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Beth's India

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Daily Life in India

Depeeka-  a young girl in India, writes about her everyday life.

Depeeka:
My name is Depeeka*. I am an Indian girl and I live in the city of Varanasi, which lays on the banks of the river Ganges which, we call India s holy river. Varanasi is a very old city and every day thousands of pilgrims and tourists arrive in order to bathe in the holy waters of the Ganges. I work six days a week in a foreign household, sometimes ten hours a day. My salary is a few rupees a month. But I am not complaining; on the contrary I am happy to have found such a job. Families who have no job at all live in the streets and often go hungry.  live in an average family with ten children. In our society children are the best insurance for old age. Because who will keep his parents fed? My four brothers all go to school. I would also love to learn how to read and write, but everybody says girls belong in the house and need no education.The Indian population is still organised according to caste. Just recently I went with my mother to the river Ganges in order to dry some freshly -washed clothes. We also had to pass an area of town where low caste people live. I asked my mother about the reasons and she explained rather unwillingly that these people are Untouchables and are not welcome in the lives of the other people. Their children cannot attend school and they are not allowed to have close contact with high caste people. I was quite shocked! What reasons could there be for such harsh restrictions?We girls and women wear a sari. This is nothing more than a six-meter long piece of textile made of cotton or silk. Once it is wrapped around the body the end is placed over the shoulder. The traditional cloth for men is the dhoti. The material is usually white cotton and the textile is wound around the hips and the ends are pulled through the legs. The red point the women wear on the front is called bindi. For this spot cinnabar is used. Once a woman is married she also colours the top of her head with a red line.  India is the biggest democracy in the world. There are one billion people living here and all the Indian cities are overpopulated. Unfortunately because of all the pollution of the rivers and the cities we still have lots of sicknesses and diseases that no longer exist in Europe. But I personally would wish to increase literacy! 
 
 
* Note: this is a fictional girl and story, but very typical of Indian culture.