Climbing the Stairs
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Climbing the Stairs

Climbing the Stairs | Climbing the Stairs | Scoop.it
A remarkable debut novel set in India that shows one girl's struggle for independence. During World War II and the last days of British ...
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Padma Venkatraman describes the struggles of Vidya (fifteen year old) and her family living in India when the British have taken over during World War 2 in the book climbing the stairs. The story constantly shows the struggles of the family as well as other Indian families, being ruled and controlled by the British government and the British. Vidya's family is very wealthy and her dad is a doctor. Vidya's main goal in life is go to college before she is married off, but after her dad is hit in the head and beat by the British, he is not in good physical or mental condition and can no longer work. Vidya, and her brother, Kitta, are then forced to leave their home and move to Madras with their grandfather and her extended family. Her grandfather’s home is very traditional and the men and woman are separated by floor, where the men live upstairs and the women live downstairs and are only to meet at dinner time. The women are supposed to be married and know how to cook and clean, but have no education. Vidya is a very well behaved child, but doesn't like the situation and the traditions at her grandfather’s home at all, and one day decides to revolt and go on the second floor to her grandfather’s library. There she meets a young boy named Raman, and soon who she falls in love with. He feels the same way about cultural traditions and he encourages her to revolt. But after a while it is clear that Raman wants more than friendship and it becomes open to the whole family. But when Vidya's brother tells the family he's going to fight against the British, Raman asked for Vidya's hand in marriage. But Vidya doesn’t except the proposal because she says she isn’t ready. But later on Raman tells the family he is going to America to further his education and Vidya wants him so bad now. Vidya tells Raman that she will marry him, but only after she finishes college and becomes independent. After the conversation Raman agrees and heads off to America. Lastly Vidya sends a letter to Raman telling him she loves him, and can’t wait to start her college adventures, and come to America to marry him.

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Watch now: Weddings: Something Borrowed, Something New | Lidia Celebrates America | PBS Video

Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich celebrates the traditions surrounding weddings.
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This PBS documentary, "Weddings: Something Barrowed, Something New" talks about the traditions and cultural values done at a Indian wedding. The first thing done is the families of both sides of the couple meets and decides if the couple is compatible for each other. After all this happens the venue, banquet halls, jewelry, and clothing are all decided. Then comes the engagement ceremony, where the rings are exchanged. After the engagement comes the henna ceremony. This is the day before the wedding day the bride, and her family and friends get their hands and feet decorated with henna. Next comes the wedding ceremony. The wedding day all begins with the "Barrat", where the groom’s family introduces/ welcomes themselves to the bride’s family, while dancing. After this takes place both sides of the family meet and exchange gifts and then the mother of the bride welcomes his future son-in-law. From there comes the "Mundup", which marries the couple. The "Mundup", is the stage where the ceremony takes place, which has four pillars. The pillars stand for a parent, that's why there are four. In this ceremony is where you throw stuff into the fire which shows parts of being married. Then the couple will circle the fire seven times which show the bonds of the marriage. After the marriage ceremony comes the reception where the family and friends celebrate the marriage of the couple. There is a big difference in a typical American marriage and a traditional Indian marriage and many cultural differences.


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BBC - History - British History in depth: From Empire to Independence: The British Raj in India 1858-1947

BBC - History - British History in depth: From Empire to Independence: The British Raj in India 1858-1947 | Climbing the Stairs | Scoop.it
by Dr Chandrika Kaul
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The article "From Empire to Independence: The British Raj in India 1858-1947", describes when the British Empire took over India at the start of 1858. The British ruled three fifths of India and the other two fifths was still independent and was not ruled by the British government. The war lasted from 1858-1947. The beginning of this tragic war was when the East India Company was given to the Crown to rule. This war cost Indian about 36 million dollars and was about two years long. The British invaded the Indian cultural values and the religious beliefs and values. They would offend the life of people living in India. Their army consisted of police, Indian civil service, and the Indian army which was all financially covered by India's taxes. Due to the war there were finical advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages included railways, canals, shipping, mining, agriculture, law and order, industry, and education. But as many advantages there were, there was just as many disadvantages included leaving India poorer than it ever was, higher taxes, revenues, army, cropping patterns, capital investments, sterling debt, and economic powers. Every time Indians went against the British and took action, the British army would beat or even kill the people trying to help others or going against the British. But overall the war led to some good and bad things. The end to the war was when India and Pakistan became two different states in 1947. And India remains independent till today.

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India has one third of world's poorest, says World Bank - Telegraph

India has one third of world's poorest, says World Bank - Telegraph | Climbing the Stairs | Scoop.it
One in three of the world's poorest people are living in India, the world's second-fastest growing economy, according to a new study by the World Bank.
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Dean Nelson describes the poverty level in India in his news article, "India has one third of world's poorest, says World Bank." This article describes how, "one in three of the world's poorest people are living in India, which has the world's second-fastest growing economy." India is the home to 400 million of the world’s poorest people. It has so much more of the world’s lowest poverty level than it was thirty ago. As shown and clarified in the article India is on the lower level when talking about welfare. But some states in India are way more wealthy and stable than others as the article claims. This claims that India is one of the world’s poorest countries. Even though India is such a constant growing nation the poverty levels are still economically unstable.

