Food known as the Himadri Himalayas, the Himachal

                                   Food Customs: India Geography India is a massive country, with an area of approximately 3.287 million km². Naturally, India’s geography is extremely diverse and marked by intense contrast. India’s landform can be divided into five different categories. Firstly, India is home to the Himalayas, also known as the Northern Mountain Region. The mountains expand from West to East for approximately 2,500 km, covering an area of 612,021 square km. The Himalayan Mountains ranges can be classified into three mountain belts, each with unique features and individual geological forms. These ranges are known as the Himadri Himalayas, the Himachal and Shivalik ranges. The Himadri range consists of some of the highest mountains known to man, with an average height of 6,000 metres. Suitably, Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain peak at 8,848 metres, lies in Himadri. The second range, known as the Himachal, consists of heights varying between 3,700 metres to 4,500 metres. Lastly, the Shivalik range contains the lowest heights among the three belts with heights between 901 metres and 1,201 metres. The rivers originating from the Himalayas, such as Ganges and Indus, play a significant role in forming the highly fertile Plains in India.Furthermore, North India contains the Great Plains that developed due to the constant depositional motion of the Himalayan Rivers. The land runs parallel to the Himalaya mountains,  covering an area of above 700,000 square km. The soil found along these plains is quite fertile and ideal for farming. In this location, agriculture mainly consists of  rice and wheat. Other crops include maize, sugarcane, and cotton. The Great Plains consist of three individual parts: The Indus asin, Ganga-Brahmaputra basin and tributaries of these major water bodies. The numerous surrounding water bodies flowing out of the Himalayas provide water for major irrigation works.  During the monsoon, growing conditions for crops such as rice and wheat are ideal as the rainfall is sufficient for agriculture.In the North Western part of India lies The Desert of Rajasthan. The desert forms a natural political border between India and Pakistan. The region is approximately  200,000 km2. Similar to most deserts, the climate of this region remains dry throughout the year with temperatures varying from 0 degrees C to 50 degrees C.  The precipitation rate of this region is also very low, with average annual rainfall varying from 11 cm to 50 cm in the last 30 years. Also known as The Thar Desert, it is mainly located in Rajasthan (approximately 60% of Rajasthan) with the rest located throughout areas of Haryana, Gujrat and Punjab. Due to lower precipitation levels and a dry climate, this region is not ideal for farming and agriculture. Southern India is home to the The Great Plateaus, the widest physiographic partition of India. This land is built of stable rocks and has an area of about above 1,500,000 square km. Being such a large area, it is extremely diverse and contains landscapes of mountains, plateaus and valleys. The plateaus of this division have an average height of approximately 400 metres from sea level. The highest peak of this area is the mountain of Anamudi, with an approximate  height of 2,695 metres. The plateau has been divided into nine subdivisions: The Aravalli hills, Malwa Plateau, Vindhya ranges, Satpura ranges, Chotta Nagpur plateau, Deccan pláteau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Kachchh and Kathiawar of Gujarat. Most of the population of the region is engaged in agriculture due to the fertile soil, as well as ideal climate conditions. The agriculture in this division consists of: cereals, oilseeds, cotton, and legumes are the major crops.Lastly, India is home to famous Islands such as Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep.  These Islands are quite essential to India’s agriculture as they contain fertile and well-watered deltas created by the surrounding rivers. The agriculture consists of mango, orange, banana, pepper, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and much more. These islands also contain units that are export-oriented in the line of fish processing activity, making up the majority of India’s fish production at over 10,50,000 metric tonnes to export to over 75 countries in 2015. The islands are scattered across the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mannar. There are only 36 major islands present in this group of islands, with only 10 populated. TemperatureThere are 4 seasons in India. Winter typically begins in December and lasts up to March. In the North, temperatures average around 10–15 °C. In the South, temperatures average around 20–25 °C. By April, temperature starts rising and Summer begins. In the summer, temperatures in the North reach around 25 °C. Whereas, temperatures in the South average around 35° C with more humidity compared to the North. During the summer, heat is relentless in Southern India as it is always extremely hot, sunny, and dry. While the summer can be very uncomfortable in most parts of India, it’s the perfect time for visiting the hill stations (Shimla, Manali) in the North. Summer tends to end in July, signifying the beginning of the rainy Monsoon season. During Monsoon, South India typically receives more rainfall, bringing relief from the scorching heat. It is difficult to travel throughout most of India