Indian CustomsAug 17 2022 India facts
Indians place a huge value on married women and honoring guests, gods, and goddesses. They believe in things like the Evil Eye curses, and veneration for things supernatural and how they affect the physical world. Here are a few things visitors to India may want to know so they may be aware what to expect.
This is also an introduction to some things which, ordinarily may seem rather common place for Westerners, but actually has great significance in Indian symbolism.
Tilak is a ritual mark on the forehead. It can be put in many forms as a sign of blessing or greeting. The tilak is usually made out of a red vermilion paste (kumkum) which is a mixture of turmeric, alum, iodine, camphor, etc. It can also be of a sandalwood paste (chandan) blended with musk.
The tilak is applied on the spot between the brows which is considered the seat of latent wisdom and mental concentration, and is very important for worship. This is the spot on which yogis meditate to become one with Lord Brahma.
It also indicates the point at which the spiritual eye opens. Putting of the colored mark symbolizes the quest for the ‘opening ‘ of the third eye. All rites and ceremonies of the Hindus begin with a tilak topped with a few grains of rice placed on this spot with the index finger or the thumb.
Arati is performed as an act of veneration and love. It is often performed as a mark of worship and to seek blessings from God, to welcome the guests, for children on their birthdays, family members on auspicious occasions or to welcome a newly wedded couple.
For performing Arati, five small lamps called niranjanas are filled with ghee or oil and arranged in a small tray made of metal. A wick is made out of cotton wool and placed in the lamps. A conch shell filled with water, leaves or flowers, incense or lighted camphor are also placed in the tray.
The lamps are lit and the tray is rotated in a circular motion in front of the deity or the person to be welcomed. The purpose of performing arati is to ward off evil effects and the malicious influence of the ‘evil eye’.
A bindi is an auspicious mark worn by young girls and women . Bindi is derived from bindu, the Sanskrit word for dot. It is usually a red dot made with vermilion powder which is worn by women between their eyebrows on their forehead.
Considered a symbol of Goddess Parvati, a bindi signifies female energy and is believed to protect women and their husbands. Traditionally a symbol of marriage, it has also become decorative and is worn today by unmarried girls and women as well.
No longer restricted in color or shape, bindis are seen in many bright colors and in different shapes and designs. They are also made of colored felt and embellished with colored glass or glitter.
Many Indian women wear a pin on their nose studded with stones, called a nose pin. A symbol of purity and marriage, the nose pin is today adorns many unmarried girls as well.
Mangalsutras are necklaces made of black beads, worn only by the married women as a mark of being married. It is the Indian equivalent of the western wedding ring.
The mangalsutra is tied by the groom around his bride’s neck. Generally made out of two strings of small black beads with a gold pendant, the black beads are believed to act as protection against evil. The married women wear this to protect their marriage and the life of their husband.
In southern India, the mangalsutra is called ‘tali. It is a small gold ornament, strung on a cotton cord or a gold chain.
The Shakha-Paula is a pair of shell (shakha) and red coral (paula) bangles worn as marriage symbols by the Bengali women.
Staying Healthy in IndiaAug 17 2022 India facts
Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers’ diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout the region and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Here are other things to keep in mind to make your visit to the region a healthy one:
Travelers to malaria-risk areas, including infants, children, and former residents of the Indian Subcontinent, should take an antimalarial drug. NOTE: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in the Indian Subcontinent and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.
Dengue, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, leishmaniasis, and plague are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
If you visit the Himalayan Mountains, ascend gradually to allow time for your body to adjust to the high altitude, which can cause insomnia, headaches, nausea, and altitude sickness. In addition, use sunblock rated at least 15 SPF, because the risk of sunburn is greater at high altitudes.
Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid travel at night if possible and always use seat belts.
There is no risk for yellow fever in the Indian Subcontinent. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries if you are coming from countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa.
During your stay, wash hands often with soap and water.
Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, you can make water safer by both filtering through an “absolute 1-micron or less” filter and adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. These filters are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself.
Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide). Apply insect repellent to exposed skin but do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin. Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed). If using a spray product, apply DEET to your face by spraying your hands and rubbing the product carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin or deltamethrin. Or, spray the bed net with one of these insecticides if you are unable to find a pretreated bed net.
DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age. Protect infants by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
AssamAug 17 2022 India facts Assam
The name “Assam” is derived from the term “Asom” which, in Sanskrit, refers to unequal or unrivalled. The uneven topography of the land, full of hills, plains and rivers might, therefore, have contributed to her name.
Indeed, Assam is a state of breath taking scenic beauty, rarest flora and fauna, lofty green hills, vast rolling plain, mighty waterways and a land of fairs and festivals.
The Mongolian Ahom dynasty which had ruled Assam for more than six hundred years might also be the cause for her name, the dynasty that ruled from the 13th to early 19th Century.
The ancient name of Assam was Pragjyotishpur. However, during the time of the Ahom conquest, Pragjyotishpur was known as Kamrup. In ancient Sanskrit literature, both the names Pragjyotishpur and Kamrup were used as a designation for ancient Assam. In 1228, the Ahoms, Shan tribe from North Thailand entered and defeated the Kamrup ruler and established a kingdom, which came to be known as Assam with its capital at Sivasagar (Sibsagar). The ancient name Kamrup, is today confined to only a district of Assam.
The Brahmaputra river that has its origins in Tibet charts its winding course through this state. This mystic land of eternal blue hills and beautiful rivers is renowned for the full- bodied flavor of its tea, rich flora and fauna, the world famous one horned rhinoceros and other rare species of wildlife on the verge of extinction. Except for Africa, there is perhaps no part of the world where such a variety of wildlife exists.
While agriculture remains as the key industry in Assam, artists, sculptors, masons and architects, and others practicing minor crafts such as weavers, spinners, potters, goldsmiths, artisans of ivory, wood, bamboo, cane and hide have found their niche and flourished in Assam.
Every household possesses a handloom used to produce silk and (or) cotton clothes of exquisite designs. The Eri, Muga and Pat are the important silk products of Assam. Spices are also a minor trade.
Assam has its boundaries at Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan in the north, Nagaland to the east, and Manipur and Mizoram to the south. In the southwest, Assam touches the borders of West Bengal and Bangladesh.
Summer months are from April to October and the winter months are from November to March.
The month of April sees the most visitors in Assam when the Assamese people hold festivals in celebration of a good harvest. This usually comes together with lots of lively dancing, music, and feasting.
Caste system in IndiaJun 22 2022 India facts Caste
The word caste is derived from the term ‘casba’. It depicts a ranking system of human groups based on hereditary and occupation. The traditional Caste system in India is a rigid mode to compartmentalize society.
The Indian caste system is highly complex. Its functionality in Indian society is highly surprising because it has many drawbacks. The rigid structure of the caste system in India has abided through centuries.
In India caste comprises closed groups, whose members are severely obliged to restrain themselves to certain hereditary occupations. Particular castes are allowed to marry and socialize only within their own groups.
In India an Individuals social status is gauged by his birth. This also serves to determine his caste. Nowhere in the world is caste exhalted to such a degree as in India.
The Indian word for caste is jati. Thousands of jatis are strewn all over India. Each jati has its own governance, customs, traditions, religion, rules and style of living.
The ancients divided Indian society in four groups-namely Brahmans who came from the priestly group of learning, Shatriyas who were the warrior and ruling section of society, Vaishyas who were businessmen, traders and farmers; and Shudras who comprised of laborers and humble peasants. The untouchable or Panchamas were placed below the category of Shudras.
The rigid hierarchy of the Indian caste system has been severely criticized by individuals with a humanitarian vision from India and outside India. Gautam Buddha, Mahavir, Ramananda Maharshi, Kabir, Eknath, Dnyneshwar, Ramanuja, Tukaram, and Sathya Sai Baba all led criticisms of caste system in India in olden times.
Many Christian missionaries and Indian reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Dayananad, Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Vivekanand, Mannathu Padmanabhan, Narayan Guru, Mahatma Gandhi led many crusades against discriminations based on caste in Indian society.
