Wednesday, 5 April 2017

What's for Dinner? (Green Doesn't have to be Always Boring)- Pri

Yummy recipes Aish! Thanks for Sharing.

Today, I am sharing what we ate for dinner and the recipes. Healthy food can be interesting and tasty too. Here is the menu, with ingredients-list and the method of preparation;




Broccoli and Yam Creamy Soup:


Ingredients:


One head of Broccoli
One medium Yam
1 small Onion
1 Green Chili
Half a teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
Few Garlic cloves
A teaspoon of Butter
Salt and Pepper
Basil or other Herbs (optional)
2 cups of water.
Half a cup of milk.

Method:


1. In a pressure cooker, add butter. Once butter melts add cumin seeds, garlic, green chili, and onion. Saute well.

      2. Then add cut Broccoli and Yam. Mix well.

      3. Add salt, pepper and herbs.

      4.  Add water and close the cooker. Wait for a few whistles and switch of the stove.

      5. Once the pressure comes down, open the lid and blend the soup in a regular mixer or use a hand mixer.

      6. Add milk and bring the soup to boil. Adjust salt and serve hot.

Tips:


 * Add any vegetables of your choice.
      *  Add Barley or even lentils, for a healthier soup.




Mixed Dhal and Rice Adai


Ingredients:


1 cup of Rice
¼ cup of Urad Dhal (Black Gram)
¼ cup Toor Dhal (Pigeon Peas)
¼ cup of Channa Dhal (Split Bengal Gram)
¼ cup of split Green Moong Dhal (Green Gram) or yellow split moong Dhal
2 Green Chillies (Or Red Chillies)
One inch Ginger
Quarter teaspoon of Hing (Asafetida)
1 -2 tablespoons shredded Coconut (Optional)
Salt

Method:


1.  Wash rice and Dhals, and soak for at least two hours.


2. Grind along with the other ingredients into a thick course batter. (Grind into a thin smooth batter if you want to make Dosa-style Adai.


3. On a skillet pour batter as desired and cook with some oil. (Thick batter needs to be cooked on medium heat for longer time on both sides.)


 4. Add vegetable toppings if desired (Carrot, Onion, Capsicum…)

Tips:


* If you have less time then, grind the batter into a fine paste and make thin dosa style Adai.  It cooks very quickly unlike traditional Adai, where each Adai takes at least 5 minutes to  cook on a medium heat.
 If you want to save time grind vegetables like Carrot, Spinach and Beetroot along with the batter. Bonus- Kids won’t know they are eating veggies!

Coriander and Mint Chutney


Ingredients:

One cup of mint leaves
Some Coriander leaves
One small tomato
One onion
One Green Chili
One Red Chili
Small piece of Ginger
A Garlic Clove
1 teaspoon Urad dal
1 teaspoon of Channna Dal
Salt
A bit of Tamarind (Optional)

Method:


 1. On a skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil, sautΓ© the ingredients over medium heat.

      2. At the end, add the greens and switch off the heat.

      3. Allow the mixture to cool, add salt and grind into a fine paste.

      4. Transfer into an air tight container for storage.

Tips:


* Add tempering on the chutney to enhance the flavors. 
(Heat a teaspoon of oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, whole red Chili, urad dal and Hing)
      * Squeeze a little bit of lemon/ Lime juice for a better taste.


Avocado Milk Shake


Ingredients:


One ripe Avocado
A cup of milk (Full fat or Skim)
Some water if using full fat milk
Sugar to taste

Method:

 1.  Cut, de-seed the Avocado and put the pulp in the mixer.

      2. Add milk, water and sugar.

      3. Grind into a smoothie.


Tips:


Use ripe Avocado for best taste.
* Replace sugar with Dates, Brown Sugar or Honey.

Hope you liked the recipes. Do let us know what you liked, and share your tips with us. Happy Cooking! 






Friday, 31 March 2017

Festive Relishes : UGADI (New Year Delicacies) - Aish

UGADI - New Year to all Indian people hailing from the southern states of Karnataka, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh. Ugadi is celebrated by welcoming the New Year with happiness, love and prosperity.


