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Short Essay on Diversity in Indian Culture

India is a land of diversity in race, region, caste, language, mate, landform, flora and fauna and so on. From ancient time till day India has repaintained this
diversity from very ancient time. Mature has shaped the country so. Rightly this land has been termed as "the epitome of the world." The fundamental
diversity in India is gleaned from the following.

Geographical Diversity:
India is a vast country with great diversity of physical features.
Food or the Indian cuisine brings out diversity in culture due to its variation across regions on preference and preparation. Rice, wheat, pulses, curries and spices are greatly identical to Indians with cooking styles varying on regional and religious grounds. However, the largest portion of Indians is vegetarian. In spite of cultural diversity, unification exists through art and architectural aspects. Culture has been a significant influence on Indian artistic features. For instance, Muslim used mortar masonry and constructed buildings inspired by their religious-based culture. Similarly, the Hindu religious architecture influence most constructions in the country and across the globe. Evidently, cultural diversity has been a great beneficial factor to enriching the country both socially and economically.

Certain parts in India are so fertile that they are counted amongst the most fertile regions of
the world while other are so unproductive and barren that hardly anything car be grown there.
The regions of Indo- Gangetic Valley belong to the first category, while certain area of Rajasthan falls under the later category.
The Indian sub-continent received a large number of migratory races mostly from the Western and the Eastern directions. Majority of the people of India are descendants of immigrants from across the Himalayas. Their dispersal into sub-continent has resulted in the consequent regional concentration of a variety of ethnic elements. India is an ethnological museum Dr B.S Guha identifies the population of India into six main ethnic groups, namely (1) the Negrito’ (2) the Proto-Australoids, (3) the Mongoloids (4) the Mediterranean or Dravidian (5) the Western Brachycephals and (6) the Nordic. People belonging to these different racial stocks have little in common either in physical appearance or food habits. The racial diversity is very perplexing.

From the point of view of
climate, there is sharp contrast. As Minoo Massami has said that, "India has every variety of climates from the blazing heat of the plains, as hot in places as
hottest Africa-Jacobabad in Sindh- to freezing point (the Arctic cold of the Himalayas).
The Himalayan ranges which are always covered with snow are very cold while the deserts of Rajasthan are well known for their heat.
The unique feature about India is the extreme largest mountains covered with snow throughout the year. The Himalayas or the adobe of snow is the source of the mighty rivers like Indus. Ganga and Yamuna. These perennial rivers irrigate extensive areas in the North to sustain the huge population of the country. At the same time Northern India contains and zones and the desert of Rajasthan where nothing grows accept a few shrubs.

The country also does
not get uniform rainfall. There are certain areas like Cherapunji in Assam which get almost 460" of rain -fall per year which is considered to be world's
highest record on the other hand, Sindh and Rajasthan get hardly 3 inches of rainfall per - year. This variety in climate has also contributed to a variety of flora
and fauna.
India is home to some 1,800 languages and 20,000 caste groups. It is the most culturally, linguistically and genetically varied geographical entity after the African continent. Religion-wise it is the most diverse country in the world, with significant Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Bahai, Ahmadi, Jain and Parsi populations.

In fact, India possesses richest variety of plants and animals known in the world.
Racial Diversity:
India possesses a rich variety of races. In view of this variety Prof. V.A. Smith says, "From the human point of view India has been often described as an
ethnological Dr racial museum in which numberless races of mankind may be steadied."
"The vast population of India consists of the jungles tribe (Hence Bhils, Kols, Santhals), the Greeks, the Sakas, the Kushanas, the Hunas, the Mongolians, the
Arabs, the Turks, the Afghans etc. The physical features and color of the Indian people also differ from region to region- While the people of Kashmir are
handsome and fair in complexion, these qualities are missing among the habitants of Assam.
Cultural diversity creates uniqueness and enriches a country’s history and social set ups with creativity in art and architectural aspects arising from such diversity. Unfortunately, it poses a challenge where these distinctions create language barriers and enhance social segregation due to variability of individuals on tribal, caste, religious or geographical basis. Politically and economically, cultural differences act as a disengagement factor, especially on civic levels. Some cultures are disadvantaged on income levels leading to a rise in evident separation between the rich and poor identical to specific subcultures. This is particularly evident in India where the poor caste remains so over generations as the wealthy maintain their noble class intergenerational. Moreover, color and race that forms part of culture identification have led to increased discrimination and these people live at the periphery of villages excluded from mainstream society.

