Corrineandchriss

Sumerians were the first culture to quit hunting and gathering food and begin cultivation. Like many other inventions that Sumerian culture gave to the world, they also contributed in farming and food. Sumerian food consisted mainly of barley.

The raw material of most of Sumerian food was barley, barley cakes and barley paste were accompaniments of all major meals. Wheat and millet were other raw materials used in Sumerian food. Farming yielded vegetables and fruits, chickpeas, lentils, beans, onion, garlic, leeks, cucumbers, cress, mustard and fresh green lettuce was all part of the early Sumerian food. Sumerians were the first culture to settle down and leave the earlier nomad lifestyle. With settlement they began domesticating animals for food and labor. Goat’s milk and meat, eggs, pig; wild fowl, deer and venison were an integral part of the Sumerian’s food as well.

Everyday Sumerian food was probably barley cakes with onions and beans washed down with barley ale. Fish that swarmed in the rivers of Mesopotamia were a major food source too. Over fifty different types of fish are mentioned in the early texts dating before 2300 BC and the fried fish vendors had a thriving trade in the city of Ur. Food stalls also sold onions, cucumbers, freshly grilled goat, mutton and pork. Meat was more popular and common in big cities as compared to sparsely populated towns as they would spoil in the heat. Cattle were only slaughtered for consumption when they were nearly at the end of their working lives.

Information about Sumerian food can be gathered from archaeology and written records on cuneiform tablets. These sources also indicated the importance of barley and wheat cakes as the staple diet together with grain and legume soups, onion, leeks, garlic and melon. Besides farmed vegetables, Sumerian food also included fruits. These were apples, fig and grapes. Several culinary herbs and honey and cheese, butter and vegetable oil have also been mentioned in later Sumerian food records. Sumerians drank beer often and sometimes wine too. Preservation of foodstuff had also been evolved with meats being salted and fruits conserved in honey. Various other fruits including apples were dried to preserve them and a fermented cause is also mentioned in the Akkadian texts.

Rice and corn was unknown in ancient Mesopotamia, thus barley and its flour was the staple Sumerian food. Their bread was coarse, flat and unleavened, though an expensive version was made out of finer flour. Pieces of this bread were found in the tomb of Queen Puabi of Ur, left there for sustenance in afterlife. Breads were enhanced with butter, milk and cheese, sesame seeds and even fruits and their juices. Later records show truffles being made as well. With the advent of irrigation canals lush fruit and vegetable farms with fruits like mulberries, pears, plum, cherries and pomegranates were found in abundance. The most important food crop in southern Mesopotamia was the date palm. Goats, cows and ewe were domesticated for milk; geese and ducks for eggs and some 50 varieties of fish were a staple Sumerian food. Meats were cooked by roasting, boiling, barbecuing or broiling and preserved by drying, smoking or salting. 

Are you an animal lover? Do you communicate with your pet? If you have long time experience of keeping pets then you probably understand their language. We do possess the skills that help us to interact with the animals. This is the reason why we human beings are much different from the other animals. To communicate with animals you can take the help of these tips.

• Start with your own pet- Your pet parrot can give you a good start. The best reason is that you already have a good connection with it and will understand better. Observe the pet keenly about how it behaves. This will give you a good idea about their behavior.

• Wait for their response- Let the pet respond when you say them anything. The response is important so wait for their response and do not continue to talk with them. While they reply their behavior can be analyzed in a better way. Give them the time to understand and apprehend. Of course, you do not expect to talk back. They will respond you in their own way. It can be a word, a whistle or even a gesture.

• Give proper responses- Always reply to your pets call like you do when your friends call you. If you do not pay attention to them they will become inattentive to you. If you are ignoring it this will be the biggest mistake you are making. If you feel that the pet is not responding enough then you have to take them to a pet psychic to restore their ability to speak again.

• Communicate with other animals- The moment you are able to connect with your pet you should give them more time. Always treat them well and with care. Whenever you are alone sit with the pet and take to them. You will enjoy very much when they are around you. At this point of time, you are also prepared to communicate with other kinds of animal.