Image : Dreamstime

On this auspicious day, People tie Mango leaves [Aam ki pathiyaan in Hindi; Maa Ilai in Tamil ; Maavadi Aagu in Telugu] in front of their homes. Mango leaves are considered auspicious  as it symbolizes abundant growth and is a fertile crop.

People do poojas/prayers to God by offering Prasad - Fruits, Cooked rice with dal and "UGADI Pachadi" - a slurpy dish with varied ingredients exhibiting all the tastes together embarking our life's journey.

Image: Dreamstime

In most of the South Indian homes people eat the food served on the banana leaf as they -
^ are hygiene (a simple sprinkle of water cleanses the leaf),

^ act as an antioxidant by restoring the good cells in fighting diseases.

^ are large in size to fit the surplus South Indian meal.

^ are economy friendly and serve as food for animals like cows, goats etc.

^ are portable and easy to carry food for one's travel.

The taste of sweetness with Jaggery, sourness with mango, bitterness with neem, salt for neutrality, spiciness with pepper indicates our entire life chapter. 

These depict the necessities of such vital ingredients in one's food and life with a pinch of touch in each without any adequacy from either of them. A Smooth Life soothes our soul!

Relishing Recipe 7

How to Make Ugadi Pachadi


For Sweetness - Take a small amount of jaggery in warm water, stir it well until the jaggery dissolves completely. Then strain the water in a container.

For Sourness - Cut a part of a raw mango into tiny slices and add them to the container.

For Bitterness - Take few neem flowers and add them to the container.

For Neutrality - Add a pinch of salt. Salt reduces bitterness and brings out the flavors of other subtle ingredients. If a dish tastes flat or spicy or bitter, a little salt will help you get the right taste.

For Spice - Add a pinch of pepper powder instead of red chilly powder. Pepper not only gives less spice but it is good for our health too.

• After offering to God take up three tablespoons of this dish sharing with all your folks.

Many would add coconut too for more taste. But for a quick, healthy, simple and less time consuming this Ugadi Pachadi not only adds the flavor and taste but enhances to start up an enthusiatic New year with pompous and satisfaction.

Mostly people would prepare Puran poli and Vada on this auspicious day. To relish these mouthwatering dishes let us feast in Festive Relishes : Bhogi - Aish.

Also to add more healthy delicacies on such festivals let us also try some variety with  Sago/Sabudana - Aish which is not only healthy but is easy to prepare too. 








Thursday, 30 March 2017

Quick Munch : Sago - Aish

SAGO - What is it and Why : The Benefits

Sago, is processed from the Tapioca root known as Casava. Sago rich in carbohydrates contains the starch extracted from tapioca resembling as small white pearls.


Sago in India are referred with different names : Sabudana in Hindi ; Javvarisi in Tamil ; Saggubiyyam in Telugu. Many varieties of dishes are prepared from Sago in India like Sabudana Kheer (Sweetened Pudding), Khichdi, Vada etc (Preparation with veggies and condiments).

Sago, rich in carbohydrates and low in fat when combined together with vitamins + minerals from the vegetables and proteins from the condiments enrich the nutritional value.
Thus, mostly during the days of fast in India, people prefer this dish.

Relishing Recipe 8

SABUDANA KHEER


A sweet Indian pudding with Sago/ Tapioca pearls

▪ Soak 1 cup of Sago for an hour in water after rinsing out the excess starch from it.

▪ Heat the soaked Sago with some water in a sauce pan covering it with a lid.

▪ On the other hand, heat the milk in a container without fully boiling it for few minutes.

▪ Add the heated milk onto the saucepan with Sago and stir it occasionally.

▪ Add sugar/jaggery (jaggery contains iron which is good for health), cardomom/elaichi powder.
Stir occasionally  for 25 to 30 minutes till the sago turns out soft with shining pearls.

▪ Garnish it with tiny bits of cashews, raisins and saffron strands or with fruits like mango, grapes, apples etc and serve it warm or cold.

A yummy and healthy sweet pudding is ready to eat loved by all!

