The sacred cows, a bit of history
In India, cows are sacred for their generosity: they give milk to everyone, feeding not only their own children, but also those of the whole planet.
Considered in this light, their absence in the everyday life of Westerners is seen as a crime of the spirit.
Hence, it is plausible that in India people value everything that comes from the cow, even when it comes to the excrement.
If you are in this wonderful land you will be able to see the “Dalits” cleaning the streets of dung every day and putting it in tin carts.
If by chance you walk through the alleys, you might see the same dung molded into discs of different sizes and left to dry in the sun.
Even during the Ganga Aarti ceremony, it is possible to see the dried dung loaves used as fuel to light the fire of the sacred lanterns.
In fact, dried cow dung is a widely used system for heating and cooking. Harvesting and drying are jobs entrusted mainly to women.
This is a very ancient activity, widespread mainly in the rural tradition and, as often happens in India, it has reached the soul so deeply that it remains rooted forever.
In India the past is not replaced by the present, on the contrary it strongly conditions it.
Loaves of dung
In recent years, we have also seen an online dung loaf trade on Amazon and Ebay. The demand for dung comes from the citizens of the metropolis who wish to use the dung loaves of the countryside.
This link with tradition also represents a kind of blessing for the whole planet: if all Indians used coal to heat themselves, the effects on the environment would be devastating. In fact, the country’s politicians are betting everything on solar energy.
Not only this, but the Indians are used to cook food of various kinds directly in contact with the dry dung of sacred cows.
Among other things, dung is not only a fuel, but also a plastic material with which to model art objects, tableware and furnishings.
Furthermore, the Indian tradition considers cow excrement a powerful stimulant of the immune system, so it is advisable to immerse yourself in tubs of dung to strengthen the body.
The dung festival
There is even a festival of the feces of sacred cows in which the Indians, to combine business with pleasure, throw water balloons of dung in a war that is very entertaining for them.
Also, cow urine is considered an elixir of life and is drunk to prevent practically any ailment.
During the quarantine due to covid-19, the combination of dung baths and urine drinking was considered by many to be a safe and natural remedy for the virus.
In India, nothing is thrown away from the cow, except its sacred body.
Furthermore, according to supporters of the use of dung, walking on this would be very healthy because it kills all germs and bacteria and heals wounds.
It is also a fantastic scrub that helps fight dead skin and improve blood circulation.
In this context, lines of products for personal use have been put into production, the main ingredient of which is cow dung.
All this only confirms the high esteem that this people has towards cows, as suppliers of gifts intended to feed and heal mankind.
In short, India will never cease to amaze me. It is impossible not to be bewitched by it.