Monday, September 14, 2020

Curiosities about India (and that will make you understand the country better)

India is full of commonplaces but many mysteries too. Here are some curiosities about India that will make you understand the country better. In a previous article, we already showed you the best advice for traveling in the country. Now it’s time to show you something to understand it a little better.

On the front of the truck and buses, there is a written mantra instead

Indian buses in general do not have the destination written on the front. Instead, they have a Hindu mantra, which works like a prayer.

In view of the rate of road accidents in India. It is a case of saying that it is really an act of faith to board an Indian bus.

A person dies in India, in road accidents, every five minutes. Here is one of the curiosities about India and that will give you a lot to travel to the country.

There are meal vendors who feed the working population

India has “food vendors” who in major cities across the country sell food boxes, which are taken to the workplaces of the population. These workers move around the city with typical Indian lunchboxes, staggered metal lunch boxes. The Indians call it dabbawala, the meal distribution system. Mumbai is the best city to witness these daily rituals.

India recognizes the existence of a third sex (gender)

In most countries of the world, there are two officially recognized genders, the male and the female. In India, there is the third sex. 

But individuals do not define themselves completely as either a man or a woman. 

They are the Hijras. Hijras are transgender and are part of the ancient Indian culture with an important social role. They are called when there are inaugurations and are presented with offerings in public places, for luck.

However, they are often victims of sexual abuse and prostitution in the poorest neighborhoods in cities. In 2014, when the Indian government legally recognized the third sex, it did so with the following sentence:

The recognition of transgender people as a third gender is not a medical or legal issue, but a human rights issue.

The caste system is the basis of society

Indian society is based on a strong caste system, a social stratification based on the divine origin of the individual. The caste system is based on inbreeding. That is, the caste is passed from father to son and there can be no marriages outside the same caste since social mobility is not allowed.

Each of the castes corresponds to a group of pre-established professions, and as such, a role in Indian society. According to the legend, Purusha, a cosmic man of the Vedas (sacred scriptures of Hinduism) was dismembered and from his body came the four main castes.

From the mouth came wisdom, which gave rise to the Brahmas, the superior caste and to which the intellectual professions, namely teachers, priests and doctors, compete. Access to Purusha’s head gives the Brahmas intellectual authority over the remaining castes.

From the arms were created the Xátrias, who conserved the armed force of the cosmic being. Having the function of defending the Hindu people, and conserving professions of military and warriors. From the legs of Purusha came the Vases, the merchants. From the feet, the less noble part of the cosmic being, came the Sudras, those who are responsible for serving others, the workers, such as the workers, peasants and artisans.

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Brahma (Hindu creator God)

In this system, there are beings who do not descend from Purusha, but from the dust of the earth that Brahma (Hindu creator God) stepped on, inferior beings, who are considered without caste, beings despised by Indian society, known as Outcasts, Dalits or Untouchables. These are the dirtiest professions in society, generally unpaid, such as garbage sweepers, latrine cleaning, etc.

They are despised and excluded individuals in Indian society. As the centuries passed, the main varieties were subdivided and, today, there are dozens of sub-castes. To date, little has been done to combat the caste system, at least from a practical point of view, since they have been legally prohibited since 1950.

However, the recent introduction by the Indian government of quotas for the “without caste” and individuals of lower castes to public jobs and schools, has made changes in Indian society. Let us hope that the future is promising for the social equality of the population. The recent introduction by the Indian government of quotas for the “without caste” and lower caste individuals for public jobs and schools, has made changes in Indian society.

“Hotel” does not mean a hotel. Hotel is a place to eat

Whenever you see a poster with the designation “Hotel”, it is usually not a place to sleep. The term “hotel” in India, especially in the south, designates a place to eat and corresponds to “roadside bars”. Which serve vegetarian or non-vegetarian food and where you can eat light and quick meal.

If you are looking for a hotel, look for “guesthouse”, “resort” or “rooms”. Here is one of the curiosities about India and that will give you a lot to travel to the country.

Sadhus are part of India

Indian society has a social role attributed to so-called holy men. Hindu ascetic priests. Sadhus are concentrated by the sacred rivers (especially on the banks of the Ganges) or at the entrances to the temples. Sadhus abdicate a material life and live on the alms of the population.

They practice Yoga and meditate on the streets and temples. The most “radical” walk naked with their bodies only covered with ashes from the dead. The best place to see them is along the Ganges, especially in Varanasi. Every four years, Sadhus gather at the Kumbh Mela festival in four alternating Indian cities.

TATA is a brand in India

TATA is an Indian multinational that does business in almost all economic areas of India, namely transport, tea, chemical industry, hospitality, energy, communication, etc. Traveling in India is seeing TATA everywhere.

Indian Stations has full of Crowd

India has an area 35 times that of Portugal, but the population is 130 times greater.

If we think that a significant part of India is occupied by the Himalayas, it is easy to see that the population density of India is overwhelming.

And cities like Mumbai have a population density of 31,000 inhabitants / km2. In India you are never alone, there is always an Indian, literally, glued to us.

Blow Horn

Traveling in India means listening to horns every day. It is accepted by everyone who walks on the road that honking is imperative. So that everyone knows they are on the road.

Thus, rickshaws, buses, trucks, vans and even some private vehicles have painted “Blow Horn” on the back. Which means BU-ZINE!

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