India, Italy, & Saudi Arabia
By Naveen Anand,
Stella Vitiello, & Donya Al-Mously
Donya, Stella, Naveen
The earth is made up of many places named as countries, and each and every single country has its own society and culture. Today we are going to discuss about our home countries, which are: India, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. To show you the different aspects of our countries, we are going to introduce you to the geography, religion, lifestyle, food, clothing, and important places within our nations.
First we are going to talk about India, which is very traditional and diverse in culture. It is the sixth largest country in the world. and it's capital is Delhi. It has all kinds of landforms namely plains, plateaus, valley, mountains, desert and costal areas. It also has extreme type of climate and the eastern part has the highest precipitation in the world. The northern part of India Is mainly hilly and it has Himalayan range in that area. Whereas, towards the south there is typically hot climate and generally those states that are close to sea have a humid climate.
Then, there are many different kinds of religions in India but the main religion in India is Hinduism. The practitioners of Hinduism believe in many gods unlike Muslims who believe in one god- ALLAH. The main belief is that there are many gods and they all have their own fields to look after. For example there is god of rain, harvest, sun, moon, and so on. But there are three main gods- BRAHMA, VISHNU and SHIVA. Brahma is known as the creator and all the three gods are considered to be a part of him. Vishnu is the one who keeps the people alive and maintain their life cycle. The third god Shiva is the one who destroys. He has a third eye and it is believed that whenever he opens his third eye, disasters such as earthquakes, flood, plague and other kinds of life threatening situations are created. Other than Hinduism, other religions such as Christianity and Islam are also practiced.
The lifestyle of the people in India is simple and the women and men are treated equally unlike the ancient times but the work is still divided among women and men. For example, the men do all the work that require muscular work and they also go to office and bring the money, but nowadays it’s becoming less and less true. The women do all the household work such as cooking food, cleaning house, looking after children, stitching, and sewing etc. Generally, almost all the families in India live together and have very string family ties.
The food in India is mainly spicy and most of the food available in restaurants is traditional. The spices of India are very famous and they also have medicinal values. In ancient times, these spices were treated as very valuable things and they were traded for a heavy amount of cash or any form of income. We also have junk food, which the teenagers tend to eat or prefer more than the traditional and healthy food that is cooked at homes.
The clothes that people wear in India are mostly traditional. Women wear SAREE and the men wear KURTA and PAJAMA. It is not exactly traditional as this trend only started in 1947 because in an attempt to free nation from the British, Gandhi appealed to the people to wear our traditional clothes and boycott the British cloth. But the teenagers tend to wear the modern clothes worn by the western teenagers.
India also has many important historic places namely Taj Mahal, which is known world over and many more. SHAH JAHAN made the Taj mahal in the memory of MUMTAZ MAHAL. It is a monument made out of white marble and is enormous. In TAJ MAHAL there is a grave of Shah Jahan at the bottom. The second most famous place in India is the AJANTA AND ELORRA CAVES. The specialty of these caves is that they contain painting from ancient times, which are still intact and did not suffer any eroding or any kind of damage unlike any modern paintings.
Secondly, Italy is a very modern, famous and cultural country. Rome is the capital and the smallest State in the world is located there, which is called The Vatican City, where the Pope lives. Even though it is a small country, one of the smallest, it has all kind of landforms: mountains, valleys, plains, volcanoes, but most of all it is surrounded by the sea. The climate in Italy differs from area to area. In the North the climatic conditions are usually harsh. Where as in the Southern parts, the temperatures are extremely high.
On the other hand, religion is the same in all Italy. Christianity is the most spread religion in the country. People are supposed to go in church every Sunday to give thanks to God for what He gave us. Old people are most likely to go in church than teenagers even if we still go for special occasions, such as, Christmas, where we celebrate Jesus’ Birth and Easter where we celebrate his rebirth. Christians Holy Book is the Bible which is divided into four parts and each of them narrates events that happened in Jesus’ life.
Italians' cultural life does not have many differences from the rests of the world. Distinction between man and women stopped in 1946 when women got the right to vote. Now days, women are more important than men, even though there never was a big distinction. Italian men are considered to be very romantic for the way they talk and for their accent but some of them, most of them aren’t. Practically all teenagers use scooters as their means of transportation from place to place. Since many parents are too lazy, to get up to early in the morning and to bring their sons and daughters to school, almost each family has one to three scooters.
Italian people are also known for their food. Our favorite and most famous dish is PASTA. I think you all know what it is and if you don’t it is just a main dish that we have. You can eat pasta with everything: meat, tomatoes, vegetables, cheese, everything. Eating is probably one of the main things we do because for each meal we have an appetizer, main dish which is Pasta, a second dish, meat or chicken with vegetables or salads, cake, fruit or ice cream and last but not least espresso- Italian coffee. Like every other country in the world, we have junk food. McDonalds is generally the most common one and we do not have either Pizza Hut or Domino’s because as you all might know, Italian pizza is the best one in the world. I know one thing about pizza, it was first made in Naples because people used to put leftovers on bread and the in te hover and that is how we got pizza!
