Culture column: I am Indian and follow Hinduism

Culture column: I am Indian and follow Hinduism

Food (and national dish)

Indian food is popular all over the world because of its flavours, colours and spices. Many regard curry as the national dish of India. There are a lot of Indian restaurants in Hong Kong where they serve both vegetable and meat curry.

Religion

Religion plays a very important role in my culture. In Hinduism, people believe the Vedas, or the holy books, teach them how to live. In my religion, being a vegetarian is considered a pure way of life because you are not harming any living creatures. In Hinduism, there are many gods and goddesses. But Hindus regard all these to be one god who happens to take different forms.

Sport/activity

Cricket is the most prominent sport among Indians. It was brought to the country by the British, and today, millions stay glued to their television sets as Indian cricketers take on their rivals at home or abroad. However, India's national sport is field hockey.

Famous person

The most famous person would have to be Mohandas Gandhi who helped India gain independence through non-violent means. He also inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

Special place

It would have to be the Taj Mahal, in Agra. It was built in 1648 by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. After its completion, Shah Jahan cut off the hands of workers who had built the structure so they were never able to create a similar monument. The Taj Mahal is now one of the most famous attractions in the world and welcomes millions of visitors every year.

Defining characteristics

A lot of people tell Indians apart by the language they speak. However, I can identify a Hindu because they have a red, yellow or white dot on their forehead. This dot symbolises a calm mind, but for women, it can mean that they are married. You can also recognise a devoted Hindu by their dress. They will simply wear a piece of orange fabric to cover their bodies. More commonly, most Indian women wear the traditional sari, while men wear the kurta pyjama.

History

Probably the most notable achievement in India's long history is gaining independence from Britain. It was the most dominant empire at the time, but led by Mohandas Gandhi, India became a free country without having to use violence. This had a major impact on me because it showed that a lot can be achieved through peaceful means.

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Culture column: I am Indian and follow Hinduism | Young Post | South China Morning Post
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