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I often crack up about a lot of things I hear come out of Indians mouths. One such thing is how several locals have swore to me they would never touch marijuana and how Americans using it are drug addicts and low class people. This makes me laugh the hardest. Let me explain.
Bhang = Cannabis
Marijuana = Cannabis
Bong = English perversion of the word bhang used to describe a pipe assembly that aids in smoking marijuana.
It's that simple. Half the Indians (well..could be more, I haven't kept count) who tell me that marijuana users are low class people and drug addicts confessed (before I explained that) to having ingested bhang.
For those of you not in North India, it is actually well known, Punjab especially, for it's bhang. Bhang is mixed into a drink, cooked into food and given to children to celebrate holidays such as Holi and the recently passed Shiva Ratri. On Shiva Ratri bhang was being given away in Amritsar.
There are bhang shops scattered throughout the north and I've heard stories of South Indians traveling here just to purchase it as it's not readily available in the south.
Bhang is also the name of a drink containing bhang. Other names you may hear in relation to bhang are "Sukhni Dhaan" which means 'giver of peace' in Punjabi, thandai which is the bhang mixed with almonds and milk (in honor of lord Shiva) and I'm quite sure with over 60 languages in this country there are plenty of names for it that I'm missing.
Indians don't typically smoke bhang unless it's mixed with cigarette tobacco. However, drinking and eating or consuming the product in any way results in the same effect. Drugs are drugs and DRUGS ARE BAD. Now, keep in mind bhang is illegal, but somehow cops seem to look the other way on holidays. I, thank God can safely say I have never and will never consume any hallucinogenic or narcotic substances not prescribed to me by a doctor. You shouldn't either.
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