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Exploring INDIA European companies came to India for spices What started out as a spice factory here and there, eventually turned into a factory with a fort built around it here and there—which eventually lead to armies and the British taking over Some History

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some history
European companies came to India for spices

What started out as a spice factory here and there, eventually turned into a factory with a fort built around it here and there—which eventually lead to armies and the British taking over

Some History
When Britain eventually took control over the land they also began instilling their own morals and ethics
  • Main problem: Owned by Britain meant fighting Britain’s wars!
  • India finally gained its independence in 1947
    • However, British armies didn’t leave till 1950.
indian independence movement
Indian Independence Movement
  • Series of revolutions empowered by the people of India put forth to battle the British Empire for complete political independence
gandhi father of the nation
Gandhi—Father of the Nation
  • Climax of Independence Movement = Mahatma Gandhi'sQuit India Movement (1942-1945)
  • World's first and largest mass, non-violent civil resistance movement(50 million people!)
  • Achieving full freedom after WWII on August 15, 1947.
Hinduism has no “founder”
  • Based on ancient traditions of India
basic belief
Basic Belief
  • People die and are reborn many times as many differ. things
  • There is a universal soul called Brahman
Goal in life is to escape the cycle of birth and death and become part of the Brahman
  • This is achieved by living a pure and good life
Four Goals (Arms in life)
    • 1st: Student = Self-control & how to contribute to society
    • 2nd: Householder (sometimes omitted)
    • 3rd: Forest Dweller: turning your household over to your children and retreating into meditation
    • 4th: Sannyasin = Renouncing society, devotes to God, example of spiritual life
The religion forms the basis of their social structure (caste system isVarna in religious terms)
    • Priests & educated people (Brahmanas)
    • Aristocrats & rulers of society (Kshatria)
    • Landlords & businessmen


    • Peasants & working class


If you did not fit into any of these castes, you were an “untouchable” or outcast (you clean sewage or something of this “degrading” nature in Indian society)
The 1st three castes had social & economical rights
  • They were also seen as “twice born”
    • Reincarnation is a huge belief in Hinduism
    • 1st birth- Born into world
    • 2nd birth- Born into society
Once you were born into a Varna (caste) you could never leave it
  • You and your descendents would forever marry into this caste system
  • Many of these Varna had a special diet that they had to adhere to
    • This diet was strictly for their


  • Vishnu is regarded as a major god in Hinduism and Indian mythology.
    • He is the Protector of the universe
    • Participates in worldly affairs
    • His 10 Avatars (incarnations, like Prince Rama) help him “save the world”
vishnu continued
Vishnu continued…
  • When there is disorder in the universe, Vishnu battles with the forces of chaos, or he sends one of his Avatars (or incarnations) to save the world.
  • Vishnu uses both force and guile to ensure the stability of the universe.
  • His consort Laxmi, goddess of wealth and power, offers him the wherewithal to maintain the integrity of the world.
more on gods
More on gods…
  • 10 Avatars = the 10 cycles of Vishnu… we are on cycle 9.
  • 2 other major Hindu gods
    • Brahma: the Creator (born from a lotus out of Vishnu’s bellybutton)
    • Shiva: the destroyer of the universe
For centuries they were a barrier for communications between the North and South
  • The people of Northern and Southern India are markedly different to this day

Village Life

  • India is essentially a land of villages
  • More than 500,000 villages exist in the countryside
  • Most houses are built with mud and cow dung (mmm mmm!)
  • Diet consist of: unleavened bread, rice, curry, red-pepper powder or green pepper for seasoning.

City Life

  • 30% of India’s population lives in the city
  • Crowding is a general characteristic of Indian cities
  • Many people are unemployed, the cities attract people to come and find work
interesting tidbits
Interesting Tidbits
  • India’s National Animal is the Bengal Tiger
  • They believe the tiger is the god that gives them honey and wax
  • It is believed the tiger will not eat you if you have prayed to him
  • Mostly worn by Sikhs
  • Symbolic of the person’s:
    • Sovereignty
    • Dedication
    • Self-respect
    • Courage
    • Piety
  • All practicing Sikhs wear the turban out of love and obedience of the wishes of the founders of their faith.
  • Originally worn by Hindu women
  • Signifies female energy (shakti) and is believed to protect women and their husbands
  • Traditional symbol of marriage (widows do not wear the bindi)
  • Now unmarried women and women of different religions wear them
sari or saree
Sari or Saree
  • Length of fabric from 13-26 feet long
  • Used for centuries
  • Style/designs reveal aspects about the person wearing it
  • Creates a picture of flowing grace that conceals as much as it reveals.
arranged marriages
Arranged Marriages?!
  • Firm belief that the parents choose your “mate”
  • Daughters’ families give a dowry to the new husband
    • Often things that he/they will need to start
  • Given in “re-payment” for the trouble of taking their daughter
gender equity
Gender Equity?
  • More rights than many Asian countries—aside from arranged marriages
  • Women (can be) educated, business proprietors, doctors, lawyers, pilots, computer technicians, etc.
  • Most religions treat women equally
  • Still prefer boys—birth of girls are not celebrated
a sacred cow
A Sacred Cow?
  • Most of India respects the cow
  • Some in India revere the cow
  • Few bow to the cow
  • Cows are important to their culture for it’s farming, and dairy production NOT for its meat
Many Hindus are vegetarian, meat eating Hindus, however, still do not eat beef
  • A legislation is out to ban all slaughtering of cows
random notions
Random Notions
  • Old customs of the country are followed with strictness (i.e. when entering any place of worship it is essential to take off ones shoes; people remove their shoes while entering their houses as well.)
  • It is custom to handle or accept something with the right hand only. The left hand is considered to be not clean.
  • Women usually don’t shake hands with men. Instead they greet you with folded hands.
  • Hello in India is "Namaste" or "Namskaram".
  • There is a custom where younger people touch the feet of their elders to acquire their blessings.
There are 18 recognized languages in India.
  • World’s lowest per-capita income--$2,900!
  • Only 36% of India’s massive population is literate (U.S. = 99%)
  • Supports 15% of the world’s population (about a billion people)
  • India is the home of the

famous Taj Mahal

india s economy
India’s Economy
  • India formerly relied on agriculture, but today that only makes up 21% of its income.
  • Major sources of revenue:
    • Diamond polishing
    • Petroleum
    • Textiles
    • Films (hear of Bollywood?)
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Information Processing
    • Business process outsourcing
hooray for bollywood
Hooray for Bollywood!
  • Strong part of popular culture of not only India, but also of the Middle East, parts of Africa, and parts of Southeast Asia.
  • Output is the largest in the world in terms of number of films produced and in number of tickets sold
  • Attributes consist of dancing, songs, bright colors, and many films are produced in English