I have visited India a while ago, however, I do believe that it’s one of those trips that you’ll always remember and this is why I’ve decided to share my experience with you in case you’ll ever want to go, are already thinking to or simply interested in the matter.
I’ve divided my Indian Tales into 3 parts: People, Landscapes and Nature, and this one is dedicated to People. Because there’s so much to say (and see) in India, our Tour guide mentioned that at least 5 trips are needed in order to get an understanding of what it is really like their culture. I totally agree.
And here is what impressed me about their culture
- Their dedication to crafts and art. Intensely colourful, delicately ornate and immensely varied India’s produces such a wide array of crafts and these are incredibly inexpensive: textiles, carpets, fabrics, paintings, leatherware, jewellery etc. If you’ll be travelling on a tour like I did they will surely make you aware that you see the most of it.
- Their dedication to Religion: four out of five Indians are Hindus, and Hinduism permeates every aspect of their life from the daily life up to politics. After Hinduism, Muslims are the largest religious group followed by the more recently established Sikh faith. The latter was founded in reaction to the caste laws and observances of Hinduism and is now growing at a large scale. Other professed religions are Jain, Buddhism, Christianity or the Zoroastrian.
- Their Music. India is home to a staggering variety of musical traditions, ranging from the archaic styles of Hindu devotional chanting or the more modern and contemporary Bollywood‘s huge treasury of film songs or theatre shows. A MUST SEE if you go there.
- Their amazing food. Indian food has a truly deserved reputation of being one of the world’s great cuisines. You can find everything there: from the stereotyped curries to amazing sweets. Food culture varies from region to region but particularly from the North to the South. North Indian food is the style which is generally found in Restaurants abroad and is characterised by its rich meat and vegetable dishes in thick tomato, onion and yogurt-based sauces accompanied by bread. South Indian Food is almost exclusively vegetarian with spicy chilli and coconut flavours and lots of rice. All served either in its natural state or made into large dosa, iddli and uttapam.
- Tea is a whole chapter itself :). Had my first taste of proper Chai there and absolutely loved ALL their teas.Tea is usually made by putting tea leaves, milk and water in a pan usually with ginger and cardamom.
- Their clothing. Indian are very conservative about the way they dress. I couldn’t resist buying one of the silk sari (picture below) however from the way they were giggling at me I have the slight suspicion I might have wore it in the wrong way… There’s a whole procedure needed to wear a sari which I was aware of but perhaps I came to the conclusion that I was just looking funny in it!
The traditional Sari is a female garment that consists of a drape varying from five to nine yards in length and two to four feet (60 cm to 1.20 m) in breadth that is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, baring the midriff. There are various styles of sari draping, the most common being the Nivi style, which originated in Andhra Pradesh. The sari is usually worn over a petticoat, with a fitted upper garment commonly called a blouse (ravike in South India and choli elsewhere). The blouse has short sleeves and is usually cropped at the midriff. The sari is associated with grace and is widely regarded as a symbol of grace in cultures of the Indian subcontinent.’Aside from the above what really impressed me about the people there is their strong empathy and lust for life. Always ready to welcome you with a smile, regardless of their situation. Some of them struggle to live decent lives but their beliefs their hard-core sense of responsibilities makes them capable of all the beautyness I was able to see when I got there. I tried to capture the feelings through my camera, however you should really visit to get a sense of what I’m talking about.
And that’s it! Hope you have enjoyed the first chapter.. stay tuned for the second!