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India grade 8


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India grade 8

  2. 2. *1. India is about 1/3 the size of the United States, yet it is the second most populous country in the world, with a population of 1,166,079,217. India is the seventh largest country in the world, at 1.27 million square miles. *2. India is the largest democracy in the world.
  3. 3. *3. The Kumbh Mela (or Grand Pitcher Festival) is a huge Hindu religious festival that takes place in India every 12 years. In 2001, 60 million people attended, breaking the record for the world’s biggest gathering. The mass of people was photographed from space by a satellite. *4. Many Indians find toilet paper repellent and consider it cleaner to splash water with the left hand in the appropriate direction. Consequently, the left hand is considered unclean and is never used for eating.
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  5. 5. * 5. To avoid polluting the elements (fire, earth, water, air), followers of Zoroastrianism in India don’t bury their dead, but instead leave bodies in buildings called “Towers of Silence” for the vultures to pick clean. After the bones dry, they are swept into a central well. * 6. It is illegal to take Indian currency (rupees) out of India. * 7. India leads the world with the most murders (32,719), with Russia taking second at 28,904 murders per year. * 8. India has one of the world’s highest rates of abortion. * 9. More than a million Indians are millionaires, yet most Indians live on less than two dollars a day. An estimated 35% of India’s population lives below the poverty line. * 10. Cows can be found freely wandering the streets of India’s cities. They are considered sacred and will often wear a tilak, a Hindu symbol of good fortune. Cows are considered one of humankind’s seven mothers because they offer milk as does one’s natural mother.
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  7. 7. * 12. Rabies is endemic in India. Additionally, “Delhi Belly” or diarrhea is commonplace due to contaminated drinking water. * 13. Many Indian wives will never say their husband’s name aloud, as it is a sign of disrespect. When addressing him, the wife will use several indirect references, such as “ji” or “look here” or “hello,” or even refer to him as the father of her child. * 1 4. A widow is considered bad luck—otherwise, her husband wouldn’t have died. Elderly women in the village might call a widow “the one who ate her husband.” In some orthodox families, widows are not allowed near newlyweds or welcomed at social gatherings. * 15. India is the birthplace of chess. The original word for “chess” is the Sanskrit chaturanga, meaning “four members of an army”— which were mostly likely elephants, horses, chariots, and foot soldiers.
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  10. 10. *18. The earliest cotton in the world was spun and woven in India. Roman emperors would wear delicate cotton from India that they would call “woven winds.” Mogul emperors called the fabrics “morning dew” and “cloth of running water.” *19. In ancient and medieval India, suttees, in which a recently widowed woman would immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre, were common. *20. The Himalayas—from the Sanskrit hima, meaning “snow,” and alaya, meaning “abode”—are found in the north of India. They extend 1,500 miles and are slowly growing taller, by almost an inch (2.5 cm) a year. Several ancient Indian monasteries are found nestled in the grandeur of these mountains. *21. India is the world’s largest producer of dried beans, such as kidney beans and chickpeas. It also leads the world in banana exports; Brazil is second.
  11. 11. *22. In India, the fold and color of clothing are viewed as important markers of social classification. Additionally, a woman will be viewed as either a prostitute or a holy person depending on the manner in which she parts her hair. *23. With 150,000 post offices, India has the largest postal network in the world. However, it is not unusual for a letter to take two weeks to travel just 30 miles. *24. In India, grasping one’s ears signifies repentance or sincerity
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  13. 13. *26. Indians hold prominent places both internationally and in the United States. For example, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems (Vinod Khosla), the creator of the Pentium chip (Vinod Dahm), the founder/creator of Hotmail (Sabeer Bhatia), and the GM of Hewlett-Packard (Rajiv Gupta) are all Indian. *27. Alexander the Great of Macedon (356-323 B.C.) was one of the first important figures to bring India into contact with the West. After his death, a link between Europe and the East would not be restored until Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) landed in Calicut, India, in 1498.
  14. 14. *28. The British Raj, or British rule, lasted from 1858 to 1947 (although they had a strong presence in India since the 1700s). British influence is still seen in Indian architecture, education system, transportation, and politics. Many of India’s worst famines are associated with British rule in India. *29. Every major world religion is represented in India. Additionally, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism all originated in India. *30. About 80% of Indians are Hindu. Muslims are the largest minority in India and form approximately 13% of the country’s population. In fact, India has the third largest population of Muslims in the world, after Indonesia and Pakistan.
  15. 15. *32. Mumbai (Bombay) is India’s largest city, with a population of 15 million. In 1661, British engineers built a causeway uniting all seven original islands of Bombay into a single landmass. *33. Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) is known around the world as Mahatma, which is an honorific title meaning “Great Soul” in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. He devoted his life to free India from British rule peacefully and based his campaign on civil disobedience. His birthday, October 2, is a national holiday.
  16. 16. * 34. The lotus is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. The Bahá'í house of worship in Delhi, known as the “Lotus Temple,” is shaped like a lotus flower with 27 gigantic “petals” that are covered in marble.
  17. 17. *35. The banyan, or Indian fig tree, is considered a symbol of immortality and is mentioned in many Indian myths and legends. This selfrenewing plant is India’s national tree. *36. Marigold flowers are used as decoration for Hindu marriages and are a symbol of good fortune and happiness.
  18. 18. *37. The official name of India is the Republic of India. The name “India” derives from the River Indus, which most likely is derived from the Sanskrit sindhu, meaning “river.” The official Sanskrit name of India is Bharat, after the legendary king in the epic Mahabharata. *38. Introduced by the British, cricket is India’s most popular sport. Hockey is considered the national sport, and the Indian field hockey team proudly won Olympic gold in 1928. *39. Indians made significant contributions to calculus, trigonometry, and algebra. The decimal system was invented in India in 100 B.C. The concept of zero as a number is also attributed to India. *40. The national fruit of India is the mango. The national bird is the peacock, which was initially bred for food. *41. Most historians agree that the first recorded account of plastic surgery is found in ancient Indian Sanskrit texts.
  19. 19. * 42. India experiences six seasons: summer, autumn, winter, spring, summer monsoon, and winter monsoon. * 43. India is the world’s largest tea producer, and tea (chai) is its most popular beverage. * 44. The Taj Mahal (“crown palace”) was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631). This architectural beauty has been called “marbled embroidery” for its intricate workmanship. It took 22,000 workmen 22 years to complete it. * 45. The first and greatest civilization in ancient India developed around the valley of the Indus River (now Pakistan) around 3000 B.C. Called the Indus Valley civilization, this early empire was larger than any other empire, including Egypt and Mesopotamia