A Belgian in India
A Belgian's Spice Odyssey: Unveiling India's Culture, Colors, and Soul
Hello, I’m Noémie Paté, and I’m from Belgium. I went to India to meet my boyfriend’s family. After a 12-hour journey, I reached Rohtak, in the state of Haryana.
I greeted his parents with a respectful 'Namaste ji,' which translates to ‘I bow to you, sir/madam’. I greeted his grandmother with 'Ram Ram'. It is a greeting associated with the god Lord Rama. It invokes his blessings and conveys goodwill.
Most Indians show care and respect for animals by being vegetarian. Also by placing food bowls outside their homes to feed roaming monkeys, dogs, and cows. Singing monks also wander the streets. They forsake material possessions for spiritual enlightenment. Locals offer them food, and they receive blessings in return.
Encountering a European was a rare occurrence for many locals, so when they saw me, they would ask me many questions. Once, a groom was headed to his wedding, and he invited me to dance with them.
Indians treat everyone as family. It was heart-warming when elderly people called me daughter, people my age called me sister, and children greeted me as auntie.
I also attended a four-day wedding. On the first day, we throw “haldi” (turmeric) on the bride and groom, to give them healthy skin, then we dance, and they exchange rings. On the second day, the couple celebrate separately. On the wedding day, the couple got married by circling the fire seven times, symbolizing their eternal bond. Rooted in Hindu belief, they embraced the concept of seven reincarnations, pledging to remain together throughout each lifetime. On the last day, the groom’s family welcomed the bride, we danced and feasted for the newly-weds.
I learned that treating everyone as family creates strong bonds, cultivates empathy, mutual care and support.
I recommend visiting India and immersing yourself in this rich culture.
A gift for Comundos
Over the years, Comundos has helped remote communities around the world by teaching critical thinking, media literacy and the use of communication technology.
To do this effectively, we need your support for computers, translations, courses and social media management.
Thank you .
BE11 1030 2973 8248