As we know, with Sago one could prepare many healthy recipes, herewith let us prepare a healthy and quick snack relished by all.

Relishing Recipe 9

SABUDANA KHICHDI



A mouthwatering Indian dish with spices prepared with Tapioca pearls/Sago.

¤ Soak 2 cups of Sago/Sabudana (for 2 to 3 people) for 3 - 4 hours in water after rinsing off the excess starch from it.

¤ Take a pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil along with a teaspoon of Cumin (jeera), Split black gram (Urad dal), Curry leaves.

¤ Add Vegetables like potato, green peas, sweet corn (loved by kids) to the pan and fry them well.
During the days of fast, people use these vegetables other than onion and garlic, but as a snack on any other day adding them together would give a wonderful flavour.

¤ Take the Sago in a separate plate and add a pinch of turmeric and salt, hing/asafoetida, red chilli powder and mix them well according to the taste preferred by kids too.

¤ Add the sago to the pan with vegetables and stir them well till the sago turns soft and fluffy.

¤ Garnish with coriander leaves and fried peanuts to render the mesmerizing taste and flavour.

Tip: Add all the spices to the sago and mix them well together to enhance the essential taste and delight.

A very simple and quick dish to munch, healthy delicacy filled with nutritions, this Sago khichdi is not only a yummy choice by kids but is a delicious Snack for all!

These delightful delicacies enhance with productive health, serene feasibility and feast for all! Try and relish!!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Philosophies That Will Change Your Perspective About Life- Pri

Beautiful, descriptive and interesting Children's story, Aish! Very well written. Brought in lots of golden memories, thanks for sharing. Loved it!😊


Philosophies That Will Change Your Perspective About Life


Philosophy is often considered complicated and boring. In reality, it is the contemplating search of life’s meaning and purpose. Philosophy can be equally interesting for someone who is spiritually awakening and for a regular reader who in search of information. If you have had the questions like; “Why am I here?”, “What is the purpose of my existence? ”… then, these philosophical ideas might interest you! If you are just a reader who is not much interested in these topics; I promise, your perspectives on “Life” might change after knowing these different philosophical ideas and concepts.

Existence and Reality




This philosophical idea suggests that there is only one truth; “Your Existence”! All the others outside you, are not confirmed according to Solipsism. Similarly, Idealism is about how reality is a mere mental state. Brain is amazingly capable of highly imagining things, so there is no evidence that anything outside you is not illusion.  These ideas truly make oneself wonder about the infinite mysterious universe.

I can derive to a simple point here, “You” are important! So, love and respect yourself completely. When anything and everything outside you, is not important or reality, simply live your life!
 

Understanding the Void/ Unreal and Infinity




Going one step deeper, Phenomenalism says that nothing really can be said to exist except the sensory observation. This means that you cannot claim that there was an object at a particular place at all! All you can say is that, you saw a thing in that place. So, merely the sensory information is real.
Another philosophy, Presentism, is the idea that only the present moment is real. Past and future do not exist. Only the present physical moment is considered to be true for a Presentist.
On the contrary, Eternalism, argues that all the moments of time; past, present or future are real. All the theories about fate, destination and time travel are true according to Eternalists.

In my understanding, all these different ideologies cannot be accepted by all, there will always be differences in opinion. For, some might go with the idea of void or non-existence of anything other than the present time, and some might believe in infinity or the dimensions of time to be true. Whatever it is, “Time” is common between these two ideas. Whether there is a copy of this time in other dimension or if everything outside this moment is an illusion, the truth is that you are living in the moment of time. I think, “Valuing time” is the key here. Make the full use of the moment and try to be satisfied with the result of utilizing the moment effectively. In turn, you will sense happiness.

Knowing Life’s Purpose/Goal or Finding Pleasure in Moments




There are a set of people who follow Nihilism (An idea that there is no set purpose, value or goal in life.), do not believe in working towards something in life as there is no destination at all.  Hedonism is almost like Nihilism, but, has a belief that we have a common goal or intrinsic value, “Pleasure”. They have the tendency to find happiness in whatever they do.

