A new trend for Indians is to take to social media to pay their respects to their country’s gods.
We asked several people in the country to share their favourite gifts for their gods with us, and they shared many of them with us in the same way.
The trend is called ‘greet the gods’ and is a big one.
In a country where only 1.3% of the population has access to a smartphone, we found many Indians using their phones to buy souvenirs for their deities.
Many of these gifts, such as jewellery, paintings and even furniture, are sold on online marketplace Ebay or Etsy.
Some of the gifts have been bought for as little as Rs 10 and sometimes even less, said Nandini Sharma, who runs a website called ‘Greetings from India’.
“This is what we call the ‘buzzword’ of India, and it has become the biggest trend in the world,” she said.
India is a country of about 500 million people, of which half are under the age of 15.
It has a rich cultural heritage and is the most populous country in the Western Hemisphere, with an estimated 7.6 million people.
The country’s rich and varied culture includes languages like Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, Marwari, Prakrit, Maratha, Bengali, Punjabi, Bengal, Tamil and Marathi.
“People in India also have very different beliefs about the universe and the gods, and this is a very important part of our culture,” Sharma said.
We asked Sharma to share some of the most common gifts offered for their god, and she shared a few examples: Bindu: The ‘Bindu’ is a traditional Hindu prayer, in which people sing along with their prayers.
Muktanandu: A traditional wooden statue with a picture of a dog, which is used to pray for rain.
Hindu god Ganesh: A statue of the god with a lion and a snake in front of him.
Karthi: A prayer bowl used to ask for rain, a symbol of fertility and protection.
Jagraj: A stone tablet that is a representation of Shiva’s body.
Gurmukh: A piece of paper used to request rain and ask for blessings for a particular day.
Praying for water: The piece of cloth called a paan used to be used to wash the feet of people in various places.
Tulsi: The cloth used to offer water to the gods for rain or to be washed away by water.
A few of the more unusual gifts offered by Indians for their Gods: Choti-a-dhi: A pair of gold anklets, worn by the priests and priestsesses.
Siddhi: An amulet of an animal and a prayer, which are traditionally worn by women.
Bhaichan: A large and gold-encrusted ring, also known as a gold chain or a necklace.
Mahabharata: An epic poem that tells the story of the gods.