Thursday, 7 April 2011

India dwells in her villages

India  dwells  in her  villages- Gandhi

Scattered throughout India are approximately 500,000 villages. The Census of India regards most settlements of fewer than 5,000 as a village. These settlements range from tiny hamlets of thatched huts to larger settlements of tile-roofed stone and brick houses. Most Indian villages are small; nearly 80 percent have fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, according to the 1991 census. Most are nucleated settlements, while others are more dispersed. It is in villages that India's most basic business--agriculture--takes place. Here, in the face of vicissitudes of all kinds, farmers follow time-tested as well as innovative methods of growing wheat, rice, lentils, vegetables, fruits, and many other crops in order to accomplish the challenging task of feeding themselves and the nation. Here, too, flourish many of India's most valued cultural forms.

Viewed from a distance, an Indian village may appear deceptively simple. A cluster of mud-plastered walls shaded by a few trees, set among a stretch of green
 or dun-colored fields, with a few people slowly coming or going, oxcarts creaking, cattle lowing, and birds singing--all present an image of harmonious simplicity. Indian city dwellers often refer nostalgically to "simple village life." City artists portray colorfully garbed village women gracefully carrying water pots on their heads, and writers describe isolated rural settlements unsullied by the complexities of modern urban civilization. Social scientists of the past wrote of Indian villages as virtually self-sufficient communities with few ties to the outside world.

In actuality, Indian village life is far from simple. Each village is connected through a variety of crucial horizontal linkages with other villages and with urban areas both near and far. Most villages are characterized by a multiplicity of economic, caste, kinship, occupational, and even religious groups linked vertically within each settlement.
(The  above  article  has  been  taken  from Cyber Essays)
My friend Sita  Henderson  emailed  me photos  of  the  Siddhagiri  Wax Museum depicting  an  Indian  village  in South India. I  never  knew  India  too  had  a  wax  museum and  such  a  good  one  too. I  found  their  website .  You  can  read more  about  the  museumHERE HERE.

Modernization has  reached   most  Indian  villages , so  the  methods  of  agriculture  and living  are not  as  ancient as  seen  here - although  there  are  pockets  of  neglect and  backwardness.

Modern  machinery and  farming   expertise  is  freely  available.  The  electrified  villages  have  satilite  television,  Internet  and   mobile  phone  services. Agriculturists  in the western  part  of  my  state are  very  wealthy.
At the  same  time  progress  and  modernization has  to reach   everyone  equally. There  are  many  parts who  have yet  to see the  sun  of  prosperity rise  over them.

The  figures  of  the  wax  museum are  very life like  and skillfully crafted. They  show the cultural,  social, religious and  agricultural aspects  of  Indian  villages.
Ploughing a  field.

Drawing  water

Many areas  have  water  scarcity.
Wells  come in use.
Indian  agriculture  suffers  quite  a  bit 
as it  depends on the monsoons
and  natural  rain  for  irrigation.

A  village  barber.

They  are  found  in the  city  too.

A village  astrologer or  Pundit
is  an  important man to  be
consulted about  various activities of   life.
Horoscopes  and  auspicious  dates have to be

I  am not  sure  but this  one  could 
be  showing the  ancient  oil press.
The  oxen move  round operating
the  oil press.
Of course  now  we have the  electric ones.

The  bangle lady  goes from  house  to house
selling her  wares  and  putting  on  multi colored
glass  bangles  on  ladies.
Married women must  wear  bangles.
Bare  wrists  are not   considered  nice.
This  young  woman nurses  her  baby
while  the  bangle  lady obliges  her.

The  Potter
Hand  operated  machine.
I  am not  sure  what  is  its  purpose.
Someone  can apprise  me.

Cattle  byre

Vegetable  shop

Make  stone ware  objects  and utensils

Basket  weavers


A  typical money lender.
They  are  very  shrew  d  and  ambitious  men
and  poor unsuspecting  peasants  are  cheated by  them.

A herbalist , apothecary or
ayurvedic physician.
They use  various  herbs,oils  and  massages
to   treat  their  patients.

A gold  and silver  smith.
Gold and  silver  ornaments  are
the  pride an d joy of an  Indian   woman.
Even   the poorest  of  the  poor must  have  some
thing of  value  to   boast of.

A  grocery  store.

A  family  relaxing   together

Singing  a  religious  song  for  a  festival.

Iron forge


Making   metal  utensils.

A  visit  to the  temple
with   articles  of  pooja.

A woman   displaying  her  henna  tattoos.
Its customary  to  have them  applied for
festivals  and   weddings.

The  village  council  or  panchayat.
It  plays   a  very  important   role
in keeping  l;aw and  order  at  the  grass root  level and 
settling  petty  disputes.
Five village  elders  and  voted  into  this  governing  body.
They  are  given  judicial  rights  by  the  government.

This  was  a  little  glimpse of
an  Indian village.
This  museum ha s tried  to   preserve
the  older   traditional senario.
Hope  you liked it.

Thank you  for your  prayers  for me and  my  church.
The  Lord 's hand  of  grace and  mercy  is  upon us.

11 Fertilize my soul:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What an interesting post on village life in your country. I would go to the herbalist, apothecary or ayurvedic physician. We do take herbs, use essential oils and know that they and massages do work.

Thanks for posting this Amrita.


Terry said...

dear amrita...i am so glad that i get an email when you have written a post so that now i know right away!
i read this out loud as bernie and i sat together and it is sooooo have done a great job in holding my interest.
when i was in high school i did not like geography class but i am sure if you had been the teacher, i would have LOVED it and probably got better marks!
thanks so much for spending all this work to educate us about the wonders of india and the beautiful people that live terry

Anonymous said...

Amrita, your photos a fantastic! The museum looks like a very interesting place to visit.

Gandhi must be one of the most quoted people who ever lived.

John Cowart said...

Hi Amrita,
This series of photos from the wax museum is one of the most interesting you've ever posted!

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Dear Amrita,
What a fascinating post! It has a great deal of amazing information, and the photos are neat. I would like to visit the museum. I've never seen a museum of that size.

Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your sweet comments.

(((( hugs )))))


Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
The wax museum is a great tribute to the Indian villages and primer culture.
Skillfully crafted and informative to the rest of the world.

My guess is that the picture of the wheel and the two men working is kind of a small yarn spinning factory,a long way from Gandhi's primitive spindle.
Then again, I may be wrong, as I often tend to. Weaving, perhaps?

Thank you for your informative post. One among many great ones.
From Felisol

Nadwrażliwiec said...

It was for me journey to different world. Villages on whole world are similar - people must hard work, very often they are poor - I respect work of farmers. People from villages have also their own culture and style of thinking - I think they are often very wise because of their experiences.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

That's an old weaving machine normally for weaving cotton clothing material. The wax figures look so impressive and depict various scenes and lifestyles in rural India. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Kate said...

WOW! Amazing! You know I love your "India Uncut" the most. So, are many of the displays at this museum actually situated outdoors? In those cases, are the figures still made of wax?

Amrita said...

Dear friends thank you so much for your comments.

Akthough modernization has reached most places, remote unreachable areas remain. ..thos e inhabited by tribals too. The government has to do a lot more fo r them.

Education an d social reform is badly needed.

Thank you telling me wha t that machine is. A spinning machine.

Amrita said...

Hi Kate, yeah it sn amazing place and looks like some of it is out doors. They claim to be wax sculptures - the website says that. i was also wondering how they mantain the open air exhibits.