Rome and Milan are two of the most stylish clothing centers in the world, that is because many stylish are from Italy: Valentino, Versace, Armani. Most teenagers guys like to dress alike meaning that if you go in the Center of Rome, you will see all guys dressed with the same mark, PickWick, and with tight pants and shirts, sunglasses and scooters. The center of Rome is one of the best clothing area in all Italy. Via del Corso is probably the most famous street in Italy. There you can buy all the clothes you want but it is also very expensive.
An historical place in Rome, presumably the most famous is the Coliseum. They named it Coliseum because in latin it means gigantic, colossal. It was first built in 75 A.C before Caesar’s period, in 44 B.C . Caesar was Rome’s ruler at the time, and in the Coliseum they used to have battles between gladiators to entertain people. It was then broken up due to the many wars and battle but most of all due to an earthquake that took place in 851. Its real name though is amphitheater Flavio, named after the ruler who made it built. The second most common place in Italy has to be St. Peter, this is also situated in Rome because Rome is the capital of Italy. Therefor the most known places are there. St. Peter is a basilica named after a Saint that followed Jesus believes. It is the most famous Basilica in the world and each years it has more than 4 million tourists that go visit it. It is a church and inside there are the biggest most famous painting of the Renaissance period. St. Peter was disciple who spread Jesus’ believes in all the world. The third place that I am going to talk about is the Stadio Olimpico, Olympic Stadium, were people used to do Olympic races and that is also during Caesar’s time and it was also used to entertain people because the best would fight while the poor and the rich would have fun. And this is also in Rome because as I said before Rome is the Capital but this also the city where I come form so I know more about it.
Last but not least, Saudi Arabia is a big country. It’s capital is Riyadh. Even though it is a big country it has a few kinds of landforms: Considerably more than half the area of Saudi Arabia is desert. It is basically all deserts, but a few areas such as Jeddah are near the sea. We also have a few mountains and plateaus. The climate most of the time is extreme heat and aridity.
Religion is the same in all of Saudi Arabia just like it is in Italy. All Saudis practice Islam. Most of the Muslims are Sunnis. About 15% are Shiites who live mostly in the east. Islam is taken very seriously in Saudi Arabia, when there is prayer everything is closed, and there are five prayers each day. Even teenagers are very religious because the country is very strict about religion. Schools take time off work to pray. And schools have many courses in religion and more specifically in the learning of the Quran. The main language in Saudi Arabia is Arabic. English is considered as the second language.
Living in Saudi Arabia is very hectic for a girl because living is Saudi Arabia is like being in jail for a girl. A woman is considered lower than a man and the women there have no freedom at all. Men “rule” that country. Even education for women was nothing until a few years ago. Now the women are getting well educated and they are getting very sophisticated, but they have no freedom to use their sophistication and knowledge because women are superior to men therefore the men don’t listen to the women. Many families live together just like in India. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, parents, and siblings all live in the same house. Their houses are big. They usually contain three different buildings, a swimming pool, and a garden surrounded by one big wall.
Food in Saudi Arabia isn’t very different than the rest of the Middle East. They like a lot of rice and they like meat and chicken, too. One special dish that most Saudis make is called Kapsa. Saudi Arabia also has all these fast food restaurants such as: McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Subway…etc.
The way people dress in Saudi Arabia is very different than the rest of the world. Women have to wear an Abaya only in public, which is a thin black coat that covers the whole body. And a Goutra, which covers the women’s hair. The men have to wear a Thobe, which is a white, thin, and long dress. The men also usually cover their hair. But when they are at home or under their Abayas and Thobes they were the nicest and most expensive modern clothes.
The most important place for all Muslims is located in Saudi Arabia, which is Mecca the house of “Allah”. Which is near the city called Medina, the holy city and cultural center of Islam. There are also The Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, which is very important in Saudi. Saudi Arabia also has a variety of Mosques that people attend daily.
In conclusion these three countries have their similarities and differences. All the countries have different geographical conditions. Some are hot, some are cold, and some are moderate. We found out that each of these countries have one main religion. The lifestyle in India and Saudi Arabia are very similar while in Italy the lifestyle is more modern. Each of our countries have their traditional foods but at the same time, they all have the same fast food restaurants. The difference between India, Italy, and Saudi Arabia is that Italy does not have any traditional clothing while India and Saudi Arabia do have traditional clothes. Last but not least all our countries have important historic places that are well known all over the world.