Whether you follow your life’s purpose or you have no goal in life, whether you make use of the time to the fullest in an attempt to achieve your goal or you strive to be happy, the ultimate reality is that time is moving. So again, “Value time and try not to get into negativity.”

Training Self to Emote Positively and to Validate knowledge




Stoicism is another philosophy that focuses on training your emotions to emote positively. The Stoics believe that one’s anger, frustration or sadness are reflections of your own faults rather than blaming outside influence.

Skepticism questions philosophies to validate knowledge. A philosophical skeptic asks for proof of validity of information rather than result, thus there is a refinement that happens in the philosophy itself.

I kind of love the concept of training your emotions to respond positively. I can easily relate it to Meditation and Yoga or any other spiritual practice. Rely on your own emotions and reactions, not blaming the source of action. How true is that!



For a non-philosophical person, I am breaking down these complex concepts into these simple points:

* You are important.
* Do not over-think.
* Simply live your life. Enjoy the moment.
* Value time.
* Do not get into negativity.
* Train your emotions to respond positively.

These interesting philosophical ideas can guide you through your reasoning phase of awakening self-knowledge. These concepts make you wonder about the infinite depths of existence and possibilities. Mysterious Universe, mysterious Life and mysterious Time…

Monday, 20 February 2017

VACATION TIME (Day 1) : A Short Story - Aish

This creative short story of mine was loved by my little ones, who wished it be extended into various short stories each day with unique imaginations.

SHORT STORY 1 

VACATION AT GRANDPARENTS' PLACE



It's Vacation time! Sonu and Sid were so excited in meeting their grandparents, living at the suburbs. Their cousins Tina, Riya, Ram and Moni also came down to the town from their respective cities. Their working parents had to get back soon leaving these kids at their grandparents' place for 10 days. Their grandparents had planned ahead the daily activities in engaging the kids.

DAY 1

Hide and Seek 


"Children breakfast ready!" Grandma called excitedly in the morning.

While having their breakfast, they heard a knock at the door.

"I'll open!" jumped Riya from her chair.

With a surprising shriek, Riya said "Hey, Great to meet you buddies." 

They were Sam and Simi, neighbour's grandchildren who had come down for vacation. All the children were so happy in meeting each other. Grandpa had promised to take them out tomorrow as this day is "Catch up" day among cousins and friends.

"Shall we play throw ball?" asked Sid.

"But Moni and Tina are too small to play" said Ram.

"Or how about any indoor game?" questioned Simi.

"Everybody should play together, so why not hide and seek in the garden?", with a big "Hurray" all the children unanimously agreed with Sonu.


Grandpa's garden was a feast to eyes with colourful flowers, green grasses, thick bushes, tall trees, pretty shrubs and herbs and to top it all gleeful butterflies and bumblebees buzzing over the place.

Ram started the game by counting while others went on to hide, but he got distracted to the noise at times. It was a little bird constantly chirping nearby.
But he was more eager to get hold of his friends, "Ready or not, here I come!", yelled Ram running around to find others.
Ram found Simi and Riya hiding at the back of the garden gate by their giggles.


"Hey, why is that little bird chirping so long, is it searching food?" asked Riya
eagerly.

Suddenly Ram found a strange movement near the thick bush, slowly he approached having a thought of any reptile moving in it. Phew! It was Sid.
But where were the others?

"Should be inside the home" said Simi. "Let's go!" shouted all and tiptoed inside the home.
They rushed to the living room, none was there.

"Who's that crawling under the bed?" screamed Ram.

"Shhhh!", silenced Sonu, crawling out she said "Take a look on the bed, Grandpa is sleeping".

Hurriedly they came outside the bedroom, and found some sort of sound from the kitchen.

"It must be a rat" shrieked Sid and hid behind Ram.

"No, I have seen a brown cat crawling on the compound wall. Must be it!" said Ram.

But Was that a rat or a cat? Nope! It was Moni standing on a chair trying to find something to eat from the top rack, pulled down the boxes that crashed on the floor while Tina was holding the chair. Both the little ones were busy in their world.