There are multiple effects of caste system in modern India. Metropolitan India has started walking away from the rigidity of the Indian caste system. This is the result of co mingling with other communities, higher education, globalization and economic growth
Economy of IndiaJun 22 2022 India facts Business in India Economy of India
When calculated from the view of purchasing power parity (PPP), the economy of India stands fourth in the world.
However, when measured in terms of U.S.D. exchange rate, India takes the back seat as the tenth largest country.
India has also been declared the second fastest growing economy in the whole world according to a recent survey. It enjoys a GDP growth rate of 9.2%.
The economy weakness of India is however quite clear. This is mainly because India has a very huge population. According to the World Bank criterion, India is considered a weak economy with a per capita income of 3400 $ at PPP.
Indian economy is diverse in nature. This is owing to its vast geographical territory and population. Agriculture gives rise to two-thirds of India’s work force. The service sector is now growing towards an important destination in the Indian economy.
Technology and globalization have revolutionized the Indian economy in recent years. Educated Indians who can speak English are getting absorbed in outsourcing operations for global companies. These companies are harnessing technical talent and customer service operators for their operations abroad.
Unemployment among the youth is now a thing of the past due to the advent of the digital age. This has also opened new avenues of growth for our country in fields like telecommunication, manufacturing, biotechnology, aviation, pharmaceutical and shipbuilding.
To sum up, India is a socialist democracy. The government exercises control over private enterprise while encouraging foreign trade. India is now deliberately marching towards an open economy by opening its doors to global markets. This is a dynamic attempt to grow economically and meet the challenges of a huge and growing population, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance and social inequality.
Business in India
There is today no dearth of business opportunities in India with its economy soaring to the fourth largest position in the world in terms of purchasing power.
The Indian government has implemented a number of policies for the aid of entrepreneurs in starting a business in India. This together with the strong fundamentals of Indian economy earned the 43rd rank for India in the world economic forum’s GCI position for the years 2006 and 2007.
India has emerged as a highly appropriate destination for foreign enterprise. This is primarily due to its intellectual middle class which is emerging gradually, a low wages competitive labour force, rich natural resources, vast geographical terrain, higher disposable incomes and progressive as well as friendly business policies which are also investment friendly.
Business etiquette in India has undergone a big transformation with the advent of globalization. Industrial leaders of India are seen to be introducing vast changes in business policies and practices and their implementation to attract international business into India.
In a nutshell, India is making a progressive journey from privatization to liberalization where business is concerned.
Foreign trade policies in India are committed to attract FDI. The government is making every reasonable effort to sustain and improve the eight percent growth rate.
Indian policy makers and industrialists are employed in offering a healthy and robust economic environment for private and public enterprises in order to remain rooted and grow within the country.
Ancient India ArtJun 21 2022 India facts Ancient India Art
Art in ancient India began with rock paintings done by primitive men and women in their caves. When historians studied the remains of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, they formed an impression of a highly accomplished and intelligent culture.
A heightened sense of aesthetic awareness and accomplished craftsmanship was visible in the architecture and artifacts found during excavations on these sites.
The Harappan seals also revealed a detailed understanding of human and animal anatomy on deep study. The tradition of symbolism in Indian art was also clear from them.
Ancient India figure sculpture art form was first discovered in the famous figure of a dancing girl. This piece of sculpture was recovered through excavations in Mohenjodaro.
The use of symbols in art forms was popular at this time. Symbols were rampantly used as tools of artistic ex-pression to visualize abstract thought and spiritual philosophy.
Ancient Indian temple architecture, murals, sculptures and paintings are also treasures, which mirror the nature of ancient Indian art.
Fire altars, which were erected in temples during the Vedic period, are considered brilliant, in terms of mathematical and astronomical demonstrations. They depict a high degree of intellectual knowledge and aesthetic sensitivity at the same time.
In ancient India, each phase was unique in the field of architecture, painting, literature and art. Different influences both external and internal drove the evolution of Indian art from time to time and place to place.
