Most Popular Festivals in India (Part 1)

Festivals is the way to experience Indian Culture at its Best as India is a highly spiritual country with many holy festivals at the center of Indian’s lives. There are numerous festivals held throughout the year featurinh unique customs. 

Holi

Holi, also known as the “Festival of Colors”, is one of the most famous Indian festivals outside of India. The festival is mainly about burning and destruction of the demoness Holika by the unwavering devotion to Lord Vishnu. However, the most fun part is the fest when people throw colored powder on each other and shoot each other with water guns. This activity is associated with Lord Krishna, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, who liked to prank village girls by throwing at them water and colors. Bhang (a paste made from extract of cannabis plants) is also widely consumed during the celebrations. Holi is an enjoyable festival with great fun for participants if they don’t mind being wet and dirty.

Ganesh Festival

The amazing Ganesh Chaturthi festival is the occasion to honor the birth of the beloved and well-known Hindu elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha. The festival lasts 11 day starting with huge, beautifully decorated, elaborately-crafted statues of Ganesh installed in homes and public podiums. The god statues are worshiped everyday during the festival. On the last day, people paraded through the streets with the statues accompanied by singers and dancers before submerged the statues in the ocean. The best place that host this festival is Mumbai.

Navaratri, Durga Puja and Dussehra

The Navaratri festival is the time to honor the mother goddess Durga in all her incarnations. The festival lasts 9 days and in the tenth day, called Dussehra, is the time to celebrate the defeat of the demon king Ravan by Lord Ram and monkey god Hanuman. It also is the time that Durga’s victory over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. In eastern India, the festival is known as Durga Puja which is the biggest festival of the year in Kolkata, featured Huge statues of the Goddess Durga being made and immersed in the river. In Delhi, nightly plays are organized around the Red Fort, illustrates episodes from the life of Lord Ram.

Facts About India That Will Surprise You (part 2)

The Only Nation With a Bill of Rights for Cows
From the moment an Indian is born, he has a birth mother and Gaumata – Cows – which are believed to be holy in Hinduism. It’s also the reason why the Constitution has a set of rules that bans the sale and slaughter of cows. 

Shani Shingnapur – Village Without Doors
The village without doors and locks located in Maharashtra attracts over 40,000 devotees each day due to a 300 years old legend. Its residents sleep soundly in their establishments as they believe Lord Shani – the guardian of the village- will protect them. 

Madhopatti – Officer’s Village of India
Madhopatti is a small village in the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh, well-known by producing the most number of IAS officers. With solely 75 households, there are  nearly 50 officers to Indian administration and many others made their careers by working for prestigious organisations like ISRO, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and World Bank. 

Tulsi Shyam – The hills that Defy Gravity
Tulsi Shyam in Amreli district, Gujarat features many anti-gravity roads where cars that are left in free gear, then start rolling up a hill against the gravitational pull. This strange phenomenon is a reality that you must witness.

The Largest Number of Vegetarians in the World
If you are vegetarian, you find the home of vegetarian food here with the majority of the population is Hinduism, and 30% -40% of them is vegetarians.

The Highest Cricket Ground in the World
India is a cricket loving nation, featuring the highest cricket ground in the world recorded by the Guinness Book. The ground is located at a level of 2,144 metres above sea level in Chail, Himachal Pradesh.

India is the Second Largest English-speaking Nation
India has around 10% of its population fluent in English and is expected to quadruple in the next decade. 

Amazing Indian wedding tradition (part 2)

Mangalsultra

In the Hindu tradition, instead of exchanging wedding rings, the groom ties around the bride’s neck a mangalsultra with three knots which is a necklace with two gold pendants to signify a strong bonding for 100 years.

Colors

Vibrant colors such as red, gold, orange and burgundy fill all the space is the most remarkable parts of Indian weddings which is found on the attire, the flowers and decoration.

Attire

According to the traditional customs, the bride will wear Solah Shringar which is a 16-piece attire includes make up, jewelry, clothes and the most notable piece – the Mangtikka. The Mangtikkais the giant jewel the bride wears on her forehead and through the part of her hair. The actual garment and jewelry the bride wears will vary depending on what region she is from. However, each item shares the same meaning which is to bring out the natural beauty of the bride. 

On the contrary, the groom’s attire on a traditional Hindu wedding is not as complicated. He simply wears a Sherwani and Mojari, which is a type of shoe that is seen often in Mughal art. 

