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Didi, Akka, Chechi – Terms from Languages of India that Mean Friendship and Respect

While we were in quarantine, I had quite a few American female friends reach out to me asking me, “Why did the new friend I made online from India call me by didi? What does that mean? Why aren’t they calling me by my name?”  They were obvioiusly taken aback as they weren’t sure what the word meant and […]

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Republic Day – A Patriotic, National Holiday in India

Republic Day, which falls on January 26th every year, is the first holiday in the Western Calendar that is celebrated all over India and is an official day off.  What is Republic Day in India?  India became independent from British rule on 15th August 1947 (Independence Day) and it wasn’t until three years later that India’s constitution […]

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Basic Facts About Independence Day in India

Introduction to Basic Facts about India When is India’s Independence Day?  August 15.   When did India gain Independence from the British?  In 1947.  What day or days are given off for this holiday?  If it falls on a working day, only that particular working day is given off. It is true that some offices […]

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My Clock Didn’t Change for Fall Back – What Happens?

Because not all time pieces reset automatically when traveling over time zones or on the weekends of spring ahead or fall back, some people wonder,  “Will I be on time or late for work on Monday if I forget to adjust my clock on for the November time change?”   The November time, change, also […]

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Facts About Pongal: Thanksgiving Festival Facts of India

If you have Indian colleagues who celebrate Pongal or are from Tamil Nadu and observe this holiday in India or abroad, this article will offer some insight into the festival and also offer conversation starters with your Indian colleagues.  When is Pongal?  Pongal usually falls every year on January 14 (though in 2022, 2023, and […]

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Before Visiting India From the US, Do These Things

Checklist of Things to Do Before Leaving Your House in the US for Long Trips Inform your landlord.  For those who travel abroad for more than a month at a time, inform your landlord, especially if your landlord is not your trusted friend or family member watching the house. We wouldn’t want our landlord to […]

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What is Diwali? Stories, Legends, Celebrations in Different Parts of India

Known as the festival of lights, Diwali is celebrated on a nation-wide scale sometime between mid September and mid November, based on the Hindu calendar. In 2019, Diwali falls on November 14. “Diwali” is the easy-to-pronounce form of Deepavali. In Sanskrit “Deepawali” is the marriage of two Sanskrit words- Deepa meaning light and Avali, meaning […]

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November 2 & 5, 2015, Leave Days in Kerala, India

When elections happen in India, official holidays are called by the state and local government. As I understand it, voters can only vote in their home district as no absentee ballots are entertained. This means that people who work, live or study away from home must travel home to vote. Upon voting, a black mark […]

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Why Do Americans Study in India?

Did you know that India ranks higher than countries like Brazil, Denmark, Israel, New Zealand, Austria and the Netherlands when Americans choose where to study abroad? And, with almost 200 study abroad options to choose from on popular study abroad program search websites like studyabroad.com, this should come as no surprise. According to the Open […]

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What is Navarathri and How is it Celebrated in Different Parts of India?

Navarathri means nine (nav) nights (rathri). During these nine nights and ten days, Hindus across the world worship the nine forms of the goddess or devi.  When is Navarathri? Navarathri falls on different days each year in the Western calendar as it is calculated based on the Hindu calendar. Typically, Navarathri happens anytime between mid […]

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