Linguistic Diversity:
India not only possesses racial diversity but also linguistic diversity- It is said that almost 400 languages are spoken in India. Some of the prominent
language recognized by the constitution includes, Assamese Bengali, Gujrkti, Hindi, Kannad, Kashmiri, and Malayalam.
The census of 1961 listed as many as 1,652 languages and dialects. Since most of these languages are spoken by very few people, the subsequent census regarded them as spurious but the 8′h Schedule of the Constitution of India recognizes 22 languages. These are (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmir. (7) zKonkani. (8) Malayalam. (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali. (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit. (15) Tamil, (16) Telugu, (17) Urdu, and (18) Sindhi, (19) Santhali, (20) Boro, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri. But four of these languages namely Sanskrit, Kashmiri, Nepali and Sindhi are not official languages in any State of the Indian Union. But all these languages are rich in literature Hindi in Devanagiri script is recognized as the official language of the Indian Union by the Constitution.

Marathi, Or Punjabi, Sanskrit,
Sindhi, Terrill, Telgu and Urdu. In fact it is commonly believed that in India the language changes after every four kooks. There is not only variety of
languages but also variety of scripts in India some of the popular scripts in ancient times were Pali, Kharosthi Devnagri, etc.
This linguistic diversity notwithstanding, there was always a sort of link languages, though it has varied from age to age. In ancient times, it was Sanskrit, in medieval age it was Arabic or Persian and in modern times there are Hindi and English as official languages.

What is really striking is that
almost all these language- possess their own literature which differ a great deal from each other
Religious and social Diversity:
In the religious sphere also India possesses great diversity.
India is one of the most populous countries in the world. The large population enhances the Indian cultural identity and diversity across the different geographical and religious lines. It accounts for the second highest home to Muslims in the World. Religious doctrines influence culture and it is on this religious basis that the diversity of the Indian culture exists. Additionally, language also differentiates the culturally endorsed nation with several languages including Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu among many others. Language unites individuals creating social groups identical to a particular culture.

Almost all the principal religions of the world like Brahmanism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and
Christianity are found here. Most of these religions are further sub-divided into various sects and divisions.
Traditions and customs do define our cultural heritage as a country. These aspects bring out identity and recognition amidst the vast rising modernism. India is one state endorsed with such rich cultures that are distinct in language, dressing, and several activities. Religion has been the key differentiating tool among the cultures inherent in India. The country is home to major religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, and Sikhism. For instance, the North and the South have diverse cultural niche creating a composite mixture of the Indian culture.

For example, Buddhism is divided into Hinayana and Mahayana; the Jainism is divided into Digambaras and Septembers and the Brahmanism is divided
into the Vaishnavas, Shivas, Shaktis, Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj etc.
Then there are sects within each religion. Hinduism, for example, has many sects including Shaiva Shakta and Vaishnava. We can add to them the sects born of religious reform movements such as the Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, and The Ram Krishna Mission. More recently, some new cults have come up such as Radhaswami, Saibaba etc. Similarly, Islam is divided into Shiya and Sunni; Sikhism into Namdhari and Nirankari; Jainism into Digambar and Shwetambar and Buddhism into Hinayan and Mahayan.

In addition the primitive men have their own peculiar cults which are quite distinct
from these major religions. Thus we can say India possess completely diversity on religious sphere.
In the social sphere also the general customs and manners of the people greatly different.
The diversity in India is unique. Being a large country with large population. India presents endless varieties of physical features and cultural patterns. It is the land of many languages it is only in India people professes all the major religions of the world. In short, India is “the epitome of the world”. The vast population is composed of people having diverse creeds, customs and colours. Some of the important forms of diversity in India are discussed below.

