All posts tagged: Culture

hand holding a sparkling sparkler stick against a black background

Celebrating the Festival of Lights: Diwali

Diwali is for India what Christmas is for most of the Western world. The lights, gifts, food, and the fun family times are the highlights of this festive season. Diwali gifts are usually in the form of food or something for the entire family, instead of individual gifts. Even if you don’t pray or celebrate the traditional way, it’s easy to be swept up in the fervour of the festival in your own style. Afterall, who can refuse a day filled with food and festivities with loved ones?
As a kid, I remember our whole joint family lending a hand to get ready for the festivities. In those simpler times, birthdays and Diwali would be the only times in the year we would get new clothes. Sweets and savouries would be made at home since there were limited choices in the stores. These would be gifted to friends and neighbours and the rest devoured by all of us at home.
How has the festival changed over the years? Also, things you can do to make your celebrations even more brighter.

The 216 ft golden statue of Ramanujacharya against a light blue sky: the statue of equality in Hyderabad, India

Things to do in Hyderabad—Statue of Equality

Statue of Equality in Hyderabad is an impressive 216 feet statue is of Shri Ramanujacharya who was a 10th Century Hindu philosopher and social reformer. It is the second tallest sitting statue in the world.
The Statue of Equality complex from the outside looks radiant in the daylight. The golden statue towering above all else is awe-inspiring. The place resonates with positive vibrations with the chantings.
Find out more about things to do in Hyderabad this weekend.

Brightly coloured mirror work art called Lippan Art is a traditional folk art from India. this decorative piece in primary colours and geometric pattern is surrounded by house plants

Indian Traditional Art Forms—Lippan Art for Beginners

Indian folk art has so many treasures to offer. Art is one of the things that unites the country.
One such form of traditional Indian art is Lippan art. Lippan art comes from the deserts of Kutch in Gujarat. They can be as colourful or subtle as you want them to be, embellished with tiny mirrors that sparkle and twinkle in the sun or moonlight.
Learn how to make this mirror work art or Lippan art at home. Lippan art for beginners doesn’t need a lot of expertise or expensive materials. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon indoors doing DIY projects with kids.

Hampi stone chariot depicted in the indian currency notes

Hyderabad to Hampi Road Trip: A Travel Guide

If you’re looking to travel in India, Hampi should definitely be on your travel list. Hampi is a World UNESCO Site and the entire town is filled with historical relics.
We drove to Hampi from Hyderabad. You can also travel by train, which has a more scenic view and is a more relaxing journey.
Everywhere you look, you’ll find some monument worth exploring.
The ruins take you back to a vibrant temple city rich in history and it provides the perfect backdrop for stunning photographs.

Hyderabad's Golconda Fort view

Things to do in Hyderabad: Golconda Fort & Taramati Baradari

If you are visiting Hyderabad anytime soon, the Golconda Fort is one landmark you need to add to your itinerary. Golconda Fort is a vast fortified complex with an interesting history. This historical monument often gets overshadowed by the city’s more famous tourist attraction, Charminar. However, a trip here is surely worth your while.
Don’t forget to visit the nearby Qutb Shahi Tombs and Taramati Baradari which are also linked to the fort’s history.

child in santa hat looking in wonder at christmas decorations

Christmas gift ideas for kids that are not toys

Christmas time is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Unfortunately, it can also be a time when we spoil our kids with toys that they do not need. Don’t get me wrong—I love toys; I think they’re necessary for a child’s physical and mental growth. But look for toys that are not just a fad and can genuinely be used to expand their creativity and imagination. However, there are other alternative gift ideas that kids will genuinely love and want to use.
It is crucial as a parent to teach our children that no matter what gift we give them is not the purpose of the holiday. It is about the meaning of Christmas and the child’s interaction with their family. Gifting should be more about the time spent and quality time than about the gift itself.

hawa mahal Jaipur facade

Colourful Jaipur in 2 Days: Best spots for photo ops

Jaipur is one of the favourite cities in India for destination weddings. No wonder—with all its palaces and lavish hospitality, you’re made to feel like royalty. Even the locals cannot resist all the photo ops the city offers. Every landmark, even the streets in Jaipur, were filled with people and couples with a camera crew trying to get a shot to last a lifetime!
Check out this itinerary for Jaipur in 2 days

indian bride and groom holding hands and circling the fire as part of the wedding rituals

Ruminations on the Exhilarating Big Fat Indian Wedding

It is the wedding season here in India, and social media is filled with pictures of people getting married or attending a wedding. Weddings of all sizes from different cultures are being celebrated in intimate or large gatherings.
There is, of course, no right or wrong way to celebrate. Some like the extra attention, while others prefer to minimise the fuss and find the whole concept of a wedding to be a waste of resources. 
I find myself on the fence about this debate. While I prefer simplicity and ease, there is something to be said about making a grand entrance.

Exploring India: On the Buddha’s Trail

Bihar has multiple places of interest for travellers—history, religion, nature, culture, or just plain fun—whatever your interest, you’ll find something to do. We wanted to explore part of the Buddha trail near Patna, starting from Rajgir and going up to Bodh Gaya. We had about three days to cover as much as we could, so we had to skip many places we would’ve gone had we had some more time.