If not for its rapidly growing economy, India would be known as home of many of the world’s weirdest. After all, a growing population of more than one billion is sure to supply a steady stream of stories so unusual they’d end up here on Weird Asia News.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most peculiar things found only in India:
1. Pregnant women forcibly induce labor on days or times of good luck
Because bearing a child at auspicious times means good luck for many Indians, the ends always justify the means for some pregnant women. Either they undergo C-sections or prematurely induce labor.
Notwithstanding the dangers — then later on, bad luck — of induced labor, may the odds be ever in their favor.
2. Photos of Indian deities hold the power to repel offenders
If warning signs and posters fail to keep people from urinating or defecating in public, photos or paintings of their deities posted on public walls at least intimidate public offenders, keeping their supposedly private rituals private.
3. Swallowing live, wriggling fish is the norm
A family in India claims to possess the secret to a life free of asthma: anyone who wishes to be cured simply has to swallow a thumb-sized fish stuffed with what the family members say is their closely guarded secret.
So much for pharmaceutical patents.
4. Unlimited honking in the streets
In much of the Western automotive world, honking is perhaps one of the most impolite gestures a motorist could ever do, reserved only in times of emergency or extreme urgency.
But in India, blowing your horn is a sign language among drivers, as when a motorist beeps when he or she attempts to overtake a truck.
5. Chillies, not tear gas, are used as weapons
When riots break out, Indian protesters get a chance to taste a dose of their own spices. Need we say more?
6. Companies publish ads that target only specific castes or groups
In India, what is supposed to be unbiased media remains mostly unbiased in formal legislation, as some companies blatantly specify the religious backgrounds or castes of their target clients. In this photo, an Indian realtor made clear how it offers its properties only to Brahmins.
We won’t be surprised if one day they offer apartment complexes exclusive to their beloved holy cows and rodents.
7. The country’s richest live in “skyscraper mansions”
While some of the world’s richest choose rather to keep a low profile, one Indian billionaire houses his family in a skyscraper he built as its home. With such ostentatious display, telling everybody he’s rich seems to us an understatement.
8. Deities protect the banks
In the town of Shani Shingnapur in Maharashtra, locals count on their deity, Lord Shani, to protect them and their homes, hence the absence of locks on their doors. And lately, even UCO, the town’s first commercial bank, has its front door built without locks.
Well, we earnestly hope the same supernatural protective powers send investors — not thieves — flocking into the rather “open” bank.