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People save and invest to improve their quality of life. However, it is easy to make mistakes that can cause stress and cost you money. You can avoid those mistakes and keep your investment on track by outlining your financial goals.

It is a common investment mistake for investors to have no idea why they are investing. So, you should ask yourself…

Why are you investing?

Do you know why you are investing? What are you going to do with your money? What is most important in your life?

“Making money” is not a good enough reason to invest. How do you see yourself spending your money in a year? Five years? Ten years? If you can clearly explain your goals, you have taken the first step toward making your own investment plan.

With that in mind, write down your financial goal. One simple sentence is all you need. For example, you can write “buy a home”, “pay for college,” “start a business,” or “retire as a millionaire!”

Next, write down the amount of money you think you will need to accomplish your goals.

Don’t worry about trying to fit in every little cost. You can always revisit your target later when you check your performance. Focus on your goal, and try to write down a target number.

This number will be different depending on your goal. For example, maybe you’re buying a $100,000 home, you may want to save $10,000 for a down payment. Maybe you need $5,000 to start a business or $50,000 to pay for college. If you don’t have much money to invest, you can make up for it by investing over a long period of time.

Finally, consider the importance of your investment goals. How important is your retirement, your kid’s college tuition, or your down payment on a house? The importance of your investment will give you an idea of your risk level.

Every investment has risks.

You don’t want to take too many risks. However, you need to take some risks to earn a reasonable return. Also consider the amount of time you will be invested. If you have more time to invest, you may be able to take risks and still catch up if you run into trouble.

Ask yourself if you are ready to invest before you move on. Be honest with yourself.

You may not need to invest your money. Would you be better off paying off your debt? Can you afford to just save your money rather than invest it? Make sure you can commit enough money and time to investing.

It is important to stay motivated toward your goals and keep them in mind when you invest. Every investment decision you make should move you closer to your goals. You should be willing to learn, improve, and work toward your goals as you invest.

If you can stay committed and keep that motivation toward your investment goals, you are much more likely to succeed!

A. Michael Hayes, Jr

You can learn more about how to achieve your financial goals at my website, Great-Mutual-Funds.com.

Market segmentation is widely defined as being a complex process consisting in two main phases:

– identification of broad, large markets

– segmentation of these markets in order to select the most appropriate target markets and develop Marketing mixes accordingly.

Everyone within the Marketing world knows and speaks of segmentation yet not many truly understand its underlying mechanics, thus failure is just around the corner. What causes this? It has been documented that most marketers fail the segmentation exam and start with a narrow mind and a bunch of misconceptions such as “all teenagers are rebels”, “all elderly women buy the same cosmetics brands” and so on. There are many dimensions to be considered, and uncovering them is certainly an exercise of creativity.

The most widely employed model of market segmentation comprises 7 steps, each of them designed to encourage the marketer to come with a creative approach.

STEP 1: Identify and name the broad market

You have to have figured out by this moment what broad market your business aims at. If your company is already on a market, this can be a starting point; more options are available for a new business but resources would normally be a little limited.

The biggest challenge is to find the right balance for your business: use your experience, knowledge and common sense to estimate if the market you have just identified earlier is not too narrow or too broad for you.

STEP 2: Identify and make an inventory of potential customers’ needs

This step pushes the creativity challenge even farther, since it can be compared to a brainstorming session.

What you have to figure out is what needs the consumers from the broad market identified earlier might have. The more possible needs you can come up with, the better.

Got yourself stuck in this stage of segmentation? Try to put yourself into the shoes of your potential customers: why would they buy your product, what could possibly trigger a buying decision? Answering these questions can help you list most needs of potential customers on a given product market.

STEP 3: Formulate narrower markets

McCarthy and Perreault suggest forming sub-markets around what you would call your “typical customer”, then aggregate similar people into this segment, on the condition to be able to satisfy their needs using the same Marketing mix.

Start building a column with dimensions of the major need you try to cover: this will make it easier for you to decide if a given person should be included in the first segment or you should form a new segment. Also create a list of people-related features, demographics included, for each narrow market you form – a further step will ask you to name them.

There is no exact formula on how to form narrow markets: use your best judgement and experience. Do not avoid asking opinions even from non-Marketing professionals, as different people can have different opinions and you can usually count on at least those items most people agree on.

