Preete - Eric's mum came to talk to us about life in India. They have a national language called Hindi but there are 29 states each with their own languages. Eric speaks, his own state language, Hindi AND english! Eric's family comes from Caralah in the south of the continent. She bought in lots of examples of the spices they use for different meats. Some of them are HOT. Curries have lots of spices and if one is missing from the mix the curry won't taste right. In NZ although we might come from different places in NZ we all have the same culture (mostly) but in india every state has a different culture, different food, different clothes. It is part of indian culture to have the whole family - mum and dad, their parents, all the children all living to together to look after the old people because it is a disgrace to leave the old people on their own. Lots of respect for the elders. The women are meant to do the housework...some things are slowly changing. In the north of the country the rich are very rich and the poor are very poor.
The national animal is the tiger. If you see an elephant ornament with tusks it is s boy. The boy elephants are used for festivals and they get painted and decorated. They take part in the festivals for many years and they enjoy it. Elephants help with work and are like part of the family. The mahout is the person who looks after the elephants.
The sari is all hand embroidered. The piece of fabric would stretch right across the classroom. Now that Preeti is grown up she can wind it round herself. She had beautiful sparkles on her forehead called bindi. She has a beautiful gold necklace that she got from her husband when she got married like a wedding ring. Some cultures the girl wears a ring on their middle toe.
Eric's family is christian. There are more christian's in the south than in the north.
Onhm is a hindu new year celebration. The people draw beautiful designs on the ground in front of their house and colour it in with whole flowers! The festival is in August.