India

India evokes images of the splendid Taj Mahal and sunsets on the sacred Ganges River and of course spicy food. Arriving in this diverse country results in a splendid assault on all senses: the chaotic sounds of the street, the numerous aromas of animals, people and spices and the colourful sights best manifested in the Holi Festival where only two things are required: Water and Colour! Cricket is the most popular sport and India has one of the best national teams in the world. Mahatma Gandhi lead his country to the independence of India with a non-violent attitude. Tigers are the iconic symbol of Indian wildlife and can be glimpsed in some of the spectacular national parks.

THREE things we did not know about India:

  1. India does not have a national language: This is despite the fact that there are over 120 major languages and 1,600 other languages spoken in India.
  2. The caste system still exists in India: There are five different class distinctions in India. Although the caste system is officially abolished, the idea of higher and lower people is still widespread. Simply put: The Brahmins: priests and teachers, Kshatriyas: warriors and rulers, Vaishyas: farmers, traders and merchants, Shudras: labourers and Dalits (outcastes): street sweepers, latrine cleaners.
  3. Chess was invented in India. It has a significant following in India and originated in 6AD.

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