To conclude it can be said that the more you talk with your pet and observe their response the more you will be learning about them. In this way, you can learn to communicate with other animals. To learn more you can take help from the net where you will find a lot of information about pet psychics, animal talk, and animal communication if you are interested in the subject.

 

1. When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” Instead, the company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant

2. In Spain, when Coors Brewing Company put its slogan, “Turn it loose” into Spanish; it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea”.

3. When Braniff International Airways translated a slogan touting its upholstery, “Fly in leather”, it came out in Spanish as “Fly naked”.

4. When Pepsi started marketing its products in China a few years back, they translated their slogan, “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” pretty literally. The slogan in Chinese really meant, “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave.”

5. Chicken magnate Frank Perdue’s line, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken,” sounds much more interesting in Spanish: “It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate.”

6. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”.

7. A hair products company, Clairol, introduced the “Mist Stick”, a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that mist is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the manure stick.

8. The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, “Salem-Feeling Free”, was translated into the Japanese market as “When smoking Salem, you will feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty.”

9. PepsiCola lost it dominant market share to Coke in South East Asia when Pepsi changed the color of its vending machines and coolers from deep “Regal” blue to light “Ice” blue as Light blue is associated with death and mourning in SE Asia.

10. We can’t forget Chevrolet’s attempt to launch the Nova — Spanish translation, “Doesn’t Go” — in Mexico (turns out this one appears to be an urban legend and cannot be verified). Many sources on the internet allege this is untrue.

The Hotel industry is expanding with every passing day due to the boom in leisure and corporate tourism. Frequency of travel has increased over the past decade, leading the hotels to compete in every manner to attract more guests and give them a comfortable stay. Hoteliers know the fact that if they want their customers to choose them over the competitors they have to provide something extra to the guests. Most important one is by offering the quality and right hotel amenities to the guests at suitable rates. If you want your hotel to succeed than it should keep itself ahead in the current trends which will ensure better occupancy rates.

You can start on the hotel amenities services by providing the basic things and supplies like toiletries, towels, hangers, etc. These basic hotel supplies are targeted towards providing the guests ultimate convenience and feel at home factor. However the definition of basic hotel supplies differs on the hotel class and type. The Hotel industry is a highly competitive industry and competes with one another for business. Thus the hotel amenities and supplies that they provide are part of the competition which concerns things like- how many amenities are being offered, its types and the quality and design of the products.

Guests’ expectations of such supplies are affected by the type of hotel and its sophistication level. Hangers, ice boxes, absorbent towels, exquisite bed linens, wooden luggage racks, etc these are basic hotel supplies for mid level hotels. The main aim for providing such extra luxury items is to increase the occupancy rates of the hotel rooms. As the level of the hotel goes up, so does the quality and number of hotel supplies and amenities.

Hotels and resorts that are 5-star and above provide a high level of guest services and amenities to attract and sustain high-end guests. For instance- shaving kits, medical kits, microfiber Bathrobe and towels, shaving mirrors with fog-free feature, in-room lockers, refrigerators, mini bar, etc are just some examples of high quality hotel supplies of such luxury hotels and resorts. Not only do such additional amenities attract new guests but they also increase the occupancy rates.

Guests give rating’s for the hotel supplies and guest complementaries they utilize based on there quality and there convenience. When an hotelier is in the process of deciding which hotel amenities they would provide, a number of factors would influence the decision like- the budget, expectations of their guests, type of guests they receive, etc. The value and importance of hotel supplies cannot be overlooked as they have direct Affect on the occupancy rates.

There have been many changes in fitness over the past 30 years. It’s human nature to reminisce about times past. That’s great but lets not forget that things change as well. This is certainly true in the area of health and fitness. “If you do what you have always done, you will get the results you have always gotten” is true, but what if the situation changes? Then what used to work is no longer a viable and effect way to get the results that we want. In this article I will outline seven items that have changed over the past 30 or so years that affect the way we view health, fitness, exercise and what is considered “best”. Let’s look at some of these changes in Fitness.

1. Activity level

This change in fitness is pretty obvious. We just don’t move around as much as we used to 30 years ago.