during monsoon time as the rain often disrupts transport services. However, Monsoon is ideal for rice production in India in states that receive heavy rainfall such as West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. As October approaches, the Post-monsoon season begins (October to November) with India’s temperature gradually decreasing, and typically no rain.Staple Grain Rice is the staple grain of India. India is one of the world’s largest producers of rice and brown rice, accounting for 20% of all world rice production. For the cultivation of rice, specific climatic conditions are needed. As rice is a tropical plant, it flourishes best in a hot and humid climate.Thus,  rice is mainly grown in rainfed areas that receive heavy annual rainfall such as the Himalayas and states like West Bengal, Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh. It demands temperature of around 25 degree Celsius and above and rainfall of more than 100 cm. Thus, during the rainy monsoon season, high temperature and heavy rainfall provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of rice. Imports & Exports India is a very important player in the global market, especially for agriculture related exports. Some of India’s largest exports are: rice, cotton, sugar, and beef (buffalo). In addition to these products, India has also become a significant exporter of soybean meal, rice, corn, and wheat, as well as a diverse range of other products. India stands first in the production of bananas, papayas and guavas. India does not typically import food items as they are very self-dependant on their agriculture and other food related sectors.Climate India’s climate is comprised of  a wide range of weather conditions across a vast geographic scale. South India’s climate can be classified as a hot tropical region, whereas, the Northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir in the north generally have a much cooler, more continental influenced climate. During the monsoon season, India’s temperature is much cooler, but still quite humid in the South.  Social Conditions Poverty is a significant issue in India, despite having one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. In 2012, The Indian government stated 22% of its population is below poverty line, which sits at approximately 32 rupees per day, equivalent to 60 cents CAD per day. Essentially, a significant amount of the Indian population is living on an extremely low amount of money each day, forcing many to resort to low quality foods. Consequently, due to the low social status of some population groups, their diet often lacks in quality and quantity. This tends to be a cycle as women who suffer malnutrition are less likely to have healthy babies.

                                   Food Customs: India Geography India is a massive country, with an area of approximately 3.287 million km². Naturally, India’s geography is extremely diverse and marked by intense contrast. India’s landform can be divided into five different categories. Firstly, India is home to the Himalayas, also known as the Northern Mountain Region. The mountains expand from West to East for approximately 2,500 km, covering an area of 612,021 square km. The Himalayan Mountains ranges can be classified into three mountain belts, each with unique features and individual geological forms. These ranges are known as the Himadri Himalayas, the Himachal and Shivalik ranges. The Himadri range consists of some of the highest mountains known to man, with an average height of 6,000 metres. Suitably, Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain peak at 8,848 metres, lies in Himadri. The second range, known as the Himachal, consists of heights varying between 3,700 metres to 4,500 metres. Lastly, the Shivalik range contains the lowest heights among the three belts with heights between 901 metres and 1,201 metres. The rivers originating from the Himalayas, such as Ganges and Indus, play a significant role in forming the highly fertile Plains in India.Furthermore, North India contains the Great Plains that developed due to the constant depositional motion of the Himalayan Rivers. The land runs parallel to the Himalaya mountains,  covering an area of above 700,000 square km. The soil found along these plains is quite fertile and ideal for farming. In this location, agriculture mainly consists of  rice and wheat. Other crops include maize, sugarcane, and cotton. The Great Plains consist of three individual parts: The Indus asin, Ganga-Brahmaputra basin and tributaries of these major water bodies. The numerous surrounding water bodies flowing out of the Himalayas provide water for major irrigation works.  During the monsoon, growing conditions for crops such as rice and wheat are ideal as the rainfall is sufficient for agriculture.In the North Western part of India lies The Desert of Rajasthan. The desert forms a natural political border between India and Pakistan. The region is approximately  200,000 km2. Similar to most deserts, the climate of this region remains dry throughout the year with temperatures varying from 0 degrees C to 50 degrees C.  