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Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts

What is the meaning of Namaste


Namaste is a common greeting in many parts of the world, but it is particularly prevalent in the Indian subcontinent. It is a simple gesture that involves pressing the palms of one's hands together, often with a small bow of the head. Despite its simplicity, however, the word "namaste" carries a deep cultural significance that is rooted in ancient Hindu philosophy. 

At its core, the word "namaste" is a combination of two Sanskrit words: "namah," which means "bow," and "te," which means "to you." When spoken, the word is often accompanied by a gesture in which the palms are pressed together in front of the chest and the head is slightly bowed. This gesture is known as the "namaste mudra" and is often used as a sign of respect, gratitude, and humility. 

In the Hindu tradition, the gesture of namaste is seen as a way of acknowledging the divine spark within each person. It is a way of recognizing and paying respect to the inherent worth and dignity of every individual. It is also a way of expressing gratitude for the other person's presence and for the gift of life itself. 

The practice of namaste is thought to have originated in India as a way of showing respect to the gods and goddesses. In the Hindu tradition, the gods and goddesses are seen as embodiments of divine energy, and the gesture of namaste is a way of acknowledging this divine energy within each person. Over time, the practice of namaste has come to be associated with a wide range of spiritual and religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. 

In the modern world, the practice of namaste has become a common way of greeting people in many parts of India and Nepal. It is often used as a way of saying hello, goodbye, or thank you, and it is considered to be a polite and respectful way of interacting with others. The gesture is also commonly used in yoga and meditation classes as a way of acknowledging the spiritual connection between the teacher and the students. 

In addition to its cultural and spiritual significance, the practice of namaste has also been embraced by many people outside of the Indian subcontinent. In recent years, the word has become a popular way of greeting people in Western countries, and it has been adopted by many people who are interested in yoga, meditation, and other spiritual practices. 

Despite its growing popularity, however, the practice of namaste has also been the subject of some controversy. Some people have criticized the gesture as being culturally appropriated, arguing that it is being used by non-Indian people without an understanding of its cultural significance. Others have argued that the gesture has become too commercialized, with many people using it as a way of making a quick profit rather than as a genuine expression of respect and gratitude. 

Overall, however, the practice of namaste continues to be a powerful and meaningful way of expressing respect, gratitude, and humility. It is a simple gesture that carries a deep cultural and spiritual significance, and it is a reminder of the inherent worth and dignity of every individual. Whether it is used as a greeting, a farewell, or a sign of respect, the practice of namaste remains a powerful and enduring tradition.

In the context of yoga, the practice of namaste is often accompanied by a specific posture known as the namaste pose or namaste mudra. This posture involves pressing the palms of the hands together in front of the chest, with the fingers pointing upwards and the thumbs resting on the sternum. The head is typically slightly bowed, and the eyes are closed or focused softly on a point in front of the person. 

The namaste pose is often used at the beginning and end of a yoga class as a way of acknowledging the connection between the teacher and the students. It is a gesture of respect and gratitude, and it is a way of setting a positive and respectful tone for the class. 

In addition to its use as a greeting, the namaste pose also has some physical benefits. By pressing the palms together and engaging the muscles in the arms and shoulders, the namaste pose can help to improve posture and increase upper body strength. It can also help to improve flexibility and range of motion in the wrists and fingers. 

Overall, the namaste pose is an important part of the yoga tradition and is a powerful way of expressing respect, gratitude, and humility. It is a simple gesture that carries a deep cultural and spiritual significance, and it is a reminder of the interconnectedness of all beings.

Hinduism for Beginners

15 ways to piss Indians off if you don’t like India

India is a great country. Not because the world thinks so, it’s because that is how we Indians like to think. But given a chance, most Indians would leave the country for Europe, Canada, Australia and most importantly USA. Even if Indians do go abroad, we take some of the pride with us and see India as the best country in the world that has the best culture of them all. This is complete hypocrisy at its worst. This is the reason why Indians abroad has no “white” friends; they never go to the pub with their work colleagues and stay ghettoised within their own community.

