Day 3: Culture and Diversity

 1. In the United States, you can’t really tell where a person is from based on their appearance, clothing or food. The opposite is true in India; It is an extremely diverse culture and each region has distinct differences.  You can often tell where a person is from based on their appearance: South Indians tend to have darker skin, north-west Indians tend to be fair, and north- east Indians tend to have eastern-Asian features. Every state had its own style of traditional dress, its own language, and its own tradition. People are extremely proud of their family’s  home region and there heritage shows through in their dress and traditions.

2. Seasons are also different in India. Instead of summer, fall, winter, and spring, India has summer, winter, and monsoon. Summer is from March- June, monsoon is from June- September, and winter is from November to February.

3. People in India speak British English because of the colonial influence on the country. I’ve honestly learned not only Hindi while here, but also British English. For instance, a container is a tiffin, a restaurant is a hotel, hiking is trekking, campaigning is canvasing, houses are bungalows, and a bunch of other strange British terms that are totally used in everyday speech.

4.Most Indian people practice Hinduism. Hinduism is an ancient religion that began from no specific person, but a way of living based on peace and balance. Hindus worship multiple gods and many people are active in their faith.  Anywhere that you are, there is a good chance that a temple is within walking distance. While Hindus do not have a specific day of worship, many people visit temples often. Also, many people have small shrines within their homes.

5. My American family celebrates Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.. In India, people celebrate festivals instead of holidays. Some popular festivals are Diwali, Ganapati, and Holi. Instead of spending time exclusively with your family like during American holidays, Indian festivals are celebrated by going out and celebrating as a community in the streets. From what I’ve been told, festivals are extremely colorful, busy, and fun. Festival season begins in September and is marked by numerous festivals within weeks of each other.

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