Animals and Plants
There’s something going on in India!
India is a diverse country and so are the flora and fauna in India. Due to the different landscape and climatic zones, many animal species also live on the Indian subcontinent. 350 species of mammals, 1,300 birds, 400 reptiles – and more than 2,000 fish species were counted there. 10 percent of all mammals, 15 percent of all bird species and almost 10 percent of reptile species live in India.
The national animals in India are elephant and tiger. The latter was almost extinct – there are now a few thousand tigers in India again, because the tiger was protected. But 100 years ago there were still a lot of tigers in India – estimates speak of around 100,000. Many of the mammals of India can only survive today in the national parks where they are protected from humans by humans. Persian lions, sloths and leopards can only survive protected in such parks.
Fast food chains like McDonald’s are also adapting to the eating habits of Indians. A large number of Indians do not eat meat and many more at least not beef. There is a completely vegetarian McDonalds in Amritsar.
Many animals are worshiped as sacred in India because they are related to a god in Hinduism. Often they serve as a mount, sometimes the animal is equated with a god. But not all animals are considered to be equally sacred. The Indian cows are particularly sacred. Many Indians are vegetarians, so they don’t eat meat at all. And when they eat meat, it is usually not beef.
Even elephants are sacred in India. Monkeys, such as langurs, are just as sacred because the Indians believe they have a relative among the gods of India. Many of these monkeys live in the temples of India.
The king cobra is also sacred to the Indians. It is the longest poisonous strike in the world and its poison can be fatal to humans.
The almost extinct tiger is also sacred to the Indians because the Hindus believe that the goddess Durga rides a tiger and fights against evil spirits for the people.
Guard peacocks and sacred rats
The proud peacock is also sacred to the Indians. He stands for beauty and power. He too is a mount for Hindu gods. The peacock is also often used as a “guard”, similar to a guard dog, because it attracts a lot of attention with its screams. The Indian farmers in particular like to use the peacock to guard their farms.
An animal that is more likely to cause disgust in us, but also revered as a sacred animal by the Indians, is the rat. Rats are considered to be particularly clever animals and at the same time the rat is again a mount of a popular god, namely the god Ganesha. In India, rats are revered as sacred animals.
Trees and forests
The flora of India is diverse. But only a small part of the country is covered by forest, around a fifth. In the Himalayas you can discover trees that are also found here: spruce, oak or chestnut trees, but also cedars, which are not so demanding. Palm trees thrive on the border with Pakistan because they can cope well with the drought in this region. But there are also very green areas in India, for example on the banks of the Ganges. Especially in the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta you can find huge mangrove swamps. It is said to be the largest mangrove swamps in the world.
Woods such as sandalwood or teak, which are often processed into furniture, are in great demand. Not only animals are sacred in India, trees can also be, such as the sacred pipal trees. The story goes that Buddha found his enlightenment under such a tree. A special feature is the banyan tree, which can not only be 30 meters high, but also reaches a gigantic diameter. A specimen of this tree can be found in the Indian city of Calcutta and it is 300 meters wide.
But also beautiful blooming trees can be found in India like the magnolia tree, which we also have and whose flowers are usually white or pink in color. The rain tree is also fascinating. It is not known exactly why this tree is called that. It is said that cicadas sitting in its treetop excrete a liquid that makes it look like rain when you sit under such a tree. In Assam in northeastern India and on the southwestern coast, humid tropical rainforests are spreading.
Although India is growing in industry and services, most of the people still work in agriculture. They grow rice and grain, with the yields often used for self-sufficiency. Rice is very important for the nutrition of the Indian population and is still the main food. After China, as a country located in Asia according to simplyyellowpages, India is the second largest rice producer in the world. Pulses, potatoes, peanuts, soy, sesame, rapeseed, but also fruits such as mangoes and bananas are grown. Cotton or sugar cane are destined for export, as are coffee, tea and tobacco, all plants that grow little or no growth in Europe.
Incidentally, most of the cattle in the world live in India. Since they are not allowed to be slaughtered and certainly not to be eaten, at least not by the Hindu people, there is no meat production. Even non-Hindus in India very often live as vegetarians, so they don’t eat meat. Despite all modernity, India is still an agricultural country today. But in agriculture in particular, people are often exposed to changing climates and heavy rains, on which ultimately the yields also depend. Most of the time it is harvested twice a year, once during the rainy season and then again during the dry season. How much water is available depends on the monsoonsfrom. If there is no additional irrigation, it can only be harvested once a year.
In addition to agriculture, the service sector is important and is constantly growing. Service means that people do not sell something specific, like a product, but “offer their service”. You do something and get money for it. This area is growing in India as many companies in Europe outsource certain services. For example, accounts within the accounting department are no longer done in the German company, but abroad. Why? The labor in India is much cheaper than in Germany and thus the companies save money, do not have to rent offices and do not have to pay social security contributions. In the computer industry in particular, such relocations abroad like India are popular. The computer language is international and therefore nobody notices
In any case, the Indian economy is growing. In contrast to China, the Indian state intervenes less in the economy than the Chinese. Textiles, i.e. clothing, are still one of the country’s most important export goods, even if exports here are also falling somewhat. In industry there are areas that are very highly developed, for example in aerospace technology, nuclear technology, the defense industry and the area of software.
Poverty despite progress
However, despite the economic growth, many people in India are still doing badly and are very poor. India continues to be one of the developing countries. Most Indians (around 80 percent) live on less than two US dollars a day and a third even on less than one dollar. So in India there is a big difference between the poor and the rich. Those who live in the cities, are well educated, and maybe work in one of the big computer companies, are the winners. Many people in rural areas, however, feel little or nothing about the economic growth of their country.