Now, if you are travelling to India then you are in for a ride. Some of you will love India and will be coming back while some of you will hate this place so much that you will never make trip to India again (you can read what an American woman thinks of India here).

If you did hate India, then here are 15 things you can do to piss us off when you get back home.

Ask which caste we belong to

Indians are divided into castes. Hindus in particular are divided into so called, upper and lower castes. In the olden days, the sole purpose of the lower castes was to serve the upper castes. Things have changed; the lower castes have become very rich and powerful given the 50% reservation in government jobs. So if you did want to piss an Indian off, just ask if they belong to a lower caste. But remember caste discrimination is against the law but there is no law against asking someone which caste they belong too. Sikhs too have their own caste system. They claim that they give equality to all castes but the reality is that caste discrimination is very much alive both in Hinduism and Sikhism. Muslims of India too are divided into sects and they hate each other. The worst thing you can ask an Indian is if they belong to a lower caste.

Tell us that Kashmir do not belong to India

Most Indians do not talk about Kashmir but if prompted, you can find yourself in a heated debate. In order to piss an Indian off, just tell them that Kashmir does not belong to India and the people of Kashmir are being killed and raped by the Indian army. You should tell them that there should be a referendum just like Scottish referendum and if people of Kashmir said ”Yes” then it should be handed to Pakistan or given independence.
Tell us India is a poor country

Indians have a lot of pride in them. If you tell them that India is a very poor country and there is a lot of poverty, hunger and lots of beggars all around then you will be hitting the Indians right where it hurts. Tell them that a poor country like that of India they should not be investing in missiles, space satellites, nuclear weapons and so on. Tell them that India should feed its poor first and then think about sending missions to space. How can a country spend a lot of money on useless programmes rather than feed its dying children. This will really piss Indians off.

Enter the temple with your shoes on

Indians consider shoes as dirty and they like to take it off before entering their homes. They definitely take their shoes off when entering temples. So if you wanted to piss Indians off then enter temples with your shoes on.

Tell us that Indian women are ugly

I wrote about Indian women being the most beautiful in theworld. Some would agree and some would not. Many Indians take pride in the fact that many Indian women have won several beautiful pageants – Aishwarya Rai, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey, Priyanka Chopra etc. If you wanted to piss us Indians off then tell us that Indian women are very dark and not very beautiful. Tell them that they won these pageants not because they were beautiful but because other competitors were not able to answer the judge’s questions appropriately. Also you can make fun of the sari (saree) which is nothing more than a piece of cloth wrapped round the body.

Tell them that Bollywood movies suck

We Indians love watching Hindi also known as Bollywood movies. In fact, Indian housewives are either cooking and cleaning or watching movies. Tell them that these Hindi movies are crap. They are too long, full of useless and vulgar songs and make no sense of the story lines. Tell us that Bollywood will never compete with Hollywood.

Abuse the game of cricket

We Indians love cricket and everything that has to do with the game. If you wanted too piss Indians off then tell them that cricket is the most boring game in the world and is only played in poor countries. Tell them that Indians are not good in sports and hence they play cricket where talent is not required. Make sure than you foul-mouth Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli who are considered as the best batsmen India has produced. Tell them Indians will never beat Australia.

Call an Indian a Paki

Calling an Indian a Paki will not work in India but it does wonders in the UK and USA. Paki is the short form of “Pakistani” and used commonly to denote a person from South Asia. The word “Paki” originated in England where they saw waves of Indian and Pakistani immigrants to their country. The word is supposed to be derogatory and racist and Non-Resident Indians abhor the word. If you wanted to piss an Indian, call them a Paki but then you will branded as a racist. Your idea is to piss them off and not appear as racist.

