New Delhi Local Customs

  • The end of the parade, Jan 2014
    The end of the parade, Jan 2014
    by MM212
  • Army presence, Jan 2014
    Army presence, Jan 2014
    by MM212
  • Republic Day Parade on TV, 26.01.2014
    Republic Day Parade on TV, 26.01.2014
    by MM212

Most Recent Local Customs in New Delhi

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    Republic Day - 26th January

    by MM212 Updated Apr 5, 2014

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    Republic Day Parade, Live
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    Republic Day is a national holiday in India to celebrate the day on which the Constitution was adopted in 1950. It takes place on 26th January and is one of the most important celebrations in the nation's capital New Delhi during which the entire area surrounding Rajpath, the main city avenue, is shut down for an enormous military parade in the presence of the president and the government. Most businesses close in the morning (or all day), and citizens flock to the avenue to watch the parade from all corners and social classes of the capital. In 2014, I was fortunate enough to find myself in New Delhi on this day, which fell on a Sunday. Although it was a bit of an inconvenience, with roads and museums closed, it was wonderful to see some of the parade and Indians in their full patriotic glory. An interesting fact about Republic Day is that it is one of a handful "dry" days in India, where alcohol cannot be bought or sold, or served at restaurants.

    For more photos, take a look at the travelogue: "People of New Delhi - Republic Day."

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    Faith

    by solopes Updated Dec 19, 2013
    Delhi - India

    I felt rather uncomfortable in some Indian temples.

    Dozens of people concentrated in their prayers, and a few westerns snooping and taking pictures of everything. I tried my best not to disturb anyone, but couldn't avoid a smile observing a very small child, perfectly imitating his father's behaviour in the great mosque.

    What, in religion, is really belief, option or conditioning?

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    Sikhs

    by solopes Updated Dec 19, 2013

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    Delhi - India

    It was one of the best visions in Delhi, the Sikh temple that we visited - Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.

    It's harmony and cleanliness were absolute, and the calm ambiance inside remarkable. Hundreds of people in prayer didn't bother at all with the dozens of tourists walking around, with a single demand - covered heads.

    I was thinking: when we visit a christian temple, we (men) must uncover our heads. What happens with a Sikh in a christian temple?

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    Parking made easy-an amusing anecdote

    by lynnehamman Written Apr 28, 2012

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    One of the most amusing (and I must add practical) observations that I have had in India happened in Delhi. My friend Ruuma and I went out to dinner one evening, and Ruuma drove us to Khan Market in her little Maruti car.
    We arrived at about 8pm, and as usual- the market was packed. Not a parking spot in sight. Total chaos. "Well, where are we going to find a parking spot", I enquired....my friend stayed cool. "just watch' she says. She gets out of the car, and within seconds, there appeared a 'parking inspector'.
    She puts the gear into neutral, and off we go to the restuarant. What happens is, there are a gang of guys who manually push the cars around into any nook or cranny. As soon as they find a spot, they move the car in. When someone else comes along with the same problem re parking, the same process happens. And so we have musical cars, all night. After our meal, we made our way back to where we had left the car, and again, within minutes- 2 young men manually manouvered Ruumas car into position -right in front of us. All this good service for 20 rupees.
    In my dreams would parking be as easy and cheap in my neighbourhood!

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    Kabootars in Delhi sky

    by lynnehamman Updated Dec 19, 2011

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    Pigeons in Delhi

    Wherever we went in Delhi- especially Old Delhi (around Paharganj) we would see these flocks of pigeons, flying in formation. Inevitably there was someone standing on some rooftop, whisteling and calling his birds back home. The sight and sound is magical, especially at sunset. The pigeons are called 'kabootars' and are well loved by mostly the Muslim population in Old Delhi.
    This Kabootar racing has been a favourite pastime for centuries, in Delhi. Even the fog and smog of modern city life has thankfully not affected this wonderful sight. The cooing of the birds, and the whistling and coaxing from the master, is just entrancing. We were informed by one old gentleman that pigeon racing is a pastime that is passed on from father to son, and thus the sport has been kept alive for so many years. The birds become almost part of the family, and have given names. Even today there are races (some over very long distances-Delhi to Kolkata). In the past, Kabootars were used to convey messages.
    The rooftops in Delhi are not just rooftops- they become recreation areas for families,and one can look down from taller buildings and see the life that happens here. A lovely sight was a father and son standing together, throwing grains of food into the air, where they were scooped up by the Kabootars. The Kabootars become familier with the whistles of their owners, and come back at the first whistle.
    Delhi has an amazing variety of bird-life- maybe it has something to do with the many trees and parks. I hope that this never changes. Lodhi Gardens is also good for bird-watching.

