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Incredible India: The land of superstitions!

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by Arpit Gupta
India is a country where superstitions are all around. These are prevailing in the so-called “well-educated Indian society” also. Some have their base in religion and religion-related books, some have the base in the old scientific facts and many of them exist with no conceivable reason as such.

However still, Indian culture is very closely associated with these superstitious beliefs which have a great impact on a typical Indian’s livelihood. Here are the most common superstitious beliefs practised in India among almost all the sections of society:

1) The most common belief with no logical proof is that noone should cross a road which a black cat has crossed before. That’s because the person who first crosses the road would get his luck spoiled and would loose everything he/she has.

2) Another one is about the solar eclipses, which says that no one should venture out during the solar eclipse because those contain deadly rays which show the anger of God. Especially pregnant women are kept indoors to avoid any kind of deformity which may arise in the child about to take birth. In fact, some families avoid cooking or eating anything during the eclipse.

3) One of the most disappointing belief is that women during their menstruation cycle are considered impure and unclean. They are not allowed to enter in the kitchen. This might be called as a good thing to be as during menstruation, women loose lot of blood and become weak so they must be kept away from such manual works. But this step seems something done to subordinate the position of women in the society and probably supports the dominance of males.

4) A common belief seen every day in Indian households is the cutting of nails and hair only on particular days of the week. People say that it’s a sin to cut nails and hair on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Moreover, it is also said that nails should not be cut after sunset .

5) In India, “neg” (present) is given on every pleasant occasion. It is believed that the amount of money presented should always end in 1. It is considered auspicious to add 1 rupee in the amount if the money being given as a present. That is why envelopes in India already come with one rupee coin on them.

6) If someone has visited India once, he or she would have noticed the string of lemon and chillies on the doors of the shops, homes, and offices. These are believed to save from the evil eye and bring good luck. It is believed that the Goddess of poverty likes sour and spicy things so these lemon and chillies satisfy her and she doesn’t harm the person who hangs the lemon and chillies (usually 7 in number).

7) Peepal trees are believed to be the abode of ghosts and spirits. Everyone avoids going there at night. Something disastrous is believed to happen if someone goes near peepal tree during night and people say that the person going near the tree is likely to be killed by the ghosts residing in it.

8) A person born under the influence of Mars is called “Manglik”. People avoid marrying such persons as they are believed to cause marital discord and divorce, sometimes even death. However, it is said that if two such persons marry then the effect of the “mangal dosh” gets cancelled and they can live happily.

9) Snakes are believed to drink milk. On the occasion of a festival called Nagpanchami, snakes are captured and forcefully fed milk as it is considered auspicious. Due to this, a large number of snakes die annually in India.

These are some of the common beliefs which are seen in India and can probably be accounted as the reason behind society’s backwardness. People with great degrees of study are somewhere lagging behind due to this reason. This needs to be changed through a gradual process to clear the way of overall growth and development. If you remember some of the superstitions in India, you are most welcome to add up your comments.

Arpit is a undergraduate student pursuing Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Roorkee. His twitter handle is: @Arpit2476667

2 COMMENTS

  1. India is an ancient country.As it follows the culture of ancient people which were unpleasant now a days to follow those superstitious.when the India stop this type of superstitious that day will be WELL EDUCATED INDIAN SOCIETY

  2. most of the superstitions discussed here apply mainly to Hindus. these beliefs are no longer blindly followed. people have begun to question everything. i, for one don’t care when i cut my nails or if someone is born under the influence of mars.
    also, many superstitions have scientific backing. they had been originally properly thought out and were logical. however, as time passed, these beliefs lost their logic and instead, became in set in stone.

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5 Events Of November Which Are Ideal For Family Vacations

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Events in November which will give you a vacation mood.
Events in November which will give you a vacation mood. Wikimedia.

As we approach the year’s end, Indians not just bid adieu to their summer outfits but also welcome the festival seasons. October and November are two months in India which are full of cultural events and festivals, which make these months, the ideal time for going on family vacations.

Below are the events of November 2017 which you will regret missing. They are worth the try for family vacations:

1.  Dev Deepavali, Varanasi

family vacations
Representational Image. The ghat of holy city Varanasi. 

Varanasi, the holiest city of India, celebrated Dev Deepavali on Kartik Poornima every year. The festival is celebrated with joy. The ghats of Varanasi are lit with beautiful diyas (earthen lamps). God is believed to have descended to the banks of Ganges, to take a holy dip. The festival will take place on November 3, 2017.