All the children had a good laugh together saying, "We have to hide Tina and Moni, not find the hidden eatables."

So now, only Sam was left behind to find.
All went in search of him everywhere inside the home after arranging the kitchen rack, but Sam was found no where.

"Here is Sam!" screamed Simi.

Sam in the garden was busy observing the little bird which was flying, chirping and hopping around the place. The children ran to Sam and asked where was he and what is he doing here.

"I was hiding at the back of the verandah door, but suddenly found this bird hopping and flying around this place. So, I just came over to the garden through the back entrance and now trying to help the bird." explained Sam.

Ram too agreed with Sam and described how he along with Simi and Riya were also inquisitive about this little bird.

The others appreciated them and everyone together took part in this 'help' mission.

"But how to find out the bird's need?" asked Sonu.

"First we have to find what is in this place which makes the bird move around here." said Ram.

It was a corner spot near to a tall coconut tree in front of the verandah. On the wall, there was a cloth tied over to the broken faucet. There were bushes and plants on the other side of the coconut tree.

"It must be in search of water here." yelled the children.


"Good job Children. I just came out to call you all for lunch. But was so overwhelmed to see your care and love towards a little bird." appreciated Grandma.
"For the past two days, I could see birds flying down to fill their thirst due to the sudden leakage in the faucet. But this morning, Grandpa had to close it and tie it up with a cloth as the faucet broke completely." added up Grandma.

Hearing this, Sid and Riya immediately brought a pail of water from home and kept for the bird to drink. But seeing the pail, the bird flew away. All the kids were astounded seeing this, they waited for a while. They all jumped in joy and applauded seeing the little bird flying down to the pail not just to quench it's thirst but all it's friends' too.

Meanwhile, Grandpa came there along with the plumber, whom he had called in the morning.

"But Grandpa, how could the birds quench their thirst if the faucet is fixed?" asked Sam worriedly.


"Not to worry kids, let's fill this big bucket with water everyday and help the birds satisfy their thirst." smilingly said Grandpa showing the bowl which he had brought along from home.

"Yayyy!" shouted the children with extreme happiness and thanked their grandparents, while they in turn were so moved by the children's kind and helpful gestures.

Moral : The seeds of compassion, generosity and gratitude sowed in us reap out as 'Humanity' from within.



All as children are born with care and love in them, it is in our hands to cultivate and express these little gestures through our life. Be it a tiny creature, our approach towards each and every being is always with affection because of the warmth inculcated from our childhood.



  

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Vitals of Story Telling - Aish

Short and crispy one liner tips are unusually brilliant, sending deep waves of understanding and enlightenment. Good one Pri!

Stories are the narrative entertainment for kids through expressive words and actions. Kids love to listen to different stories which please them at the end of their day. Be it a mythology story, folk tale, imaginary or creative fable, historical acts, kids enjoy to lend their ears.


Reading out / Telling a story to kids enhance :

the lovable bond between the parent and the child.
▪ the 'Time' spent together with each other.
▪ kids' Progression in listening.
▪ expressing our creativity and kids gradual understanding of words.
▪ a peaceful sleep with sweet dreams for our dear ones.
▪ kids' power of concentration in an activity.
▪ kids' speaking ability, reading skills and identifying the new words they learn.
▪ kids' approach in imagination and creativity which establishes them to make out a story of their own.
▪ gadget - free environment for young minds.


In our busy life, either as a working momma or a stay at home mom, we are entangled with work and chores. With kids at home, one could realize how life revolves with responsibilities resulting in the amount of time spent with our kids are minimal comparatively. To exercise our time with kids - sit with them, engage in activities and speak and read out a lot to them. "Children always prefer the presence of their parents rather than the presents offered to them."


Lullabies for babies and stories for kids, we present a memorable childhood for our kids! We would feel the satisfaction - of sharing a tale ; of spending time with kids ; of kids' indulging in the story by posing little questions which we answer.

Generally most of us read out stories from different story books to kids. But why not share our creative or imaginary stories that kids would love, more than being read out?


