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Exquisite Indian Culture-It's Customs and Tradition

Updated on January 9, 2015

India is a land of diverse cultures.Indian culture is rich and exquisite with different religious customs and traditions.Being a part of Indus Valley Civilization it is often referred to as the culturally secular nation with wide spread distinctive ethnic groups.Indian culture is as many sided as life. It includes intellectual and social aspects of any human being. It also takes account of the aesthetic instinct as well as the spiritual impulses of human being. It has also, in effect, an appeal to the subconscious as a force making for the formation of character.It depicts the way the life of people of India is.

The culture i.e religion,language,arts,foods,customs etc of India differ from place to place within the country.

The culture of India can be best expressed as comprising the following-

1.Humanity-The modesty of the Indians until today despite the aggressiveness of the Muslim conquerors and the reforming zeal of the British, the Portuguese and the Dutch continued. The Indians are known for their quiet nature and humanity without any harshness in its principles and ideals found.

2.Tolerance-Gandhi's Satyagraha principle or Ahimsa - freedom, without a drop of blood, performed miracles and gave credit to India on the international stage. Swami Vivekananda said in his famous Chicago speech on 11 September 1893 for it.

3.Unity-India is a conglomeration of men and women of different castes and creed. It is a mix of old, traditional values and modern principles, so that all three generations meet in the present India. The elite businessman and the common seller on the street share the same news and worship the same deity.

4.Secularism-India is a secular country with each and every religion and religious sentiment are treated equally.The diversification and unity among different caste makes it a secular nation.There is freedom of worship throughout the length and breadth of India without any breeches or violations of any other’s religious beliefs. The Hindus, The Muslims, The Christians, and The Sikhs in times of calamity and during festivities come openly together to share their thoughts despite their religious affinities

5.Society-The Indian society is mostly based on the joint family system with a bit of some nuclear families.The families are closely knit with Grandfathers, fathers, sons and grandsons sharing the same spirit, tradition and property.

Here is a brief overview of Indian Culture

Language-India is a multilingual nation with several languages being spoken around the country.India has 28 states and seven territories,and each has at least one official language.There are nearly 438 languages spoken around India including Hindi and English being the national language and 22 other official languages.Most of the languages of India belong to two families, Aryan and Dravidian.

Religion-Being a secular nation every religion is treated with equal dignity.India is identified as the birthplace of Hinduism,Buddhism,Jainism and Sikhism, collectively known as Indian religions. A huge majority 84% of the population identifies as Hindu.Around 13% are Muslims, often referred to as one of the largest Islamic nations in the world. and over 23 million Christians, over 19 million Sikhs, about 8 million Buddhists and about 4 million Jains.

True Indian is best described by the religion as

Hinduism

Jainism

Buddhism

Sikhism

Islam

Christianity


Greeting-Greetings are the perfect way of expressing gratitude and respect.Indians mostly express their gratitude by doing Namaste which means i bow to the divine in you.Namaste or namaskar is used as a respectful form of greeting, acknowledging and welcoming a relative, guest or stranger.It is spoken with the gesture acknowledging the person and showing deep respect to the person.

Family Structure and Weddings-The Indian family system comprises of traditional values and ethos.The family structure is mostly joint family system .The unity of the family members among each other is pretty solid and there is an understanding,a sense of responsibility and respect among each member of the family. It is a system under which extended members of a family – parents, children, the children's spouses and their offspring, etc. – live together. Usually, the oldest male member is the head in the joint Indian family system. He makes all important decisions and rules, and other family members abide by them.

Marriages have long been a lifeline of Indian society with great family values,customs,traditions and rituals.Wedding in India does not only confined between the bride and the groom rather it is the Indian ritual that build connection and relation between the families of the wedded couple.Indian marriage are mostly arranged marriages where the groom or bride are selected by the family members.This rituals have been followed for centuries but due to the modernization of society now loved with arranged marriage are mostly done.

Indian wedding are always big and fat,celebrated in a pompous way with dance music and traditional rituals.They are always fascinating and enjoyable.Being a part of it guarantees an atmosphere of stunning diaspora and full of energy.People die to be a part of it!

Festivals-India, as a multicultural and multi-religious society celebrates holidays and festivals of different religions.The multifaceted festivals all around India is celebrated with strict religious customs and traditions.

Festivals of India have various social,religious and cultural significance.There are many festivals that are celebrated at National levels in India, the Independence Day, the Republic Day and the Gandhi Jayanti, are celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm across India.While there are many other festivals being celebrated across the nation by different religious groups.India is a land of festivals that binds all Indians together irrespective of their religion,caste etc there is no discrimination while celebration.

The major festivals are from religious groups as under:

Hindus

1.Diwali or Deepawali

2.Dussehra or Daserra

3.Raksha Bandhan

4.Ugadi

5.Maha Shivaratri

6.Ramanavami

7.Sankranthi

8.Holi

9.Pongal

10.Onam

11.Bonalu

12.Hanuman Jayanthi

Islamic

1.Eid-ul-Fitr

2.Muharram

3.Ramzan

Christian

1.Good Friday

2.Easter

3.Christmas

Sikhism

1.Guru Nanak's Birthday Jayanti

2.Guru Govind Singh's Birthday Jayanti

3.Guru Teg Bahadur's Martyrdom Day

4.BaisakhiMJNJ

Jainism

1.Mahavir Jayanti

2.Mahamastakabhisheka



Animals-India has rich and diversified wildlife which has a profound impact on India's culture.The national animal of India is Tiger whereas the national bird isPeacock.India is home to a number of rare and threatened animal species.It is home to about 60-70 % of the world's biodiversity.There are about 89 national parks, 18 Bio-reserves and 400+ wildlife sanctuaries across the country.It is the home to the famous Royal Bengal Tiger and many other species.