STEP 4: Identify the determining dimensions

Carefully review the list resulted form the previous step. You should have by now a list of need dimensions for each market segment: try to identify those that carry a determining power.

Reviewing the needs and attitudes of those you included within each market segment can help you figure out the determining dimensions.

STEP 5: Name possible segment markets

You have identified the determining dimensions of your market segments, now review them one by one and give them an appropriate name.

A good way of naming these markets is to rely on the most important determining dimension.

STEP 6: Evaluate the behavior of market segments

Once you are done naming each market segment, allow time to consider what other aspects you know about them. It is important for a marketer to understand market behavior and what triggers it. You might notice that, while most segments have similar needs, they’re still different needs: understanding the difference and acting upon it is the key to achieve success using competitive offerings.

STEP 7: Estimate the size of each market segment

Each segment identified, named and studied during the previous stages should finally be given an estimate size, even if, for lack of data, it is only a rough estimate.

Estimates of market segments will come in handy later, by offering a support for sales forecasts and help plan the Marketing mix: the more data we can gather at this moment, the easier further planning and strategy will be.

These were the steps to segment a market, briefly presented. If performed correctly and thoroughly, you should now be able to have a glimpse of how to build Marketing mixes for each market segment.

This 7 steps approach to market segmentation is very simple and practical and works for most marketers. However, if you are curious about other methods and want to experiment, you should take a look at computer-aided techniques, such as clustering and positioning.

Bhumihar caste includes the Brahmins. They are known as Bhumihar Brahmins. When the girl in their family reaches the age of wedding, they plan things. The search for the partner begins. If its an arranged wedding then the bride and the groom get married within the same caste. They get a chance to talk to each other and when they like each other, the talks are taken a step forward. In Bhumihar matrimony, you will see that the weddings have a lot of customs and rituals. Yes, they are quite interesting but they go on for a few days. Thus, when there is a wedding at home, you will see a few pre-wedding ceremonies too.

The pre-wedding ceremonies

In Bhumihar weddings, you will find a number of pre-wedding rituals. They are:

    • There is a tradition called as Siddhanth custom. In this, the priest sits and looks into the panchang to fix the wedding date. Also, he has to see panjis of both the families. These people also believe in horoscopes and that plays a key role in these weddings.

 

    • There is one more different and strange custom. A day before the wedding or the day of a wedding, you will see that the bride has to take blessings of a washer man’s wife. This is because it is believed that a washer man’s wife will always die before her husband and thus she would always remain suhagan.

 

    • On the day of the wedding, when the groom enters the wedding premises, the girl from the bride family would welcome him with sandalwood paste.

 

    • In this, the couple has to then go for the kul devi shrine. The bride’s father takes them. Thus, the groom would get a chance to seethe kul devi mandir of the bride’s father.

 

  • Gauri puja is also quite important as a part of Bhumihar matrimony. This is mainly performed to keep the evils away from the wedding ceremony.

Thus, you will find that there are some really interesting rituals as seen in Bhumihar weddings too. You will really find these rituals quite meaningful. Bhumihar is simple people. But they are quite strict about the wedding and the wedding rituals.

In the times when the younger generation is moving away from rituals, the younger generation of Bhumihar caste is still quite interested in the wedding in an authentic and traditional way. That’s the charm of Indian weddings. Just like other weddings, there is fun too involved in the wedding. Of course, you will also be able to find food and tasty food served to the guests in an authentic way. You should understand that wedding is the time when two families would unite. Thus, it is really an important ceremony. Thus, all the functions and events should be carried out properly. Bhumihar is simple Brahmins. But they are knowledgeable and educated. The bride and the groom are also well brought up and they know the relevance of culture and ethics too. That’s the reason why you can find these weddings more traditional.

Can fish and meat textures and tastes be found in a vegetable? Chinese Black Fungus is renowned for these qualities, its vital nutrients and its valuable contributions, as a dietary supplement, to overall fitness and health. Usually obtained in dried packaged form, it requires washing before use.

As a Health Supplement

Enriching blood and preventing iron deficiency anemia, Western medical science has found Black Fungus very effective in blood viscosity modulation as it inhibits platelet aggregation thus lowering blood-viscosity levels. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) its applications include anaemia, uterine bleeding, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. It also figures significantly in cancer prevention and relief.