To tell short stories to kids :

Bring in the characters with any fictitious name. If the child prefers any cartoon character's name, try saying a story with that character. Kids enjoy the story knowing the name and age of the characters.
• Kids might love watching cartoons/shows that include negative characterisations or scenes with fights, but how do they know about such cartoons' existence without our knowledge? Most of the parents think that boys love such visuals more than girls. No, boys and girls love to listen to all types of stories with good morals.
• Start with a simple day to day activity which kids make, do or play with each other.
• Build in characters with good deeds, helping hands, good words etc. Kids indulge in the story and gain the fruits sometimes setting them as examples.
• Bring in characters travelling to places, experimenting new activities by giving the energy and enthusiasm to kids.
• Involve the characters in the story to explore with their friends and family, this develops the relationship bond in the kids.


IMAGE : Sketch by me & Colors by my daughter

Technology has conquered much of today's generation with its ample contribution in gadgets more than books and other activities. Let us counter this by helping our kids to intrigue them in tiny chores, develop the habit of cleaning up their bit after playing, engage them in various actions like painting, singing, dancing, drawing, reading etc and make them feel our presence with them. 




Tuesday, 7 February 2017

NAMASTE NIHON - Aish

  

Japan is called Nihon and the Japanese language is called Nihongo (-go means language) in Japanese.

The Kanji characters of the word Nihon means "sun-origin" also widely known as "The Land of the Rising Sun". Nihon is a more neutral word even when there are words Nippon and Nippongo.

One could get to meet people on the streets or stepping our door for promoting the events or festival activities taking place in nearby areas through booklets or pamphlets containing details in all languages. We too did have a knock on our door, the Japanese person looking at us first showed the page in English, another person hastily turned to the page in Hindi, folding hands saying "Namaste" and pointed "India". That proud moment to cherish forever, knowing India and our language being spread in every small part of the world.






India and Japan do have lots of similarities and they co-relate in many ways. Let us have a look at the salient similarities between the two countries and know more about Japanese culture.


14 SALIENT SIMILARITIES BETWEEN INDIA AND JAPAN :


1. "SUWATTE KUDASAI" (Please Sit Down) 


Sitting on the Cushions or Mats on the floor is common in most of the Japanese Homes as it is in most Indian homes. The formal way of sitting in a kneeling style is known as "Seiza" which is more common among Japanese.




While a majority of restaurants in Japan provide Western style tables and chairs, low traditional tables where you sit on cushions on the floor are also common and referred to as "Zashiki". Many restaurants feature both, and you may be asked which you prefer. "Zabuton" is a Japanese cushion for sitting used both to sit on floor or on chairs. In Okonomiyaki (whatever you like grilled) and Monjayaki restaurants [Tokyo version of Okonomiyaki], customers cook their own on a grill built onto the table sitting on Zabuton.


2. "ANATA NO KUTSU O NUIDE KUDASAI" (Take off your shoes please)


Taking of one’s shoes before entering a Japanese home and most of the temples in Japan is a must, a similar custom followed in India.


  

Traditionally, the floors in most Japanese dwellings are covered with tatami mats, used to sit and sleep on instead of chairs and beds. Even if hard flooring is quite common in Japanese houses nowadays, the tradition of taking off one’s shoes remains. There are also designated bathroom slippers that must be used when going to the restroom, then removed when done.

In both India and Japan, taking off shoes before entering a home is both cultural depicting a mark of respect and religious as followed in many religions at the house of worship.


3. "KEK KON" (Marriage)


"Ren’ai" (Love Marriage) is based on mutual attraction between individuals in contrast to the traditional "Omiai" (Arranged marriage) in which a process that might give more weight to parental opinions than of the prospective bride and groom. Most weddings in Japan are held according to "Shinto" (Way of Gods) tradition, [the ancient Japanese tradition] or Christian style Chapel ceremonies.




In Japan, some vestiges of arranged marriages continue and many couples rely on matchmakers to find mates and background checks on a prospective spouse and his or her family also. In India, too most of the families still follow the traditional method of arranged marriages.


