How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Most apartment complexes, shopping malls and nice hotels have a play area for children. Playgrounds do exist but it's usually preferred to use the ones inside the gated communities, apartment complexes, etc., because of safety and security. Unfortunately, few of these public places have diaper-changing stations, so be prepared to make do.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Childcare providers are generally referred by other expats. Typically, the outgoing expat recommends their employees to other friends. Delhi Expat can provide good information regarding childcare. It is always recommended that you run a police verification for any household help or nannies. There are a few agencies as well, although the number of such reliable resources is few.
Another way to obtain a list of reliable childcare providers or nannies is by contacting your local embassy or Crown New Delhi.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
The standard precautions apply, such as not leaving your child alone with a stranger. It is a good practice to keep children close or within sight in public places. Drug and alcohol abuse among children does not exist to a large extent in this part of India, though there have been a few stray cases. Be cautious as you would be in any city.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Fun'n'Food Village, located in the heart of the city, is a fun water park with facilities like a wave pool, lazy river, kids' pool, speed coaster slide and other amusement rides to enjoy. There's also fun to be had at the Splash Water Park and Jurasik Park, which are approximately one-hour drive from the city.
Bowling, paintball and other video games can be found in almost all the malls of the city. There is also ice skating in one of the malls in Gurgaon.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
There are various gaming parlors, such as the Amoeba Sports Bar, and go-karting and paintball in the outskirts of the city. During vacations, various organizations have camps organized for schoolchildren.
For those who are serious about sports, there are sports associations that coach children, such as the DLTA (tennis) and others. The cultural institutions mentioned earlier also have music, art, crafts and performing arts classes for children during the week, as well as weekends.
Delhi is an historic place (Red Fort, Qutub Minar, etc.) and is in the vicinity of other areas of historic significance (the Taj Mahal and Jaipur among them).
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Teenagers of the city have a variety of places where they can socialize with friends, at coffee shops, movies, etc.
There are various multiplex theatres that play Indian as well as English movies. Tickets cost between Rs.130 - Rs.600 per head. These multiplexes are usually in a mall. Nightclubs allow entry to people over 18 years of age and require ID to enter. The Delhi nightlife generally ends before 11:30 p.m.
People tend to start parties by 7 p.m.
The city is relatively safe, however, it is always safest to be in a group and to travel with some company after 10 p.m. or if you reside in an isolated location.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Social groups for 12- to 17-year-olds are rare, though not non-existent. They are run locally and it is best to check in the area you are residing in. The most popular game in this part of India is cricket.
However, most schools have their own teams with sports options for their students like soccer (football), basketball, swimming, etc. Inter-school competition in these sports is common.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
New Delhi, with its diverse population celebrates many local festivals of all religions including Christmas and Eid. The prominent Hindu festivals are:
Holi: Holi, the festival of colors, heralds the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. Holi usually falls in the latter part of February or March. On the main day, people celebrate Holi by throwing colored powder and colored water at each other.
Eid ul-Fitr: Eid ul-Fitr, often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fitr means "to break the fast" (and can also mean "nature," from the word "fitrah"); and so the holiday symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. It is celebrated starting on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. Eid ul-Fitr is a three-day celebration and is sometimes also known as the "Smaller Eid" as compared to the Eid ul-Adha that lasts four days and is called the "Greater Eid." Muslims are commanded by the Qur'an to complete their fast on the last day of Ramadan and then recite the Takbir all throughout the period of Eid.
Maha Shivratri: Is a festival celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha (as per Shalivahana or Gujarati Vikrama) or Phalguna (as per Vikrama) in the Hindu calendar (that is, the night before and day of the new moon). The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael (Bilva) leaves to the Lord Shiva, all-day fasting and an all-night-long vigil.
Navarathri: This is another festival that lasts for nine days. The goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and
Sarawathy, the consorts of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma respectively, are worshiped.
The festival falls in the months of September to October and is marked with traditional displays of handmade dolls.
Vaisakhi: Is an ancient harvest festival in the Punjab region, which also marks the beginning of a new solar year and new harvest season. Vaisakhi also has religious significance for Sikhs. It falls on the first day of the Vaisakh month in the solar Nanakshahi calendar, which corresponds to April 14 in the Gregorian calendar.
Diwali: The festival marks the victory of the good over the evil. Diwali is a major Indian festival, celebrated by almost every individual across India. It is known as the "Festival of Lights," and lamps (called diyas or kandils) are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for humankind. It generates an atmosphere of gaiety, friendliness and excitement.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.