Welcome to Utpalasia’s Did You Know? page. Here we explore some of the lesser known tidbits of information about South and Southeast Asian countries, their cultures, and lifestyles. We also take a look at a variety of topics ranging from dance trivia to manners and etiquette. Have a question you’d like answered? Let us know what you would like to see featured via Twitter, Google+, or email!
» The lotus is an important symbol to both Hindus and Buddhists. The plant starts at the bottom of a pond and grows slowly through the murky water until it reaches the surface, where it blooms in the warmth of the sun. This life cycle is thought to represent people and their development from birth to childhood to adulthood. The opening of the lotus signifies freeing oneself from illusion and reaching a higher spiritual state.
» Anklets are worn by women for more than just fashion. They help to aesthetically improve a part of the body which is considered low and polluted — the foot. The jingling of the bells is believed to scare demons and evil spirits out of one's path when walking. Anklets are usually made out of sterling silver, as gold is considered too valuable and pure for use near one's feet.
» Hawking up mucus and spitting are commonplace; this is meant to remove the dust, grit, and pollution which are inhaled. Education has now made people aware that such habits spread disease in the community, but it is only slowly dying out.