4. "KOKYO KOTSU KIKAN" (Public Transportation)


Japan is a country where people mostly depend on the public transports for commutation just like India, though cars and other private vehicles are used highly. Also, Japan follows "Drive Left" traffic rules like India.
We could see the usage of bicycles in large in Japan and they ride on the pedestrian pavements mostly. Most of the apartments in Japan hand over a bicycle key along with your home keys when moving in. One could see people walk more rather than taking up a vehicle too.


  

Once, My friend and I on the way to the market, so much involved in our small talks, hardly noticed a cyclist at the back of us pedaling in the pace of our walk. While we stopped for a minute to guess the street, we saw the person too stopping at the back and got down from his bicycle. Before we could react, the cyclist smilingly bowed at us and went forward pedaling again. Such a gentle gesture never to be forgotten!


5. "SHOKUJI" (Meals)


In Japan white rice is a staple component of virtually every meal just like India. Other typical ingredients include soy products and seafood that is served grilled or raw. Mostly, Vegetables and seafood are often prepared as "Tsukemono" (Pickles). Meals ideally contrast flavors and textures among different dishes and include many "Okazu" (Small dishes) rather than a main course. We could see in most of the restaurants the visual presentation of a meal which is considered to be most important. It is customary to eat rice to the last grain and is not uncommon to eat rice in every meal including breakfast. 





In Japan, it is an etiquette to say "Itadakimasu" (I humbly receive) before starting a meal and say "Go-Chiso-Sa a Deshita" (It was a feast) after the meal to the host. Families together have meals at home be it lunch or dinner, a belief from folks in both these countries.


6. "FESUTIBARU" (Festivals)


India and Japan go along with each other in celebrating numerous festivals. As there are various festivals celebrated in India, Traditional Japanese festivals called "Matsuri" are celebrated with no specific dates differing within the shrines of the provinces. Matsuri often feature processions with elaborate boats and are usually related to the rice harvest.


  

One of the most famous festivals in Japan is the , "Gion Matsuri" that takes place in July at Kyoto. Other important festivals include, "Yuki Matsuri" (Sapporo Snow Festival) in February at Hokkaido and "O Shogatsu" (Japanese New year) celebrated from Dec 31 to Jan 4th.
In India, some of the popular festivals are "Diwali" (Festival of Lights), "Christmas", "Id" and many traditional festivals. At Bengaluru in India, people celebrate "Japan Habba" (Habba in Kannada language is Festival) during Jan - Feb, to strengthen and deepen the relationship between the people of Japan and India.


7. "MEISHIN" (Superstitions) 


Like every country, Most people in Japan and India too have ample beliefs in superstitions. Yes, superstitions prevail pretty much in each and every country but varies a lot according to the country. Here, let us have a look at some of the common beliefs in both India and Japan :


  

"Ohyakudo Mairi" - The ceremony of visiting a "Jinja" (Shrine) / "Otera" (Temple) to make a wish. People do this tradition in Japan when they need a prayer to be answered which is most common in India.

"Yoru Ni Tsume Wo Kitte Wo Ikenai" Don’t cut your nails at night, which is a traditional practice in India as it marks respect to the religious belief of Deities visiting one’s home. In Japan people believed "Akuryou" (evil spirits) would approach at these hours. Though the belief is same in both the countries, the reason differs.

Unlucky Numbers in Japan are number 4 and 9 as 4 represents "Shi" similar to the word death and 9 represents "Ku" similar to the word pain and suffering. Thus, gifts are presented in sets of 3 or 5 rather than 4. In India many people consider different numbers to be unlucky but as per numerology all numbers are lucky for us to adapt.

"Kita Makura" Don’t sleep facing North is practically followed in India stating that the magnetic pull of the planet and the iron in our blood causes disturbed sleep and health issues, while in Japan it is believed to bring bad luck for the person sleeping.


8. “SHUKYO” (Religion)


Kami (Diety) according to Japanese, influence the course of natural forces and human events. Japanese follow Shinto, Buddhism and Christianity while in India, being a Secular country, now many religions are followed variably. But Japan and India co relate with each other in many religious practices and beliefs in dieties. Innumerable local dieties are worshipped in Japan just like in India.





