This weekend, Obama will head to India for the second time in his two-term presidency.
He’ll be the first president to visit the South Asian nation twice — and the first in ages to make a long-distance trip just to stop in one single country. Obama also hosted India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, in D.C. back in September.
It’s clear that diplomatic relations with India have become a priority for the president — especially since pro-business, pro-America Modi rocketed to power last May. So if we’re going to sidle up next to India and become better friends, we’d best get to know the country.
Here’s our list of 18 fascinating facts you should know about India.
There's a lake near the Chinese border where, for one month of the year, the water clears and you can see a few hundred ancient skeletons.
Local legend has it that an ancient king went on a pilgrimage through the Himilayas with his pregnant wife and a troupe of servants when a hailstorm sent them all toppling over the edge.
Source: Deccan Herald
Open space is defined as gardens, parks, recreation grounds, and playgrounds.
Compare that with New York's 26.4 square meters, or London's 31.68.
Source: Times of India
Books are really important in Hindu culture. Often, if somebody drops a book, or papers, or some sort of stationery, they will 'apologise' to it by touching it to their forehead. It's not a conscious action -- it's more of a gut reaction, like saying 'Gesundheit' when somebody sneezes.
Authorities coined the term 'Super-Dense Crushload' to describe extreme overcrowding on Mumbai's commuter trains.
Many Indians consider it rude to accept money with your left hand because that's the hand you use in the restroom.
Some people in India consider it cleaner to splash water with your left hand after going to the restroom, instead of using toilet paper. Which is why the left hand is thought to be unclean.
It's also rarely used for eating.
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