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  • Anjana Nair

Why I am a Proud Indian

Bharat, Hindustan or as we more proudly call it, India, is a burgeoning country in Southeast Asia, rich in all aspects, including its natural resources and biodiversity as well as its arts and culture. Having been born in this marvellous country it naturally makes me biassed towards it, and rightfully so. Here are just 8 of the million reasons why we should be proud of our motherland.

1. Life is a celebration for us.

You have probably heard of a few famous festivals in India, but that is only scratching the surface of the enormous number of religious festivals celebrated here! You can marvel at the joyous celebrations in India, like the 5-day Festival of Light, Diwali known for bringing great happiness and if you wish to fling coloured powder during the vibrant “Festival of Colours”, Holi or see holy rituals done on the Ganges River. There are countless ways to embrace your spirituality in India.

2. Sugar was first produced in India.

India has been producing sugar since ancient times. People in the Indian subcontinent were the first to discover the use of sugarcane and its properties in medicine and food. It is fascinating how the curiosity of Indians has helped us discover something so important in our lives today.

3. The spiritual side of Indian culture.

The deeply devotional nature of Indian culture can be found everywhere, from the beautiful temples to the locals quoting the Gita. Indians have an ancient philosophical culture, and for many, their indigenous religions are not just religions – they are a way of life. Travellers have been drawn to India for centuries in their pursuit of holy wisdom and you are sure to come away with more than a few gems of spiritual clarity.

4. The art of bargaining with a smile.

Just one trip to the market and you will be amazed by the art of Indian bargaining. Nearly everything is negotiable in India, from vegetables to clothes to taxi rides – and it is always done with a smile. Bargaining is part of Indian culture and it is not all about “winning” the negotiation by driving down the price. It is also always done politely. Do not haggle over petty amounts and once the seller accepts the price, do not keep negotiating or say you do not want to buy, as this is very rude.

As a general rule, do not accept a price that is less than 30% off the original asking price. Always shop around at the market and it is also helpful to speak some of the local languages. Try saying, “Yeh kitne ka hai?” (“How much is this?” in Hindi) to break the ice – they will appreciate your efforts. You can also ask your Trafalgar Travel Director to help you bargain in the markets too. They will be happy to show you the ropes. A quick tip: Many shopkeepers in India believe the first sale of the day is lucky, so get in early and you may get a better price!


5. It is all about family in Indian culture.

Indians have a fierce sense of love and protection for their family. You will see dozens of family members over generations living under a single roof, from children to great-grandparents. Everyone plays a role, whether you work or care for the children and elders, and no one gets left behind. Once you are part of an Indian family, they will always stick by you. If you are lucky enough to be invited into a home in India, you will quickly get a real insight into their strong family ties.


6. Indians are the best hosts.

You will also get a wonderful insight into India’s legendary hospitality and generosity with the Sanskrit phrase “Atithi Devo Bhava” meaning “Guest is equivalent to God”. You will find people all over the country willing to help you with everything from getting directions to learning about their culture. If you do get the chance to eat in an Indian home, be warned that your hosts will probably make you eat twice what you normally do, plus dessert!


7. Shampoo was introduced to the world by India.

Among many facts about India, this one is the biggest source of amazement. The first ever shampoo was used by locals in India. Dried Indian gooseberry mixed with many other herbs was used to wash hair, a recipe that is still used in the country today. The word ‘shampoo’ is derived from the Hindi word, champo.

8. Each State is so different from the next.

India is a subcontinent. Each state differs from the next in terms of food, religion, culture, languages, and landscapes. You can spend time in Rajasthan and then make your way to Himachal Pradesh, and it will feel like an entirely new country. The Northeast is completely different from the South, and the Andaman Islands might as well be a separate country. If you want to truly explore India, spend as much time in as many different states as possible – you will be shocked at how vast it is.

Did any of these facts resonate with you? Explore the web for more fun facts about India and why you should be even more proud to be an Indian!

Bibliography:

Ruchika. “50 Reasons to Love INDIA” alifetimetrip. 21 Dec, 2015. Web. 19 Aug, 2022. <https://alifetimetrip.com/50-reasons-to-love-india>



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