14 things i learnt in india...
#1- in india, people drink buffalo milk not cows milk. cow's milk there is not of a high quality because the breed of cows there is different to what they call "american cows". another thing about cows there is that i feel like they know they're the holy animal of the nation. they really have attitude.
#2- at the end of wedding ceremonies, the bride and the girls side of the family all cry on command (because they are "losing" their daughter to the boy's family) and the groom's family dances (because they are acquiring a new daughter). it's a strange scene and makes for a compelling photo when both sides of the family are together outside crying or dancing.
#3- they have a really popular drink there called "frootie". it's a mango juice drink and is fuck-off delicious. mango is basically the most popular flavour of anything flavoured- lollies, ice-cream, lassi etc. mango, mango and more mango.
#4- it gets really cold in the north in winter. who knew! the north gets crippled by heavy fog for weeks almost every winter too making it impossible to travel by car, train, plane... or camel.
#5- saturday is a normal work/school/college day, i.e. 1 day-weekend- sunday. christmas day is also a normal day. however many people go home for lunch for an hour or two everyday.
#6- almost 100% likely that when driving you'll see someone pissing on the side of the road, it's not uncommon to see someone taking a shit either. while on our trip, we were on a long drive and me and my sister think we heard our driver (our family had hired a car and a driver for a day trip) pissed in a cup while we were all in the car. MASSIVE statues and temples on sides of road are also quite common and people don't even bat an eyelid.
#7- neha is a very popular girls name in india. while i was there two girls named neha committed suicide and made headline news (one of them because she was 11 years old. her parents had taken her out of dance classes so she could concentrate on her studies). india has the highest suicide rate in the world.
#8- everyone i know in india had at least three servants. one to wash the dishes (human dishwasher), one to clean and one to cook. the rampant poverty means dirt cheap labour so everyone can afford help around the house.
#9- when sick in a village, you will probably be taken to a medicine man who will do some massages and acupuncture and give you herbal remedies. they work! and they're fast!
#10- bryan adams is really big over there. he tours there a fair bit apparently. my cousin had summer of '69 as her ringtone, another one had a tape playing in the car when we were driving and whistling along to "straight from the heart".
#11- family homes have the patriarch's names on the outside of them. this is the house my dad grew up in. potalia is spelt this way because it was the first time they had translated it to english and made a mistake.
#12- weddings last about 10 days, give or take. there are 4 days of ceremonies previous and 3 days of rituals aftewards. this is me giving my cousin a cornflour scrub to cleanse him (mentally and physically) for the wedding. this happens in the 3 days leading up to the wedding.
#13- you can buy anything through your window on the side of the road. literally anything. here are some young boys in new delhi selling pirated bestsellers- n.b. dan brown and twilight. these books will often have entire sections missing from them or covers that don't match the stories inside.
#14- public bathrooms are labelled 'he' and 'she'.
photo credit: me (it's weird i'm not even a professional photographer or anything)