News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.


By Dwain Crum

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Cashews and Bare Feet

Dwain Crum “The Sea Rebel”, was born in Pasadena, CA and a lifelong resident of Rosemead, CA. Retired after 29 years as a history teacher at Rosemead High School. Dwain is fulfilling a lifelong dream of traveling around the world.

Let me be the first to say that I do not consider myself to be an expert on India.  It is huge complex nations that cannot be assessed vary easily.  It is second only to China in terms of population and has various geographical regions and ethnic groups.

I visited two ports in India  Mumbai and Mangalore.  Mangalore is by far the smaller of the two and was my first stop in India.  One of the highlights on my tour there was a visit to a cashew factory.  Cashews are a major product of the region.  It was fascinating to see the process of how they are grown, treated and processed prior to reaching the market.  The task was performed entirely by women, with men only in supervisory roles.  Interestingly the women were required to work in bare feet, leaving their shoes outside.  It is Sort of the way the Japanese have you take off your shoes before entering a home.

Mumbai, the former Bombay, is one of the most populous cities in the world.  What struck me most was the horn honking.  I was told that in this city of taxis that it was required to honk when passing to avoid accidents.  I must admit that during the lengthy drives I had there that I did not even see one accident — and that seemed like a miracle, I went to the Gandhi Museum in Mumbai, a museum dedicated to a man of peace and reconciliation who was assassinated.  Not by a Moslem but by a fellow Hindu.

Prior to getting my passport to India, I had to fill out a questionnaire.  Two of the questions were unique to that of any of the other nations that I went to.  The first question was what was my religion and the second question am I reporter.  No other country asked me questions like that and I pondered why.


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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.