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U.S. History In Context - Document

U.S. History In Context
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In the article, "Hinduism" the beliefs and values of a Hindu family are described. Hinduism a religion mostly followed by Indians in India. The religion portrays that every human being is different in their own way and everyone has their own perspective and outlooks on different things. The gods that Hindu's believe in are Nirguna Brahman (god of time and space) and Saguna Brahman (god of prayer and meditation). The Hindu religion does not have any rules and regulations but it allows for freedom and lets human beings lead themselves. The religion also lets you worship at any place and time. It allows for a lot of imagination and feelings as well. Hinduism is a very unique religion and is the world’s third largest religion. It is followed and valued by many in today’s society.

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Padma Venkatraman | Author of the book

Padma Venkatraman | Author of the book | Climbing the Stairs | Scoop.it
Penguin Speakers Bureau brings many of its award-winning and bestselling fiction and nonfiction authors to audiences everywhere, from Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists and bestselling novelists to leading economists and cutting-edge scientists.
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Padma Venkatraman is the author of the book "Climbing the Stairs". Her first career was education and oceanographic, and then she became a full time author.   The book won two awards which were the Boston Authors Club’s Julia Ward Howe Young Readers Award and the ASTAL Rhode Island Book of the Year Award.

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India-Map

India-Map | Climbing the Stairs | Scoop.it
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India ia a peninsula located in south Asia which is bordered by Pakistan and China. It is the third largest country in the world and has an area of 32,87,590 sq km. It also has the world's largest mountains (Himalayas), which attracts a lot of tourism.

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An insight into Traditional Indian Families

An insight into Traditional Indian Families | Climbing the Stairs | Scoop.it
India is a country on a quick road to modernization. Despite a strong western influence, most families in India are still traditional, as in following rules/conventions that have lasted for hundreds of years, and are often proud of it.
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The Indian traditional family is viewed very differently than a traditional American family in today's society. The article “An Insight into Traditional Indian Families" on Hub Pages gives the outlook of a traditional Indian family. India is very fast growing country, but most families in India still follow the cultural values and traditions. A traditional Indian family usually consists of 3 generations in the same household which is commonly large. The household consist of the children, their father’s parents, their parents, and the father’s brothers and their wives. Some traditional values include after marriage the sons continue to live with his parents and are expected to take care of his parents until death and financially support the family. The wife is sent to her husband’s house after marriage and viewed as the homemaker and is expected to take care of the children, cooking, cleaning, and managing the budget of the family. Religion is a big factor in marriage and arranged marriages are set what to bring the couple together. The couple should not have sex before there married life, and also not interact. The women are to wear saris on a daily basis which is a normal custom. The customs may vary a lot from today's society but are very important religious and cultural views of being a part of the Indian traditional family.

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Indian wedding: Blessedly blissful

Indian wedding: Blessedly blissful | Climbing the Stairs | Scoop.it
Colorful costumes, vibrant settings, happy faces, lip-smacking traditional food-fare and a lot more comprise the extravaganza of an Indian wedding.
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This newspaper article, "Indian Wedding: Blessedly Blissful" describes the environment of an Indian wedding and the cultural perspective. Indian weddings are religious and last for a couple of days. Important cultural values are the wedding venue, and the wedding outfits and jewelry. The wedding venue is prepared by many people and is prepared for many days and hours, sometimes by the bride’s family or caters if the family desires. There are five major ceremonies which are all on different days. This very fist ceremony that takes place is the Nikah, which is the marriage contract. The Nikah is basically a contract that states the man and woman are getting married and can live as husband and. The next ceremony that takes place is the Manje, which is the turmeric ceremony. At this ceremony where, "the female relatives of the bride anoint her with turmeric paste and other herbal mixtures to bring out the glow in her complexion." After the turmeric ceremony comes the mehendi, which is the henna ceremony. At this ceremony the bride and her family and friends hands and feet are covered with henna. Upon the henna ceremony, comes the Wedding day which the bride is bid farewell and the bride is sent off to the groom's family. This ceremony is usually hosted by the bride’s family and is a big day for both the families. The last and final event that takes place is the valima or the receptions as known in America. This event is usually hosted by the groom's family and is a day where both the families come together and celebrated the couples long married life. Even though weddings are known to be way shorter here in America, the Indians way of bonding two as one is a handful of ceremonies but at the end of it all, it is full of great cultural values and traditions.

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Keeping Corner

Keeping Corner | Climbing the Stairs | Scoop.it
Ba slipped the gold bangles from my wrists. The gold ones were plain so I didn’t mind taking them off, but I loved wearing my milk-glass ...
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I would like to read the book Keeping Corner because it sounds and looks very interesting. It explains in the synopsis that it's about the Indian culture and I love to read books about my culture. I want to read this book also because I would like to learn more about my cultur and always love to expand my knowledge about India.

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