A very common and inexpensive ingredient in Chinese cuisine, it also has been recognised within TCM as a medicinal food for thousands of years. Black Fungus, rich in nutrients such as iron, protein, fat, vitamins and polysaccharides, also contains vital trace elements like potassium, selenium and manganese essential to the body’s long-term health.

Black Fungus’ bittersweet taste is not particularly strong, its texture is decidedly meat-like however. Its’ presence in dishes serves rather to enhance the flavours of the main ingredients.

As a Diet Aid

Black Fungus is a potent ally in the fight against obesity. Whilst very low-calorie, its meat-like texture (and taste) when boiled make it particularly appetite satisfying. It is frequently added to other dishes to ‘enrich’ them, to bulk these up for dieting/ slimming purposes as well as for its valuable nutritional contents.

Definitely not ‘fast-food’ it needs extensive soaking and cleaning before use. Available from most Chinese supermarkets, Black Fungus is sometimes stocked by inner-city branches of Tesco.

‘Fat Busters’ to Enjoy Alongside It

Keen dieters can wash down their Black Fungus with other proven Chinese slimming, weight-loss and nutrition aids like Green Tea (Lu Cha) and Bojenmi Tea.

Green tea stimulates the heart, aids digestion and provides a general ‘wake up’ call. Encouraging fat metabolization and popular for dieting and slimming, general bodily detoxification is also encouraged by Green Tea drinking.

Anaemia sufferers (and women during their menstrual period) should avoid Green Tea as it inhibits iron-assimilation somewhat. These should switch to Bojenmi Tea (see below) and/ or consume Black Fungus to remedy iron deficiencies.

Bojenmi Cha, also known as “good health, nice appearance flesh-reducing tea” also encourages slimming and weight loss. A blend of 12 medicinal herbs based upon an ancient Ming Dynasty remedy, this pleasant tasting tea aids digestion, lowers cholesterol levels and has a mild laxative effect.

Overall

Both teas help flush out fatty deposits from internal systems. Inexpensive Green Tea’s fat removal effect’s are such that Chinese restaurants use left-overs to clean grease from tables at closing time.

Black Fungus, Green Tea and Bojenmi Tea all have internal cleansing, detoxifying and longevity-inducing effects encouraging their inclusion in anti-aging and health and fitness dietary regimes. All three can be found in most Chinese Supermarkets

 

Music has been one of the key features of the entertainment industry. People have become so addicted to music that they can’t imagine their lives without it. Listening to music reduces the stress level and helps to calm an individual. It also rejuvenates and soothes one’s mind. Truly, music refreshes an individual and acts as a stress buster for the people whose lives have become monotonous due to the hectic schedule.

These days, music systems come with a variety of features and enhancements and are well equipped with proper bass, vibe and treble. They have a better sonic resolution. One can arrange their music tracks in their order of preference while listening. One can also take it as a disc jockey when arranging for a party. The karaoke is another important feature introduced in these systems. This feature shows a listener, lyrics of the song being played which increases the interest of a listener even more. Moreover, a listener can sing the song along with the same beats and rhythm.

Music industry is aware of the demands of listeners and so keeps on updating the music systems with new software. Sonos is the foremost digital music system that enables an individual to play music in all the rooms of the house.

Internet is another medium that makes music accessible to the people around the world. No matter if it is an old song that one wants to hear or a latest track all can be downloaded from the Internet. Computers are equipped with memory, software, sound card, processors, record and play features that can play the same track infinitely. One such software is named file-sharing program. This enables the internet user to browse a site and download the music in a digital format. Moreover, all the songs can be downloaded free of cost with best quality voice.

DVD players are another source of music. These players make use of digital video discs to store data and movies. Though priced quite reasonably, they have features that are parallel to high-valued models. They are portable and also have a video screen. It can be used for listening all different types of music like jazz, rock, soft and many others.

Thus, music is an important source of entertainment and can be listened anywhere through various sources available. The means of music systems vary and are distinctive in range, whether it is music system, Internet music or DVD players.

 

In this article, we aim to provide an educational means to understanding how to save a considerable amount of money when traveling with a family or large group. In the case study below, we’ll show how Ultimate Luxury Rentals vacation homes in Tucson, AZ have saved the vacationers coming to the area time, money, privacy, and a “home away from home” feel.

