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Five weirdest things encountered in a foreign country that would be totally normal for locals

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Here are five anecdotes from travelers encountering the weirdest things other cultures do seemingly standard stuff. Well, let us see how funny some of these differences can be, especially when you look at them from both perspectives:-

(source: Reddit)

  1. In the country of Samoa, in the evening time around 7:00 in most villages, dozens of men go out to stand out in the road in front of their homes and blow on conches to mark the quiet prayer time. It is illegal to be anywhere walking in the village, to be loud, etc, for the length of the 5-10 min of prayer.So if you were already walking around in the village, what would you do? You will have sat down right there and start praying. (username:crappenheimers)

2.  Similarly in Costa Rica, If you want to go somewhere you have to know the landmarks around that area as there are no addresses. So in case you have to reach a hotel, the diresctions will be like, 7 km from Burger King. It  becomes a trouble sometimes for the tourists but thats how they function.(username: VicVictory)

3. In one more case, In a US military installation, when the national anthem plays. Everyone just freezes, faces the nearest flag, and salutes. Once it’s over we all resume our lives.(username: TheGuyWithThePie)

4. This one is an epic one as in South Africa they call traffic lights ‘robots’. So if you have to ask “How can i get to the grocery store?”, the reply would be ,”just drive straight till the next robot and take a right”. (username:hett)

5. And at last in the Middle East, men holding hands is a common sight,despite the extreme social taboo against homosexuality in most parts of the Middle East (it’s also usually a capital offence), men holding hands is a perfectly normal and acceptable sign of friendship, rather than the signifier of a romantic relationship that it would be in the West.(username:dog_not_god)

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Significance of Touching Someone’s Feet in Hinduism

Pluralism, respect and patience are incorporated in Hinduism since its birth. With culture and traditions being so close to Hinduism, read why it is considered respectful to touch your elder's feet

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Elder's feet
In Hinduism, younger person touches the feet of an elder person out of respect and love. Wikimedia
  • Tradition and culture is vital to the Hindu religion
  • The scriptures and teachings of the religion educate us about respect and dignity
  • One of the many traditions is touching feet of elders out of respect and get blessings

June 22, 2017: Hindus have been carrying their historic traditions since many years. Westernization has been welcomed in our lives but not with the elimination of our own culture and heritage. There are many traditions that are exclusive to Hindu tradition, one of the very famous is the touching feet of elders to earn their blessings.

ALSO READ: What Significance Rudraksha holds in Hinduism?

But what is the significance of touching the feet of elders:

Tradition of “Touching feet of elders” has been continuing since so many generations and is still taught to the children today? 

Firstly, touching feet of elders is a form of pranam (greeting). Namaste is another popular form of greeting somebody. Foot touching, however, is a form for the young to greet the elder.

Secondly, the saying “everytime you bow you receive a blessing” is a part of Hindu philosophy. Certainly, the elders bless the younger one when the latter bends to touch their feet. “Sada Khush Raho” (Stay content forever) or more traditionally “Ayushman Bhava” (May you live long) is a common response to the traditional act.

Therefore, while it may seem odd to the other cultures when they witness this act, it is eternal to the Hindu culture. Of course, like any other ritual, touching elder’s feet should not be imposed upon the young person, rather, should come from within.

The Right Way of Touching Feet Of Elders

To understand this, we must first know the right way of touching one’s feet. Bend the upper half of your body, ideally without bending your knees, and stretch both your arms – with your head between them – to touch the feet of the elder. Obvious that it is, the fingertips of your left hand should touch the right foot of the elder and your right hand should be on their left foot. The elder person should now touch the top of your head with their right hand.

The Scientific explanation of touching feet Of Elders:

The nerves that start from our brain spread across all your body. These nerves or wires end in the fingertips of your hand and feet. When you join the fingertips of your hand to those of their opposite feet, a circuit is immediately formed and the energies of two bodies are connected. Your fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of energy and the feet of other person become the ‘giver’ of energy.

Usually, the person of whose feet you are touching is either old or pious. When they accept your respect which came from your reduced ego (and is called your shraddha) their hearts emit positive thoughts and energy (which is called their karuna) which reaches you through their hands and toes.

In essence, the completed circuit enables flow of energy and increases cosmic energy, switching on a quick connect between two minds and hearts. To an extent, the same is achieved through handshakes and hugs. Ever wondered why you suddenly feel better after a firm handshake or an affectionate hug? Now you know. You should feel the same after touching feet of a good soul, provided you do it the right way.

Some schools of thought say older people absorb sin from younger people, which I’m yet to believe and accept, so my explanation of science behind touching feet in India ends here.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

 

 

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India: Cultural Apps for your Phone that may Elevate your Thoughts!

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Cultural Apps
Cultural Apps for your Phone that may Elevate your Thoughts. Pixabay

June 18, 2017:

Will Durant, an American philosopher, once said-

 

“India was the motherland of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages: she was the mother of our philosophy, mother of much of our mathematics; mother of ideals embodied in Christianity; mother of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.”

India is the oldest civilization in the world, popular in other countries for its strong spiritual inclination and sustaining its old culture and heritage.These must have cultural apps for your phone will help you stay in touch with your true Indian side…

1. AstroSage Kundli: Free Application based on Indian Astrology/ Vedic Astrology. AstroSage Kundli is your go-to application for Kundalis, Birth Charts, and Horoscopes. The app has an inbuilt Hindu calendar. Google Maps support the large city atlas with thousands of cities. In addition, the app has cloud service that subsequently can be opened on the website. It has a more than 5,000,000+ downloads. Find it here.

Cultural Apps
Hindu Astrology. Wikimedia

2. Vastu Shastra: With over 100,000+ downloads on the play store, the Vastu Shastra app brings rightful living and fulfillment. It is the ancient science of architecture and decoration. The application is based on both Hindi and English. It elaborates the fundamentals of Vastu Shastra and the impact on life. Download the app here.

Must Have Apps
Vastu Shastra. Wikimedia

3. Sahaja Yoga: Yoga is a big part of the Indian culture. The Sahaja Yoga is a meditation technique to achieve bliss and self-realization. It is also a powerful way to reduce stress and improve the quality of life. The app has 10,000+ downloads on the play store. Sahaja Yoga for Android can be found here.

Must have apps
Yoga is also a good physical exercise. Wikimedia

4. Indian History in Hindi: Self-proclaimed “Android’s best Hindi Reader App” has over 100,000+ downloads. It provides a convenient way to quickly grasp historic events in India. You can customize your reading experience through features such as fonts and full-screen reading (+landscape mode). It covers all ages of India starting from BC. It has various subjects including History, Politics, Geography and Economics. You can download the app here.

Must have apps
Indian Territory. Wikimedia

 

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Facebook Messenger launches “Instant Games” in 30 Countries to get Users Spend more time on its Messaging App

The 17 "Instant Games" from classic developers like Bandai Namco, Konami and Taito, as well as newer studios like Zynga and King, are available on newer iOS and Android devices

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Facebook logo, VOA

New York, Nov 30, 2016: Facebook Messenger on Wednesday launched “Instant Games” in 30 countries to get users spend more time on its messaging app.

According to a report in Tech Crunch, the 17 “Instant Games” from classic developers like Bandai Namco, Konami and Taito, as well as newer studios like Zynga and King, are available on newer iOS and Android devices, and can be found by hitting the game controller icon in Facebook Messenger threads next to the photos and stickers buttons.

These games are built on the HTML5 mobile web standard and open instantly once screen is tapped.

Though its payment revenue has declined to $196 million in the latest quarter, 15 percent of time on Facebook is still spent playing games. (IANS)