Around the world Customs and traditions - India

Ladies and gentleman tonight i have been researching other countries traditions trying to find out if there the same as ours in the UK i have come across some very interesting findings here what i found.

Today we are studying India:

Religious sentiments
In India almost anything can be holy. So right from a cow to a river, anything could have religious value. Even a small stone on the side of a road could be a camouflaged God and a simple tree could be worshiped too. So watch carefully before you tread on any of these.
A ‘Namaste’ with folded hands does just fine all over the country, however if you decide to shake hands instead, maintain a little caution when doing so with the opposite sex. While the larger metropolitan cities are usually not a problem, you could raise an eyebrow if visiting the interiors of India. A man trying to shake a lady’s hand could be seen as overstepping of boundaries, while a lady doing the same to a man could end up sending out a sexual signal. Sticking to a ‘hello’ with a nod of the head is a safer option as compared to shaking hands, unless the other person puts the arm out first.
Religious Places
Unlike the West where churches are more common and shoes are allowed in religious places, India follows different norms.
  • You cannot enter a Hindu temple with shoes on.
  • Women are not allowed to enter a Muslim place of prayer.
  • All Sikh religious places will require you to keep your head covered
    apart from taking your shoes off.
  • The holy flowers cannot be thrown anywhere apart from the designated places.
  • Non- vegetarian food is not permissible in most religious places, while you may find a few exceptions in temples of Rajasthan where the practice of animal sacrifice is still undertaken.
  • Keep these tips in mind; since there is no missing the religious spots when in India, almost every corner has one.
India is a conservative country and while it is true that the larger cities do see a lot of flamboyant dressing, in the interiors this could call for unnecessary attention. So rather than a pair of shorts, it would be better to stick with cargos and avoid show of skin especially for woman. You will be able to find a lot of traditional clothes that are easy to wear and yet allow you to blend in with the locals.
  • In most of the southern region of India, serving food on a banana leaf is common courtesy.
  • Rarely will you be offered cutlery in the smaller hotels of the towns.
  • Leaving a 10% tip is enough right from the big hotels to the small shacks, but if you do not wish to do so, you will not be offending anyone.
  • Refusing holy food can be a problem, so watch for that. In case you don’t want to eat the ‘Prasad’, simply keep it with you instead of refusing to take it.
There are various types of wedding in India and while in some places simply putting on bangles on a girl’s wrist is considered a proposal, in others an exchange of flower garlands between the couple is enough. So be careful before you undertake any such activity. Applying vermilion powder in a girl’s hair (parting) is also on the same lines and will declare you wedded to the woman.
Diwali is a five day festival that represents the start of the Hindu New Year. It's known as the "Festival of Lights" for all the fireworks, small clay lamps, and candles that are lit during the celebrations. These lights are said to represent the victory of good over evil, and brightness over darkness. The candlelight makes Diwali a very warm and atmospheric festival, and it's observed with much joy and happiness.
Holi is a two day festival that also celebrates the victory of good over evil, as well as the abundance of the spring harvest season. It's commonly referred to as the "Festival of Colors". People exuberantly throw colored powder and water all over each other, have parties, and dance under water sprinklers. Bhang (a paste made from cannabis plants) is also traditionally consumed during the celebrations. Holi is a very carefree festival that's great fun to participate in if you don’t mind getting wet and dirty.
Pushkar camel fair:
An astonishing 50,000 camels converge on the tiny desert town of Pushkar, in India's state of Rajasthan for the Pushkar Camel Fair. For five days, the camels are dressed up, paraded, shaved, entered into beauty contests, raced, and of course traded. It's a great opportunity to witness an old, traditional style Indian festival.

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