India looks like a triangle surrounded by the Indian Ocean with the northern part formed by the Himalayan mountain chain. The beautiful Tibetan region and the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest is located ther. South of this is the flat Ganges basin, the capital city, Delhi, and important tourist attractions. The plain reaches the sea in the bay of Bengal, where is Calcutta, one of the major cities. Going South there are the modern metropolis built by the British: Bombay, on the west coast and beautiful towns like Bangalore and Madras.
India became part of the British Empire in 1858 and obtained independence in 1947. It is a Republic and the Head of State is a President but it is part of the Commonwealth. The currency is the Rupee. The languages spoken are Hindi and English. There are different religions, but the most practiced is Hinduism. Hindu people are divided into castes according to their jobs. Castes are social classes. The main castes are: priests, warriors, merchants, farmers; there is also a fifth class, the untouchables, the poorest people, who are considered outside society. If you were born into a certain caste, it is very difficult for you to move to another, changing your job or position in life.
Today's India has improved the living conditions of its inhabitants especially in big cities like Bombay and Delhi; however, there are sill enormous problems like overpopulation, unemployment, poverty, diseases and starnazzio. In 1998 India tested its first atomic bomb!
Two common Indian sweets and desserts include:
- Barfi: a sweet made of dried milk with ground cashews or pistachios, oftens served with a thin layer of edible silver foil as decoration;
- Chikki: a sweet made out of peanuts and molasses.