Currently, the average sedentary person living in an urban setting takes 900-3000 steps a day. Uh… that’s a puny number! In the journal of sports medicine existing literature was pulled together to set a general guideline of what a good number of steps per day would be

The author Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke translated different physical activity into steps-per-day equivalents. A rate of fewer than 5,000 is classified as sedentary, 5,000 to 7,499 is low active, 7,500 to 9,999 is somewhat active 10,000 or more is active and 12,500 or more is very active. So what does 900 make us? Close to dead! But its not hard to imagine. Get up from, take elevator to car park, drive car, take elevator to office, sit down, order fast food, reverse the process to go home and go back to bed. Just to note, 1km is about 1300 steps.

Its gotten to the point where we have to purposely inconvenience ourselves to get our activity level up. Here are some suggestions (that actually show us how pathetic our average activity levels have become).

Park at the far end of the car park and walk to your building Instead of dropping the kids off in front of the school, park a couple of streets before it and walk them the rest of the way… 10,000 is actually considered a LOW estimate for children.

Go round the shopping centre or supermarket in a random. With today’s super malls, this is a big thing!

Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator (well if you work on the 50th floor, maybe climb halfway to start)

Give the dog an extra 5 minutes on his walk (we need it even more than him)

Stop emailing colleagues in the same office, instead go over and talk to them (shockingly effective considering how much email we send each day!… great for team building as well)

Go for a walk during your lunch break, walk to get your lunch or to find somewhere to eat your lunch

Get up and do something, run up and down the stairs for example during TV ads (no excuses here!)

Walk to the corner shop instead of driving or popping in on your way home

Walk to friends houses instead of driving

Take public transport and walk from the train station

Dr. David Bassett studied an Amish community to see what things were like in the past. These guys have no cars, no electricity and do hard manual labor to put food on the table. Its like time travel to the past. They eat 3 large meals a day with lots of meat, vegetables and natural starches like potatoes.

The 98 Amish adults Bassett surveyed wore pedometers for a week. The men averaged 18,000 steps a day. The women took an average of 14,000 steps.

The men spent about 10 hours a week doing heavy work like plowing, shoeing horses, tossing hay bales, and digging. The women spent about 3.5 hours a week at heavy chores. Men spent 55 hours a week in moderate activity; women reported 45 hours a week of moderate chores like gardening and doing laundry. Wow that’s a lot of manual labor. Get a pedometer (its only like 20 bucks) and see how you fare.

2. Fat Percentages and Obesity

Activity level leads us right on to this point about obesity. The scary obesity rate is one of the most obvious changes in fitness.

The obesity rate among the participants in the study of the Amish population was 4 percent, as determined by body mass index, or BMI. The current obesity rate among the urban populations is 30% or more. OK the obesity percentages are a scary thing because obesity is already in the “VERY high risk of a lot of bad ways to die” category. There is still the overweight category (obviously fat but not hitting the medically obese range) to consider. These people are at a high risk already!

The total percentages of overweight + obese are really wild… hitting close to 70% in some cities. Compare this to the average in the 1980s. 10-15% obesity in most cities. It rose to the mid 20% in 1995 and its now at an all time high.

3. Diet

OK linked to point no.2 is of course diet. This is another obvious change in fitness. Its very simple actually. We now eat more refined foods (white bread, sugar, rice, flour, noodles). In the body these give pretty much the same response – FAT storage. The only time we should eat these items is immediately after hard training. As we can tell from point no.1, not much of any training is going on. But lots of eating is!

We also eat less fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. We eat more snacks like chips and cookies (which are also refined despite what advertisers claim).

These changes in fitness are made more troubling because even natural foods today are not as good for us as they used to be. Current farming methods make vitamin and mineral content in fruits and vegetables drop about 10-40% depending on the mineral. Corn fed meats don’t give us as good an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio as we used to get from grass fed and free range animals. (that means not so many healthy fatty acids for us)

And of course, we are also simply consuming more calories. The Amish people in the study in point no.1 ate about 3600 calories/day for men and 2100 calories/day for women. Many sedentary people consume this much and more! How? Well a fully “featured” gourmet coffee from coffee bean or Starbucks can add up to 500 calories in an instant of caffeine folly.

