Traveller you are now
approaching the mysterious
world of India.
You are about to arrive in
Enter the Gateway.
Enter Mumbai.
Enter India itself.
Now close your eyes and listen to
the streets.
Listen to the noise.
Feel the life of India.
Good day, my name is Pradeep Sharma, but you
can call me Pradee. I will have the pleasure to be
your guide to Mumbai. Bombay as it was once
called changed its name to Mumbai in 1996.
Though the name Bombay already went back to
the times of the Portuguese ( Bom Bahia, meaning
good bay) the latter change was a change back to
the roots. As Mumbai derives from a word used by
the ancient Koli fisherfolk for one of their godesses:
Mumba = mother.
So don‘t be confused and think that the famous city
of Bombay in India did suddenly disappear.
Useful side info:
• Pradeep Sharma is an officer of the
Mumbai police.
He is India‘s and probably the world‘s
wildest shooting policeman.
He‘s now 13 years on duty and so far he
has shot 87 suspects.
• This makes you now a very safe man.
• But try to stay behind him.
Ancient yet modern, faboulously rich yet
achingly poor, Mumbai is India in a
microcosm. But it is even more than that,
there are things that you can only find here,
not only in India but even worldwide. Mumbai
is home of many different groups, it offers
room for even the weirdest kind of traditions,
languages, religions and people.
I mean like really strange people, not like you
and me: normal, you know.
Mumbai is a huge mosaic.
• Language:
• There are 200 different languages and dialects spoken in
and around Mumbai.
• The most spoken language is Marathi, the official
language of the district of Maharashtra.
• Surprisingly though being the second most spoken
language on planet earth Hindi only ranks 4th. English is
even more behind finishing on a disappointing 12th
• In spite of this English remains the language of the upper
classes and the language of almost all influential
• Religion:
• The religious picture of Mumbai is as complex as languagewise.
• In comparison to other Indian cities the number of religious
minorities is surprisingly high. The percentage of Hindi followers is
about 70%. This might sound much, but 30% of Mumbai‘s
population equals 3.6 million people. That‘s quite a few.
• The second most influential religion is Islam. The 15% that they
make up creates a strong antidote to Hinduism. As they stand close
together and focus on certain branches.
• Mumbai is very tolerant and offers space to even the strangest
Side info:
• Mumbai is also the home of about 60000 Parsi. The Parsi religion
has a more or less unconventional funeral tradition. Outside of
Mumbai on Malabar Hill stand the towers of silence. The Parsi,
instead of burying their dead, lay the bodies on these towers and
wait for the vultures to do their job. But in Mumbai‘s challenged
environment the number of vultures has drastically reduced.
• But Parsi religion shows us that tradition and innovation can get
along very well.
• They do now use chemicals to speed up decompostation and, this
will make environmentalists happy, solar powered heaters.
• Now imagine that in your city.
You see, lot of strange people around here.
But how should this be any different, I mean
we‘re a little crazy. Just look at our culture
rich and mysterious.
But the big thing today is something
completely different: Bollywood.
Like my mother living on the countryside, she
lives in the middle of nowhere, they don‘t
even have running water there, but guess
what. They have a cinema. She knows all
Sharukh Khan movies by heart and that‘s
sure a lot.
• Mumbai is the home of Bollywood, the name derives from the old
name of Mumbai, Bombay.
• Bollywood is the world‘s largest movie industry releasing over 900
movies every single year. If you somehow get the weird idea of
watching all these movie in a row, it would take you 4 months. And
this without going to the restrooms.
• Mumbai itself has over 600 cinemas, including huge, modern
multiplexes. Every village in India, no matter how tiny it is, has a
• Though having a potential customership of hundreds of millions the
industry is nowadays in slight decline. Reason for this are the
growing success of TV, which in Mumbai is only available since ’72,
movie piracy and mob-like structures within the business.
Side info:
• The popularity of Bollywood actors is so
immense that some of them already
became elected for parliament.
• The members of their party consist of
former fan club members.
• So if you ever get the chance to join one of
these clubs, do it.
• You might end up as minister of foreign
affairs of India.
You see Mumbai is a place where
anything can happen.
So now we‘ll continue our tour…
but… wait … what is this strange
Oh just a second.
Ah, that‘s better! Get your ears
cleaned regularly and you‘ll lead a
happy life.
Where was I? Oh yeah, anything can
happen here.
Like during the building boom:
The Brits wanted to build a justice hall
so they hired some Indian workers to
build the statue of Lady Justice. One
could now expect that typical for India
it took a bit longer. But what a
surprise was it when they finished
their work just in time. The result was
a surprise too:
The statue turned out to be an one
eyed monkey holding the scales of
justice. That can only happen in
But don‘t let us be an one-eyed monkey.
Let us take another look around.
Let us take a walk through all parts of
let‘s enter the streets of Mumbai, first of all…
As you can see, local traffic in
Mumbai is a catastrophe.
Streets and means of public
transport are crowded, local
trains which are designed to
carry about 1000 passengers
are filled with more than 6000
people for example.
→ THE important issue for most
middle class people in Mumbai
is getting from point A to B
Long distance traffic however is
developed much better
The just seen harbor as
well as the international
airport connect Mumbai
to the world and
globalization – the
effects are lively visible:
Due to various international influences,
Mumbai’s culture and society differ
from the rest of India:
- International cuisine
- cricket and soccer are popular sports
- Christmas is celebrated
- Cnb (adapted from lonely hearts ads):
Caste is no barrier for relationships
→ many people from all over India
come to Mumbai, hoping to escape
poverty (approx. 40% of India’s GDP
are earned in Mumbai) and strict
social rules.
Unfortunately, this is where many of
them end up:
- ⅓ – ½ of the Mumbai population lives in slums
- those residents have no access to infrastructure, there are constant
threats to hunt them away
- there is hardly any help from the authorities → they have to help
themselves. This might look like this:
→ people will do all kinds of jobs – those who can afford services like cleaning your
ears, cutting your hair or cleaning your shoes on the street will pay for them
You should not only expect to find the
most poor living in Slums
Imagine that:
A University lecturer gets up in the
morning, puts on his good dress,
goes to work and greets his slumneighbor who sells junk on the way.
The lecturer’s neighbor is likely to
earn up to three times as much
money in his job.
That’s Mumbai
Still, education is of high value in
Mumbai – over 1000 public and
private schools and the famous
University of Mumbai prove this.
Thank you for
following me through
Mumbai and letting me
show you this truly
unique, multicultural
city. I hope you have
enjoyed the tour and
got an idea of the
feeling of Mumbai.

Folie 1