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(ABC News)   Millions of devout Hindus take their annual bath in the sacred Ganges river to cleanse their sins, contract new and interesting skin diseases from the rotting corpses and raw sewage floating in the river   (abcnews.go.com ) divider line 112
    More: Scary, Hindus, wastewaters, religious festivals, skin diseases, Indian Town, marching bands  
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12334 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jan 2013 at 11:08 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-01-14 11:15:43 AM  
5 votes:

groppet: You would think they would take better care of such a holy site.


You'd think that the worship of female deities would mean women are more respected, but that's not the case either.
2013-01-14 12:32:30 PM  
4 votes:

Euler007: This thread makes it really hard to separate the racists from the trolls.


Is this something that keeps you awake at night?

Is it racist to call a shiathole a shiathole?
2013-01-14 11:50:05 AM  
4 votes:
Oh, Religion! *pats head* You are literally the worst way to draw conclusions about the world. We as a species are consistently worse off because you create a pattern of reinforcing bad ideas. Thanks for nothing.

Sincerely,
Atheist
2013-01-14 11:39:18 AM  
4 votes:
It seems that India is teeming with waterborne illness. They just manage to out-breed the reaper.
2013-01-14 11:33:10 AM  
4 votes:
I will never be able to take a culture seriously if it can't figure out basic concepts, like how you should swim up stream from the place where you poop and dispose of your dead.
2013-01-14 11:19:13 AM  
4 votes:

Mugato: I took computer science in college. I believe they only take one bath a day.


How many baths per day do you take, Skipper?
2013-01-14 11:18:18 AM  
4 votes:
I think it's time for humans to do away with the whole 'do stuff cause we did it last year' thing.

Cancel all current human traditions! Mix it up people! That means you too Christmas and Halloween.
2013-01-15 06:31:00 AM  
3 votes:
I've spent some time thinking about this. Why it all bothers me so much. India in so many ways is as farked up as most of Africa. I think what sets India apart for all of us is that for a good decade it has risen in economic power. Some of the richest people in the world are Indians and you see them live in absolutely decadent splendor while down the street, it looks like a bomb went off. In short, you have one billion people but they can't get it together enough to stop shiatting on the sidewalk. The poverty, the filth, the suffering beyond anything we see here in America. It's also in no small part the fact that so many jobs here have been outsourced there. Being of primarily German decent, I can't help but consider how my own people were reviled post WW2 for the atrocities of the Nazi regime. Are all Germans from that era evil? No, but they don't get off that easy either and rightly so. The same can be said of the south in slave era America or South Africa during Apartide. You are responsible to some extent for what goes on in your communities. You allow it to happen in spite of the fact that you or others in your country know damn well that allowing people to suffer and starve and allow rotting bodies to be eaten by wild dogs on the riverbanks and shiat all over the place are things that are not acceptable in many other places on the planet. Don't get me started on the insanity of people hanging off rail cars and all of the tragic, dumb ways people die from what seems to be common sense. I guess the bottom line is that I expect more from them? It's been an interesting thread to say the least. I don't not like Indians I just think some of these things are just... ridiculous. 1 billion people. For fark's sake hire some street sweepers! Someone cited NYC in the 1880's, they cleaned up the shiat finally only after they hired a small army to do so. Get your shiat together India!
2013-01-14 02:04:21 PM  
3 votes:

TheOther: R.A.Danny: lohphat: lumiere:
The trick is actually to stay away from countries with such a huge disparity in wealth. The number one red flag and reminder to leave (if not intentionally kicked out) a place is when the middle class starts shrinking and the poor and rich abound.

Like the USA?

Our poor have cable and donuts.

and refrigerators.


Do we have to have our poor suffer like third world poor before we do something about it?

There's a reason there's a frist world vs the third: Standard of living.

The owners of this country keep outsourcing labor to third world countries se our local labor force has to compete with them. This is why we have middle-class wage stagnation for 30+ years an increased housing, education, and healthcare costs bankrupting many. What happened? We used to have a healthy economy and modern infrastructure.
2013-01-14 01:10:34 PM  
3 votes:

nirwana: halfof33: Somacandra: they'll even tell you that Ganges water kept in a bottle never goes bad.

That is absolutely 100 percent true.

Cookie to someone who knows why.

The oxygen content never diminishes.


It was bad in the first place?
2013-01-14 11:45:19 AM  
3 votes:
I don't care what kind of immune system you have, I don't see how any immune system can help you if you jump in there with any scratch or open sore.
2013-01-14 11:44:13 AM  
3 votes:

Warthog: I will never be able to take a culture seriously if it can't figure out basic concepts, like how you should swim up stream from the place where you poop and dispose of your dead.


Everyplace is downstream from someplace.  I can't take cultures seriously that can't figure that out either, including yours.
2013-01-14 11:34:59 AM  
3 votes:

amindtat: Old_Chief_Scott: I saw a photo essay on the Ganges a few months ago. It's not the shiat so much as the corpses that really creeped me out.

I may have found the essay you are referring to. I wouldn't so much as dip my toe in that water after seeing that.


So many thoughts here.

1. Jesus Christ.

2. I always figured the disease that would turn half of humanity into a pile of pink vomit would come from an unsanitary, densely-populated place like that. But these people don't seem to be suffering any. This means that whatever super-fark-you-up-bug does emerge will probably pass right over these folks and slaughter everyone who knows what waterless hand cleaner even smells like.

3. BLARRRRFFFFHRLARBL
2013-01-14 09:57:56 AM  
3 votes:

Trivia Jockey: This would have been one of the best uses of the Ironic tag ever.


Very true.

I'd sooner jump into the Chicago river mid August than step foot in that shiathole of a country.
2013-01-14 08:04:14 PM  
2 votes:
Shiat like this is always a real test for me. Because on the one hand, I don't consider myself a xenophobe or racist; in fact I often argue against such things. But on the other hand, I see a country like India, with the abject poverty, the horrible filth, the absurd traffic, the wacky cow stuff... and I think, this culture is the product of these people, so it's inescapable that it says something about them.

