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Profiles in Culture: India

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Profiles in Culture: India

We believe that greater understanding between individuals and peoples, worldwide, reveals universal values and aspirations. We believe that if people can better understand other cultures, they are more tolerant and accepting of differences.

Name: Hussain Sayani

Country of Residence: India

1. Describe your favorite cultural tradition.

India is a country with a population of more than 100 crores (a unit in the Indian number system equal to ten million). Here people are from different religions, castes and races. We find different cultures in India as there are different people living in the country. We as Indians celebrate many festivals like Diwali, Eid-ul-Fitr and Christmas. As a tradition we all wear kurtas – a kind of cloth worn by each individual at the time of the festival. There are different types of kurtas designed for each festival. They are well designed and based on the embroidery available in the market.

2. In your opinion, what is the most significant issue facing your country in the present day?

The most significant issue facing India in today’s world is corruption. Our corrupt leaders have deposited huge amounts of black money in the foreign banks, money that was collected in the form of taxes from the innocent citizens of our country. Some honest leaders like Anna Hazare are trying to bring this money back to our home country by fighting with the government. Another issue we are facing is terrorism, which is affecting our daily lives in India.

3. What do you consider to be the most important holiday in your country and how is it celebrated?

Independence Day. We celebrate it on the 15th of August each year. I celebrate it with my colleagues in our office by raising our national flag and sharing sweets with each other, and by singing the national anthem “Jana Gana Mana.” We feel good when singing such patriotic songs.

4. Which part of your country’s history do you find most interesting?

I find Mahatma Gandhi‘s history very interesting. He brought our country to independence through the non-violence method. He never used violence for freedom. He did fasting (bhook-hadtaal). He taught us how to protest against evil through the non-violence method.

5. What languages are spoken your country? How many of those languages do you speak and which ones?

There are various languages spoken in our country like Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, and many more, but Hindi is our national language which we speak with everybody.

6. What is the customary form of greeting in your country?

We greet people by joining hands. In our language we call it namaste. The is the customary form of greeting. Namaste means saying hello by joining two hands.

7. What is the most popular sport in your country?

The most popular sport in my country is cricket and our national hero in sports in Sachin Tendulkar.

8. What is your favorite traditional meal?

Daal (curry) and chawal (rice). It is our traditional meal. It is very simple to prepare. We take the yellow colored daal, boil it, then add Indian masala to make it more tasty. We also put chili powder with it. After putting it on the stove for a few hours, the meal is ready to serve.

9. Do you have a favorite quote or words that you live by?

“Do or die.” Mahatama Gandhi said these words at the time of freedom.

10. What have you learned as a result of experiences with PTPI?

I was once involved in the PTPI Global Youth Forum in Washington D.C. in 2003. I learned many things about our global world. We helped provide school supplies to students in Sri Lanka. We discussed world issues with PTPI friends from all over the world. I visited places like the White House, Capitol Hill, and heard the speech of many senators regarding world affairs, which gave me a lot of knowledge and information. It was my wonderful experience with PTPI.
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