In this post, I am devoting more space to cows in India because it is here that we have such a complex relationship with them and because they evoke so much passions among Indians unlike any other animal.
Cows in India
As in almost every aspect of life, India has multiple and contradictory approaches to the cows and their sacredness. On one hand, people offer food and prayers to them, build Gaushalas (cow homes) for them, and put up their statues in the temples. The beliefs about the sacredness of cows, though more predominant among Hindus, are shared in different degrees between the different Indic religions. On other other hand, ill nourished cows can be seen looking for food in the garbage dumps, eating plastic bags and sitting abandoned in the middle of the roads while the traffic passes around them. My images of cows from India bring together some of these contradictions.
Let me start with some images from the north-east of India. The first image is from Ambubashi festival in Guwahati. One of the Sadhavis near the Kamakhaya temple asked me to click her picture with the Gaumata (mother cow).
While in India the cow sculptures are almost always linked with Hindu temples, in the rest of the world, cows do not have a sacred significance. Instead, as mentioned earlier about the "Cow in Parade" initiative, cow sculptures are mainly about art. Let me start this part with a cow sculpture from Brazil, which has a huge cow meat-eating culture. This beautiful sculpture is from Goiania in central part of the country.
I hope you have enjoyed this world tour of the cows and cow-sculptures. These were not exactly 80 cows (there are around 40-45 cows in these images) but I liked the title so much that I had to use it.
When I thought of writing this post, I did not realise that I had so many pictures of cows from different parts of the world. In the end, I had to leave out many of those images, but I had fun selecting the images and writing it!