I don't mean in an individual, race-based way. I know more than a few indians here where I live in California, who were all born and raised here (except one, who was born and raised in England), and they would be as disgusted by the ganges (to choose but one aspect) as I am.

So it's definitely a cultural thing. But at what point do you go, this culture came from these people, and what conclusions can we draw from that? I don't even really know how to say what I'm thinking about this, because I'm not even sure what my thoughts are. Like I said, shiat like this is tough for me to wrap my head around, and I don't particularly enjoy the kind of challenge it presents.
2013-01-14 01:43:33 PM  
2 votes:
Independent of the living conditions in their ancestral homeland, there's nothing wrong with the people. It's not about race.

The place is just a shiathole. I will *never* visit. After that webpage that was posted here documenting the river, I might just farking throw up too.
2013-01-14 01:38:10 PM  
2 votes:
Those of you who have Amazon Prime can take advantage of a series on the history of India. I've been there, but not all over the place...I went to what is probably the least "Indian" city there is, Bangalore.

It is a beautiful place. Interesting history, too. Dirty, yeah.
2013-01-14 01:37:58 PM  
2 votes:

socoloco: The Ganges ain't that sacred then.


Hell no, it's not. The government built a crematorium, but the people would rather have dead body parts and keep their precious caste system alive even after death (the rich get the full treatment, the poor end up as half burnt body parts before being slung in the water) than to follow the spirit of the original call to cremate the dead. If they wanted that crematorium to function properly -- and the so-called untouchables tending the dead weren't making good money half-assing the cremations -- the Ganges would be well on its way to be cleaned up.

You don't treat your Mother the way the Ganges is being treated. Unbelieveable.
2013-01-14 01:34:27 PM  
2 votes:

fluffy2097: You guys, there is nothing wrong with living in India. There is plenty of clean water and sanitation there.

The cost of living is quite a bit lower, and because you bribe your way through life there, if you've got money, you can hire servants and basically do whatever you want.

The trick is knowing what part of India to go to.

[lh3.ggpht.com image 850x565]

/I think I'll go to the India on the right side of the photo.


The trick is actually to stay away from countries with such a huge disparity in wealth. The number one red flag and reminder to leave (if not intentionally kicked out) a place is when the middle class starts shrinking and the poor and rich abound.
2013-01-14 01:02:36 PM  
2 votes:

R.A.Danny: ciberido: I can assure you the rest of the world finds you as revolting as you find religious people.

What do you have him favorited as?


"was on ignore, asshat atheist-6, insult-3, dumb, defensive, belligerent"

I try to refrain from putting people on ignore, and even when I do, it's usually not permanent; but when I take someone off ignore, I make a note of it. And "asshat atheist" isn't a tag I throw at every atheist, or anytime someone criticizes religion. You have to go full-bore "RAWR! people who believe in INVISIBLE SKY FAERIES are morans!!111" to earn one of those. In six different threads, in crazyeddie's case.

He's somewhat noteworthy in that, on the one hand, I think every time he's been a jerk it's been about religion, but also, on the other hand, he's shown no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Most of the farkers who earn themselves an "asshat atheist" tag also manage to score something positive like rational, compassionate, informative, gay-friendly, interesting--- something along those lines. Which, again, is why I rarely put people on ignore: most farkers are a mix of good and bad, and when you ignore someone, you lose out on whatever worthwhile comments they might make in the future.

I'm guessing either he's reasonably sane when it comes to other topics, or maybe he just never posts about any other topic.

And yes, I'm very anal-retentive about how I categorize my fellow farkers.
2013-01-14 12:59:01 PM  
2 votes:

Yamaneko2: fluffy2097: You guys, there is nothing wrong with living in India. There is plenty of clean water and sanitation there.

The cost of living is quite a bit lower, and because you bribe your way through life there, if you've got money, you can hire servants and basically do whatever you want.

The trick is knowing what part of India to go to.

[lh3.ggpht.com image 850x565]

/I think I'll go to the India on the right side of the photo.

Wasn't that photo taken in Sao Paolo, Brazil?


Reverse GIS says yes.
2013-01-14 12:53:51 PM  
2 votes:

fluffy2097: You guys, there is nothing wrong with living in India. There is plenty of clean water and sanitation there.

The cost of living is quite a bit lower, and because you bribe your way through life there, if you've got money, you can hire servants and basically do whatever you want.

The trick is knowing what part of India to go to.

[lh3.ggpht.com image 850x565]

/I think I'll go to the India on the right side of the photo.


Wasn't that photo taken in Sao Paolo, Brazil?
2013-01-14 12:49:03 PM  
2 votes:

TheSlothAlive: Floating down on the Ganges on a small boat through Varanasi is one of nicest sights I've ever seen in all my travels. Did it twice, once during the day, once at night, amazing stuff. That said I didn't touch the water except to float some candle thing which immediately sank, I guess my prayers will never be answered.

At one point I was sitting by the river and I watched a woman repeatedly dip her toothbrush into the Ganges for a good brushing and about 10 feet up stream a water buffalo was taking a dump. Not a few pellets here and there, a solid of stream of crap that resembled sewage leaving a small pipe. I was stunned.

/CSB


Second this. Watch where you step, don't take picture of the burning ghats, don't drink the water or eat anything that isn't cooked, and definitely get up before sunrise to take a boat down the Ganges and Varanasi is an amazing place to visit. Yes you will see some really disgusting things, but that's part of what makes it amazing: life, all of it, the good and bad, is there on display.
2013-01-14 12:43:36 PM  
2 votes:
When looking for vacation spots, I tend to avoid places where getting diseases is considered part of the experience.
2013-01-14 12:34:14 PM  
2 votes:

R.A.Danny: I'd sooner jump into the Chicago river mid August than step foot in that shiathole of a country.


i49.tinypic.com
2013-01-14 12:33:13 PM  
2 votes:

crazyeddie: Oh, Religion! *pats head* You are literally the worst way to draw conclusions about the world. We as a species are consistently worse off because you create a pattern of reinforcing bad ideas. Thanks for nothing.

