• Women in India


    The reason that I’m writing about women in India is twofold: first, because I was shocked at their position in society and how the majority of them live; and second, because Indians make up about 16% of the world’s population, and thus the living conditions of Indian women represent the living conditions of a large percentage of the world’s women.

    Women have been called by Barber Conable, the one-time president of the World Bank, “the poorest of the wo.. Read More »

  • Caste, Marriage, and Population in India


    “Religion, caste, and language are major determinants of social and political organization in India today. Although 82% of the people are Hindu, India also is the home of more than 120 million Muslims—the world’s third largest Muslim population. The population also includes Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and Parsis.

    The caste system reflects Indian occupational and religiously defined hierarchies. Traditionally, there are four broad categories of castes (varnas), includi.. Read More »

  • Summary...

    This is an effort to give a brief resume of the 5 1/2 months that we spent in India….

    We quickly found India to be a country of great diversity – in terms of wealth, class and caste structure, religion, language, wildlife… Our first introduction to India was the capital of Delhi, where we found the life full of different colors, sights, and smells. Bicycle and auto rickshaws shared the crowded and dirty streets of Old Delhi with cows, humped bulls, buffalo, donkeys, roosters, monkeys, a.. Read More »

  • Kolkata (Calcutta), our Last Stop - end of March 2005

    Kolkata (Calcutta), our Last Stop:

    We had met a couple in Cappadocia, Turkey, who had invited us to visit them when we arrived in Kolkata, where they lived for half of the year. We contacted them when we arrived in India, and they invited us to stay with them. We took them up on the offer, and took public transport from Goa, on the west coast, to Kolkata, in the northeast. Our plan was then to take a flight from Kolkata to Bangkok, Thailand.

    First was a 16-hour overnight bus ride from Goa .. Read More »

  • Goa


    General Impressions:
    Goa, along the southwestern coast, is known for its beaches, its European hippies, and its acid-house rave parties. Anyone who has traveled even the tiniest bit will tell you that it is not “the real India.” Many European tourists fly to Goa for the beaches and the parties and leave one month later, without having ever seen anything of the rest of India.

    We knew we had arrived when we saw a lot of white tourists dressed in beach clothing on motorbikes. Althoug.. Read More »

  • Holidays in India

    Holidays in India:


    We spent Thanksgiving in Jaipur (the Pink City) in Rajasthan. Decided to celebrate in a chic restaurant, with mirrored walls and ceiling, white-jacketed waiters, plush seats. Our first fancy restaurant since France. We tried goat brain, which was served with a ginger and garlic sauce (for only $3.25!). It was so tender that it melted in our mouths. The sauce was perfect! The whole meal was fabulous! I can’t believe we ate goat brain!! I’d do it again in.. Read More »

  • Natural Parks and Reserves

    Natural Parks and Reserves:

    We’ve only been to two Natural Reserves so far, but we hope to see the Tiger Park near Calcutta before leaving India (if we have time).

    The Keoladeo Ghana National Park near the town of Bharatpur in Rajasthan was fabulous. The Park is known as a bird sanctuary, but in fact has many other animals, such as monkeys, antelope, foxes, pythons, and a tiger. We enjoyed the peace of the park, as we biked its area and saw many animals that we had not before seen in the.. Read More »

  • Mumbai (Bombay)

    The City:

    We crossed the entire city of Mumbai from north to south – 40 km. just in the city itself. With 16 million inhabitants, Mumbai is the largest city in India, and it took us the entire day to cross its length. The heat was intense, my migraine was intense; I tried to concentrate on the road and on the traffic, the only real aim being to make it through the city alive. My head almost killed me. The traffic almost killed me. Some of the drivers were insane. It scared the crap out of me… Read More »

  • The Locals

    The Locals:

    Our experience with the local people was enriching and eye-opening. Indians don’t generally invite strangers into their homes, like in the Middle East, but still more often than in Western Europe. The people that we stayed with were very friendly and curious about our lives back home. Many were very helpful. As a rule, the farther south that we went, the friendlier the people were. We generally stayed with middle- to upper-class families, most likely because they were more educa.. Read More »

  • Religion - Pilgrimage sites and Temples

    Religion: Pilgrimage Sites and Temples:

    If there is one thing that you learn very quickly in India, you learn that religion is alive and well in this country of 1.1 billion. It plays an important role in the daily lives of most of its inhabitants, and Indians as a whole are known to be a superstitious bunch. There is more religious history in India than in any other country in the world. Three of the world’s major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism) were born in India, and faith is .. Read More »

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