What can rest of the world learn from India?
Manan Desai, former Operations Engineer at Emerson Network Power
1)Eating with hands, sitting down on the floor when eating
Mostly, Indians prefer to eat with their hands. The west perceives it as dirty. But, Indians believe that there is nothing wrong in it. God has given us hands to work, eat, cook and play. So we are using a part of God’s gift to eat. Also, it makes you more mindful and aware of the food, its texture, taste and color. Just think of all the plastic and steel spoons and forks which will not be used if people all over the world started to eat with their hands. These days most of the plastic spoons are thrown away after using them just once or twice. The amount of plastic waste generated from spoons alone is mind-boggling. Also, earlier Indians used to sit down on floors to eat their food. My father still does that. Even I try to sit on the floors to eat when at home. It makes you really humble, kills your ego and makes your feet flexible.
2)Using old worn-out clothes to clean kitchen, utensils, bathroom.
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Indians do not use paper rolls to clean their kitchens, utensils and bathrooms. The amount of paper the Westerners are using just to clean their hands after washing them is staggering. It rips my heart apart when I see rolls of paper just being used once and thrown away. Just think about the enormous amount of trees which could be saved if we just use cotton clothes for cleaning and use cotton handkerchiefs to wipe our hands instead of tissue papers.
3)Washing and drying clothes inside the house.
Mostly, people in India wash their own clothes and dry them by hanging them on ropes out in the sun or inside the house if the sun isn’t out. Do we really need dryers to dry our clothes? I mean it makes sense when you use them in winters in cold climates. But why throughout the year?
4)Using a bucket to have a bath.
We Indians do not use bath tub and shower to have a bath. It has been scientifically proven time and again that you consume less water if you use a bucket instead of a shower. Just think of all the water which can be saved in this world if every person on this planet adopts this practice.
5)Using Indian style toilets without a flush as opposed to Western style toilets
Westerners do not like Indian style toilets not because they are dirty but because they just cannot sit in that position. Their knees have become extremely stiff. Again it has been scientifically proven that there are multiple benefits of an Indian-style toilet. When you sit on an Indian-style toilet, that is the natural way of passing your stool. It prevents blockage and ensures smooth passage, completely cleaning the intestines. When you sit on a western-style toilet, that is not a natural position. It’s just a lazy way of sitting designed for convenience as you do not want to give pain to your knees. Secondly, Indians are naturally saving millions of gallons of water every day by using a bucket instead of a flush.
Many Indians try to follow a strictly vegetarian diet. What difference does it make? Watch the movie before the flood by Leonadro di Caprio in which he explains how America”s obsession with beef is contributing to massive global warming. It was a big eye opener for me.
There are few foolish Indians who are ignorant and blindly copy the west. They are ashamed of many of the above mentioned habits which even the West is now realizing that it is environmentally friendly. Indians have been living in harmony with nature since the ancient Vedic times. We worship nature and animals. Still, in many climate summits countries which produce the maximum amount of greenhouse gases lecture India for reducing its carbon footprint. Let’s hope Indians do not give up these practices just to look more western.