Sincerely,
Atheist


I can assure you the rest of the world finds you as revolting as you find religious people.
2013-01-14 12:25:04 PM  
2 votes:
You guys, there is nothing wrong with living in India. There is plenty of clean water and sanitation there.

The cost of living is quite a bit lower, and because you bribe your way through life there, if you've got money, you can hire servants and basically do whatever you want.

The trick is knowing what part of India to go to.

lh3.ggpht.com

/I think I'll go to the India on the right side of the photo.
2013-01-14 12:12:58 PM  
2 votes:
Attention, Hindus: Don't swim in that. It'll make you Sikh.

/try the veal...
2013-01-14 12:06:07 PM  
2 votes:

valar_morghulis: DownDaRiver: Had a boss that was Indian. Born there, but vowed never to return. For some reason he had an issue with a desk lamp I had.
One day he comes up to me and says, "Almost all homes in India use flouresent lights. They are much better for reading".
I looked up at him and said, "Ya?, most homes in India don't have sewage hookups so they defecate openly in the gutters on their streets. What's your point?
He just looked at me not knowing what to say to that before he turned and walked away. He never mentioned flouresent lighting again.

Mean, but effective.


Effective at wrecking one's chances of promotion.
2013-01-14 12:05:15 PM  
2 votes:

DownDaRiver: Had a boss that was Indian. Born there, but vowed never to return. For some reason he had an issue with a desk lamp I had.
One day he comes up to me and says, "Almost all homes in India use flouresent lights. They are much better for reading".
I looked up at him and said, "Ya?, most homes in India don't have sewage hookups so they defecate openly in the gutters on their streets. What's your point?
He just looked at me not knowing what to say to that before he turned and walked away. He never mentioned flouresent lighting again.


Mean, but effective.
2013-01-14 11:59:18 AM  
2 votes:

lumiere: And then they wonder why some of the rarest diseases in the world are far more prominent in India:

[i5.asn.im image 634x520]
Neurofibromatosis


[thumbpress.com image 600x292]
Hypertrichosis

And some too gruesome to even put up (some of you may be approaching your lunch hour).



You suck at pathophysiology. Those are genetic diseases. Next time try leishmaniasis.

/it isn't cutaneous, but Naegleria fowleri is the one that scares me
2013-01-14 11:55:30 AM  
2 votes:
A culture based on a bunch of claptrap to keep them from eating the farm machinery is dysfunctional? Who would have thought.
2013-01-14 11:52:38 AM  
2 votes:
Sometimes poorer people cannot afford enough wood to completely burn a body. In this case charred body parts are simply flung into the river with the ashes. Certain people, such as small children, pregnant women and holy men, are not cremated at all, but instead simply have their bodies weighted down with stones and are dropped into the Ganges. Not too pleasant for the many bathers around the ghats.

As a solution to the problem of human remains clogging up the Ganges, snapping turtles were bred and released into the river specifically to eat the corpses and bones. A good idea, maybe, but since bodies and body parts are still seen floating around the river today, perhaps not as effective as originally hoped.
Link  to this nasty pic/story
2013-01-14 11:51:31 AM  
2 votes:

Mugato: I don't care what kind of immune system you have, I don't see how any immune system can help you if you jump in there with any scratch or open sore.


it probably doesn't. People come from all over India, jump in, catch something, then goes back to where they live and get sick there. perception is they don't get sick in Varanasi.

Took me about 4 days after I left Varanasi before I got really sick and all I did was walk along the river.
2013-01-14 11:48:12 AM  
2 votes:

unyon: Warthog: I will never be able to take a culture seriously if it can't figure out basic concepts, like how you should swim up stream from the place where you poop and dispose of your dead.

Everyplace is downstream from someplace.  I can't take cultures seriously that can't figure that out either, including yours.


1.  I would never throw Uncle Ed into the river if he dies;
2.  My poop gets filtered before it ends up in the river;
3.  I STILL don't swim in the local river because of what's upstream from us (paper plants, mainly);
4.  and my water also gets filtered before I drink it.

We absolutely pollute our waterways, which is a damned shame in my mind.  But I'd say most folks account for that in how they go on to use the water out of the waterways.
2013-01-14 11:45:38 AM  
2 votes:

Flakeloaf: But these people don't seem to be suffering any.


Except the guy whose face was melting off, and the other guy whose whole face was covered in growths of some sort.
2013-01-14 11:29:02 AM  
2 votes:

groppet: You would think they would take better care of such a holy site.


On the contrary. Its being a holy site makes it immune to all of the crap they dump into it because Mother Ganges is a goddess and above such mortal concerns. Seriously. You can't suggest that the river is polluted lest you cause great offense.
2013-01-14 11:26:41 AM  
2 votes:

Mugato: I took computer science in college. I believe they only take one bath a day year.


FTFY
2013-01-14 11:11:48 AM  
2 votes:

R.A.Danny: Old_Chief_Scott: I can't think about this too much. If I do I'll need to vomit.

Remember the scene in Caddy Shack with the Baby Ruth? Just imagine swimming with real logs, with your mouth open.


I saw a photo essay on the Ganges a few months ago. It's not the shiat so much as the corpses that really creeped me out.
2013-01-14 11:05:52 AM  
2 votes:

St_Francis_P: On the positive side, their immune systems are kept in top-notch condition.


www.isthisitmodelsreview.com
2013-01-14 10:44:46 AM  
2 votes:

Old_Chief_Scott: I can't think about this too much. If I do I'll need to vomit.


Remember the scene in Caddy Shack with the Baby Ruth? Just imagine swimming with real logs, with your mouth open.
2013-01-14 09:49:39 AM  
2 votes:
This would have been one of the best uses of the Ironic tag ever.
2013-01-14 11:08:06 PM  
1 vote:

ChadM89: I get a strong 'those people' train of thought in my head, and that makes me uncomfortable because I don't like to think of myself as racist or xenophobic.


