HABITS FROM AROUND THE WORLD: INDIA.

India is a fascinating country rich in culture: let’s discover its customs and habits, so as not to be unprepared for a trip to Indian land.

The Indians willingly open the door to everyone because they consider the guest holy, equal to God. If you receive an invitation to lunch, it is good to first reject food twice and only at the third request accept. Indians eat at the table or on mats lying on the ground, consuming food strictly with their hands. It is important to remember not to leave anything in the dish, because it is considered bad education and lack of respect for those who die of hunger. Besides the hands, much attention is given to the feet, which are considered impure. If you accidentally touch someone with one foot, the gesture is considered an offense. Another habit to watch out for: never turn your feet to an elderly person sitting opposite. Shoes should be removed in places of worship, except in Catholic churches. Even when you enter someone’s house it is good practice to take off your shoes, to avoid that the landlord gets annoyed and takes the gesture as a lack of respect. Visiting India another of the features that strikes western visitors is the row, regulated by well-defined rules. In India there are still arranged marriages, that is those between a man and a woman who do not marry for love but for interest. The choice is usually made by families and most of the time young people approve of this custom. Only after the parents have met and discussed the wedding, the future spouses meet to get to know each other and give their consent to the ceremony. In more traditional families, young people meet for the first time on their wedding day and have no say in their choice. India is a country where people are very polite and polite and do not use to address with their own name a person of age or higher rank. Hardly find people who call themselves by name, he makes great use of nicknames, the wife never pronounces the name of the husband but calls him “ husband ” or “ sir ”. The language spoken throughout the country is Hindi but the second official language is English. It is important to know that in India people are organized into castes, with Brahmans (priests) at the top and shudra (servants) at the bottom. Hardly a man and a woman kiss and embrace in public but men are used to walk holding hands, without fear that their virility is questioned. Homosexuality, however, is not well seen and is considered a crime. Men are also very vain and care for the body, often going to beauty centers, where they get massaged, combed and perfumed. Walking through the streets you can see barbers doing their work on the sidewalks. Hair is very important in Indian culture, when a parent dies, the children shave to zero. Even children’s first hair is shaved and thrown into the river, as well as those of widows. Indian men wear the dhoti, a cotton cloth that wraps around the hips and then is passed between the legs and over a canvas shirt. Others wear long tunics with tight pants. It is impossible not to notice also the beauty and the colors of the Indian women, who wear the sari, a long fabric band wrapped around the body of course, the fabrics and types of sari vary depending on the economic availability of the woman. Indians love to beautify their arms with colorful bracelets and wear large necklaces and dangling earrings. Muslim women, on the other hand, dress with the rescue kameez, also covering their heads with the veil. Indian women don’t wear makeup very much, if they’re married they wear tilak on their forehead, a red dot. The use of khol to emphasize the eye contour is common to women, men and children. Unfortunately, the woman is considered inferior to the man and is still discriminated against, both at work and in the family. The Indians are very superstitious and use to hang on the doorstep a lemon with green peppers to remove the negative energies. Another particular custom is to take the train by literally jumping inside or remain in the balance even while the train is moving. This situation is repeated when they have to get off: passengers dive from the carriages while others try to get on.

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Andronaco Roberta

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