Hindus, Buddhists, Mughals and the British, all ruled over India in different phases and influenced its art.
Multiple invasions and intercultural exchanges gave Indian art vast scope for change and development.
Ancient Indian religion with its deep-rooted tradition of visual philosophy also shapes its art in a diverse pattern, which was as varied as the Indian landscape. This resulted in a unique art, which was imaginative, humanizing and spiritual.
Ancient IndiaJun 21 2022 India facts Ancient India
India is a 34,000 years old country. Ancient India covered the territories of Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Republic of India.
Ancient Indian history can be broadly divided into the Bronze Age, Indus valley civilization and The Vedic period in the 6th century BC.
Medieval India began in the 7th century, with a series of Muslim conquests.
Ancient India government started with the heads of nomadic tribes being given the designation of kings when they started settling in groups for agricultural purposes. The passage of time saw the growth of large kingdoms.
By the 6th century BC there were 16 Mahajanapadas or kingdoms in ancient India. Many small republics were formed at this time with the elements of the democratic form of governance. The raja (king) heads the judiciary, legislative and executive structures and is appointed many officials or council of ministers as advisors under him.
Ancient Indian culture is old and unique. Ancient India cultures were amazingly diverse because of the vast geographical territory. Every state in India has its unique language, art and life style.
India is the womb of many world big religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Indian culture nourishes a vast variety of cultural influences. Indian festivals are fascinating for their rituals, traditions, spiritual philosophy, art, pomp and gaiety.
Ancient India food habits reflected its cultural diversity. Ancient Indian cuisine was a composite mixture of many styles and influences. Each state had its own unique style of cooking and serving food. This was based on the geography of the region.
A combination of these factors has resulted in an exclusive Indian culture – a composite mixture of varying styles and influences. In the case of cuisine for instance, the North and the South are totally different.
Festivals in India are characterized by face painting, color, gaiety, enthusiasm, prayers and rituals. In the realm of music, there are varieties of folk, popular, pop, and classical music. The classical tradition of music in India includes the Karnatak and the Hindustani music.
Ancient India art was very cerebral. Music, painting and the scriptural texts were highly evolved and everything had to be learnt and not written. The language of ancient India was Sanskrit. It was a very evolved language in terms of phonetics.
Ancient Indian art was highly introspective and driven towards the full evolution of human mind and body.
Patanjalis yoga shastra and yoga vidhya are a very good example of this. Ancient India adapted to ornamentation and beauty for a religious life and metaphysical ex-pression. Gods and Goddesses were depicted in all works of ancient Indian art as representing different elements of nature..
Agriculture in IndiaJun 21 2022 India facts Agriculture
India has an agriculture-based economy. 43% of India’s territory remains employed in agricultural activities. Globalization and agriculture in India are both intricately connected to each other as agriculture in India prevails over all other sectors because it plays a pivotal role in the socio-cultural life of its people.
Hence, it is agriculture that is the most influential field as compared to others in India. It is also most affected due to globalization in terms of the export and import of agricultural commodities – a major source of income in India.
Agriculture along with other related fields like forestry and logging provides employment to 60% of India’s population. Agriculture also accounts for 8.56% of the country’s total exports. According to a 2005 survey, agriculture accounts for 18.6% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
Most of the Indian population lives in its villages and thus the contribution of agriculture to Indian economy becomes very important.
Majority of Indians depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Sustainable agriculture in India is in the process of acquiring importance. Sustainable agriculture is defined by the presence of eco-friendly agricultural practices.
It pays attention to conservation of the environment as much as to crop yield. Hence equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, etc used are monitored.
One of the primary agriculture companies in India is Bhartiya Agro Industrial Foundation of Maharashtra. It was created by Manibhai Desai in 1967.
NABARD (National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development) is a bank, which is employed in encouraging agriculture based economic activities in rural India.
Besides this, the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) was founded in 2003 in Mumbai for the upliftment of agricultural economy in the country.
Recently a great telecommunication giant – Bharti Enterprises has forged alliances with Field Fresh and Wal Mart, which are globally acclaimed companies..