That’s 2 hours of walking for an average sized lady.

Just remember, calorie quality counts as well. 2000 calories of vegetables, meat and healthy fats is infinitely better than 2000 calories from french fries. Its close to impossible to get fat on the first, and nearly impossible not to get fat with the second.

I like this car analogy. If you had a 2million dollar dream car, would you put low grade or high grade petrol into it? High grade of course! Then why do some people put low grade filth into their bodies which are so much more important than the car we drive?

4. Games children play

The average child who grows up in an urban environment is a motor-skill weakling. As a hobby, I coach youth basketball. In our talent scouting, I have kids do a very simple drill of dribbling in and out and around cones. There are so many kids who can’t do it and some who I think might fall down if asked to RUN around the cones without the ball! This is in contrast to the past where kids ran around, chased each other, played physical games and sports of all kinds, where the playground was the center of fun for young kids. This lack of activity not only causes a change in fitness for the child in his/her youth, but has a profound long term effect as well.

Of course this change in fitness is a result of a combination of possible factors.

Parents who only consider academic success to be worth striving for, who only give a child recognition and praise when they do well in academic subjects.

An education system who also values book knowledge above other things and takes away physical education classes to put more academic lessons in.

Poorly taught PE lessons that don’t help a child develop motor skills in the key early years Busy double-income families where fathers are not free to play with their children (or don’t care enough to… money isn’t everything dads)

The maddening computer game addiction situation where virtual life is more important than real life. I believe this is the reason for all the empty basketball courts in my neighbourhood. It used to be that teams lined up to play there. Now only people my age (late 20s to 30s) play. No young kids are there any more.

But actually, so what? The issue is that if kids stink at sport and physical activity, the well known psychological factor of “competence” comes is. Simply put, in general, we do what we are good at. If our next generation is poor at sport and physical activity, they are even less likely to do any of it! Which combined with items 1 to 3, make for a deadly health crisis for many countries. Obesity costs the UK 7.4 billion in national health care per year! If we don’t help our kids, that’s only going to grow to be a bigger and bigger burden for everybody.

5. Social Support

This is a more subtle change in fitness. People are communal animals. We stick with things because there is a supportive community behind us. Even drug and alcoholism rehab centers recognise this. We all need social support. But social links are getting weaker. And no, Friendster and MySpace links don’t make up for it.

In a more connected but less close world (I know so many people who are only comfortable behind a computer screen and not in front of a real person) there is less social support than in the past (extended families, communal living, strong friendships within a neighbourhood etc) and its hard to stick with something which requires dedication and sacrifice like an exercise program. I’m not a sociologist but I do believe there is a reason that exercise classes do better in terms of membership than individualized training. Most of them certainly are not as effective as great individual coaching. But the social factor does come in when sustaining a lifestyle change is involved.

6. Free Time

This subtle change in fitness is pretty clear. We just have less time that we “own”. Bosses, social, family and other commitments make free time a very precious commodity and it adds difficulty to the fact that time is our only non renewable resource. When we choose to exercise or spend time cooking to keep a healthy lifestyle, we are competing with movies, games, TV and other things for free time. We know that exercise is good for us, but it not only has to be good for us, it has to be BETTER in our minds than the latest episode of desperate housewives, or the latest computer game. That’s the issue. We need to prioritize long term health over temporary fun.

7. Training methods

OK here is where we are doing well. 30 years ago the aerobics craze took the western world by storm. Its not a very good training method both in terms of results, and in terms of results per unit of time. Add that to the fact that we have such minimal time to train, we can’t afford to train in a sub-optimal way. We know a lot more now. Fortunately for us, there are good methods that smart coaches use to improve training efficiency and get RESULTS even with less training time. Some of these include smartly designed resistance training programs, interval training and good assessment techniques to determine individual needs. If you have a coach like that in your corner, you can turn back the clock and avoid becoming one of the ever growing statistic of people who’s health is headed in the wrong direction. Stay fit and strong and good luck!

The world has undergone enormous changes over the past decade. We now live in a world where communication is paramount. It seems that everyone and everything is connected in some way.