You're human, therefor you have prejudice.
2013-01-14 08:44:02 PM  
1 vote:

ChadM89: Shiat like this is always a real test for me. Because on the one hand, I don't consider myself a xenophobe or racist; in fact I often argue against such things. But on the other hand, I see a country like India, with the abject poverty, the horrible filth, the absurd traffic, the wacky cow stuff... and I think, this culture is the product of these people, so it's inescapable that it says something about them.

I don't mean in an individual, race-based way. I know more than a few indians here where I live in California, who were all born and raised here (except one, who was born and raised in England), and they would be as disgusted by the ganges (to choose but one aspect) as I am.

So it's definitely a cultural thing. But at what point do you go, this culture came from these people, and what conclusions can we draw from that? I don't even really know how to say what I'm thinking about this, because I'm not even sure what my thoughts are. Like I said, shiat like this is tough for me to wrap my head around, and I don't particularly enjoy the kind of challenge it presents.


I don't know where you went to school, but my gradeschool experience did absolutely nothing in terms of teaching people to sensitively and constructively discuss race, culture, etc. And I had an anthropology class in fifth grade. My teachers weren't racist or anything like that, but the school was mostly white, and it was just never discussed. I get frustrated by all the same things you do.

The best I've come up with so far is this:
1. Always treat sensitive topics as such. You don't have to agree with the other side, and you don't have to take anyone's word as gospel even if they have more experience than you, but if you're discussing Indian culture with an Indian, remember that even if you disagree, it's their culture, and it's much more personal for them.

2. It is ok to be angry when confronted with something that conflicts with your beliefs. It's going to happen and it's going to be tough and there's no point in pretending otherwise. It is not useful, from an anthropological standpoint, to use anger as an excuse to remain ignorant about something. Use your anger as a motivation to do more research into what's going on. It will be informative for you, and you'll be able to speak more intelligently and feel better about your emotions. If, for example, you are horrified by dead bodies floating down the Ganges, use that as an excuse to learn about the river and its significance.

3. Treat people like people, and give them the benefit of the doubt. This means: pretty much everyone has a reason for doing something. It may not be a good reason, but it's there. Understanding this reasoning is a huge step toward empathy. That's sort of related to 2). It also means remembering that no one likes every aspect of their own culture, but most individuals are powerless to change that aspect, and railing about cultural deficiencies to people who must endure them every day without complaint can seem strange. For example, if you were to talk to a US student today about standardized testing, they'd probably be livid about it, but it's not their fault and there's really nothing they can do. Saying something like, "Man, it sucks that you have to take so many tests," may or may not win you points. It's hard to explain over the 'net.

I don't have any more answers than you do, but I'm doing my best.
2013-01-14 07:23:20 PM  
1 vote:
I could deal with the filth and garbage and even the bodies in the river parading past the bathers. It's a good test of my stated "when you're dead, you're dead/the body is just a shell" POV, I suppose. Also, it's their country, their culture. Anyone who knows what a "cannula" is could understand why our "modern" funerary practices aren't without morbid and even disgusting aspects.

I would personally have trouble with the sheer press of people. India has almost certainly more people than are counted, and that count is about 1.3 billion. That gives me the squirrellies more than the aquatic dead do.

I understand the South of India is better educated, cleaner, less packed and less rapey. The north of India, Kashmir, etc., is troubled but arguably one of the more beautiful places on Earth. It's the vast middle bit I think I would find crazy-making.
2013-01-14 06:54:54 PM  
1 vote:

andhravodu: The only advice is to always drink Bottled water and beware of traffic.


You just have to know how to cross an Indian road.

This video brings me right back to Hyderabad every time I see it.
2013-01-14 06:00:55 PM  
1 vote:
Know what else is in the Ganges River?

www.elasmodiver.com

Bull sharks. And they've grown accustomed to eating human from the corpses that are consigned to the river. Considering they're one of the few shark species that will eat people as part of its normal diet, this is a very bad thing.

/of course, all the sewage and crap might have killed off the bull sharks in the river
//still a horrible body of water to go into
2013-01-14 04:48:44 PM  
1 vote:
Ugh, disgusting, I think I'd visit North Korea before visiting India if given the choice. The Ganges is the most polluted river on the face of the earth.

Public works project proposed for cleaning up the Ganges:

Give out Bill Gates Foundation's redesigned toilet to all the homes and businesses. Hire the poor people to scrape up the filth/feces/corpses out of the river and its banks, dry it, burn it for electricity, spread the ashes on fields.
2013-01-14 04:45:43 PM  
1 vote:
I now believe the zombie apocalypse will originiate in India.
2013-01-14 04:44:34 PM  
1 vote:

R.A.Danny: andhravodu: This isn't everything I was thinking of, but more than enough to describe. Thanks for putting the words kind sir.

I am fascinated with India, and have traveled in some backwater places (lots of inland China, a whole different world from Hong Kong or the touristy areas and big cities). My problem is the VERY high percentage of the people visiting getting quite ill. I've eaten grubs, scorpions, and fish tacos from a Juarez pushcart. Delhi belly gives me the heebie jeebies though. Swimming in a river full of dead bodies? I'd rather not.


Avoid the Ganga river then. That would be portions of Northern and Eastern India. South India is relatively cleaner, better educated and has mostly tropical weather. Bangalore and Hyderabad are good entry points. The only advice is to always drink Bottled water and beware of traffic.
2013-01-14 04:23:38 PM  
1 vote:

andhravodu: This isn't everything I was thinking of, but more than enough to describe. Thanks for putting the words kind sir.


I am fascinated with India, and have traveled in some backwater places (lots of inland China, a whole different world from Hong Kong or the touristy areas and big cities). My problem is the VERY high percentage of the people visiting getting quite ill. I've eaten grubs, scorpions, and fish tacos from a Juarez pushcart. Delhi belly gives me the heebie jeebies though. Swimming in a river full of dead bodies? I'd rather not.
2013-01-14 04:04:54 PM  
1 vote:

ExperianScaresCthulhu: whatshisname: Spanky_McFarksalot: the only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing actually worth seeing is the Taj Mahel, which should be in another country and which I would contribute to have moved.