People of different regions use different types of dresses. Their
eating habits and customs are also quite different. Certain people are quite civilized while other are yet backward in their customs. Thus we find as
Radhakumud Mukherjee has put it, "India is a museum of cults and customs, creeds and cultures, faiths and tongues, racial types and social systems.
Political Diversity:
The diversity in culture, races, language, religion etc.
India’s unity in diversity has sometimes been internally challenged. If one million people are involved in such an endeavour, it might seem like a gigantic number; but when it is pitted against India’s total population of a billion plus, it pales into insignificance.

greatly stood in the way of political unity in India. As a result from the earliest times, India has been
divided into several independent principalities. The rulers of these principalities were always engaged in wars with each other for supremacy.
Another subject for debate is the capacity of the average Indian voter to make the correct choice, to recognise worth and shun bias and demagogy. This requires not only an educated electorate, but also one that has been trained for citizenship. It is strange that, even sixty-four years after independence, India is woefully lacking in both these respects.

This disunity
and friction was fully exploited by the foreign invaders to bring India under their subjugation.
No doubt certain rulers like Chandra Gupta Maurya, Ashoka, Samudra Gupta, Ala- ud- din Khiliji and Akbar had subjugated these principalities and
established strong empire but they were only handful of the rulers who could accomplish it. For most of the time India presented the spectacle of a divided
It is said that India is a “Veritable tower of babel”. In the words of A.R. Desai “India presents a spectacle of museum of tongues”.

Even under this mighty rulers a real unity could not be established both due to the lack of means of communication and transportation as well as
national consciousness. In short, we can say that really speaking India could never be united politically.
Culture is also expressed in art, namely, music, dance, poetry, drama, and painting. Art has led to the rise of pop culture amidst the cultural diversity in India accompanied by festivals that exhibit enthusiasm, color, rituals and prayers definite to cultural heritage. The festivals include the Diwali, and Holi with ritual observation being categorical to religion such as shrines, temple, Buddha for the Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhist. Unlike many countries with diverse cultures, India stands out in its integration of the cultures especially on clothing, eating habits and in the film industry. Caste and social stratification underlie traditions in the Indian communities. This influences culture as each caste has a distinctive occupation as per the social status ascribed to that caste. Despite modernism, this practice is still evident in India thus affects social relations, political affiliations, and marriages. The distinctiveness of the castes is indistinguishable with the subculture of that particular group.

In this way diversity pervades on the whole of Indian subcontinent. This diversity is so much so that a foreigner will simply stare at this. Anyway, such
diversities are not the hallmarks of Indian culture.
Ramakrishna Paramhansa, one of India’s most revered saints, said, ‘A truly religious man should think that other religions also are paths leading to the truth.’ Mahatma Gandhi once, on being asked which religion he belonged to, remarked that he was a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jain and a Sikh.

The main theme of this culture is unity which absorbs all the diversities.

Culture of India
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The culture of India is the way of living of the people of India.

India's languages, religions,
dance, music, architecture, food, and customs differ from place to place within the country.
Other administrative officers and anthropologists like J.H. Hutton, D.N. Majumdar and B. S. Guha have given the latest racial classification of the Indian people based on further researches in this field. Hutton’s and Guha’s classifications are based on 1931 census operations.

The Indian culture, often labelled as an amalgamation of several cultures, spans across the
Indian subcontinent and has been influenced by a history that is several millennia old.[1][2]
Many elements of India's diverse cultures, such as Indian religions, Indian philosophy and
Indian cuisine, have had a profound impact across the world.