First off, you may be wondering, what is a luxury home rental? Well, we will get to that later in the article. Let’s start with some of the reasons people are now renting these vacation homes as opposed to

Many vacationers choose to rent a vacation homes for a variety of reasons. Economics is one of the primary reasons. A vacation home can replace 2-4 hotel rooms at a fraction of the cost. Vacationers can eat their meals at home or even cook up their favorite meals on the barbecue. Our average vacation rental customer saves over $2000 in a 1 week stay. Privacy is another major consideration when choosing a vacation rental home over a hotel or resort. Many vacation homes include enclosed back yards with private heated pools and spas. Guest can enjoy their gathering of friends and family without interruption. Amenities are probably the main reason vacationers continue to rent vacation homes year after year. Many vacation rentals offer amenities that are superior to many upscale hotels and resorts. Pillow top mattresses with sateen sheets, plasma TVs, free wireless Internet, pool or game tables, fully stocked gourmet kitchens, private heated pools and spas and some of the most spectacular city and mountain views in town.

In addition to the home itself, the destination you choose has its own attractions and amenities. Continuing with our case study of luxury homes in Tucson, Arizona, here is a little history of the Old Pueblo and some of the history that attracts people to this particular destination.

With its mixed cultural heritage and international population, Tucson’s traditions span centuries of habitation from prehistoric Indian cultures to recent immigrants from all over the world. Today Tucson has become a destination for many visitors particularly those looking to rent a vacation home in Sonoran Desert of Arizona.

True to its Old West beginnings, Tucson’s first inhabitants roamed the area hunting mammoth and bison between 12,500 and 6,000 B.C. Following them were the Cochise , who built pit houses and used stone tools, and the Hohokam, who began farming the valley in 300 A.D.

In 1692, Spanish missionaries arrived in the valley to find the Indian village S-tukson (“black base”). In 1775, the Spanish built an outpost, the Presidio of San Augustin.

By 1804, some 1,000 people lived in the adobe village – mostly Spanish, Mexicans, and Native Americans who made their living raising crops and livestock. After the Mexican Revolution of 1821, Tucson became part of Mexico.

Looking for a southern rail route, the U.S. negotiated the Gadsden Purchase with Mexico in 1854 and Arizona became a U.S. territory. In 1867, Tucson became the territorial capital for the 10-year period, which accelerated civic progress.

In 1885 , The territorial legislature approved $25,000 to build the University of Arizona. The city continued to grow rapidly, reaching 7,000. Around the turn of the century, Tucson began attracting thousands of tuberculosis victims seeking a cure in its dry climate. In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state to enter the union.

Fueled by Industries and tourism, the population of Tucson grew rapidly – at one point welcoming 1,000 newcomers each month. By 2000, the population had reached 800,000.

Vacation rental homes in Tucson, Arizona offer a wide range of choices to visitors from all over the world. Many different neighborhoods comprise the city and offer vacationers a large selection of accommodations and activities.

The Tucson Mountains are located approximately 8 miles west of Interstate 10. The proximity to Interstate 10 makes day trips to Phoenix, Tubac, and Nogales Mexico very convenient. Some of the most desirable luxury vacation rental homes in Tucson Arizona are located in this area. These vacation homes boast some of the best city and mountain views in the state. Most of the luxury vacation rentals are located on acre plus lots with private pools and spa and offer an experience that is one with nature. Vacation rental customers may have the pleasure of seeing many of the desert’s wildlife such as the javalina, coyote, bobcat and a wide variety of birds such as hawk, dove, quail, and the state’s official bird, the road runner . Vacation rental guests will also have a wide variety of attractions such as the Sonoran Desert Museum, Old Tucson Studios, Wildlife Museum, Gates Pass, and the Saguaro National Park West. The west side of town appeals to the business traveler as well. Many of the Ultimate Luxury Rentals vacation rentals are located less than 10 minutes from the Tucson convention center. These homes’ locations put you in the heart of the most beautiful desert in the world, the Sonoran Desert. During the first 2 weeks in February, The TCC is home to the Tucson gem and mineral show the largest gem and mineral show in the world. Parents of University of Arizona students choose west side vacation homes because they are very convenient for visiting their child during the holidays or celebrating a graduation.

