CULTURAL OBSERVATIONS, PART 3
This is something that I try to do everywhere I go. I try to make note of all surprising cultural observations that I come across in my travels. As a disclaimer, these may not be %100 percent true, as many are broad generalizations, and some of these were told to me by various people I met along the way, so take them with a grain of salt.
- Commercial vehicles pay a tax to pass into different states.
- If you pass someone on the road and don’t honk, they will get mad at you, and if you drive through a crowd of people without honking, the police may stop you and why failed to honk.
- Some roads and highways are run by private companies who charge the public directly.
- Punjabi music uses lots of drums, and is very catchy and popular to dance to. It is commonly played at weddings, even if people from other regions do not understand the lyrics.
- Some truck drivers sometimes customize their horn sounds with “pressure horns”.
- Elephant polo is an actual sport played in Rajastan and several other countries.
- People in India can buy beer at 18, and liquor at 21.
- Some people make liquor called “Desi Daru”, which means “homemade whiskey” and it is sometimes made with sugar cane and heated by burning cow dung.
- Monkeys run around freely in Jaipur and are treated with almost as much respect as people. If a monkey jumps into someone’s window, they are often given food.
- The red dot that people apply to their forehead is called a Bindi, and it has many spiritual meanings. It is said to be good luck and is also said to retain energy and strengthen concentration.
- During Hindi movies, people cheer when a popular actor makes his/her first appearance.
- During dance scenes in Hindi movies, some people get up and dance in the theater.
- During a movie, it seems ok to talk to each other, talk on a cell phone, text and bring babies to the theater.
- Indian bureaucracy is astonishingly inefficient and extremely corrupt.
- Young couples that cannot show affection in public go to places like Akbar’s tomb to be together.
- Some people get their hair cut by roadside barbers.
- Piles of garbage are common along the roadside, and some people burn it to cook their food.
- Museum staff take a break for lunch and kick everyone out of the exhibit rooms for an hour.