As for the female guests, they will be wearing a Sari or a Lengha in loud color as the bride and groom. They can also wear Bindis and Bangles or payals (anklets) as part of their custom wedding attire.

Every culture has it’s own characteristics of wedding traditions. Understanding about different wedding customs from around the world is a good way to blended in and living the life and shares the special traditions of other cultures and even to better understand your own. Indian weddings is one of the very rare unique customs that still remains till today. So if you plan on attending one or married a Hindu, it’s a great idea to gain a good understanding of what to expect

Outstanding cultural features in India (Part 2)

5. REFUND

Contrary to customary culture in some other countries. The characteristic of Indian culture is manifested by the traditional rituals of weddings. In India the bride’s family will bring the family dowry to show off the rituals at the traditional wedding ceremony here.

The groom’s family often demands dowry which includes large sums of money, pets, furniture, and electronics, leading to the fact that more and more girls in India have difficulty marrying.

When the number of dowries is not enough, the bride is often harassed, abused and lived in misery. Abuse of the bride can culminate when the future husband or the husband’s family burns the bride alive.

Although the laws in India severely punish murderers for dowry, however, it is rare for people to be convicted by judges (usually men) who often do not care about the case.

It can be said that this is a traditional culture in India that contains a lot of customs, nowadays, the society that develops these customs gradually fades and still appears in many rural areas in India. Degrees

6. COMMUNICATION CULTURE

In the culture of communication in India, it is considered impolite for you to shake hands too hard in India. In the north (like Delhi), when he clasped his hands together in front of his chest, bowed slightly and said: Namaste J is considered to take others very seriously. And should not shake hands of women.

Indians are very skeptical and often pay attention from the beginning to judge others. They often talk about family. Do not be surprised when Indians meticulously know about your family, whether you are married or not, whether your child is a child, or how old your spouse is.

Cricket is always a suitable topic for every contact with Indians because it is a very popular sport in this country.

7. THE TIME

Indians are not punctual, but an hour late can happen, especially knowing you need something from them. However, if you have an appointment with an Indian, you should arrive at your appointment on time because it is still considered impolite to be on time.

Traveling to India, tourists not only can explore the tourist attractions in India but also learn about the unique traditional culture here. So what are you waiting for, explore for yourself the unique cultural features in India when traveling to India, you will definitely not regret your decision.

Chai Tea – Sipping culture of India

The name “chai” is the Hindi word for “tea,” origins from the word “cha,” in the Chinese which also means “tea.” When talking about chai, it means a mix of spices steeped into a tea-like beverage. The recipes of the mix for chai vary across continents, cultures, towns and families although the traditional ingredients usually include black tea brewed strong with milk and sweetened with sugar or honey and mixed with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and black peppercorns. 

The origin of chai dates back more than 5,000 years ago when a king ordered creation of a healing spiced beverage from herbs and spices for use in Ayurveda. A variety of indigenous spices was used to prepare the healing drink which then came the creation of chai tea.

Original versions of “masala chai,” or “spiced tea,” contained no actual Camellia sinensis tea leaves, milk nor sugar. The addition of sweet were only popularized thousands of years later (in the mid-1800s) when the British created the now famous tea-growing regions of India and popularized tea as a beverage.

SIPPING CULTURE

You haven’t visited India until you experience its chai culture. But no worries, Masala chai (spiced tea) is a drink that you may find in almost every corner of India despite the fact that, chai may be spiced and prepared in completely different ways depending on the customs of the region, the town, or the person preparing it.

You can enjoy it at Chai “wallahs” which are Indian chai makers where you will find sit, stand, or set up shop with their chai-making gear on nearly every street corner of the town. Each chai wallah may have his or her own style of brewing and spicing which packed in small batches to order.

The concept of a chai latte had travelled out of India and became popular with Western consumers a decade ago.

Why do Indian women wear nose rings? (Part 2)

Married women often wear nose rings of moderate size, harmoniously decorated. And nose piercings now become their separation. Some even cleverly connect nose and ear piercings, forming a unique decoration on the face.

Depending on the locality, the custom of wearing nose rings is also immeasurably transformed. In southern India, the bride is often attached to the nose of a small pierced gemstone, under the left nostril is also wearing piercings made of pearl and also wears rings on the toes. Particularly northern women wear large nose rings and use a small gold wire connected to earrings, creating mysterious beauty.

