A Taste of India India’s Weather • Most of India has a tropical climate with three main seasons. • October to March is cool 24-25°C and dry. • April to May is hot 28-31°C and dry. • June to September is hot 27-31°C and very wet – the MONSOON season. • During the Monsoon season India experiences very strong winds and very heavy rainfall. Travelling across India • The landscape of India is very varied. • In the north there are the mountain ranges of the HIMALAYAS. The highest peak in the Himalayas is MOUNT EVEREST. • South of the Himalayas is a huge flat area through which the RIVER GANGES flows. • Southern India is an area of high flat land called the Deccan Plateau. Hinduism • Most people in India follow the HINDU religion. • Hindus believe that Hindu gods and goddesses represent the different qualities and powers of one supreme God. • Hindus have many festivals and celebrations, for example DIWALI. • Hindus believe that the place where any rivers meet is sacred. Platforms called ghats are built to enable pilgrims to bathe more easily in the RIVER GANGES. Diwali • For most Hindus, Diwali is the most important festival of the year. It takes place at the end of October. • Various traditional stories are remembered at Diwali, for example the story of RAMA AND SITA. • Hindus decorate their homes and temples with rows of lights called DIVAS. • There are big family celebrations with feasts and fireworks. • Elephants have been a symbol of India for many centuries and are still ridden in festival processions. • Special patterns called RANGOLIS are drawn on the floor with coloured powders. They believe that they will bring good luck to the house. Cooking and eating in India • Indian food is colourful and uses many spices. • Indians eat different meals depending on what is grown in the area in which they live, and their religion. • Many Indians are vegetarians. Hindus do not eat beef and Muslims do not eat pork. • Although knives and forks are used in India, eating with the fingers of your right hand is considered good manners. You are able to feel and appreciate the texture of the food. Cooking and eating in India • Daal is the Indian word for pulses, like lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans. These pulses are used to make a stew-like dish called Daal. • Ghee is a form of butter used in cooking. • Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. It is bright yellow and is considered a symbol of hospitality. • Turmeric is a yellow spice used in curries and is thought to be lucky. • Red chillies are very hot! They are used in curries. • Ginger is a root used in curries and is added to tea. • Mango is called the ‘King of Fruits’ in India and is used in Indian ice-cream called Kulfi. How much can you remember?
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