 2. Dharamsala International Film Festival

Filmmaker, cinema buffs or all those people interested in the art of films come together of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF). This film festival will witness filmmakers coming from different regions to show films on various issues- socially relevant, contemporary etc. DIFF will take place from November 2 to November 5. If you are a movie buff, then you should immediately pack your bags and seal a date for attending the festival.

3. Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan

Family vacations
Representational Image. Camel Fair is celebrated in Pushkar. Pixabay

Pushkar Camel fair, a cattle fair, in Pushkar which truly defines the real meaning of culture. The Pushkar Camel Fair has been in tradition for a very long time. The fair attracts a huge crowd every year. One of the most ideal and happy places for family vacations. It will take place between 23rd October to 4th November.

Also Read: 7 Beautiful Places To Visit In North East India

4. NH7 Weekender

The five seasons old Indian multi-city music festival has indeed garnered a lot of attention and love from the musically inclined youngsters across the country. It is a combination of national and international studies coming together. In Meghalaya, the event will take place from October 27 to October 28.

5. Guru Purab

family vacations
Sikhs celebrating Guru Purab. Wikimedia.

Guru Purab, one of the most important festivals for Sikhs. The golden temple celebrates it with a lot of joy. The celebration which Amritsar witnesses at this time are unbelievable. It will take place on November 2017. Golden temple is indeed one of the best places for family vacations.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.  She can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

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Ten Tips On How To Boost Self-Confidence | Life Skills

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how to boost self-confidence
How to boost your self confidence. Pixabay

One of the major things which pull back a person before he/she thinks of doing something big is low self-confidence. Despite having the skills and talent in them to achieve heights, they are unsuccessful due to their confidence issues. The fear of becoming a joke in front of 20 people stops us from doing a lot of things in life, and this fear leads to the lack in self-confidence. For a person to grow in life, one needs to win the battle with “self”. We need to have belief in us, which we can achieve a certain thing. But as we say, easier said than done. People around you may advise on how to boost self-confidence but for the person who has experienced knows the best.

However, there is always a scope of improvement in life. One should try their best in boosting their confidence level. Let’s talk about some tips on “how to boost self-confidence”.

10 tips on how to boost self-confidence:

1. Grooming

This is one of the best tips to give someone on being asked the question- how to boost self-confidence. Being presentable and courteous in front of someone makes a great impression. If our impression is good, then we are not scared of being judged by people. And hence, we confidently conduct ourselves and our actions.

2. Always think positive

Success never comes on a plate. While working on something, a lot of negative thoughts may clutter your brain and restrict you from going further. Therefore, the biggest things which can be done to boost self-confidence is not to let failure affect your mind. If you have a positive approach to life and do not fear much about outcomes, your self-confidence will automatically be boosted.

3. Get to know more of you

When you are stepping out to fight your enemy, you need to know every thing about your enemy. In this case, your thoughts are your enemy. Your low self-confidence is your enemy. So, to win the battle, start listening to your thoughts. Introspect your mind. A clear mind has more room for positive thoughts.

Also Read: Why Do We Gossip? Psychology Behind Gossip And More! 

4. Be generous

Being nice to others not just helps in improving your self-image in a big way.

5. Change bad habits

Habits which are unhealthy and negative should not be existing in your lifestyle and should be changed. For example- quitting smoking. Sometimes we don’t realize that how the presence of some habits in our life, act negatively for us. This destroys our self-image and reduces our self-confidence.

6. Smile

A small smile on the face makes you happy and the people surrounding you happier. A little thing can have a chain reaction. Besides, you don’t have to spend money for smiling. So why shy away from being happy. Also, happiness brings positive thoughts which leads to a boost in your self-confidence.

7. Follow your principles

Standing for righteousness and sticking by your principles always makes you a better person in life. This way, you already have a clear goal in life. You already know what should be done and what should not be done. This clears your mind’s clutter and allows you in being confident in whatever you do.

8. Always be prepared

It’s difficult to be confident about something for which you have not prepared yourself. For example, think about an exam. If you haven’t studied well, you won’t have the confidence of doing well in it. Therefore, it is important to be well prepared. This is the most followed tip in learning how to boost self-confidence.

9. Speak slowly

A person some power or authority always speaks slowly and clearly. This shows the mark of being self-confident. A person who just hurries with talks appears to be someone who wants to avoid things or just get away with them. Practicing your talk helps increase your confidence.

10. Be more competitive

If you are more competitive in life, you work harder to achieve certain goals. This competition automatically boosts your self-confidence and leads to a brighter life.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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United nations
India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)