India is quite famous for its gold… or maybe it is that many women wear all their gold. But for me, gold will be always important because of the Golden Temple.
It’s all about Amritsar, a city close to the Pakistan border whose population is 65% Sikh.
The Golden Temple is a famous Sikh temple in the city. We went twice to get the full effect of the night and sunlight.
In order to enter, all must cover their head and take off their shoes. The reason for covering your head is to make you an equal among others, something that strives in Sikhism which is different from the caste system of the Hindu religion.
Before entering you must wash your hands and feet. Which ends up being a good thing as many worshipers kiss the ground when they enter, and the doorways of every single room of the temple.
Every night, they have a ceremony to bring the Holy Book back to its resting place.
During the day, many people visit the Temple.
All religions are welcome to pray and take in a meal. The kitchen serves around 40,000 meals a day, double that on weekends.
We also visited a Hindu Temple that day.
As well as Jallianwala Bagh public garden which was the site of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. In 1919, Indians held a non-violent protest against British rule but found themselves locked in the park and getting fired on by British troops.
Some of these pictures were taken by my sister as I went shoe shopping. Seriously.
My sister Brittany also really wanted tea.
Our final Amritsar adventure was a trip to the Waka border between Pakistan and India. Every night they hold a closing ceremony where Pakistani and Indian soldiers meet at the middle of the border, look each other in the eye and close the gate. It is to symbolize the peace between the two nations who have a history of violence.
We were seated in the foreigner section which is nice because they are trying to be accommodating but a huge pet-peeve of mine.
Sometimes I think that people forget that foreigners are just people not from India, and lots of countries in the world do not like each other. Start: yelling match between an American and French man.
Some other tidbits/observations about India:
- No one thinks my Mom, is in fact my Mom. They keep referring to her as ‘your friend’. I think she may like it.
- Since Cows are sacred to Hindus, they roam the streets like gods. I mean in other countries cattle roam the streets but it’s usually to transport them. Here, they just roam, sit and eat what they like.
- People always want something from you. I felt like in other countries I’ve visited, people do answers your questions with the intent of helping you. Here it is generally because they want your money.
- People love taking my families’ photograph. At least five times a day, someone comes up and asks me to be in their photo with them. I’ve been in like, large extended family pictures where they kept rotating who was taking the photo.