue vehicle, which is braked only by the inserted gear. It pushes back and forth and rocks the patient unnecessarily, when getting loaded. In the region of Ladakh in the north of India, there is one much bigger problem: there is a hill where there is so much magnetism that parked cars move and the flight paths of airplanes or helicopters are affected.

Hügel im Norden Indiens, auf dem starker Magnetismus herrscht

The cow has landed

Cows are sacred to the Indians. Rescue vehicles must evade cows and a rescue helicopter’s pilot might have to look for a different landing site when the cow has already settled on the helipad. So, is it a crime, the cow could be made responsible for, when hindering a rescue operation? At least, it would be possible in the state of West Bengal to determine the identity of the cow, as cows must have a passport with a photo and must carry it along anytime.

In Indien müssen Kühe einen Ausweis mit Foto besitzen

Beyond the humor: A respectful look to highly appreciated partners

Every country has its own specialties. These are just some fun facts about India, that shall make you smile and think about, how differently the EMT’s work is worldwide. Beside of the points above, we at corpuls are learning a lot from our friends in India, who have to face very serious challenges in their daily work, due to the wideness of the land on the one hand an a extremely high density of the population in the metropoles on the other hand.
This brings us to the story of the pilots and paramedics of Aviators Air Rescue. They just accepted the formidable challenge of providing an air rescue service to the people of Bangalore, which is located in the center of the Indian subcontinent. This means being on duty for the gigantic number of 8,5 Million citizens! They have recently introduced the first rescue helicopter based in Bangalore and we are so proud, that a corpuls3 is on board to assist their daily efforts for the health of the people. And there are more to come soon, to provide air rescue service to the people of whole India. So hats off and respect for their future tasks: We wish you always a good flight!

Search for articles

Similar posts

Privacy settings

This website uses external components, such as web fonts, maps, videos or analysis tools (Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel) that can all be used to collect data about your behavior. Cookies are also set by the external components. The consent to use the components can be revoked at any time. For more information please see our privacy policy