In religious context there are many animals believed to be sacred.In Hinduism Cow is often regarded as the symbol of ahimsa(non-violence),mother goddess and bringer of good fortune and wealth.This religious sentiment and superstition associated with animals is one of the reason that India is uniquely diverse and a complete standout in the world.

Cuisine-Indian cuisine is deliberate with varied influences from Arab, Turkish and Europeans.Indian cuisine includes a variety of regional cuisines native to India. Since the range of diversity in the type of soil, climate and occupations are those courts differ significantly from each other, and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Indian food is also strongly influenced by religious and cultural customs and traditions.

The development of these dishes have been influenced by Dharmic beliefs, particularly through vegetarianism is a growing food trend in Indian society.It has influence on North Indian cuisine from the years of Mughal rule in Central Asia was Indian cuisine and is still developing as a result of cultural interactions of the nation with other companies.

Historical events such as foreign invasions, trade relations and colonialism have also played a role in the introduction of certain foods in the country. For example, the potato was a staple of the Indian diet to India by the Portuguese, also presented which brought chillies and breadfruit Indian cuisine has also shaped the history of international relations. the spice trade between India and Europe is often cited by historians as the primary catalyst for the European Age of Discovery. Bought spices from India and traded to Europe and Asia. It has also influenced other courts around the world, especially in Southeast Asia, the British Isles and the Caribbean.

Wheat, basmati rice and pulses with Chana (Bengal gram) are important staples of the Indian diet. The food is rich in curries and spices such as ginger, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, dried chillies and cinnamon, among others. Chutneys - thick prepared spices and spreads of various fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and tamarind and mint, cilantro and other herbs - are generously used in Indian cuisine.

Many Hindus are vegetarians, but lamb and chicken are common in main dishes for non-vegetarians. Indian cuisine comprised of food belonging to different region i.e different region have different varieties of food.

Indians mostly loves to eat with fingers unlike the westerners who mostly uses spoon and fork.

Arts-Indian arts consists of varieties of forms,the aesthetics display of its true ethereal form through dance,music,cinema,sports etc.

1.Dance-The classic Indian dance has been there for centuries.India has had a long relationship with the art of dance. Natyasastra (Science of Dance) and Abhinaya Darpana (Mirror of Gesture) are two surviving Sanskrit documents, both estimated to be between 1700 to 2200 years old. The great classical dance traditions - Bharata Natyam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Mohiniattam - based on themes from mythology and literature with rigid rule of presentation.

Bollywood dances are some what different than the classical one's.This are the dance forms that are used in the Indian films.It is the mixture of numerous dance forms .These forms include belly-dancing, kathak, Indian folk, Western popular, and "modern", jazz, and even Western erotic dancing.

The Indian dance, taught in these old books is the expression of inner beauty and the divine in man.It is a conscious art, nothing is left to chance, looking every gesture to communicate ideas, every facial expression emotions.



2.Music-Music is an integral part of Indian culture.The music of India includes multiple types of folk music, pop and classical Indian music. India's classical music tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani music, developed with a history of thousands of years and through several epochs. Music in India began as an integral part of the socio-religious life.

There are some light classical music of traditional genres like Thumri, Dadra, ghazal, Chaiti, Kajri and Tappa and Qawwali.

Popular music genres include film music,dance music,western classical music etc.

Indian music have greatly influenced the western world from Beatles to Selena Gomez.It is the perfect blend of many genres with true varieties and simlicity.

3.Cinema-The entertainment industry in India is big and vast and is recognized worldwide for its films.The Indian film industry which is based in Mumbai and is often referred to as Bollywood.Mumbai is referred to as the entertainment capital of India and India is the largest producer of films in the world.Bollywood is colorful and vibrant.The country began as a major producer of movies in the 1930s. Today, the films are known for their elaborate song and dance and Bollywood produces more films per year than Hollywood.Bollywood referred to as the Hindi film industry,there are also many regional industries around the country that make regional films like Telugu cinema, Tamil cinema, Malayalam cinema, Bangla cinema, and Kannada cinema.The remaining majority part is northern, western and southern India to spread (with Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi, Oriya, Assamese cinema). However, there are some smaller centers of the Indian film industry in regional languages centered in the states where these languages are spoken. Indian films are made filled with musicals, action, romance, comedy, and an increasing number of special effects.The Indian film industry is the 4th largest industry in the world and its stars are recognized globally.

4.Sports-Being a multi-cultural nation multiple sports are played in India.Hockey is the national game of India but it is Cricket which is the most popular sport in the country.Apart from this there are other sports played in the country like football,Chess,Formula-1 racing,Horse racing,Kabaddi etc.Most of the popular sports in India are influenced by the western games.

In the field of art India is Multicultural and Multifaceted.

Architecture- The architecture of India is truly the genesis of amazing sculptures.One of the most enduring achievements of Indian civilization is undoubtedly its architecture truly world class.The Indian architecture and the monuments are famous worldwide,some of them been listed on the Guinness records and some are preserved and recognized as UNESCO world heritage.The best known example of Indian architecture is the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to honor his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It combines elements of Islamic, Persian Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles.It is the 7th wonders of the world. India also has many ancient temples.

Clothing-Indian clothing is identified closely with the colorful silk saris worn by many women in the country. The traditional dress for men is the dhoti, an unstitched piece of cloth over 5 meters long, which is tied around the waist and legs. Men also wear a kurta, a loose shirt worn over knee. For special occasions, men wear a sherwani, a long coat that is buttoned up to the collar and to down to the knees.

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