For school students this has made things much more efficient. Research papers that used to involve hours of laborious effort, can now be researched and documented without ever touching a card catalog or a periodical index. Worlds of information are now available at the click of a mouse.

Questions that people pondered without any answer previously can now simply be typed into any convenient search engine and answered almost immediately. There are countless sites filled with informative short articles all over the Internet. Videos and music can now be seen on demand and news from across the world can be delivered in an instant.

There are some people who worry that the technological revolution and evolution we are experiencing today is moving too fast. There seems to be a loss of privacy in some respects and the specter of a Big Brother society looms larger than it has since 1984. Whether their fears are well founded or not will remain to be seen, but it is unlikely that people will ever willingly give up the almost instant connections to our wired world.

Flying in the face of these fears are individuals who share their worlds through their blogs. What used to be shared with only close friends is now put online for millions of people to see if they should happen upon the blogger’s website. Individuals are learning to take advantage of this by using their well placed blogs to sell products and services. The internet has allowed individuals an opportunity to step on to the same playing field as the big boys of business. With the right information and the ability to get it seen, anyone can now reach the masses and share their thoughts, feelings and even sales pitches.

Businesses as well as individuals have come to rely on the Internet as a source of advertising and actual sales. Entire business models have been constructed and thriving based solely on using Internet websites. It is rare today to find a traditional brick and mortar establishment that does not have some type of online presence. Any business that does not adapt and grow to keep up with the newest technology seriously risks being left behind in the wake of their competitors who choose to ride technology’s leading edge.

Time will tell where this all will lead. We should make the most of the positive possibilities technology promises, but we should also keep a careful watch on where we are going.

 

The unwritten rule of effective advertising involves creating ads that appeal to people’s emotions, these appeals can be broadly categorized into fear, sex, humor, music, rationality, emotions and scarcity. These appeals are something that are experienced by everyone universally, regardless of race, financial stance or intelligence.Think back to an advertisement that you can remember, what appeal did it have? chances are it fit into one of the “magic 7” appeals, perhaps even using a mixture of the appeals. Needless to say the successful advertisement is not only the one you remember, but the one you remember in a positive light. Successful marketers are able to create advertisements customers favorably recall in memory… and we all know positive attitudes lead to positive behaviors, such as consumers buying your product! Below is a guide to using the appeals, highlighting both positive and negative consequences associated with using the advertising appeals.

Fear Appeal – The first advertising appeal and perhaps the most effective to date, is the advertising appeal of fear. Fear is an emotion that has existed as long as intelligible life has walked the Earth. Fear advertising concentrates on emotional responses from customers to a perceived threat, typically severity and vulnerability. An example of a fear appeal would be an advertisement for a “web hosting” company focusing on the severity of downtime experienced on the site and the customers vulnerability of losing business due to downtime. The Good – Fear appeals tend to be very persuasive and are great for capturing peoples attention, such as an eye-catching advertisement of an injured car crash victim due to drink diving. The Bad – hard to gauge how much fear to use, too much and you can scare people away from your ads and too little fear and nobody will notice your ad.

Sex Appeal – Another universal aspect of being human, sex has been used for years by marketers to capture attention of the sexes. The use of sex can be subliminal, sexually suggestive, nudity or sensuality, ever notice how most people that appear in ads tend to be attractive? An example of sexual advertising is with the America’s Next Top Model TV series, which has ads showing the girls in sexually suggestive clothes to lure in male viewers to watch episodes. The Good – Sex is proven to cut through clutter, if your advertising in a busy time-slot using sex appeals will help your ad get noticed, this helps increase brand recognition The Bad – Sex appeals can be provocative and may cause negative reactions with different cultures (non-western) and sex appeals are so prevalent nowadays that they no longer carry the WOW-factor they once did.

Humor Appeal – Everyone loves to laugh and most people have negative attitudes towards advertising but positive reactions to humor, a consumer watching a humorous ad laughs, tells people the joke and remembers this greatly helps marketers. There are many memorable TV ads that use humor to promote their brands, the John West Salmon ad where a man fights a bear for salmon effectively leverages the humor appeal The Good – Humor is one of the best methods for cutting through advertising clutter as funny ads are more easily noticed by the increasingly time-scarce consumer, humor gets attention, stays in peoples memories and typically win awards The Bad – it is important that the joke does not overpower the brand or its associated motto, if people remember the joke but not the brand this is not effective. Advertisers must also be culturally aware as what is funny in one culture may be offensive in another.