The Catalina Foothills is the largest mountain range in the valley and a well sought after area of town for visitors looking to rent a vacation home in Tucson AZ. Several upscale resorts and spas have made the Catalina’s their home. The Catalina foothills area has a wide variety of restaurants as well as upscale shopping at La Encanta and St Phillips Plaza. For those looking for hiking and site seeing, the Catalina area offers the Sabino Canyon Recreational Park. For vacation visitors looking to escape the summer heat (temperatures average 20 degrees lower than the city), you can take a 25 mile drive up to the top of Mt Lemmon. The Tucson vacation rentals located in this area consist of a large selection of luxury vacation rental condominiums and single family vacation homes on ½ acre lots with excellent mountain and city views.

Oro Valley has been one on the most rapidly growing areas in Tucson. Many of the vacation rental homes and condominiums are new construction and offer very upscale accommodations. There are many fine restaurants to choose from as well as some of the best golf resorts in town. The is only disadvantage to renting a vacation home in Oro Valley is the traffic. Traveling to and from Oro Valley at the wrong time of day can be quite a chore. Travel times to other areas of town such as the Tucson mountains and the east side can take up to 45 minutes or longer.

As you can see for this particular destination, there is an entourage of amenities, attractions, scenery, and history. In order to make the most of your trip, it would obviously be to your benefit to have extra funds. Luxury vacation rentals are a win-win option for your trip. Aside from your destination, they are certainly something to look into. Obviously you’ll want to find the best deal with the most credible provider of luxury rentals.

Still curious what is a luxury rental? Ultimate Luxury Rentals is a starting point for you. With over 7 years in the luxury home rental business, they have continued to provide the highest quality of homes and services to customers worldwide. Visit them at Ultimateluxuryrentals.com and get a first hand look at homes in Tucson, AZ, Taos, NM, and Costa Rica!

 

The 5 components of physical fitness are often used in our school systems, health clubs and fitness centers to gauge how good a shape we are truly in. The 5 components that make up total fitness are:

  • Cardiovascular Endurance

 

  • Muscular Strength

 

  • Muscular endurance

 

  • Flexibility

 

  • Body Composition

Total fitness can be defined by how well the body performs in each one of the components of physical fitness as a whole. It is not enough to be able to bench press your body weight. You also need to determine how well you can handle running a mile etc.

A closer look at the individual components:

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart and lungs to work together to provide the needed oxygen and fuel to the body during sustained workloads. Examples would be jogging, cycling and swimming. The Cooper Run is used most often to test cardiovascular endurance.

Muscular strength is the amount of force a muscle can produce. Examples would be the bench press, leg press or bicep curl. The push up test is most often used to test muscular strength.

Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to perform continuous without fatiguing. Examples would be cycling, step machines and elliptical machines. The sit up test is most often used to test muscular endurance.

Flexibility is the ability of each joint to move through the available range of motion for a specific joint. Examples would be stretching individual muscles or the ability to perform certain functional movements such as the lunge. The sit and reach test is most often used to test flexibility.

Body composition is the amount of fat mass compared to lean muscle mass, bone and organs. This can be measured using underwater weighing, Skinfold readings, and bioelectrical impedance. Underwater weighing is considered the “gold standard” for body fat measurement, however because of the size and expense of the equipment needed very few places are set up to do this kind of measurement.

Why the need for physical fitness testing?

As stated earlier the 5 components of physical fitness represent how fit and healthy the body is as a whole. When you have the battery of tests performed you will receive information on the specific areas you made need to work in. A very specific goal oriented fitness program can be developed from the test battery.

If body composition is of (higher fat compared to muscle mass) there are many health related diseases and illnesses you have a higher chance of contracting. It is important to combine healthy eating habits with your exercise program.

If you scored low on the cardiovascular test you would have a higher chance of being at risk for heart related illnesses and would not do well with activities that require longer times to complete. You would participate in things such as long bike rides, swimming and jogging for extended periods of time to correct this component.

The next three tests can have results that are isolated to specific joints and muscles of the body or affect the body as a whole.

If you score low on the flexibility tests, you have a greater chance of decreased performance in daily living activities/sports and a higher risk of injury. You may also experience low back pain. It would be important to included flexibility training into your workout everyday.

If you scored low on the muscular endurance test you fatigue early into the exercise or activities of daily living. Many exercises that require high reps and low weight would be implemented into your training program.

If you scored low on the muscle strength test you do not have enough strength to perform well in sports, resistance training and activities of daily living. Your fitness program would have a progressive strength training component added that would allow you to become stronger with little chance of injury over time.

