There are an immense amount of different issues with our environment right now, our biggest issues are deforestation and air quality. An immense amount of the air quality issues come from our transportation uses and different industries emitting different hazardous chemicals into the air we breathe . There are also a lot of different natural hazards we have within our environment. We have serious droughts, flash floods and huge widespread flooding when it is monsoon season (The World Factbook: India). This can really affect my parents work, because these natural hazards affect the farmland and sometimes even my transportation to and from school.
Indian culture is solely based off of our religion and what we practice with our religion. We have a lot of pride when it comes to our beliefs and how Hinduism plays an important role in our everyday life. With our culture there are a lot of “do’s and don’ts” and these play a big role in how we interact with one another and how we live our normal everyday life.
For example some things that we do are that we must treat our elders with respect and we are told to dress conservatively out of respect for those around us. Some things we do not do is swear, criticize India as a country or the power within the country and criticizing someone for their ability or physical appearance. A lot of our cultural practices also come from our morals that tie directly to Hinduism (Pier, ‘Indian Culture – Do’s and Don’ts’).
Within India we have an immense amount of values directly tied to our culture and our religion. One of our biggest cultural values is living in harmony and unity with one another and to respect each other. Another key value in our culture is having acceptance for everyone around you and for those you do not even agree with. Just like our practices an immense amount of our values are directly tied to our religious views and the way things flow within our country (Pier, ‘Indian Culture – Core Concepts’).
The culture in India is quite different when compared to American culture. I did an interview with a friend of mine who lived in India for a few months, so I would not say she is an expert on the country but she definitely had a lot of insight that surprised me. Kara told me that the biggest difference she saw was that in India family is so important and your family are your closest friends and biggest supporters. But in America we have an idea that being independent and removing yourself from your family is normal and seen as okay. There was an immense amount of differences I just saw from doing the research. The biggest one that caught my eye was the fact that in India they are very conservative and modest, especially the way they dress. In America we have a culture that modesty is not expected out of someone unless it is directly associated with your religion.
My family and I live in Kolkata India which is a fairly large city located in eastern India. Kolkata is located in the western Bengal portion of India and has a population of about 4.5 million people (The World Factbook: India). We live in a fairly small apartment and my parents work very hard for where we live. I am not sure how much my parents make but I would like to say that we are in the Vaishya system. We still have a caste system in India so everyone’s “economic status” is based off of the caste system. My grandparents from both my mother’s side and father’s side live with us, we all share one room in our small apartment.
There are an immense amount of different types of geographical challenges that we face within Kolkata. The biggest challenge is the environment around us, climate change is very real and we are negatively impacted by it. Another big issue that we are facing right now is the damage of our pure water wetlands. The city drains sewage and other waste into a big body of pure water wetlands located within our city and this is causing a lot of different issues. Not only is our food and air quality getting affected by this damage but also many organisms and species are dying because of this issue (Jena, ‘India’s Unique Water Purification Wetland Could Soon Become Extinct’, 2020).
Status of Human Rights
Human rights are violated all the time within my country, as a girl I am afraid to be raped because the feminist movement within my country is still on the rise. In most rape cases when a women tries to find legal help and press any charges she has an immense amount of barriers against her. Most of the barriers are brought on by law enforcement within our own country and city. Often women are shamed for being raped and the refusal to open up cases against the men who have raped them. I am terrified that if I were to get raped these types of barriers would come in my way and I would be faced with shaming (Roth, ‘World Report 2020: Rights Trends in India’, 2020).
Another thing that I am worried about is how law enforcement treats children my age. Although there is a new law in place stating that nobody under the age of 18 can get capital punishment. I am still worried because there are children who are younger than I am that are currently being held in detention centers for protesting against our government. There are still hundreds of children my age and younger in detention centers facing abuse everyday and I am scared that this will happen to me as well (Roth, ‘World Report 2020: Rights Trends in India’, 2020).
The power dynamic within India is called the Republic of India. We have a president, vice president, and a prime minister. We have many different branches of our government as well we have legislative branches, executive branches and judicial branches (The World Factbook: India). The prime minister of our country was reelected in May of 2019 and since then there have been an immense amount of protests within our country and city. This has caused fear and violence all over and it is often scary for me to ride the bus to my school or walk to the market because I am scared of the protesters. The government decided to split Jammu and Kashmir which are now two seperate states of India. This caused more protests and threats all throughout India (Roth, ‘World Report 2020: Rights Trends in India’, 2020).