A few years ago, I had an amazing opportunity to visit India and explore with a friend from college. I instantly fell in love with the country, the people, the food, and the celebrations. Let’s start with the amazing monuments and history.
There were a few places that were on the top of my list of things to see. Obviously, one of them was the Taj Mahal and another was a snake charmer. I know that sounds crazy, but how amazing would it be to see a real live snake charmer while in India?
While we were at the Taj Mahal, there were many people who would offer to take your picture for money. Usually I don’t do that sort of thing but I’m so glad I hired him. I got a few amazing shots that I would never be able to create on my own. I quickly became obsessed with Indian food. Everything was bought from local markets so the food was extremely fresh and very tasty. The amount of flavor in each bite is indescribable. I tried minimal street food because I was terrified of getting sick while there but what I did try, was so good. Not to mention the amazing bowls were made out of leaves. On the streets I saw many henna artists and I knew I had to get a new henna tattoo. I think they are so gorgeous and love how talented the artists are. Each design they do is so unique and I’m always shocked by their creativity. I had the inside and outside of my hands done by a kid who was probably 12. I wish he could do my henna every month.
Guess what else we found? A real snake charmer! Come to find out they aren’t nearly as easy to find as I thought. Regardless, we found one and I was so excited and terrified at the same time. I’ve never been that close to a snake and it was extremely scary. The snake charmer was incredibly nice but he was way too comfortable tricking that snake. One holiday in India that I was so bummed I missed was Diwali. Diwali, popularly known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important Hindu festivals. It celebrates the triumph of inner light dispelling spiritual darkness or ignorance, right over wrong and good over evil. It is celebrated by the lighting of small clay lamps and bursting of firecrackers, wearing new clothes and sharing sweets with family and friends, in a spirit of goodwill towards all.
The pictures I’ve seen from their celebrations are amazing and so full of color! Diwali is not just celebrated but throughout the whole world, especially those countries with large populations of Hindu, Jain and Sikh origin. While in some countries it is celebrated mainly by Indian expatriates, in other countries it is becoming part of the general local culture, such as Australia and the Caribbean.
Best Buy is celebrating the festival of lights with a special Diwali e-gift card that can be purchased anytime until November 15th. This is the perfect gift for those celebrating Diwali!
Have you traveled to India? What was your favorite place?