Monday, January 12, 2009

Introduction South Asia 101A: Bangalore, India

courtesy of Annie Myers

Aug. 2004 - Dec. 2004
Bangalore, Karantaka, India

Happy New Year 2k9, Feliz Año Nuevo!

Caring yuh passion and volition for yuh contry, region and the world, everybody we grow up together. Aright, today's topic is about South Asia, India.

Known as the original country of curry and Buddhism, India is one of the rising nations today. Bangalore is where I lived, and it is one of the important cities fo South Asia.

Introduction South Asia 101A: Bangalore, India

001. General Information

Over 1.1bilions of population. Size ranked in 7th biggest country in the world, that is about 9 times bigger than Japan. There are Himalaya and glaciers up north, and it's so tropical down south. As original place of the Indus civilization, India's rich history and culture are well known. Even tho they have more than 20 official languages, English and Hindi are the common ones. So the key word to India is "multi national, language and religious society". All kinds of people live so close.

Interesting ting is that a concept of number zero (0) is said to be originated in India, and mathematics was developed there from lontime ago. Maybe because of this background, many Indian people play important roles in IT industry like Intel.

002. Religion

Unique local majors are Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Other famous religions in India like Islam, Christianism and Zoroastrianism are basically outsiders. Every religions got different rules but basically everyday is religious. Seems like life itself is religion.

By seeing those who believe in one God, or many symbolic Gods and Goddesses, or trying to become living-god by religious practice, even praying totally naked, and avoiding eating animal meat, there are so many religious values and ways of expressing faith. As I am one who doesn't follow any published-religoius format, question by a monotheism man "you don't believe in god?" was kinda irritating. Respect others faith, no?

003. People

Oh oh ohhhh, every Indian cities you go, you hit people, and people crowded people, packed, jamed... you name whatever words describe way sooo many people inna di place. It was like NYC Time Square wkend evening or Tokyo Shibuya's scramble crossing wkend evening. Those crowd were all Indians rooted various background of so-called Middle East, South East Asia, Himalaya mountains, East Europe/West Asia, Nomads... seriously it was like all kinds of Asians and people around Asia co-live together. Of course many East Asian a.k.a. Chino were there too.

Staffs at my neighboring cafe/restaurant, where I had Masala Dosa or Puri for breakfast almost everyday, assumed that I was a buddhist from mountain areas like Manipur, Tibet or somewhere in Himalaya.

One thing I remember something awkward through communicting those locals is their way of treating me. When I was alone, they were really friendly (coz they assumed I was an Indian). But when I was with my US college friends who are pretty much all white, they kind of looked nervous and were talking to us so formal like " yes sir" style. Why so different?

My British friend told me that British colonization system is still in their mentality... hmm, history.

Anyway, those locals' dressing style may be reflected by their religion and/or class, yet I saw many young generation and neo-middle class wear jeans and sneakers.

Many Bagalore locals speak more than two languages coz the city is on the border line of two states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. So sometime you can see signs with 4 languages, Hindi, English, Kannada and Tamil.

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