Perla, Kerala
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Meeting the World's Smallest Cow
This is Bangari, a 10 year old Kasaragod Dwarf cow. Standing 71 centimeters at the shoulder, she is believed to be the smallest cow in the world. Though the Guinness Book of World Records has yet to measure her, I was assured that she was the genuine article. She was certainly the smallest cow I had met and as I towered over her I felt like Alice that had slid down the rabbit hole or someone that had joined Gulliver on his travels. That's India for you. I was in India to research cattle in India's culture and had been invited to the festival by a veterinarian and cow advocate. He told me that there would be a festival and blessing ceremony where people would donate valuable agricultural goods to his cow sanctuary equal to the weight of the cows. Bangari is a member of the rare breed of Kasaragod dwarf cattle and the festival would raise awareness of the breed in the area and generate funds for the cow sanctuary. At the festival I walked in a parade behind a miniature cow float. I blessed a cow and received a blessing in return. I also spoke with many inquisitive and kind people who were wondering how and why an American girl had come to their festival. Like Alice in Wonderland I also ate everything given to me: spicy curries made with banana flowers and jack fruit, sugar sweet chai tea, and other foods I couldn't identify or name. But unlike Alice I didn't grow or shrink, but looking at this picture you just might think otherwise.
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