Fitness testing has its limitations – while it gives you a good idea of where your body is, it does not paint the entire picture. As stated earlier some of the above tests are only testing specific body parts. Other important factors such as balance and agility are not tested. It also requires the ability to perform the tests. It would be dangerous for someone who is in poor condition and does not exercise to participate in fitness testing.

Before deciding to undergo fitness testing, make sure you know why they are being done and determine that it is safe for you to participate.

 

There is nothing better than sliding under fresh, crisp white sheets in a lovely hotel room at the end of the evening. Have you wondered how motels keep their towels and sheets refreshing and clean? Resorts can use hundreds of sets of towels and sheets a day. These establishments use a combination of rapid maintenance and delicate treatment to make sure the prolonged life and cleanliness of their linens. Implement these 5 rules utilized by resorts to extend the life of one’s home sheets, towels, and blankets.

One particular way to keep linens fresh and mildew-free is always to hang up the towels after use. Hotels encourage this practice with guests by displaying a sign inside the rest room with the instructions to hang up the towels. When a towel is not hung up to dry after use, mildew can grow around the towels significantly easier, leading to musty odor, even right after laundering. The simple act of hanging a towel may help steer clear of mildew smells inside the towels.

An extremely valuable approach to keep linens fresh is by not under filling or overfilling a washing machine. Filling a washing machine an excessive amount doesn’t allow for adequate mechanical motion to clean the laundry. On the other hand, not filling up a washing machine enough makes it possible for for an excessive amount of mechanical action, triggering the linens to break down quicker. It truly is appropriate to fill a washing machine to approximately 80 percent of the machine’s capacity.

It really is also crucial to wash linens on a warm setting, not too hot and not too cold. Washing sheets and towels in cold water isn’t going to cleanse the linens thoroughly, allowing for some bacteria and dust mites to remain. Nonetheless, because of the frequency of washes, washing those identical linens in hot water can damage the fabric incredibly speedily.

Vinegar can also be a valuable tool for keeping hotel sheets and towels clean. When used in replacement of fabric softener, vinegar removes bacteria and freshens materials. Standard fabric softener coats fabrics with a film, making it tricky to completely clean the linens. Following washing these linens using detergent and vinegar as fabric softener, resort linens will smell clean and will never smell like vinegar whatsoever.

Finally, one crucial component of keeping lodge towels and linen smelling and looking clean is always to cleanse the washers on a regular basis. If mildew grows in a washer, that smell is quickly transferred to the laundered linens, even if they’re clean. By being proactive and cleansing the washers on a regular basis, this mildew smell can be avoided.

Resorts that stick to these 5 techniques for cleaning linens will ensure clean sheets and towels for hotel guests. Guests can right away notice the difference if your sheets or towels have not been laundered appropriately. Additionally, these laundry approaches also help extend the life of motels’ linens, leading to lower expenses for the resort along with the customer.

Indian weddings are easily among the most colourful, elaborate and lively in the world. Unlike the West, where it is the bride and the groom that are the prominent characters, in an India wedding, it is the immediate and extended families on both sides that are the star players! A wedding is a social affair, and heralds the coming together of not just the couple but of their families as well. So, it should come as no surprise that a majority of the youth comply with their family’s wishes even today and go in for arranged marriages.

A typical Indian wedding comprises of three broad segments – the pre-wedding ceremonies (which are almost as elaborate as the actual wedding itself), the wedding and some post-wedding rituals.

India is a vast and diverse country, with the North, South, East and West each having its own distinctive languages, cuisine, customs and traditions and wedding rituals.

North Indian marriages

A traditional North Indian wedding takes place at the brides’ home. North Indian marriages are characterized by several pre-wedding and post-wedding ceremonies. The most important pre-wedding ritual is that of the Mangni or Sagai (engagement ceremony). The boy and the girl exchange rings in the presence of a religious priest and family and close friends.

On the actual day of the wedding, the boy’s family sets off for the girls’ house in the evening amidst a lot of cheering, dancing and general merriment. The groom mounts a brightly adorned horse, usually with the youngest boy of the family sitting up front with him. He is preceded by a crowd of his male and female relatives, and friends, dressed in all their finery and accompanied by a musical band. His face is covered with a curtain of flowers (the sehra which is tied by his sister). The noisy, procession, with the band belting out the tunes of the latest Bollywood chartbusters, makes its leisurely way past residential houses, busy streets before finally arriving at the girl’s house.

The groom and his family are warmly received by the girl’s family, new members greet each other by exchanging garlands of flowers.

