Y is for yellow

It seems we’re close to reaching the end of the A to Z challenge! Whew! I had intended to write about yoga or youth for the letter Y, but my energy is waning. Besides after writing about toilets and tampons, I think it might be best to turn to a brighter topic. Don’t you?

How about yellow? Yellow is everywhere in India. When expats first arrive, the colors can be overwhelming. Few cultures in the world use the full spectrum of color like Indians do. When they leave, the colors are one of the most vivid memories expats take with them, and often the first thing they miss. Even on short trips back to the US, I wonder why all the trucks aren’t painted so magnificently.

Truck outside a building in Fort, Mumbai, India

A typical truck outside a building in Fort, the business district of South Bombay.

Because saffron (orange) is the symbol of fire and purity, and the Indian flag includes saffron and green, those colors are popular. But, yellow runs close behind. Nowhere is the color more prevalent than the ubiquitous auto rickshaw.

This image shows the typical style of Mumbai's rickshaws: Yellow on top with black on the bottom. Das means ten in Hindi. The image is a pun on VW's Das Auto slogan, which is used in Mumbai. For the record, VWs are safer than rickshaws.

This image shows the typical style of Mumbai’s rickshaws: Yellow on top with black on the bottom. Das means ten in Hindi. The image is a pun on VW’s Das Auto slogan, which is used in Mumbai. For the record, VWs are safer than rickshaws.

A rickshaw parked on the sidewalk in Powai

A rickshaw parked on the sidewalk in Powai. If you look closely, you will see the driver taking a nap. Shh!

Auto rickshaw in Sewri village Mumbai

Auto rickshaws aren’t particularly heavy, as this photo demonstrates.

Auto rickshaw in Chandigarh

Not all auto rickshaws are yellow and black. The rickshaws in Delhi are green and yellow. This rick is a women-only rick in Chandigarh. Tuk-tuk is another name for rickshaw.

Of course, rickshaws aren’t the only yellow items you see. Clothing is very colorful, and yellow is a popular choice.

Clothing shop in Mumbai, India
Clothing hanging outside a shop in Mumbai, India
A woman in Rajasthan

A woman in a Rajasthani village wearing traditional dress

Home decor often includes the full spectrum of colors.

Tent in Sangla valley in Himachal Pradesh, India

Our tent in Himachal Pradesh is a typical mixture of colors seen in a home.

I’m not sure why Indians love yellow so much. In Hinduism, the color yellow symbolizes knowledge, and it’s the color of spring. I will always think of sunshine.

 

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