I've been to India twice, and plan to go back again and again. I guess you have to see the Taj Mahal, but there are much more interesting things to see in the country. Just hanging out in Mumbai and taking in the day-to-day goings on amid the traffic and chaos is incredible. It's a huge country with a diverse range of climates, geography and people and a history and ruins that go back for millenia. You could spend a lifetime exploring it and still not cover everything.

But with the poverty dirt and social inequality, India provokes strong reactions from travelers. They either run screaming from it or fall in love with it and keep going back. I've seen people crying in the airport waiting for the first flight out, and I know people who are planning their 30th trip.

Who the fk gets hard and wants to go back to abject poverty, despair and filth???! You must be rich, because only the rich can afford to go 'this is cool!' about surrounding themselves in other people's garbage, dead bodies and excrement as a choice.


I think the exact opposite is true. It would be a rich person who would be put off by all that, who would isolate themselves in a 5 star hotel on a business trip and then be disgusted when the actual sights and sounds (and smells) of India penetrated their self imposed barriers. I worked a crappy night shift job at a hotel front desk when I saved up for my trip, I was far from rich. I went with about 6 grand, came back with a grand and I stayed for close to 5 months. It was a trip of a lifetime and this is coming from a person that's done a lot of traveling. But yeah, it's not for everyone, you would see people just hating it and all I could say to them was suggest that they hop on a plane to Thailand, it's easier there (both places are fun).

It's a strange place but there's so much beauty, almost limitless things to see and filled with the nicest people that just want to talk (and occasionally stare at you, unblinking, for an entire train ride). It's also a sad place but the people there seem happier and less angry than the average North American (myself included). Don't get me wrong, they'd trade places with me and I wouldn't with them but they rise above, they make their own happiness when they can. I found it interesting and it changed my perspective somewhat. They're also extremely proud of their country, the closing of the gates ceremony at the Pakistan-Indian border is a spetacle that you'd have actually have to attend to grasp the level of emotion taking place. India is like 50 different countries all crammed together, where everyone's speaks just enough English to make travel easy and that spattering of English everywhere let's you be adventurous because you know you'll be able to handle where ever you end up.

Someone said earlier that the Taj Mahal was the only thing worth seeing, I'd say it was probably one of the more disappointing things. Extremely overpriced and sterile and you can see similar architecture at different mausoleums in other places though not nearly on the scale of the Tah Mahal. It just something I had seen in so many pictures and it was exactly what I expected, nothing more. That said, it was one of last things I saw and I had my blown by so many other things already that maybe I'm not the best judge. In my opinion the Golden Temple blew the Taj Mahal's ass out of the water.

/I'm rambling, I'll stop but I really think it's a very interesting place and worth visiting.
2013-01-14 03:38:57 PM  
1 vote:

spidermilk: I work in the US but my job for a few years was designing a tiny part of wastewater treatment plants in India.

Anyway, the reason that some Indian people smell weird to us is because they eat completely different spices than we do. I have heard from non-American people that to them Americans have what they call a 'hamburger' smell. Which probably isn't really hamburger but whatever spices we are eating. Point is, they think that we stink and are weirdos too.

Yea. My main point is that Indians aren't disgusting, they don't have the infrastructure that we have. We have been building wastewater treatment plants for hundreds of years and in the 70s we made all these great laws that ensure we have clean water. They're working on it.

The thing I would be most worried about if I went to India would be the completely antibiotic resistant TB they have.


spidermilk: I work in the US but my job for a few years was designing a tiny part of wastewater treatment plants in India.

Anyway, the reason that some Indian people smell weird to us is because they eat completely different spices than we do. I have heard from non-American people that to them Americans have what they call a 'hamburger' smell. Which probably isn't really hamburger but whatever spices we are eating. Point is, they think that we stink and are weirdos too.

Yea. My main point is that Indians aren't disgusting, they don't have the infrastructure that we have. We have been building wastewater treatment plants for hundreds of years and in the 70s we made all these great laws that ensure we have clean water. They're working on it.

The thing I would be most worried about if I went to India would be the completely antibiotic resistant TB they have.



Garlic and curry! Those Indians put that shiat on everything, and it go right through their pores.

In all my international travels I've never been able to acquire of the taste or the stomach for curry. It makes me a bit perplexed, that I find some of the most popular food in the world inedible. India truly sounds like my person version of hell.
2013-01-14 03:22:50 PM  
1 vote:

spidermilk: They're working on it.


maybe, but that doesn't change the current conditions, which are disgusting.
2013-01-14 03:11:31 PM  
1 vote:
I work in the US but my job for a few years was designing a tiny part of wastewater treatment plants in India.

Anyway, the reason that some Indian people smell weird to us is because they eat completely different spices than we do. I have heard from non-American people that to them Americans have what they call a 'hamburger' smell. Which probably isn't really hamburger but whatever spices we are eating. Point is, they think that we stink and are weirdos too.

Yea. My main point is that Indians aren't disgusting, they don't have the infrastructure that we have. We have been building wastewater treatment plants for hundreds of years and in the 70s we made all these great laws that ensure we have clean water. They're working on it.

The thing I would be most worried about if I went to India would be the completely antibiotic resistant TB they have.
2013-01-14 03:09:21 PM  
1 vote:

lohphat: lumiere:
The trick is actually to stay away from countries with such a huge disparity in wealth. The number one red flag and reminder to leave (if not intentionally kicked out) a place is when the middle class starts shrinking and the poor and rich abound.

Like the USA?


I wasn't implying the US directly and given I've never been to India, I need to rely on third party data and statistics to make any judgement.

But I can say, having lived in the Persian/Arabian Gulf, a huge portion of the work force in the 70s and 80s came from India and worked for peanuts. Any wages they made were a longshot from the opportunities available back home.  An Indian migrant worker could buy a plot of land and send children to school back home after working for a few years in the GCC countries.

Fast forward to 2010, there are relatively fewer Indians working in the Arabian Gulf than before, they've been replaced with expatriates from even poorer countries.  In fact, when the UAE was going through financial turmoil and Saudi was implementing their Saudization program, many Indians bought one way tickets back to their homeland and never looked back.