Tell us that Indians are dirty people

Like in the Western world, Indians do not use toilet paper to wipe their arse. Instead, we Indians use water to wash the backside with the left hand. The idea is to pour water on the left hand and rinse the back side till it is clean. (More on Indian toilets here). Tell the Indians that they are dirty people and it’s disgusting to use the hand to wash something as bad as pooh. Tell them Indian men scratch their testicles in public and urinate wherever they want. Tell them that they lack hygiene and that is why India is suffering from various water-borne diseases. 

Talk about politics

Most Indians love politics. They will support one party or the other. Find out which party they are supporting and then foul-mouth them. Let’s say if I were to support the “BJP” which is supposed to be a Hindu nationalist party, and then tell that they were involved the massacre of innocent Muslims of Gujarat and they are anti-Muslims and fascists. If they are the supporters of the Indian National Congress then you can tell them they were involved in the 1948 Sikh riots and they are nothing more than a privately run enterprise by the Gandhi Family. If they are the supporters of the AAP party then you can tell them that they are “AAPtards” (derogatory word used for those supporting the AAP party) are nothing more than anarchists.

Tell South Indians that North India is better

There is a somewhat divide between the North and South of India. South Indians have a raw nerve when it comes to North India. South Indians are pissed off because New Delhi, the capital of India lies in the North and secondly most powerful politicians come from the North. Tell South Indians than North is better than South India. Tell the South Indians that Hindi is a great language and they should also learn the language.

If you do the reverse where you tell North Indians that South India is better then it’s not going to work. We North Indians know that South India is boring and their languages suck big time.

Tell us that you love eating beef (this is a good one)

The cow is a revered animal. Lord Krishna was a cow herder and the cow is considered as a mother. Hence the cow is not eaten. In fact, in some Indian states, slaughter of the cow is forbidden. So if you wanted to piss an Indian off then ask an Indian, “how to cook beef curry”. Better still, go to an Indian restaurant and ask for beef curry and tell them not to make it too hot. (Here’s where to eat beef in India).

Ask Sikhs about their hair

All Indians are very touchy about their religion. There was a time in the 1980’s when the Sikhs wanted their own country but their demand was eventfully suppressed. Terrorism was rife in the Punjab and Delhi. In fact, Hindus were deliberately hand-picked and killed in Punjab (where most Sikhs come from). The police too was very brutal and committed atrocities. Every Sikh with a turban was thought to be a terrorist or a sympathiser for the cause of the separation of Punjab from India. It was not a happy time. But things changed and peace prevailed. This has led to Punjab to become one of the most prosperous states of India. But the scar remained.

Sikhs can be found in most parts of India and most religious Sikhs can be identified as they wear a turban on their head. If you wanted to piss an Indian Sikh then tell them how ridiculous their turban looks. Consumption of tobacco is considered a sin just in the same way as eating beef for Hindus and drinking alcohol for Muslims. You can always light up a cigarette too piss them off.

Tell Muslims of India that they are not Indians and were converted

Muslims of India are still not fully integrated and in order to piss Indian Muslims off, you can tell them that they are not Indians. Tell them that they came from outside as invaders and settled in India. Worse still, you can tell them that their ancestors were once Hindus and where forced to convert into Islam by the Muslim rulers of India. You can also tell them that you love eating pork sausages and beer to go with it.

Tell the Indians that India is a bogus democracy

We Indians take pride that India is a democracy. In fact, we Indians like to think of India as the world’s largest democracy. But you can touch a raw nerve by saying that India is not really a democracy. You can tell them what kind of democracy is India where people do not really vote for change but vote for someone who belong to the same caste and religion. You can say that despite being a democracy country, India is still wrecked by poverty, social injustice, high illiteracy rates, rampant corruption; politicians steal money and stack them in Swiss Banks and so on. I am sure you will over the step the mark and piss some of us Indians off.

I hope I have not offended anyone. We Indians are pretty cool but some things get on our nerves.

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