March 21, 2019

Fun Facts about India

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India is a culturally diverse country. Each region of India has its own language, ways of life, and culinary traditions. India has the largest vegetarian population in the world and is a mecca of many different religions.

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Keep reading to learn more about this interesting country.

Basic Facts About India

What is the population of India?
The population of India is 1.29 billion. India is the second most populous country in the world—only China beats it out in population.

What colors are the Indian flag?
The Indian flag is made up of orange, white, and green stripes. The orange in the flag signifies courage and sacrifice; the white signifies purity and truth, and the green signifies faith. In the middle of the flag is a 24-spoked wheel, which signifies the "wheel of life."

What is the capital of India?
The capital of India is New Delhi. This city has a population of 28.5 million people.

Food in India

What do they eat in India?
India is a mecca of a variety of cultures, each of which has their own native dishes. Almost 40% of the country is vegetarian, but each region has its own staples. For example, in the north and west, bread is the main staple (they use it instead of utensils), whereas in the east and south, the main staple is rice.

People from many areas of India don't consume meat due to religious reasons. For example, the Hindu don't eat beef and the Muslim don't eat pork. You will find fish as a main entrée in the coastal areas of India and poultry/lamb in the mountainous areas of India (for the non-vegetarians).

Most Indian dishes include plenty of spices. Not all Indian dishes are spicy, though; many are sweet or tangy. Many Indian dishes use yogurt as a way to soothe the body if a dish is particularly spicy.

What do the Indians eat for dinner?
In India, depending on the region, you'll typically see them eating a carbohydrate (rice or bread), lentils or a meat dish, and vegetables. Their dinner is also often accompanied by a dessert, as many Indian dinners cover all of the bases including sweet, spicy, pungent, and tangy.

What do Indians eat for breakfast?
Breakfast is much like lunch and dinner in India, and varies by region. It typically consists of a starch (rice or potatoes) and a vegetable accompanied by a variety of spices. The Indians make Appam, which is a pancake made from rice and coconut. They also make vegetable curry that they serve with both rice and bread (typically flatbread). They also serve dhokla, which is rice and chickpeas served with chilies.

Do they eat chicken in India?
Many Indians (Hindus) do eat eggs and meat, but not beef or pork. Instead, they eat poultry and lamb.

Why don't they eat beef in India?
Cows are sacred in India, which is why many Indians don't eat beef. While many Indians do eat meat, they eat meat other than beef.

Culture in India

What is the fastest growing religion in India?
Today, the fastest growing religion in India is Muslim, according to the Registrar General and Census Commissioner. This isn't to say that it is the largest religion in India, because a much larger majority are Hindu, but the number of Indians practicing Hinduism has slowly decreased over the last few decades, whereas the number of Muslims has increased.

How many religions are there in India?
There are a great number of religions in India, but Hinduism and Muslim are the two most popular. Almost 80% of India is Hindu and 14% is Muslim. There are also those who practice Christianity, Sikhism, and Buddhism in India.

Which religion came first in India?
Hinduism, which is one of the oldest religions in the world, came first in India. Hinduism isn't just a religion, though; it's a way of life for the Indian people.

What are some of the Indian traditions?
Though diverse, the Indian people have many traditions that are present throughout the country. In many areas of India, households consist of up to four generations of family members living under one roof. Many families also still believe in arranged marriages, where the parents choose their child's spouse.

In India, most people greet one another with the "Namaste," the bow to one another with your hands held in front of you. Many Indians also participate in the dance of their region or culture. Many of the Indian dances today tell a story of their culture or of the day-to-day life in the region.

How many languages does India have?
There isn't one Indian language spoken throughout the country. Some say that there are as many as 22 languages spoken in India. The five most common languages are Hindi, English, Bengali, Telegu, Marathi, and Tamil.

What is the most popular sport in India?
Cricket is the sport of choice in India. India has won the Cricket World Cup two times so far, in 1983 and 2011.

Christmas and Festivals in India

Do they celebrate Christmas in India?
Christmas is a smaller celebration in India than many other countries because of the small number of Christians in India. Those who do celebrate typically attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve and then attend a large feast with a variety of food and gifts. Some families do put out nativity scenes, and most public places are filled with bright colorful lights and lanterns to symbolize the holiday season.

What do they eat in India for Christmas?
The Indian Christmas feast is a large one. The Indians cook their traditional curry food along with famous dishes, such as Biryani. The feast also has a variety of sweets including Kheer (an Indian pudding) and a variety of cakes.

How do they prepare for Christmas in India?
In the states that do celebrate Christmas, families start preparing for the holiday a month in advance. They participate in a tradition similar to spring cleaning. They clean their homes from top to bottom and even change out draperies and other linens. Women start preparing foods as early as a month before the holiday, and they shop for new clothing for the family.

What kind of trees are decorated at Christmastime in India?
India doesn't have "traditional" Christmas trees. Instead, they decorate mango or banana trees for Christmas. If they don't have any trees that they can decorate, they often decorate their homes with the leaves of a mango tree.

What are the national festivals of India?
India is a country of many festivals. In fact, you can find a festival almost every month of the year throughout the country. The three national festivals celebrated everywhere are Republic Day (January 26), Independence Day (August 15), and Gandhi Jayanti (October 2). Republic Day is a celebration of the day the Indian Constitution was put into place; Independence Day celebrates the anniversary of the date that India became independent from Britain; and Gandhi Jayanti Day is a day to celebrate the birthday of the "Father of India."

What other festivals does India celebrate?
India celebrates many other festivals throughout the year including Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights), Holi (the festival of colors to honor the victory of good over evil), and Dussehra (a festival that celebrates victory over the demon, Ravana).

Indian Inventions

What did India invent?
We have a lot to thank India for today, as it is the home of many inventions including cataract surgery, plastic surgery, yoga, and chess.

What things originated from India?
The number system, although it's known as the Arabic number system, actually originated in India. The Arabs brought the system to Europe, but the Indians invented it. Other Indian inventions include buttons, Basmati rice, and even gravity.

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