These small personal observations lead me to believe that while we have higher standards here in the US, there is no doubt our middle class is shrinking, and while India may have abject poverty, they are actually progressing.  The same middle class progress goes for other BRIC countries, namely Brazil and China.  Stateside, we can see this with Mexico but I'd prefer a Mexican chime in on that. Again, this is my humble opinion from observation and from speaking with others.
2013-01-14 03:02:38 PM  
1 vote:

lohphat: The owners of this country keep outsourcing labor to third world countries se our local labor force has to compete with them. This is why we have middle-class wage stagnation for 30+ years an increased housing, education, and healthcare costs bankrupting many. What happened? We used to have a healthy economy and modern infrastructure.



It's amazing how obvious this is, and how few people ever even think about it.
2013-01-14 02:42:57 PM  
1 vote:
Think about this next time you have chicken Vindaloo.
2013-01-14 02:39:53 PM  
1 vote:
been to over 80 countries including several warzones. not much shocks me. the blue and yellow corpses of babies hitting our tourist boat as we took in the sights of varanasi was an eye opener.

theological/philosophical hinduism has several things, including particular insights into the nature of consciousness, that are interesting and profound. however, my take on everyday hinduism is that of the major religions it is perhaps the worst in terms of making people feel worthless and inconsequential. the best that can be said about everyday hinduism is that at least it's not particularly violent. the worst that can be said about it is that it encourages, tolerates, or at least does not discourage its adherents condemning each other to lives of ineffectual desperation like the family who has yet more children well beyond any reasonable need to "work the family land" and knowing full well that those additional children will live in poverty and misery.
2013-01-14 02:32:18 PM  
1 vote:

CygnusDarius: Behold, the loser in the British colonization.


Yeah, those stupid british introducing religion to india and convincing them the ganges is scared. Exporting the british practice of bathing in the remains of their dead loved ones and raw sewage was a nasty trick. Though it was probably the british imposition of a race based caste system that had the biggest impact for the past 2000 years. And a neat trick how they how they made it all retroactive by several millennia.
2013-01-14 02:26:01 PM  
1 vote:
Mark my words. The zombie apocalypse will come out of India.


No one will notice until it's far too late.
2013-01-14 02:17:11 PM  
1 vote:

whatshisname: I've been to India twice, and plan to go back again and again. I guess you have to see the Taj Mahal, but there are much more interesting things to see in the country. Just hanging out in Mumbai and taking in the day-to-day goings on amid the traffic and chaos is incredible. It's a huge country with a diverse range of climates, geography and people and a history and ruins that go back for millenia. You could spend a lifetime exploring it and still not cover everything.

But with the poverty dirt and social inequality, India provokes strong reactions from travelers. They either run screaming from it or fall in love with it and keep going back. I've seen people crying in the airport waiting for the first flight out, and I know people who are planning their 30th trip.


I've been to a lot of countries in my life, most of which are in the 3rd world. I'm use to crazy, chaos, traffic, diverse climates, strange locals, weird customs and anything else you can throw out.

I didn't run crying from India, but I was more than happy when I left. Only country I have ever had that reaction to. From the day I landed in Calcutta until my flight left from Delhi (To Nepal, which I loved) not a day went by I was happy to be there.
2013-01-14 02:16:59 PM  
1 vote:

crazyeddie: Oh, Religion! *pats head* You are literally the worst way to draw conclusions about the world. We as a species are consistently worse off because you create a pattern of reinforcing bad ideas. Thanks for nothing.

Sincerely,
Atheist


images4.wikia.nocookie.net
2013-01-14 02:12:36 PM  
1 vote:

Spanky_McFarksalot: the only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing actually worth seeing is the Taj Mahel, which should be in another country and which I would contribute to have moved.


I've been to India twice, and plan to go back again and again. I guess you have to see the Taj Mahal, but there are much more interesting things to see in the country. Just hanging out in Mumbai and taking in the day-to-day goings on amid the traffic and chaos is incredible. It's a huge country with a diverse range of climates, geography and people and a history and ruins that go back for millenia. You could spend a lifetime exploring it and still not cover everything.

But with the poverty dirt and social inequality, India provokes strong reactions from travelers. They either run screaming from it or fall in love with it and keep going back. I've seen people crying in the airport waiting for the first flight out, and I know people who are planning their 30th trip.
2013-01-14 01:54:32 PM  
1 vote:
You know with a population of well over a billion despite the rampant disease and waterborne illnesses that spew forth the ganges, the somalia of the bacteria world, one thing is for sure. If india ever jumped on board the sanitation train (instead of pooping on the tracks), they'd have a massive over population problem within about 26 minutes, the average time some one takes to get to the gym.
2013-01-14 01:48:00 PM  
1 vote:

lumiere:
The trick is actually to stay away from countries with such a huge disparity in wealth. The number one red flag and reminder to leave (if not intentionally kicked out) a place is when the middle class starts shrinking and the poor and rich abound.


Like the USA?
2013-01-14 01:45:40 PM  
1 vote:

EbolaNYC: The place is just a shiathole. I will *never* visit.


the only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing actually worth seeing is the Taj Mahel, which should be in another country and which I would contribute to have moved.
2013-01-14 01:43:20 PM  
1 vote:

R.A.Danny: Is it racist to call a shiathole a shiathole?


We all float down here.
And we're all brown, too.
2013-01-14 01:39:37 PM  
1 vote:

Euler007: This thread makes it really hard to separate the racists from the trolls.



WTF does "racist" even mean anymore? The term is so abused now to include prejudice against certain cultures, regardless of skin color. Bill Cosby decried Black Thug culture, that didn't make him a racist, despite any protestations to the contrary. It's been perfectly acceptable for some years now to attack, rightfully, fundamentalist Islamic culture, without being labeled a racist.

Is it really racist to attack the bass-ackwards culture which is traditional India?
2013-01-14 01:28:06 PM  
1 vote:

H31N0US: nirwana: halfof33: Somacandra: they'll even tell you that Ganges water kept in a bottle never goes bad.

That is absolutely 100 percent true.

Cookie to someone who knows why.

