The Spit Inspector & Other Indian Tales

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The Spit Inspector & Other Indian Tales

 

Yes, you’ve heard of the roadside dentists and the ear-cleaners, and the wedding detectives in India.  But did you know there are also roadside bone-setters and even Spit-Inspectors?

Only in India, only in India!

The funny part is you’re hearing about all these things from foreigners, from tourists and travelers – India seems to be on everyone’s radar nowadays. That’s how I came across ’10 Strange Things about India’ in of all the places  – The Budapest Times. I didn’t even know there was a Budapest Times!

10 Strange Things About India

The writer cites what he finds the ten most surprising things about our colorful India and No. 3 is:

Hardly anyone pays income tax

Only 3% of Indians pay income tax in a population of 1.2 billion. Agriculture is exempt and two-thirds of Indians live in rural areas, so that helps explain why. Much of the economy is also informal, unorganised labour, for which it’s harder to collect taxes. Many argue that some of the country’s financial problems would be solved instantly if this massive tax hole could be filled.

 

No. 4 is about that fascinating career title – Spit Inspector. I wonder how many children spend their days dreaming, “When I grow up, I want to be a Spit Inspector!”

For those wondering what a Spit Inspector does, here’s No. 4:

The scourge of spit

Many people spit after they’ve had paan (a mix of betel nut and areca, and sometimes tobacco, which is chewed but not swallowed). This produces red mouths and a red stain that can be seen on walls and pavements. It’s common to see “do not spit” signs in taxis, on the back of rickshaws and on the front of buildings. But there’s concern the falling phlegm is responsible for the spread of tuberculosis. An anti-spit campaign has begun; for instance Mumbai has introduced a “spit inspector” to fine those who share their saliva in public.

To read the full article and see if you agree with the the 10 top strange things about India, go to Budapest Times

Do you agree or do you have your own list of strange things about India? Please share with us in the comments!

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Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. Twitter@lavinamelwani & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

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