Music Appeal – Music is something that everyone enjoys, music is something that is both personal and causes people to recall moments that are both good and bad in their life. Music helps capture attentions and link to the consumers emotions. An example of music appeal is soft drink company 7UP using the song ‘sunshine’ by the Partridge family, this helped resonate the message to their target market. The Good – using a well known song can bring back positive nostalgic memories in consumers causing them to have positive attitudes towards your brand, music’s intrusive nature means that people can still be attracted to the ad even if they are avoiding ads in general. The Bad – certain music can cause negative reactions in consumers if they relate to bad memories in the past.

Rationality Appeal – The rationality appeal relies on consumers actively processing the information presented in the ad, this appeal is typically used in print media due to the consumers having more time set aside to read the advertising in this medium. Typically rational appeals focus on the practical, functional or utilitarian needs of consumers. Rational appeals are typically used in advertising drugs or healthy lifestyle products like Vitamins, such as recent ads by pharmaceutical company Swisse which used Australian Cricket captain Ricky Ponting who asserted the individual vitamins to appeal to knowledgeable consumers. The Good – rationality is great for high-involvement products and for B2B advertising The Bad – the rational appeal must be credible as false claims can cause negative brand attitudes.

Scarcity Appeal – Scarcity is based on limitations, typically this is in the form of limited time to purchase or limited supply. Scarcity is often used with fear appeals, to help empower customers by missing out on a potential immediately negative event. Australian advertisers use scarcity appeal in cricket memorabilia advertising, by offering The Good – scarcity is great for encouraging users to take action, and is often effectively used with other promotions like coupons, sweepstakes and contests The Bad – scarcity appeals must be genuine or consumers will harbor negative attitudes towards your brand.

Emotional Appeal – Appealing to the emotions of consumers is an effective technique for capturing attention and fostering attachments for a consumer to your brand, it is generally more effective to concentrate on positive emotions like happiness, joy, trust and love. Typical industries that use emotions in their advertising copy are banks and insurance agencies who often center on optimistic emotions like happiness and joy in an attempt to reconcile commonly held stereotypes of these industries as corporate mega powers. The Good – emotional appeals combine with nearly every appeal very effectively, can be the key to building up brand loyalty amongst customer base The Bad – emotional appeals must match the target market and current PR history of the company, consumers are increasingly aware of advertising messages.

In summary, the seven appeals of advertising are useful to understand when in the beginning stages of creating an advertisement whether it be online or offline, building your advertisement around a given combination of appeals acts as a good starting point. Some tried and tested combination’s of advertising appeals includes the combination of fear and rationality (typically used in anti-smoking advertising), and the use of music and emotion generally are a good basis for any advertisement. In the end the appeals should be taken into consideration with other factors, namely your organizational marketing objectives, media strategy, target market make-up and brand strategy. If for example your organization is a local newspaper that caters to a demographic of 40 and above, and its looking to improve its brand loyalty by expressing its concern and care for the local community, a emotional or rational appeal would be most appropriate in helping you reach your marketing objective of brand loyalty with your target market.

 

While people from the Northern part of India have always been considered the front-runner whenever it comes to big fat, elaborate Indian weddings; southern zone of the country has never been far behind in terms of rich, culturally elaborate weddings. Though natives from South-India have always known to be simple and subtle in their ways and traditions yet their wedding rituals are quite interesting and rich in appeal.

Many a kinds of weddings are held down south from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala, Karnataka to Tamil Nadu – In the most beautiful ways. Be it a Hindu wedding, a Muslim or a Christian wedding in this part of the country – Weddings have always been worth a festivity.

The Tamil Brahmins or Keralite Vishwakarmas or the Nadar Christians – Weddings in these communities will keep you awestruck with the rich cultural and aesthetic value they emit from their rites and rituals.

