INDIA’S CUSTOMS – A QUICK GUIDE

Each country has its own customs and traditions. Some we get used to, and some are hard to wrap our heads round.

Be prepared before going to India. It’s no wonder it’s often referred to as the land where anything is possible. Here are some spicy tips about some of the customs which are unique to this country:

The Nazi symbol in India?

You may notice what looks like the Nazi symbol on many of the doors in India. While in Germany this symbol sits on its corner and represents Hitler and times of fear, the same marking in India sits perpendicular and represents peace and good luck.

 

Funerals

We spotted a live band roaming the streets, which seemed to us like a celebration. We then only realised that behind the lively band were people carrying a dead body on a piece of wood. The body was covered in orange flowers, and only the face was showing. The mourners threw flowers and coins in the street. People who pick up the coins should never use them or give them away, as one coin is a symbol of safety and happiness for that person’s children.

 

Understanding gestures

Incredible India is the country when our no-like gesture means yes or is used to agree. When they swivel their head toward their shoulders from right to left, that means they’re agreeing with what you’re saying. This is certainly a hard custom to get used to.

 

Animal representations

You’ll see many art and animal designs on houses in India. The elephant means good luck and prosperity, the camel is the symbol of love, and the horse is the symbol or power and energy.

 

Make up

Make up is common in India on toddlers. It’s perfectly normal to come across a one-year old child wearing eye liner. It is believed that it can keep the evil eye away.

 

Gods

The Hindu religion believes in many Gods – around 30 million to be more precise. The most important are Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. Paintings of men with monkey faces represents the God of Power, while Krishna is blue and represents the God of love.

 

Worship

Indians worship animals due to their godly representations. The elephant represents Ganesha for instance. The most disturbing temples are the Karni Mata Temples, in which rats are worshiped, fed and treated as family.

 

Accepting selfies

Prepare to pose. Indians love taking your photo, or taking selfies with you. A random person comes up to you out of the blue asking for a selfie. At first we thought it was a symbol of good luck, but apparently they like boasting about meeting foreigners by uploading them on Facebook for their friends to see. Talk about post-colonial attitudes.

 

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