In addition, married women also wear a small bell in the leg to enhance beauty, ward off evil spirits and prevent husband from doing “bee and butterflies”.

According to Hinduism, a woman’s breath will endanger her husband’s health when they are in frequent contact. If the woman wears nose piercing, it is thought that the toxic air will be hindered with the power of heavy metal contained in the sacred “nath”. However, this is only a common superstitious spiritual view of the Assembly of devotees. In fact, nose piercing is commonly used in India but also only for the highest purpose of beauty for women.

How do women make up in India

In South Asia, sari is the most traditional and popular wedding dress. Indian and Pakistani brides often wear red sari on their wedding day. The traditional wedding ceremony of these two countries is very rich. Wedding dresses are also brilliant, colorful. Indian brides often wear a lot of different jewelry.

Makeup of Indian women

Indians believe that women must use jewelry and makeup to be loved by their husbands. Moreover, jewelry and makeup are also a way for Indian women to show that they are married, such as wearing nose rings or a lipstick mark in the middle of the forehead.

Once upon a time, in a wedding, when the parents of the girl is too poor and can not afford enough jewelry for children, they can use henna to replace gold jewelry with elaborate patterns. It is also said that the more dark nails the branch uses, the more the bride will be loved by her mother-in-law.

Why do Indian women wear nose rings? (Part 1)

The nose piercing with elaborate patterns and patterns is a symbol of the beauty of Indian women. It is not just a jewelry item but also contains many interesting secrets.

In India, nose piercing is considered one of the compulsory rules for Hindu women. Looking here, one can distinguish between those who are Hindus, and those who follow Islam.

The custom of wearing Indian nose rings

Wearing nose piercing is no longer strange in the life of young people today. In India, however, it is a marriage, a child, a health, and above all a very sacred tradition.

Although nose piercing is most commonly used in India, it is derived from the practice of nose piercing in Arab countries.

Introduced in India in the 16th century, nose piercing is considered one of the mandatory rules for Hindu women. Looking here, one can distinguish between those who are Hindus, and those who follow Islam.

People call these nose rings: “Nath” and often worn in the septum (cartilage between the nostrils) according to ancient rules. However, these days, religious rules are loosened by allowing women to wear “nath” on the left or right nose. But Indians still have a special priority for the left nostril. They said that the left part of the body is closely related to the female reproductive organs. Press as much advice, the woman will avoid persistent pain on the lower abdomen during the “red light”.

Indian women often use large and small nose piercings through the nose, or attach small stones to the nose to indicate their marital status.

Indian women up to 16 years old have started wearing their first nose piercings. If delayed, that girl will be at risk of “dull” by not being Parvathi – goddess of marriage. In some areas, this is how people know if a girl is married or not.

Exported women will wear nose piercings, while lipsticks will not be allowed. People with more advice will receive the admiration and respect of society. This proves that this woman has a happy and sustainable love life for many years.

Young maidens often do not wear nose rings. It was only on the day of departure that the bride adorned her face with radiant nose piercing and elaborately decorated to mark the great moment in life.

The facts that you may not know about Indian cultures (Part 2)

4. Apparel – Indian tourism

Traditional costumes in India vary greatly by region in terms of color and appearance, and depend on many factors, including climate. Traditional costumes include traditional sari for women and traditional dhoti for men.

Sari is a costume consisting of 3 parts, a tight-fitting body, a cloth wrapped around the body, especially long heels to cover the legs and a cloth to cross the shoulders. Sari is often combined with many different accessories such as bracelets, necklaces, elaborate earrings, creating a splendor for the woman. You can see that women with high status, aristocracy will have more gorgeous costumes.

In the past, depending on the color of the Sari the woman was wearing, one could also judge the situation of the wearer. For example: Widowed women often wear white sari, do not use elaborate jewelry. The bride on the wedding day always wear red sari. Green sari for Muslim women. Low-class women in society only get blue Sari. Yellow sari will be for pregnant women, and they will wear this color continuously for 7 days.

Dhoti is a traditional costume for men, derived from a long, tight loincloth from prehistoric India. Dhoti often wears an orhna or chadar shirt that comfortably wears over his shoulders to cover his back and chest, and another turban to cover his head.

