When a boy is born in India, friends and relatives exclaim congratulations. A son means insurance. They think that a son will inherit his fathers property and get a job to help support the family. When a girl is born, the reaction is very different. Some women weep when they find out their baby is a girl because, to them, a daughter is just another expense. Her place is in the home, not in the world of men. In some parts of India, it's traditional to greet a family with a newborn girl by saying, "The servant of your household has been born."
A girl can't help but feel inferior when everything around her tells her that she is worth less than a boy. Her identity is forged as soon as her family and society limit her opportunities and declare her to be second-rate.
In India, the birth of a girl causes great upheaval for poor families. When there is barely enough food to survive, any child puts a strain on a family's resources. But the monetary drain of a daughter feels even more severe, especially in regions where dowry is practiced. Dowry is goods and money a bride's family pays to the husband's family. Originally intended to help with marriage expenses, dowry came to be seen as payment to the groom's family for taking on the burden of another woman. In some countries, dowries are extravagant, costing years' worth of wages, and often throwing a woman's family into debt. The dowry practice makes the prospect of having a girl even more distasteful to poor families. It also puts young women in danger: A new bride is at the mercy of her in-laws should they decide her dowry is too small. UNICEF estimates that around 5,000 Indian women are killed in dowry-related incidents each year.
Infanticide and Sex-Selective Abortion
In extreme cases, parents make the horrific choice to end their baby girl's life; the main reason behind these incidence is dowry demand from bride's parents. One woman named Lakshmi from Tamil Nadu, an impoverished region of India, fed her baby sap from an oleander bush mixed with castor oil until the girl bled from the nose and died.
Indian Marriage Rituals & Customs
In India, a marriage is usually arranged by the respective parents of the bride and the groom and follows various steps. Marriage among Hindus is not only considered a union of two souls, but of two families. The first and the foremost step is the selection of the bride and the bridegroom. While in love marriages, a boy and a girl themselves select their life partner, it is crucial when it comes to arranged marriages. Talking about arranged marriages in the Hindu custom, the parents select the prospective bride/groom for their son/daughter. Since India boasts of diverse cultures and traditions, the engagement ceremony rituals differ from region to region and community to community. The bride and the groom exchange wedding rings among each other. After the festive spirit of engagement, the next important ritual is the mehndi (henna) party. It is believed that the color of mehndi signifies the essence of love in a marriage, so it is put on bride's hand to strengthen that bond of love. Singing traditional songs and dancing to the beat of music forms a major part of this ritual. Puja (pray) is also another important religious ceremony, which is performed on the eve of the wedding day at the groom and bride's place separately. On the morning of the wedding day, Haldi, the cleansing ceremony is practiced during which the bride and bridegroom are pasted with turmeric powder in their respective homes, as a part of their beautification process. Talking about the actual marriage ceremonies, the Hindu wedding mostly takes place in a mandap or a tent, which is beautifully decorated with flowers. The main Hindu wedding ceremony is a long and elaborate affair, which lasts for several hours and is attended by a large number of relatives, friends, and acquaintances and so on. One of the most significant rituals the bride and the groom perform is the Saptapadi or saat phere (promises) around a scared fire and light, which is symbolic to God. While the bride and the groom take the seven circles, the priest recites the mantras and speak of the real essence and significance of marriage. It is also during this time that the groom fills vermillion or sindoor in the center parting of the bride and puts mangalsutra around her neck. These were some of the rituals and customs, which were generally followed in all the Hindu marriages.
Traditional Indian Food:
The traditional Indian food has been widely appreciated for its fabulous use of herbs and spices. Indian cuisine is known for its large assortment of dishes. The cooking style varies from region to region. India is quite famous for its diverse multi cuisine available in a large number of restaurants and hotel resorts, Indian food is as varied as anything else in that country; there is no easy definition of an "Indian meal".
I agree India is very very big. Each of the sides have its own cuisine, But in England Chicken Tikka Masala,Chicken Tandoori and Chicken Vindaloo of India very very famous. Chicken Tikka Masala is sold every year about 2 Billion pounds.
India is a huge country with 28 states and each state has its own cuisine. for example.
- Punjab : Tandoori Roti, Rajma, Murgi and many more.
- Maharashtra : Puran Poli, Ladoos, Curry and almost 100 varieties of rice
- South India : Idli, Adai, Sambhar, Rasam and almost 200 types of rice preparations.
- North India : types of Non vegetarian Cuisine.
Women in India now participate in all activities such as education, politics, media, art and culture, service sectors, science and technology, etc The Government of India declared 2001 as the Year of Women's Empowerment. India has seen many women leaders in the form of rulers, administrators, freedom fighters and politicians inspite of being a very religiuos country practicing Sati, Jauhar and Pardha. There are twenty five women leaders who have played a prominent role in its national politics, throughout India's history.
Clothing in India
Clothing in India varies widely and is closely related to local culture, religion and climate. The major traditional clothing for women are the sari or the salwar kameez and also Ghaghra Cholis (Lehengas).
Lehnga Cholis have a varied and beautiful history in India. When the Moguls invaded India in early BC they brought this unique skirt and blouse combination with them. Today's bride is more likely to wear a Lehnga Choli to her wedding than a bridal sari due to the intense weight of bridal saris. Women of all ages also love Lehnga Choli for formal occasions and dress occasions. Women just can not go wrong with a fashion choice that has been "in" thousands of years!
Extremely beautiful and flattering to all female shapes, these suits are often HAND decorated in the traditional designs of India such as zarcosi and soonf embroidery. This type of fashion can be dated back to the 4th Century BC in India. During the height of Indian royalty, these designs became legendary and were made with real gold, silver and precious stones. Just as in ancient times, these suits are still HAND decorated to keep it as true to tradition as possible.
Salwar kameez are filling a role that has been missing from the western fashion scene for years: graceful feminine elegance. Women were told that this look was sexy, that we needed to dress this way to be thought of as attractive. With clothes getting skimpier and tighter, we were getting more uncomfortable. Salwar Kameez have given us a delicious alternative to this type of clothing. it looks great on all body types and sizes. No matter if you are a plus or super size woman, a petite size woman or an average size woman these suits will make you look and FEEL your best.
Sarees come in every color imaginable and in several different materials. Most are about 6 yards in length. Saris are native to all of India and they have been worn for thousands of years. Today, Indian women have all the choices of fashion as their American sisterhood but the saree remains one of two most popular choices. If you have ever seen a woman in a sari, you will understand why. The image is likely to stay with you for a long time.