In parts of India, and as a tradition and culture, especially among the Hindu families cow dung plays an important role. Especially in front of every house, women after clearing the floor sprinkle the cow or buffalo dung slurry. It is done almost regularly during the winters and other times at least once on every Friday. After some time given for the drying of slurry, women and young girls apply Muggu, i.e., the floral or geometric patterns and designs are drawn with white color calcium powder (in some places the flour of rice is also used). Every woman is an artist and it is an expression of a women’s innate freedom through art. The preferred drawings are usually flowers and birds. The patterns are also an identity of the house lady. My mother also used to do regularly early in the morning, before we wake up. For getting the dung myself and my elder sister used to go to the banks of the water tank and wait for the buffalos to come out of the water after their bath. These buffalos mostly used to give dung only after having the bath. They used to walk gently, and we used to observe which one is going to raise its tail slightly. It is an indication that it is going to deliver dung. There used to be so much competition from other children too, waiting for the dung. Secondly, we need to catch the fresh dung, before it touches the sand on the ground. Once the buffalo was identified, we used to run with a pan and grab the dung before it fell on the ground. Or sometimes trying to hold with both hands and later shifted it into the pan, but it was so much to handle. Sometimes my mother used to give pocket money of 10 paise for getting the dung.
Traditionally in parts of India, dung is considered as auspicious and used for sanctification of a place too. Although cow dung is preferred, as the cows are becoming rare, buffalo dung is also used. It is auspicious in the Hindu temples, especially the dung of traditional cows. It is a major sanitizer too, and its presence attracts no houseflies. Especially in the traditional low-income families with earth floors, it is nice to contain the dust too. The walls are regularly maintained by plastering with a mix of dung and clay. With pieces of undigested straw and semi-digested straw, after drying it forms a good insulation material. The people sleeping on the earth floors, feel the warmth during the winters and coolness in the summers.
The cattle are an integral part of the life of people living in the traditional villages.