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India: At Large and Small Village Life

I am really excited about today’s Exploring Geography post about India from Heidi Gill, author of the 2 Kurious Kids books. Heidi gives us a wonderful overview of both general information about India and what small village life looks like! Thank you, Heidi, for this incredible post! 

The Flag of India

Flag of India from wikimedia

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The colors of the Indian flag all have a significant meaning. The saffron color represents courage and sacrifice; white – truth, peace and purity; green – prosperity. Gandhi first proposed the flag to the Indian National Congress in 1921. It began with a design of two colors, red for the Hindus, and green for the Muslims. In the center was a traditional spinning wheel, symbolizing Gandhi’s goal of making Indians self-reliant by fabricating their own clothing. The design was then modified to include a white stripe in the center for other religious communities.

The Rupee

100 indian rupees

The first Rupee was introduced in the 16th century by Sher Shah Suri, founder of the Sur Empire. The term is from rūpya-, a Sanskrit term for silver coin. The Indian rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India. Rupees are available in values of 5,10,20,50,100,500 and 1000 rupees. Rupee coins are available in 1,2,5,10,100 and 1000.(Insert picture of 100 rupee). Currently 1 Indian rupee equals $.02 US dollars.

1 indian rupee = .02 american cents

Gas prices in India

Currently a liter of gas in India costs 46.07 rupees. There are 3.78 liters in 1 gallon. $174 rupees = 1 gallon of gas. Therefore, 1 gallon of gas in India costs $3.48. In the United States the average price of Unleaded gas is $3.55/gallon.

Famous person born in India

The creator of Fiber Optics, Mr. Narinder Singh Kapany was born October 12, 1926. in Moga:

Map of Moga India

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Narinder Singh Kapany was educated in India and England, Kapany has lived in the United States for forty-five years..

Optical Fibers

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An optical fiber (or optical fibre) is a flexible, transparent fiber made of glass or plastic, a little thicker than a human hair. It functions as a waveguide to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber.

Common Sport in India

Cricket in India

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Cricket is the most popular sport in India; where there is an open space in India it is played. Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on a field, at the center of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the runs scored by the batting team. A run is scored by the striking batsman hitting the ball with his bat, running to the opposite end of the pitch and touching the crease there without being dismissed. Much like American baseball, the teams switch between batting and fielding at the end of an innings.

Small Village India: Life in Jhandawala

picture of house from above

Jhandawala (pronounced Chandewala) is a small village (approx. 4,000 people) about 15 minutes away from Moga (approximately 125,000 people). The nearest large airport is in New Delhi, located 400km (249 miles) and takes about 8 hours to drive. It takes so long to drive from New Delhi to Jhandawala because of the enormous amount of traffic, animals frequenting the roadways and bicycles everywhere. If someone gets a flat tire on a main road, the car will be left in the middle of the road until it is fixed!


outdoor kitchen

All meals are made outdoors in an outdoor kitchen, with food typically grown close by. Most people have their own cows that produce milk that is consumed. Any additional food items needed would be purchased from a store in a town about 6 miles away. Common foods are Indian tortillas called Roti, lots of vegetables and chicken (from chickens raised at home)

outside pots and pans all clean


picture of house with new windows

This is considered a modern newly redone home in Jhandawala. There are cots to sleep on:

cots to sleep on

And even an indoor shower:

indoor shower

In the last ten years the way of life has changed a lot. It is a privilege to now shower indoors and use a bathroom inside. The walls are now insulated and the floor is not concrete:

inside of house with marble staircase

That is very helpful for the drastic change in weather.

About the author

Family picture 2011

Mother to two bi-racial children (Punjabi and Caucasian), Heidi Gill is the author of 2 Kurious Kids – a five book series that teaches children of all ages about different cultures and languages. Always wanting to teach her kids Punjabi so they can communicate with their grandparents and also learn about other cultures, Heidi decided to write her own books using her two children as the main characters. She is enjoying visiting elementary schools and book stores all over California speaking to students in 1st through 5th grades, encouraging unity and wellness among children.

exploring geography at mama smiles

Are you interested in contributing a post to this series? Send me an email: mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

13 thoughts on “India: At Large and Small Village Life”

    1. That’s incredible, Lakshmi! What a linguistically rich childhood! Thanks for sharing your experience with city life in India as well! I live in Silicon Valley, and most of the people from India who I meet here (and there are many!) come from the background you describe.

  1. Hi,
    I Loved your post. I am from India and can relate to many of the things in this post. However I want to point out that city life in India is no different than from anywhere in the world. Many Indians who have a stable income and live in the city have all the facilities of first world. Great schools and colleges, apartments with airconditioning and heating, laundry services, chauffeur driven cars. Women in the city are educated and often work in offices and have a career of their own. We read good books and watch movies from around the world. We watch all the sitcoms – Hindi, English and the regional language at home on our LCD/LED/Plasma screens through our DTH.. We cook in modern kitchens inside our homes.. All of the family do not sleep in the same room, we have anywhere from 2 to 5 bedrooms with attached bathrooms. Its a lot different than the village life…

    Also I wanted to let you know the uniqueness of India in respect to its varied languages. Each state typically has a regional language.. But most people in India can understand Hindi.. Kids are mostly multi lingual… My year old can speak languages!!

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  2. I love the post! So educational and so real! The information about the money and also the invention is really super interesting.

    I learned a lot!

  3. This is such an educational post. Love the life in Chandewala pictures. I am going to go through the series with my kids.

  4. What a wonderful glimpse inside India! Thanks for the interesting post! I learned a lot! Loved the village and modern house photos too! I always picture India as this vast and crowded place with lots of beggars and disfigured homeless people. It’s nice to see different images that are realistic!

  5. I love that the meals are cooked outside, less mess inside :) I try to get my kids to eat outside as much as possible, less sweeping for me. Their cooking and the way they eat with their own cows and such sounds very healthy.

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