According to H.E. Mr. Yasukuni Enoki, the former Ambassador of Japan, “More than 80% of the Japanese Gods are originated from Indian Gods. And the culture of these two countries bind together in common.” The practice to light incense sticks in temples and homes are common among the people in Japan like in India.


9. "BUDO" (Martial Arts)


Martial Arts, the collective term originated in Asia to bring in the fighting arts or the self defence practices. These martial arts enhancing their traditions are still followed in both the countries with divinity. The historical origin of Japanese Martial arts could be found in the warrior traditions of “Samurai” which in India we call them as “Kshatriyas”.




Some of the popular Japanese martial arts are categorized into 5 different self defence arts : Karate (Fight empty handed), Aikido (Keeping Harmony in the body by using the spirit of energy), Juijutsu (Gentle Art), Judo (Unarmed Combative sport) and Kendo (Fencing art with skill and discipline).

Some of the famous Indian Martial Arts are : Kalarippayattu (Practiced with strikes, kicks and weapon based), Silambam (Weapon based), Gatka (Practiced with Stick / Sword), Thang Ta (Practiced with Swords and spears), Musti Yuddha (Styles with kicks and strikes)


10. "SONKEI" (Respect)


India and Japan go hand in hand when it comes to Respect. Respect to elders is widely seen in India by touching their feet and in Japan by bowing low and most common way of respect in both the countries is by folding the palms near the chest. Even in family dinings, the elderly is first served. In India we find the respect offered by addressing the person with “Ji”, “Shri/Shrimati”, “Sir/Madam”, “Saahab/Saahiba”.


  

In Japan they deliver respect with words like “San” (added as a suffix with the person’s name), “Sama” (Mostly to the higher ranks), “Kun” (addressed to the emotionally attached closed ones), “Chan, Tan, Bo” (Cute pronunciation of San mostly used for babies), “Sensei” (For Teachers), “Senpai” (Respected colleagues) and much more.


11. "ONGAKU" (Music)


The term Ongaku in Japanese is derived from "On" (Sound) and "Gaku" (Enjoyment). Japanese and Indian music still flow with the traditions though western music prevails more. The two forms of traditional Japanese music are “Shomyo” or Buddhist chanting and “Gagaku” or Orchestral court music just like India having the Traditional “Carnatic” and “Hindustani” music.




Some of the traditional Japanese Instruments are “Taiko” (Japanese drums), “Biwa” (Short necked lute), “Shakuhachi” (Bamboo flute), “Suikinkutsu” (Water Zither) and much more. Indian instruments include, Tabla, Veena, Mandolin, Shehnai, Sitar and many more.


12. “HOSHU-TEKINA BUNKA” (Conservative Culture)



  

Japanese people still dwell with their traditional practices enriching conservation from their roots. Most women in Japan still inhibit "Get married ; quit job" though being a developed country. As in India too, most women feel to take up family as their first priority before their career after their wedding bliss just because of the change in location or for their babies or taking a break from their hectic schedules. Japanese still take their conservative culture of couples not showing public display of affection like most of Indians.


13. “SHIGOTO NO SEIKATSU” (Work Life)



  

“Work is Worship” in India and in Japan it is considered higher than this. Some Japanese companies have a morning session for the workers and help them prepare for the day’s work. Loyalty to one’s company is paramount in the Japanese culture. Japanese people are so dedicated and work aholic when comes to job, just like Indians.


14. “WAFUKU” (Japanese Clothing) 



  

Though modernization and western culture have breezed inside, one could still see the people in both the countries follow the traditions in their attires too. We could see on the streets of Japan, most women or men wearing the traditional Yukata / Kimono and women holding umbrellas too. In India, one could see most women wearing the traditional saree and men with Kurta and Dhoti/Pajamas.

THUS,
Culture and Traditions flow from the roots of our ancestors enhancing the essence of the country’s growth and dynasty. Many do find differences in abundance, but encompassing the similarities between the countries help in strengthening and facilitating the minds and thoughts of people which build the everlasting platform of stability, growth, compassion, strong relationship and peace in the countries.