In the southernmost part of India, that is the state of Tamil Nadu – There are several communities with a variety of rites and rituals. The Tamil Brahmins, the Tamil Iyers, the Tamil Nadars – These are various communities rich in traditional culture and the same is reflected in their weddings.

When it comes to weddings among Nadars, it is an elaborate affair for the families. A typical Nadar matrimony ceremony includes several kinds of ceremonies with a distinctive meaning and rituals and is hence celebrated with much pomp and show.

After a customary confirmation among families and the boy and the girl for the matrimonial alliance, the wedding is announced by the eldest member or the priest in the family among all relatives, friends and important community members.

The first of the pre-wedding ceremonies is the flower garland wearing ceremony in a typical Nadar wedding. The bride-groom’s parents, elders, relatives and friends come down to the house of the bride carrying gifts, new clothes, jewelry and gifts for her. They bring large and beautiful garlands of flowers for the bride and she is decked up in flowered jewelry by the mother of the bride-groom. In case of absence of the mother of the bride-groom, the ritual is covered either by the sister or the sister-in-law of the bride-groom. They are then followed by all other female family members of the bride-groom who take turns in decking up the bride with flowered jewelry. The bride is hence blessed and smeared with vibhuthi or kungumam by all elders present there.

Following this, the eldest members of both the families are made to sit across each other and exchange gifts among both the families in terms of cash, clothes, fruits, flowers and jewelry on the thambulam or the welcome plate; after honoring each other with vibhuthi and flower garlands. Next in suite is the pattu kattuthal ceremony which is honored by the bride-groom’s family in the bride’s house by blessing the bride with a beautiful new silk saree. The bride is then blessed by the elders in the family who apply vibhuthi or kungumam on her forehead.

The gold-melting ceremony is an interesting ceremony among the Nadars and is necessarily held at the bride-groom’s residence. A beautiful traditionally designed thali is made by the bride-groom’s family and gifted to the family of the bride-groom. A small piece of gold is put on the thali by the bride’s family for gold melting. A goldsmith melts the gold piece and performs a puja and takes along a small part of the melted gold with him. He is escorted out of the house by a woman with a child as she is considered auspicious with her child.

After the gold melting ceremony, there is a puja ceremony held in both the houses of the bride and the groom. A palmyrah stick, smeared with turmeric powder and kungumam with mango leaves tied to it. It is then worshipped with rice kept in a vessel in front of it which is later given off to a woman who measures the rice.

A day or two before the wedding, the families of the bride and the groom perform puja to the Almighty and souls of their ancestors seeking blessings for the wedding and the couple’s happy married life.

Among the Nadars, the engagement or the betrothal ceremony is generally held a day prior to the wedding day. This includes the ceremonial exchange of rings and pre-wedding vows between the bride and the bride-groom.

On the day of the marriage, the maternal uncle of the bride-groom and the bride initiate the customs. They individually garland their nephews and niece respectively and offer their blessings to the to-be-wed. The bride is then gifted a saree by the bride-groom’s female family members which she wears for the marriage. Hence after a thali is tied around her neck by the bride-groom and after seeking blessings from elders, they apply vibhuthi on each other’s forehead and exchange garlands. After the villakku darshan of the couple by the brother of the groom, the couple is offered to consume milk and banana. The rituals finally get over by the oil bathing of the newlywed by the groom’s family after which the bride leaves for her husband’s house. After offering of prayers, the couple again comes back to the bride’s house where the day gets over with a sumptuous feast by the bride’s family.

Many people find the idea of having wildlife as pet as exotic and exciting. However, if you want a wild animal as a pet, you should have thorough understanding of the animal and its behavior and needs. The people who have these animals as pets are invariably trained to handle them, but even they will tell how unpredictable these animals can be. You may have read stories in the newspaper of zoo keepers being mauled by their wards.

So, having wild animals as pets has become quite a sensitive and controversial issue. Some people like to highlight the pros, while others just point out the cons. However, both should be weighed equally and only then a decision should be taken to keep a wild animal as a pet.

Here are some pros and cons of wildlife as pets.

