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Indian Culture Facts
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Cultural Profile of India

The term Culture refers to a state of intellectual development or Manners. The Indian culture is unique and varied. The culture of India is one of the oldest and unique. In India, there is amazing cultural diversity throughout the country. The South, North, and Northeast have their own distinct cultures and almost every state has carved out its own cultural niche.

There is hardly any culture in the world that is as varied and unique as India. India is a vast country, having variety of Geographical features and climatic conditions. India is home to some of the most ancient Civilizations, including four major World Religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

Indian culture is rich and diverse and as a result unique in its very own way. Our manners, way of communicating with one another, etc are one of the important components of our culture. Even though we have accepted modern means of living, improved our lifestyle, our values and beliefs still remain unchanged. A person can change his way of clothing, way of eating and living but the rich values in a person always remains unchanged because they are deeply rooted within our hearts, mind, body and soul which we receive from our culture.

Indian culture treats guests as god and serves them and takes care of them as if they are a part and parcel of the family itself. Even though we don’t have anything to eat, the guests are never left hungry and are always looked after by the members of the family.

Elders and the respect for elders is a major component in Indian culture. Elders are the driving force for any family and hence the love and respect for elders comes from within and is not artificial. An individual takes blessings from his elders by touching their feet. Elders drill and pass on the Indian culture within us as we grow.

“Respect one another” is another lesson that is taught from the books of Indian culture. All people are alike and respecting one another is ones duty.

Helpful nature is another striking feature in our Indian culture. Right from our early days of childhood we are taught to help one another in need of help and distress. If not monetary then at least in kind or non – monetary ways.

Indian culture tells us to multiply and distribute joy and happiness and share sadness and pain. It tells us that by all this we can develop co  – operation and better living amongst ourselves and subsequently make this world a better place to live in.

A combination of these factors has resulted into an exclusive culture- Indian culture. Indian culture is a composite mixture of varying styles and influences. In the matter of Cuisine, for instance, the North and the South are totally different. Festivals in India are characterized by Color, Gaiety, Enthusiasm, Prayers and Rituals. In the realm of Music, there are varieties of Folk, Popular, Pop, and Classical Music. The classical tradition of music in India includes the Carnatic and the Hindustani music.

India has a rich and unique Cultural Heritage, and has managed to preserve its established traditions throughout history whilst absorbing Customs, Traditions and Ideas from both invaders and immigrants. Many Cultural Practices, Languages, Customs and Monuments are examples of this co  – mingling over centuries. Famous monuments, such as the Taj Mahal and other examples of Islamic – inspired architecture have been inherited from the Mughal dynasty. These are the result of a syncretic tradition that combined elements from all parts of the country.

Indian music is represented in a wide variety of forms. The two main forms of classical music are Carnatic from South India, and Hindustani from North India, each of which has several popular sub classes. Popular forms of music also prevail, the most notable being Filmi music. In addition to this are the diverse traditions of folk music from different parts of the country. Many classical dance forms exist, including the Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, and Manipuri. They often have a narrative form and are usually infused with devotional and spiritual elements.

The earliest literary traditions in India were mostly oral, and were later transcribed. Most of these are represented by sacred works like the Vedas and the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Sangam literature from Tamil Nadu represents some of India’s oldest traditions. There have been many notable modern Indian writers, both in Indian languages and in English.

Millions of ancient handwritten manuscripts have been identified and classified. India’s only Nobel laureate in literature was the Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore. India is the third largest newspaper market in Asia with an estimated circulation of at least 66 million copies daily in 2003.

The nation also produces the world’s second largest number of motion pictures every year. The most recognizable face is that of cinema production based in Mumbai, which produces mainly commercial Hindi films, often referred to as “Bollywood”. There are also strong cinema industries based on the Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu languages.

Religious practices of various faiths are an integral part of everyday life in Society. Religion in India is a very public affair, with many practices imbued with pomp and vitality accompanying their underlying Spiritual Qualities. Education is highly regarded by members of every Socio – Economic stratum. Traditional Indian family values are highly respected, and considered sacred, although Urban families have grown to prefer a Nuclear Family System, owing to the Socio – Economic constraints imposed by the Traditional Joint family system.

The Cuisine of India is diverse, as Ingredients, Spices and Cooking methods vary from region to region. Rice and wheat are the staple foods in the country. The country is notable for its wide variety of Vegetarian and Non – Vegetarian Cuisine. Spicy food and sweets are popular in India. Traditional dress in India greatly varies across the regions in its Colours and Styles, and depend on various factors, including climate. Popular styles of dress include the traditional sari for women and the traditional dhoti for men.

India’s national sport is field Hockey, although cricket is now the de facto National game. In some states, particularly in the northeast, Football ( Soccer ) is the most popular sport and is widely watched. In recent times, tennis has gained popularity in India. Chess is also gaining popularity with the rise of the number of recognised grandmasters. The most commonly held view is that chess originated in India. Traditional indigenous sports include Kabaddi, Kho Kho and Gilli – danda, which are played in most parts of the country.

India is also known as a land of Festivals. A melting pot of many Religions, India has a rich diversity of Festivals, many of which are celebrated irrespective of caste and creed. The most widely known and popular celebrations include the Hindu festivals of Diwali, Holi, Pongal and Dussehra and the Muslim celebration of Eid. A number of festivals are common to most parts of India.

However, they may be called by different names in the various parts of the country or may be celebrated in a different fashion and style.

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