The oxygen content never diminishes.

It was bad in the first place?


Boom goes the Dynamite! You nailed it.
2013-01-14 01:17:58 PM  
1 vote:

cards fan by association: Meh. I'm willing to bet a lot of you go on float trips. Piss, vomit and I'm sure a little shiat are floating amongst all the time.


The line between Rustic and Polluted isn't very fine.
2013-01-14 01:07:16 PM  
1 vote:
The Ganges ain't that sacred then.
2013-01-14 01:02:16 PM  
1 vote:

Spanky_McFarksalot: I've been to Varanasi, I think I'm still contracting diseases from just walking along the ghats.

It was truly disgusting. But then again, so was the rest of northern India


If you think northern India is bad wait till you go to Tamil Nadu (southern). The whole place is bascially a cornucopia of diarrhea mix in with strong pungent curry powder and other human excrements.
2013-01-14 01:01:31 PM  
1 vote:

Yamaneko2: fluffy2097: You guys, there is nothing wrong with living in India. There is plenty of clean water and sanitation there.

The cost of living is quite a bit lower, and because you bribe your way through life there, if you've got money, you can hire servants and basically do whatever you want.

The trick is knowing what part of India to go to.

[lh3.ggpht.com image 850x565]

/I think I'll go to the India on the right side of the photo.

Wasn't that photo taken in Sao Paolo, Brazil?


My thoughts too. That slum looks too upscale for the India I've been to. Too many cars in the backyards, for one. I could be wrong though.
2013-01-14 12:56:04 PM  
1 vote:

R.A.Danny:

I'd sooner jump into the Chicago river mid August than step foot in that shiathole of a country.



If you have money, and there, "having money" means anything more than coins, you can do quite well there.

I was stating at 5-star and above (above = heritage hotels... often converted palaces) for less than a Holiday Inn in Kansas. Full-time private driver for 10 days was only about $350 total.

you get the royal treatment there for the same price as running between hostels in Europe. its worth a trip.
2013-01-14 12:45:32 PM  
1 vote:
Meh. I'm willing to bet a lot of you go on float trips. Piss, vomit and I'm sure a little shiat are floating amongst all the time.
2013-01-14 12:37:12 PM  
1 vote:

Euler007: This thread makes it really hard to separate the racists from the trolls.


Just shoot them both, problem solved.
2013-01-14 12:36:54 PM  
1 vote:

R.A.Danny: valar_morghulis: DownDaRiver: Had a boss that was Indian. Born there, but vowed never to return. For some reason he had an issue with a desk lamp I had.
One day he comes up to me and says, "Almost all homes in India use flouresent lights. They are much better for reading".
I looked up at him and said, "Ya?, most homes in India don't have sewage hookups so they defecate openly in the gutters on their streets. What's your point?
He just looked at me not knowing what to say to that before he turned and walked away. He never mentioned flouresent lighting again.

Mean, but effective.

Effective at wrecking one's chances of promotion.


And you are obsolutly right. Wasn't much further I could have gone there anyway. And I was already looking for other places to go.
2013-01-14 12:31:36 PM  
1 vote:
This thread makes it really hard to separate the racists from the trolls.
2013-01-14 12:28:35 PM  
1 vote:

fluffy2097: You guys, there is nothing wrong with living in India.


Enjoy. I'm staying here.
2013-01-14 12:12:59 PM  
1 vote:

Warthog: unyon: Warthog: I will never be able to take a culture seriously if it can't figure out basic concepts, like how you should swim up stream from the place where you poop and dispose of your dead.

Everyplace is downstream from someplace.  I can't take cultures seriously that can't figure that out either, including yours.

1.  I would never throw Uncle Ed into the river if he dies;
2.  My poop gets filtered before it ends up in the river;
3.  I STILL don't swim in the local river because of what's upstream from us (paper plants, mainly);
4.  and my water also gets filtered before I drink it.

We absolutely pollute our waterways, which is a damned shame in my mind.  But I'd say most folks account for that in how they go on to use the water out of the waterways.


Not saying our waterways are perfect but they're significantly better than they were when I was growing up:

River catches fire
2013-01-14 12:12:27 PM  
1 vote:

R.A.Danny: Trivia Jockey: This would have been one of the best uses of the Ironic tag ever.

Very true.

I'd sooner jump into the Chicago river mid August than step foot in that shiathole of a country.



but i'd bet you'd send American jobs over there to get some of that sweet, cheap, hindu labor so you and your stockholders could laugh all the way to the bank. (if you owned/CEO'd a decent sized company)

and those taxes that would not be coming in anymore from your offshored American jobs would be fuel for your fire of whining about having to pay 'too much' in taxes.

yes indeed, you must be an American.
2013-01-14 12:00:10 PM  
1 vote:

swangoatman: Sometimes poorer people cannot afford enough wood to completely burn a body. In this case charred body parts are simply flung into the river with the ashes. Certain people, such as small children, pregnant women and holy men, are not cremated at all, but instead simply have their bodies weighted down with stones and are dropped into the Ganges. Not too pleasant for the many bathers around the ghats.

As a solution to the problem of human remains clogging up the Ganges, snapping turtles were bred and released into the river specifically to eat the corpses and bones. A good idea, maybe, but since bodies and body parts are still seen floating around the river today, perhaps not as effective as originally hoped.
Link  to this nasty pic/story


That was fascinating.
2013-01-14 11:56:34 AM  
1 vote:

Mugato: Dudes, you're not supposed to put up farked up disturbing images like that. Can someone delete those please?


My apologies for the oversight. I'm familiar with the posting rules but this part slipped my mind.

"Graphic image content: Images that would make most viewers feel ill, upset, or uncomfortable. This includes but is not limited to: cadavers, autopsies, surgeries, vomiting, severed limbs, alarming deformities, dead animals, extreme body modifications, torture, and bodily functions are not to be posted in the threads. Images that depict graphic content will be deleted."

Mods, please delete my previous post.
2013-01-14 11:53:17 AM  
1 vote:
Yay, religion!
2013-01-14 11:51:49 AM  
1 vote:

Flakeloaf: R.A.Danny: It seems that India is teeming with waterborne illness. They just manage to out-breed the reaper.