Finally, the groom and the bride, seated on a dais, get up to exchange garlands in the Jaimala ceremony – one of the most important of North Indian wedding traditions -amidst a lot of good-natured cheering.

The next part is the most symbolic one – the Saat Pheras (or the seven steps) that the bride and groom take around the ceremonial fire. Thus usually takes place very late – usually after 12 midnight – much after the guests have feasted and left and only the very close relatives on either side are left. Both of them circle the scared fire, taking vows to love and honour each other throughout their lives. The groom then applies a streak of vermilion to the bride’s head, after which they become lawfully wedded husband and wife.

The bride is then given a tearful send-off by her family as she leaves with her new husband to start a brand-new life.

South Indian marriages

The biggest difference between North Indian and South Indian weddings is that the latter takes place during the day instead of at night. The basis for the rituals is the same except that they are conducted in a different manner.

The wedding venue is usually a hall where the wedding mandap ( a small covered enclosure) has plantain trees tied to both the gateposts, overhead festoons made of mango leaves strung together, and Rangoli designs (intricate designs made with coloured powder) at the entrance.

The evening before the actual wedding day, the bridegroom is led in a flower-decked procession from a temple by the bride’s parents to the marriage Mandapam (hall). Once there, the formal espousal ceremony takes place. The elephant-headed god Ganapati, the God of Initiation, is invoked, and is entreated to keep away all obstacles away from the couple.

The ritual is followed by presenting clothes to the couple. Interestingly, the marriage ceremonies are performed separately by the bride and the groom.

The marriage ceremony is formalized in the hall by a Vedic priest who chants ancient hymns and verses, recalling the names of three generations of ancestors of both, the bride and the groom before all who have gathered to witness the wedding. The bride and the groom exchange garlands when they are lifted onto the shoulders of their respective uncles.

The bride then sits on her father’s lap for the ‘Kanyadan’ (giving away the daughter) ceremony to the bridegroom. The bride is presented with a Mangalsutra (the scared necklace that signifies her married status) as well as a new sari which is draped around her by the sister of the bridegroom.

After this, the groom walks seven steps with his bride, holding her hand in his. The seven steps are the most important part of the wedding ceremony.

The wedding is followed by an elaborate and delectable wedding feast, usually vegetarian.

The Hotel industry is expanding with every passing day due to the boom in leisure and corporate tourism. Frequency of travel has increased over the past decade, leading the hotels to compete in every manner to attract more guests and give them a comfortable stay. Hoteliers know the fact that if they want their customers to choose them over the competitors they have to provide something extra to the guests. Most important one is by offering the quality and right hotel amenities to the guests at suitable rates. If you want your hotel to succeed than it should keep itself ahead in the current trends which will ensure better occupancy rates.

You can start on the hotel amenities services by providing the basic things and supplies like toiletries, towels, hangers, etc. These basic hotel supplies are targeted towards providing the guests ultimate convenience and feel at home factor. However the definition of basic hotel supplies differs on the hotel class and type. The Hotel industry is a highly competitive industry and competes with one another for business. Thus the hotel amenities and supplies that they provide are part of the competition which concerns things like- how many amenities are being offered, its types and the quality and design of the products.

Guests’ expectations of such supplies are affected by the type of hotel and its sophistication level. Hangers, ice boxes, absorbent towels, exquisite bed linens, wooden luggage racks, etc these are basic hotel supplies for mid level hotels. The main aim for providing such extra luxury items is to increase the occupancy rates of the hotel rooms. As the level of the hotel goes up, so does the quality and number of hotel supplies and amenities.

Hotels and resorts that are 5-star and above provide a high level of guest services and amenities to attract and sustain high-end guests. For instance- shaving kits, medical kits, microfiber Bathrobe and towels, shaving mirrors with fog-free feature, in-room lockers, refrigerators, mini bar, etc are just some examples of high quality hotel supplies of such luxury hotels and resorts. Not only do such additional amenities attract new guests but they also increase the occupancy rates.

Guests give rating’s for the hotel supplies and guest complementaries they utilize based on there quality and there convenience. When an hotelier is in the process of deciding which hotel amenities they would provide, a number of factors would influence the decision like- the budget, expectations of their guests, type of guests they receive, etc. The value and importance of hotel supplies cannot be overlooked as they have direct Affect on the occupancy rates.