Author S.G. Basu shares 10 fun facts about her home country of India.
Mark Twain describes the country of my birth better than I anyone else. Here is my lovely India in his words:
“India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”
For a country as vast and rich in history and traditions as India is, there are a zillion fun facts about it that I could go on listing. Picking only ten out of all those is almost as hard as editing the first draft of a novel. I did manage it somehow. After a lot of back and forth, I found for you a few of the fun facts, some known and some little known:
1. India is the largest democracy in the world
With a population of 1.3 Billion, India is the largest democracy in the world.
2. The world’s second-largest English speaking country
India is second only to the USA when it comes to speaking English with around 125 million people speaking the language.
3. The many languages of India
According to Ethnologue, India is home to 461 languages. Most of these languages have their distinct script as well. The common official languages are Hindi and English.
4. India has a spa just for elephants
Elephants receive baths, massages and even food at the Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard Rejuvenation Centre in Kerala.
5. Snakes and ladders and Chess originated in India
Earlier known as Moksha Patamu, the game was initially invented as a moral lesson about karma to be taught to children. It was later commercialized and has become one of the most popular board games in the world.
Chess is believed to have originated in India, before the 7th century; the Indian game of chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of xiangqi, janggi and shogi.
6. Yoga was born in India
The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions. It likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India’s ascetic and sramana movements.
7. Shampooing is an Indian concept
Shampooing, the method of cleaning hair by use of herbs, was invented in India. The word ‘shampoo’ has been derived from the Sanskrit word champu, which means to massage.
8. Kumbh Mela—the world’s biggest gathering of humans
100 million people come to India’s Kumbh Mela Festival, the world’s biggest gathering of humans.
9. Largest number of vegetarians in the world
Either due to religious reasons or personal choices or both, around 20-40% of Indians are vegetarians, making it the largest vegetarian-friendly country in the world.
10. Largest postal network
India has the largest postal network in the world with over 1, 55,016 post offices. A single post office on an average serves a population of 7,175 people.
India, my birthplace and the country that has shaped my soul, is an experience that can barely be understood by these snippets. They are a fascinating peek nonetheless, a glimpse of the tip of the enormous iceberg that is India.
Title: Maia and the Xifarian Conspiracy (The Lightbound Saga #1) by S. G. Basu
Published: January 18th, 2014
Genre: YA Science Fiction Fantasy
Content Warning: Mild Violence
Recommended Age: 13+
She wants out, but destiny has other plans . . .
Thirteen-year-old Maia sets out denying the existence of her turncoat mother and ends up finding out a truth that makes her wish her mother was just that–a treacherous double-crosser she could hate. Because sometimes, knowing a hero can be more terrifying than knowing a villain. And being part of a lofty cause can come at a terrible price.
Add Maia and the Xifarian Conspiracy to your Goodreads shelf.
Other books in the series:
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About the Author
S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Books have been an important part of Ms. Basu’s life. Even before she had learned to read on her own, she spent hours wandering in the stories her mother read to her. Soon enough, she was weaving a tapestry of magical tales of her own. Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books. She shares her home with a large collection of Legos, a patient husband, and resident inspiration and entertainer, her daughter.