What culture is the most interesting to you?

Spartan Because they are the closest to what my own ancestral heritage was not so long ago. Despite being miles away from each other with little or no direct influences on each other, the Spartans of ancient Greece and the Nairs of ancient Kerala were eerily alike in several aspects. Both were predominantly militarized communities…

What is the weirdest thing you’ve witnessed in an Indian wedding?

So I was attending a wedding in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) in Kerala a few years ago. As I have written on a couple of earlier answers, Hindu Nair weddings are generally a demure affair. There’s nothing garish or loud about the entire function. So I was standing near the wedding dais as I was one of…

Which given names are unique to your language, country or culture?

Malayalam Although Malayalam is a relatively new language as compared to the more ancient languages from which it was coined, there are (were?) some given names among our lot that I haven’t heard being used in any other language. Before I go any further, I need to explain a bit of history behind our naming…

What is normal in your country but weird in the rest of the world?

INDIA We may know how to speak the native language of another country but we may not necessarily know how to communicate in the native language of our neighboring state. I can speak to my Sri Lankan Tamil teaboy in his native language, but I have to resort to speaking in English to my colleague…

Who are some pre-vedic deities?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I assume that by the term ‘pre-vedic’, the question refers to the Vedic time period and not to the vedas themselves. As I understand it, the present day deities have come to be worshipped only over the past 4000(?) years or so. Prior to that, I have observed from my…