Technology and festivals, somehow those two are the dominant themes for this week's round-up about India. Of course, the round-up is peppered with some great recipes and that all favorite Indian pastime: movies. We round-up our review with some real great visual images of the "Big Apple," or New York.
It somehow seems appropriate to start with technology and Web 2.0 considering that a whole lot of money was spent by Google to acquire YouTube. The virtual world is buzzing and agog with the acquisition and suddenly Web 2.0 is back in the radar.
Technology: Scribez has an exhaustive post about start-ups in the Web 2.0 space in India. It seems like there is an Indian version of digg, and other social network sites. This is a nice post to catch up on what is happening in India.
Nitesh Gautam has a nice write-up about Onyomo, an Indian search engine company. This new search engine which is still in beta mode has an SMS feature that might just be the ticket for Indian users.
Vandana Ahuja highlights in her post how head hunters and recruiters are harassing the latest technology, including web 2.o, to recruit talent.
Mobile Pundit writes that an Indian match-making site, BharatMatrimony.com will use the fast proliferating mobile phones to push its service. Speed dating anyone?
Orkut, the popular social network site has run into some problems in India and a local court has issued a petition to Google. Ujj of the Great Indian Mutiny writes about the recent problems with Orkut in India, and wonders how problems associated with online social networks and blogs should be handled. One suggestion he has is that better cyber laws need to be implemented. Read to find out what else he has to say.
Now, why is Orkut in trouble in India? Amit Varma provides the background, and raises some interesting questions about individual rights.
From technology we move to festival and catch up on dusshera.
Dusshera: It is a 10 day festival and each day has some significance that most of you probably don't know or don't remember. On the 10th day in certain parts of India (especially in the Northern parts …New Delhi and surrounding areas) they stage this all night dance drama called Ram Lila. Kesava India has a nice post with an explanation and don't miss the dramatic and vivid image of Durga that dominates his post.
Akshay of Trivial Matters has a wonderful photo essay about Ram Lila with a really evocative title: Backstage with Gods. That title says it all…what happens backstage and how do the actors prepare for the show? Read to find out.
From the north, we move to South and find out how Dusshera is celebrated in these parts. While Ram Lila and Durga Puja are dominant in the northern and western parts of India, in the southern states it is Ayudha puja and Saraswathi puja.
Ayudha Puja is sometimes referred to as "car puja" in South India. At least, that is how I remember it growing up in Madras aka Chennai. Vivek in Bangalore has a description of how he celebrated Ayudha Puja along with some pictures of his shiny scooter. Mridula has a post on Ayudha Pooja with colorful pictures of vans and cars all dressed up in flowers etc. Note: puja and pooja mean the same word, which means prayer. Rauf has some really stunning and colorful photos that speak to you…the photo essay shows you what is required to celebrate Ayudha Puja. And do you think in modern-day any festivity will be devoid of an IT or tech twist. Nope. You gotto take care of your computers. Shankar Anand reminds us to clear the spam from our PCs and laptops.
We move from how Dusshera is celebrated to food.
Food is such an important part of any festival celebration in India. Saffron Hut has a wonderful recipe for badam (almond) halva that sounds delicious. I am going out to buy a bag of almonds and other ingredients to make this dish.
Daily Musings has a special milk pudding for Saraswathi Pooja, which is part of Dusshera. Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge.
FoodNewbie has some really nice recipes from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh: poornam boorelu and kajjikayalu. Check out the recipes.
Vyanjanaa is a food blog where a mother and daughter collaborate even though they live in different parts of the world. G, who is the daughter lives in Missouri and has a quick recipe that appears to be yummy.
Films: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are in Pune, India filming for A Mighty Heart. Viewer from Metroblogging Mumbai has a Bollywood round-up post where he mentions the visit of Brad and Angelina in India.
Do you think I slipped up a chance to blog about Angelina and Brad? No, I did not. Sitting in New York I managed to keep tabs on the famous couple and their short joyride in an auto rickshaw.
We wrap up by looking at some wonderful photographs.
Photographs: Photographs tell a thousand stories. Anand Vivek Taneja has some fabulous pictures of New York (don't miss the juxtaposition of the old with the new…the old spirals with the modern high-rise). He calls these pictures The Noo Yawk Zoom.