The Great Country of India

There is no place, like the uniqueness of India

Facts: Basic

  • India is the second largest country by population, but it is actually only 1.27 million square miles, making up about a 1/3 of the US.
  • Although there are multiple languages spoken all throughout India, the two biggest languages are Hindi and English.

Facts: Customs

  • Because of their religious beliefs, it is considered wrong to shake someone’s hand of the opposite sex.
  • In the United States when women get married they usually drop their maiden name and take their husbands last name. But in India, they take their husbands first name.
  • The Indians are required to wash themselves before they eat, and they have to eat properly in order to show courteous. It is very insulting if one does not finish their food.

Facts: Tourist Attractions

  • One of the well-known wonders around the world is in India, the Taj Mahal. It is known as a very beautiful piece of work and took 22 years to complete. It is open for tourists to look at.
  • There is a huge zoo named Nehru Zoological Park, located in Hyderabad, India that has over three thousand animals and lots of space.

Indian Author: Shobhaa De

About Shobhaa De:

She is an author that was born and India and writes lots of fascinating books about teenagers and marriage. Most of her novels have female characters as the protagonist and main character.

Excerpt from her novel, Sweet Sixteenth

Sweet Sixteenth

"Everybody laughed as Sandhya escorted Asavari to the door, whispering, "Don't tell anybody what I told you... nobody, promise? If Mom finds out from someone else, I'll be in even deeper trouble."

Asavari placed a finger on her lips and said, "Sssh... don't worry. I won't even tell Dad, though I don't keep a single secret from him, just as Mom had made me promise. She'd said, 'Remember, now you only have Dad to lean on. Tell him everything just as you used to tell me. He needs to know, or else, how can he help you?' When Dad and I go for a walk around the Race Course every evening, he asks me what happened during the day, and I tell him... better that way, na?"

Sandhya nodded her head in agreement." Yes... much better... but this secret is between us... okay?" Asavari hugged Sandhya and said, "Don't worry... it will be okay. Your mom is so sweet, she'll understand." Before going to bed that night Sandhya wondered if Mom would really understand if she knew what she was hiding..."


  1. Tone: hesitant
  2. Theme: As much as friends are great to share secrets with, the truth can hurt when it's time to tell the rest of the world.
  3. Commentary: I think this excerpt is a very typically girl thing. Girls go to each other when they have tough situations going on, and a lot of the times it's easier to tell friends than family. Reading this part of the novel, I can say it's a very universal situation and not necessarily just an Indian behavior. The reason is, because everybody has a friend that is easier to talk to than parents. I think this excerpt is very effective, because it grabs your attention, and then leaves you hanging. It has you questioning, what is she hiding from her parents? I would love to order this book and read the whole thing, because even just this little segment of it, hooks me in.