The Inscrutable Indians

Disclaimer: This post is just meant to be humorous. I have no intentions of making fun of either my parent culture or my adopted culture.

I come from a strange land on the other side of the world…the land of elephants and snake charmers, where women are as good as slaves, where we break out in to song and dance in the middle of the road, and where we worship a million gods, some of them with elephant heads….

Well, this is clearly an exaggeration. I don’t think people in general think of Indians that way. Even so, there are a few myths about Indian practices that I feel compelled to break…these two are the most common questions I get:

Arranged marriage

The rest of the world seems incapable of grasping what that means. How to do you agree to spend your life with a stranger?? Well, first of all, your spouse is rarely a complete stranger nowadays. You know something about them….Moreover, the popular misconception that everyone is forced in to marrying someone they do not want is completely baseless. Well, it does happen, but not most of the time!

Want to know the best part of an arranged marriage? Since your parents agreed to the match before you did, both sides will take care to preserve your marriage. That’s a huge safety net!

The other nice part- in the beginning, it’s like opening a new page of a book everyday….life is exciting as in the first blush of love, without the heartache!

Finally, after 1-2 years, it does not matter whether it was an arranged marriage or not…you are just “married”!

Vegetarianism

I am vegetarian, which means I do not eat meat or FISH (or seafood). I am not vegan, so I do consume milk and milk products. Many Indians are vegetarian. And no, it is not because of religion, so changing my religion (people have blatantly said that they would change their religion if they were me) is pointless. It’s not because I am a PETA member. Finally, I most certainly don’t miss eating meat, because I never grew up eating it. It’s like I don’t miss watching French movies because I never grew up speaking French!

Poor me, how do I get my protein? I eat dairy, which is rich in protein. I can also name a number of other plant foods like legumes that have proteins…and I don’t consume all the cholesterol that’s there in animal products..

I have to tell you that Indians eat a stupendous variety of plants and plant products. Do you know we eat lotus stem?

Finally, why are so many Indians vegetarian? Well, my ancestors belonged to one of the earliest civilizations of the world, in one of the most fertile river plains in the world (the Gangetic plain), and they could cultivate enough to fulfil their dietary needs without hunting animals…People ate what they could find in those days, so Indians living along the coast have eaten fish for centuries..

That’s enough of a rant, I guess. Now, of course, I have to add pictures of some sort…

The first photograph shows shows the “Trinity” in Indian mythology- made of the creator, the preserver and the destroyer, all components of a supreme power..

The second one shows a typical wedding venue with the throne for the bride and groom.

The third one shows brass statues of a few Hindu Gods.

Enjoy!

Hindu trinity

throne

indian gods

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