The precipitation rate of this region is also very low, with average annual rainfall varying from 11 cm to 50 cm in the last 30 years. Also known as The Thar Desert, it is mainly located in Rajasthan (approximately 60% of Rajasthan) with the rest located throughout areas of Haryana, Gujrat and Punjab. Due to lower precipitation levels and a dry climate, this region is not ideal for farming and agriculture. Southern India is home to the The Great Plateaus, the widest physiographic partition of India. This land is built of stable rocks and has an area of about above 1,500,000 square km. Being such a large area, it is extremely diverse and contains landscapes of mountains, plateaus and valleys. The plateaus of this division have an average height of approximately 400 metres from sea level. The highest peak of this area is the mountain of Anamudi, with an approximate  height of 2,695 metres. The plateau has been divided into nine subdivisions: The Aravalli hills, Malwa Plateau, Vindhya ranges, Satpura ranges, Chotta Nagpur plateau, Deccan pláteau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Kachchh and Kathiawar of Gujarat. Most of the population of the region is engaged in agriculture due to the fertile soil, as well as ideal climate conditions. The agriculture in this division consists of: cereals, oilseeds, cotton, and legumes are the major crops.Lastly, India is home to famous Islands such as Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep.  These Islands are quite essential to India’s agriculture as they contain fertile and well-watered deltas created by the surrounding rivers. The agriculture consists of mango, orange, banana, pepper, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and much more. These islands also contain units that are export-oriented in the line of fish processing activity, making up the majority of India’s fish production at over 10,50,000 metric tonnes to export to over 75 countries in 2015. The islands are scattered across the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mannar. There are only 36 major islands present in this group of islands, with only 10 populated. TemperatureThere are 4 seasons in India. Winter typically begins in December and lasts up to March. In the North, temperatures average around 10–15 °C. In the South, temperatures average around 20–25 °C. By April, temperature starts rising and Summer begins. In the summer, temperatures in the North reach around 25 °C. Whereas, temperatures in the South average around 35° C with more humidity compared to the North. During the summer, heat is relentless in Southern India as it is always extremely hot, sunny, and dry. While the summer can be very uncomfortable in most parts of India, it’s the perfect time for visiting the hill stations (Shimla, Manali) in the North. Summer tends to end in July, signifying the beginning of the rainy Monsoon season. During Monsoon, South India typically receives more rainfall, bringing relief from the scorching heat. It is difficult to travel throughout most of India during monsoon time as the rain often disrupts transport services. However, Monsoon is ideal for rice production in India in states that receive heavy rainfall such as West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. As October approaches, the Post-monsoon season begins (October to November) with India’s temperature gradually decreasing, and typically no rain.Staple Grain Rice is the staple grain of India. India is one of the world’s largest producers of rice and brown rice, accounting for 20% of all world rice production. For the cultivation of rice, specific climatic conditions are needed. As rice is a tropical plant, it flourishes best in a hot and humid climate.Thus,  rice is mainly grown in rainfed areas that receive heavy annual rainfall such as the Himalayas and states like West Bengal, Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh. It demands temperature of around 25 degree Celsius and above and rainfall of more than 100 cm. Thus, during the rainy monsoon season, high temperature and heavy rainfall provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of rice. Imports & Exports India is a very important player in the global market, especially for agriculture related exports. Some of India’s largest exports are: rice, cotton, sugar, and beef (buffalo). In addition to these products, India has also become a significant exporter of soybean meal, rice, corn, and wheat, as well as a diverse range of other products. India stands first in the production of bananas, papayas and guavas. India does not typically import food items as they are very self-dependant on their agriculture and other food related sectors.Climate India’s climate is comprised of  a wide range of weather conditions across a vast geographic scale. South India’s climate can be classified as a hot tropical region, whereas, the Northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir in the north generally have a much cooler, more continental influenced climate. During the monsoon season, India’s temperature is much cooler, but still quite humid in the South.  Social Conditions Poverty is a significant issue in India, despite having one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. In 2012, The Indian government stated 22% of its population is below poverty line, which sits at approximately 32 rupees per day, equivalent to 60 cents CAD per day. Essentially, a significant amount of the Indian population is living on an extremely low amount of money each day, forcing many to resort to low quality foods. Consequently, due to the low social status of some population groups, their diet often lacks in quality and quantity. This tends to be a cycle as women who suffer malnutrition are less likely to have healthy babies.

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