In southern India, dhoti are styled in the sarongs of Southeast Asians and Indonesians, often used for cultural or traditional festivals.

In North India, dhoti is often worn with Kurta, called dhoti kurta (or dhuti panjabi in the east). In Tamil Nadu, it is paired with angavastram (a type of garment that detaches from the shoulders) or chokka (a type of shirt) in Andhra Pradesh or juuba (a local version of kurta).

Dhoti is seen as an important costume across India. In addition to the government and aristocratic lineage, dhoti is also strictly dressed up in large-scale formal clubs and other facilities. In religions, dhoti is also worn differently to distinguish followers no religion, but these believers often wear two basic colors are white and ocher.

Interesting facts you may not know about India (Part 2)

The dance

Every gesture has a symbolic meaning, the sequence is also very important. The oldest dance is Bharatanatyam, which is over 5,000 years old. Kathakali is a man’s dance. The costumes and makeup are especially complicated, the faces are adorned like masks. Manipuri tune is popular in northwestern India.

Drinks

You can buy bottled water everywhere. However, it’s hard to find alcohol. In some states, official alcohol is banned but you can buy (illegally) in some hotels and restaurants.

Throughout India’s long history, there are a large number of shipwrecks. There are hundreds of Portuguese shipwrecks on the ocean floor. The sea here can compete with Rio, Ibiza, and Australia. Beautiful sand, clear water, a great atmosphere is all the reason why this place is the choice of many newlyweds.

History -lovers should definitely go to India. In Hampi, you can find the rest of the old cities, palaces, temples, and buildings of different architectural styles. Nearly all of human history is shown here. This is one of the oldest settlements in India and the world, so many tourists come here.

Tips

In cafes and restaurants, you should leave 3% to 10% of the tip. Children love pens, candy and coins. Tourists often assume that employees in hotels and cafes are not hospitable. Here, people have to work a lot and that has a negative impact on their mood. Anyway, the locals are always happy to meet you.

Film

Indians are very talented people. About 1,600 films are produced each year. India makes more movies than any other country in the world and Indian films are shown in more than 90 countries.

And some better things. Mobile internet services are very cheap in India. So you can take as many photos as you want and share them with your friends right away. Lunch with chicken or fish costs about 1 USD, a cup of tea costs about 0.2 USD. Food prices are much cheaper than most resorts in the world. In addition, there is no language barrier. India is the second country in the world after the US in terms of the number of English speakers.

8 interesting things about India you may not know yet (Part 2)

4. India was once an island

India used to be a continent. More than 100 million years ago, in the period of dinosaurs, India was an island that broke out from an ancient supercontinent called Gondwanaland (named after Gondwana, a forest in central India), and moved slowly. North. Evidence is that fossilized shells are found in high mountains.

5. This is a young country

There is a long history of history, but India is a young nation of population. More than half of the 1.2 billion people here are under the age of 25 and two-thirds are under 35. Many Indian young people have a sense of confidence in their country and not too “Western”. In Mumbai, New York’s no-nonsense musical atmosphere in Brooklyn is packed with young talent.

6. Everyone likes to gain weight

“Oh, you just weighed up,” is a very common social compliment among close friends, because it is seen as a sign that you look healthy. But one thing is clear: India is also about to face obesity (not only in humans but also in animals).

If you stop at any repair station you can also see long lines of Indians gobbling up McDonalds or other fast food. While millions of people in rural areas are facing hunger, urban residents are generally facing weight problems.

7. Pavement economy

Anyone who has been to India, even for a few days, will see the flourishing of the sidewalk toad service. Whatever you want to buy, go to the sidewalk. Broken umbrella? There will be a repairman. Need to stick shoe soles? Just call someone who comes to the house to serve. You want to cut hair? There are many options, including services for earwax and pedicure cleaning.

These are traditional services for centuries and continue to thrive. Only one obstacle that could make him lose is the clearance of the sidewalk by the government.

8. Don’t wear new clothes on Saturday

India is the birthplace of many world-renowned scientists and engineers, but all scientific arguments are “thrown through the window” when it comes to superstitious things like: not wearing new clothes on Saturday , do not sweep the house in the evening because it may make Lakshmi afraid to run away, or will it be unfortunate to give or receive something measured with her left hand. For many Indians, regardless of wealth and wealth, adherence to these customs is still part of life.