Sometimes, conventional pets like dogs and cats cannot be kept due to lack of space. In such circumstances, one can keep a wildlife like a hedgehog or gecko as a pet as they do not require that much space. Some wild animals have their own benefits. Like a hedgehog can be used to keep insects and others pests at bay in a house.

Often it has been seen purchasing a wild animal can be cheaper than purchasing a pet that is popular and has a pedigree.

Also, many proponents of wild animals feel that some species have a better chance of survival if they are adopted. It has been seen that the dart frog is facing a problem in the wild as its natural habitat is diminishing. Hence, if this animal is adopted, it will have a better chance of survival.

However, there are sufficient cons and disadvantages of owning wild animals as pets. First of all, one has to take into consideration the welfare of the animal. Having a wildlife means giving due consideration to its diet, exercise and social interactions. Often, the animal will not have any interaction with other animals of its own species and will be left to leading a lonely and solitary life. Also, the owners will not be equipped to provide proper care to the animals as they may not be well-versed in these things. Many wild animals look cute and cuddly when they are small. However, as they reach adulthood or sexual maturity, their wild side takes over and the animal becomes aggressive. This is the time many owners abandon their pets or give them away to zoos.

Wild animals are carriers of many diseases that are lethal to humans. For instance, reptiles and amphibians are carriers of salmonella infection and each year thousand of people in the US contract this disease due to their pets. Also, rats imported from Africa are known to carriers of monkey pox. An outbreak of this disease occurred in the US in 2003 when Gambian rats brought in the monkey pox into the country.

Above all, the demand for wildlife as pet is increasing. So, many illegal traders are taking advantage of this demand. Most of the wild animals are captured and then transported in cruel and inhuman manner to reach their owners. In addition, majority of the owners do not know to take care of the animals and this causes them to fall sick or even die.

So, weigh the pros and cons of having wild animals as pets before jumping to adopt one. Make sure that you are properly equipped to handle the care of the animal. Do not adopt one if you have any doubts.

A wedding photographer is not just any photographer who comes along to take some photographs; they should be able to connect in a friendly and confident manner, with the bride, groom, parents, grandparents and any children at the wedding and sometimes, the pet dog as well. The photographer should feel all the emotions and become a part of their day, by that I mean that they should understand the emotions of the people attending the wedding, after all, how else can the wedding photographer capture these emotions on camera, if they don’t feel and understand them.

The romance, excitement and the final realisation of months, maybe even years, of planning for this one day and it’s the wedding photographer’s job to capture these emotions in a realistic yet, beautiful way. The bride and groom will be nervous, the parents hoping everything runs as smoothly as they have planned for and the kids, trying not to look too bored with all the fuss around them. I often capture some great photographs of the kids at weddings. The photographs should reflect the events of the day in such a way that, looking back, when you’re an old married couple, it will seem like the wedding was only yesterday.

All the details need to be photographed, including the church or venue for the ceremony and of course, the reception. As a wedding photographer, I consider it a vital part of my work, to arrive early, get to know the layout of wedding venue, select the best positions and angles for the shots that I want to capture, during the ceremony and strive to produce incredible photos.

Unfortunately, there are still some people who will not allow the religious ceremony to be photographed which is another reason I like to arrive early, to give myself the opportunity to chat with the minister, priest or official who will be conducting the ceremony and if possible, gain a little compromise, in such cases. A good wedding photographer will be aware of all the areas to consider for every occasion. Your wedding will be unique and your wedding photographs should also be unique.

I chose to specialise in wedding photography, initially because I didn’t have a photography studio however, while I run a photography business, I also get so much personal enjoyment from photographing weddings, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My approach to wedding photography is very relaxed; I prefer the wedding photojournalism approach, as most top wedding photographers do. My wedding portfolio is full of photographs of relaxed couples enjoying their wedding day and spending time with friends and family not, the photographer. These photographs are far more enjoyable to look at and also help to capture the wedding’s events as they unfold, naturally.

In short, wedding photography is very much a specialised area and wedding photography should always be left to the professional. Weddings can’t be re-photographed in a photography studio. The photographer who chooses to photograph weddings, had better know exactly what he or she is doing and be able to get it right, every time. It’s a huge responsibility and requires a responsible wedding photographer.