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  • TANDOOR ROTI MAKING

    by pravdr Updated Aug 11, 2007

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    SETTING THE DOUGH TO BE ROLLED
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    tandoor is an mud clay oven in which indian delicacies are cooked.traditionally it is a mud clay oven lit over firewood.
    modern adaptations are the one which iam showing in the photos which are used in cities although they can never achieve the heat of the traditional "tandoor"nor can it replicate the smoked taste of the food cooked over firewood.
    indian breads, chicken and mutton delicacies grilled over the fires are specialities.
    this form of cooking extends right from afghanistan,north west frontier province punjab and north india.
    the most simple form of indian bread is the "tandoori roti"then add to it the variants like nan(triangular two piece indian bread) rumali roti( very thin leaved indian bread akin to the thinnness of a handkerchief) kulcha(multilayered roti) paratha(multileavened bread often with boiled potato mash mixed with the flour)

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    You'll face these.

    by Stentorian Updated Mar 18, 2007

    Well I don't know what to tell about it, but i find it very irritating. Indians! They don't have the habit of Q. Suppose you are standing for a ticket or something like that, they will come and just enter into the line. They are always looking for the gap in which they can fit themselves. And another thing is, while walking they will push you or they will have head on collision and they are so rude, they won't even tell you excuse me. So irritating!!

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    Wedding guest etiquette

    by oisha Written Jan 23, 2007

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    I thought I'd write this tip because I've done a fair few forum postings on it.

    Firstly, don't be surprised if you're invited to a wedding and you don't know either of the people getting married. Delhi wedding celebrations are always BIG, with the idea that "the more the merrier". It's not uncommon for invited guests to bring along 1 or 2 others.

    What should you wear? There are always several functions for one wedding. If you are attending the one where the marriage will take place, take along something to cover your head with. If you attending the sangeet, wear something you can dance in. For all functions, wear something your belly can comfortably expand in because there will be loads of irresistable food. Glamour is the order of the day, but if you're backpacking and didn't bring your ballgown, then accessories, costume jewellery, makeup and a salon hairdo will see you right.

    If you are attending the reception, take a gift. The most usual gift given is cash. Ask the person who invited you how much would be appropriate. Whatever sum you decide to give, add one rupee for good luck and hand it to the bride or groom in a decorative envelope.

    And take your movie camera because the wedding band is something you need to get footage of with audio.

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    Remove footwear when you enter religious places

    by ajitnair97 Written Sep 27, 2006

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    In India it is cutomary to remove footwear when you ente a place of worship. Even most indian houeholds allow for a place to remove and put your shoes befor you enter the house.

    With women normally you do a namaste with folded hands, unless its business meeting wher a handshake with a woman is okay.

    If you stamp or touch someone with your footwear please apologise. Women tourists whoul eb aware that in North India, there is a certain amoun tof distace a woman keeps from a man. So next time dont get to close to the man you are asking for direction sor the taxi driver or waiter etc.

    In India due to class differences you will notice most peole dont sit with the drivers in their cars or in cabs, even if it is a ridiculously small car:) This is especialy true for female tourists.

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    Bangles

    by 20011019 Written Oct 20, 2005

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    When I was in India, I was travelling with my boyfriend. In India people find it strange to see a girl and a boy travelling together except if they're married so we've noticed. In my time in India I really liked the bangles (the bracelets) and as I was wearing them, man treated me with al respect and there wasn't a single guy whotried to bother me. Because bangles mean that a woman is married. So as we walked down the street an men looked at me, my boyfriend only had to point at my bangles and the men understood! Maybe also a good tip for women travelling alone!

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    Namaste jee

    by ukirsari Updated Jul 11, 2005

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    @rie and the indian kids :)

    Say "namaste jee" [just like hello in English] before start a conversation will be cool. Put both of your palms close to chest and added with a smile. Then listening their explaination and say "haan jee" sometimes. I found, learning Hindi is pretty interesting. And more friendly in conversation if you know several Hindi's words.

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    Taking photos

    by l_joo Written May 12, 2005

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    Somewhere in the Red Fort we met some nice friendly peoples asking to have photos with us foreigners. This is a family I quite sure, I saw they have two young little boys and a sister about age 16. The parents were very highly educated peoples, they were probably doctors or professors but I did not ask them. They two boy speak good English and were so excited when I aimed my camera at them. After this, we met another two young men also wanted tohave photos with us.

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    What happened at night?

    by l_joo Updated May 12, 2005

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    At night when me and Andy were waiting some 2 hours impatiently on the bus to Amritsar, the location was at the roadside somewhere opposite the Red Fort, time was around 9.30pm and yet the bus driver still in no mood to start the engine. While waiting, we saw many homeless peoples began to lie down each by each in the middle of the highway, its not one or two or three peoples, its twenty, forty and counting all the way and they are not just men but women. Many of them sleep just anywhere without even a sheet. The photo here is taken from the Red Fort area where I saw them sleeping in the middle of street while those big trucks one by one drove by with thick heavy smoke all over and those terrible horn blastings. That moment me and Andy looking at each other speechless and my brain was spinning double the speed of thinking, ruminating.

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    Cows everywhere

    by l_joo Written May 12, 2005

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    I was told that cows are Gods in India, that the Hindu did not eat the cows or bulls, they let them strolling on street like this in photo. The cows in New Delhi are probably get used to the environment of heavy traffics, they just walk around as if the street is their pasture. At once, I saw a little baby cow got hit by some vehicles with one eye half hanging full of blood.

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    HONK PLEASE !!!

    by l_joo Written May 12, 2005

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    One of he local custom in New Delhi (probably entire India) is to keep honking while driving, just keep hitting the car honk endlessly. This is not a joke, almost all the big trucks on the street or highway have a big HONK PLEASE written at the back for other drivers to see and read, so that they can honk and honk, amazing local custom.

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