That's more in line with what I meant. Of course a great many of them are getting sick and dying, but the neat thing about being an R-strategist is that eventually the survivors will laugh off what killed their great-aunts and uncles. A lot of the folks by that river seem to be quite old and not in any obvious ill health.

/IANAD
//IANAI either.


Much like the dark ages, once people get past their 5th birthday, they're likely to have a somewhat normal longevity. It's the getting past young childhood that is a biatch.
2013-01-14 11:51:46 AM  
1 vote:

Flakeloaf: ...the neat thing about being an R-strategist is that eventually the survivors will laugh off what killed their great-aunts and uncles.


EPIDEMIOLOGY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.
2013-01-14 11:49:33 AM  
1 vote:

R.A.Danny: It seems that India is teeming with waterborne illness. They just manage to out-breed the reaper.


That's more in line with what I meant. Of course a great many of them are getting sick and dying, but the neat thing about being an R-strategist is that eventually the survivors will laugh off what killed their great-aunts and uncles. A lot of the folks by that river seem to be quite old and not in any obvious ill health.

/IANAD
//IANAI either.
2013-01-14 11:47:18 AM  
1 vote:
I'm guessing that their 20k "makeshift" toilets are holes dug in the dirt right next to the river. Might as well just shiat and piss in it like they usually do.
2013-01-14 11:47:00 AM  
1 vote:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: R.A.Danny: Flakeloaf: But these people don't seem to be suffering any.

Not unless you count widespread cholera.

Well, at least their economy has grown to the point where they now have white cholera and blue cholera workers


I regret that I laughed before facepalming.
2013-01-14 11:46:26 AM  
1 vote:
Reminds me of the river Ankh.
2013-01-14 11:46:04 AM  
1 vote:

lumiere: And some too gruesome to even put up (some of you may be approaching your lunch hour).


some of the beggars I saw while there still kills my appetite.
2013-01-14 11:44:09 AM  
1 vote:
And then they wonder why some of the rarest diseases in the world are far more prominent in India:

i5.asn.im
Neurofibromatosis


thumbpress.com
Hypertrichosis

And some too gruesome to even put up (some of you may be approaching your lunch hour).
2013-01-14 11:43:22 AM  
1 vote:

R.A.Danny: Flakeloaf: But these people don't seem to be suffering any.

Not unless you count widespread cholera.


Well, at least their economy has grown to the point where they now have white cholera and blue cholera workers
2013-01-14 11:40:21 AM  
1 vote:
India just looks gross.
2013-01-14 11:37:03 AM  
1 vote:
I would just note that there is a lot of soap and disinfectant in the Ganges as well, precisely because people bring bathing supplies like soap and shampoo for their daily baths. Its an amazing set of folklore really. Pious locals cook and wash in nothing else---they'll even tell you that Ganges water kept in a bottle never goes bad. That said, many parts of India would certainly benefit from a massive upgrade in rural infrastructure and indoor plumbing. Lots of places in the world would. I wonder if the Lifestraw is popular there.
2013-01-14 11:37:00 AM  
1 vote:

amindtat: Old_Chief_Scott: I saw a photo essay on the Ganges a few months ago. It's not the shiat so much as the corpses that really creeped me out.

I may have found the essay you are referring to. I wouldn't so much as dip my toe in that water after seeing that.


Not clicking that. Mondays are bad enough already.
2013-01-14 11:36:54 AM  
1 vote:

Flakeloaf: But these people don't seem to be suffering any.


Not unless you count widespread cholera.
2013-01-14 11:33:49 AM  
1 vote:

The Muthaship: Decillion: What year will India have plumping and taking a dump etiquette that equals the USA?

Your 'b' is drunk.


I thought he misspelled "blumpkin".
2013-01-14 11:30:38 AM  
1 vote:
Filthy people.
Kind of like Ohioans, and Pennsylvanians, and Illinoisians, and
well, you get the picture.
2013-01-14 11:30:05 AM  
1 vote:

Flakeloaf: You can't suggest that the river is polluted lest you cause great offense


THE RIVER IS A FETID SHIATHOLE FULL OF FECES AND DEATH.

There, I said it.
2013-01-14 11:28:23 AM  
1 vote:

Somacandra: As I noted last time we did this one, the Ganges is considered pure because nothing can survive in it.


Yet cattle and people wallow in it and live....
2013-01-14 11:27:35 AM  
1 vote:

RequiredCheese: Mugato: I took computer science in college. I believe they only take one bath a day year.

FTFY


That's what I meant to say.
2013-01-14 11:27:24 AM  
1 vote:
As I noted last time we did this one, the Ganges is considered pure because nothing can survive in it.
2013-01-14 11:25:37 AM  
1 vote:
Ewww. I hate public restrooms.
2013-01-14 11:23:11 AM  
1 vote:

Old_Chief_Scott: I saw a photo essay on the Ganges a few months ago. It's not the shiat so much as the corpses that really creeped me out.


I may have found the essay you are referring to. I wouldn't so much as dip my toe in that water after seeing that.
2013-01-14 11:20:20 AM  
1 vote:
I've been to Varanasi, I think I'm still contracting diseases from just walking along the ghats.

It was truly disgusting. But then again, so was the rest of northern India
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-01-14 11:19:10 AM  
1 vote:
Sort of like doing penance.
2013-01-14 11:12:37 AM  
1 vote:
You would think they would take better care of such a holy site.
2013-01-14 10:55:49 AM  
1 vote:
If India would get rid of their job killing EPA, this wouldn't be a problem.
2013-01-14 10:48:21 AM  
1 vote:

R.A.Danny: Old_Chief_Scott: I can't think about this too much. If I do I'll need to vomit.

Remember the scene in Caddy Shack with the Baby Ruth? Just imagine swimming with real logs, with your mouth open.


But it's holy sh*t
2013-01-14 10:42:22 AM  
1 vote:
I can't think about this too much. If I do I'll need to vomit.
 
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