1 Culture

2 Religions
o 2.1 Philosophy

3 Family structure and marriage
o 3.1 Arranged marriage
o 3.2 Wedding rituals

4 Greetings

5 Festivals

6 Animals

7 Cuisine

8 Clothing

9 Languages and literature
o 9.1 History
o 9.2 Epics

10 Performing arts
o 10.1 Dance

o 10.2 Drama and theatre
o 10.3 Music

11 Visual arts
o 11.1 Painting
o 11.2 Sculpture
o 11.3 Architecture

12 Sports and martial arts
o 12.1 Sports
o 12.2 Indian martial arts

13 Popular media
o 13.1 Television
o 13.2 Cinema

14 Perceptions of Indian culture

15 See also

16 References

17 Further reading

18 External links

India is one of the world's oldest civilisations.[3] The Indian culture, often labeled as an
amalgamation of several various cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent and has been
influenced and shaped by a history that is several thousand years old.[1][2] Throughout the
history of India, Indian culture has been heavily influenced by Dharmic religions.[4] They have
been credited with shaping much of Indian philosophy, literature, architecture, art and music.
Greater India was the historical extent of Indian culture beyond the Indian subcontinent.
This particularly concerns the spread of Hinduism, Buddhism, architecture, administration
and writing system from India to other parts of Asia through the Silk Road by the travellers
and maritime traders during the early centuries of the Common Era.

While Hindus and Muslims are found in almost all parts of India, the remaining minority religions have their pockets of concentration. Christians have their strongholds in the three Southern States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya. Sikhs are concentrated largely in Punjab, Buddhist in Maharashtra and Jains are mainly spread over Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat, but also found in most urban centres throughout the country.

[6][7] To the west, Greater
India overlaps with Greater Persia in the Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains.[8] During the
medieval period, Islam played a significant role in shaping Indian cultural heritage[9] Over the

[14][15][16] and possibly as many as 2.[14][17] India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world. Hinduism and Buddhism are the world's third and fourth-largest religions respectively.

India is not religiously a homogeneous State even through nearly 80 per cent of the population profess Hinduism. India is a land of multiple religions. We find here followers of various faiths, particularly of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism Zoroastrianism. We know it that Hinduism is the dominant religion of India. According to the census of 2001 it is professed by 80.05 per cent of the total population.

and Sikhs with Muslims across India[10][11] Religions[edit] Aarti ritual in Hindu worship Close-up of a statue depicting Maitreya at the Thikse Monastery in Ladakh. Jainism and Sikhism.[18] Many tribal religions. Christianity (2 Jainism. such as Sarnaism. collectively known as Indian religions. Sikhism (1.4%) are the other major religions followed by the people of India.6 billion followers.7%) and Jainism (0 Hinduism. with over 2 billion followers altogether. such as Hinduism and Buddhism.3%). there has been significant integration of Hindus.2%). Buddhism (0 Śraman ṇa. Jains. are indigenous to India.[13] Indian religions are a major form of world religions along with Abrahamic ones. are found in India.7%). India.centuries. Islam (14. Sikhsim. Today. Christianity and Irreligion in India India is the birthplace of Hinduism.
It would be unfair, though, to play down the many positives that have emerged from the Indian democratic process. The people enjoy a measure of freedom, the judiciary and the Fourth Estate are independent and powerful, and citizen activism has been on the rise. Also, India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

According to the 2011 census. Indian religions. 80% of the population of India practice Hinduism. Islam. Buddhism. Religion plays a central and definitive role in the life of many of its people.5 or 2.[12] Main articles: Religion in India. Buddhism. though these have been affected by major religions such as . with some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures.

[19] Atheism and agnosticism have a long history in India and flourished within Śraman ṇa movement. constitute "the earliest philosophical compositions of the world. .[28][29] Philosophy[edit] Indian philosophy comprises the philosophical traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Buddhism. ritualism and superstitions. along with a self-ascribed tolerance to other faiths. There are six schools of orthodox Hindu philosophy—Nyaya.

A person who enters a monastery to lead a religious life may straightaway be termed a monk, but it may be years before he attains any spiritual realisation. Similarly, when a nation enters the democratic process, it is too much to expect it to run as a perfect or near-perfect democracy from the word go. Even sixty odd years may not be enough for it to function as a full-fledged democracy. But so long as the intent is there, so long as there is an overall commitment to democratic values and institutions, there is hope that one day success will be achieved.

Zoroastrianism. Islam and Christianity. there are other methods of classification. Ram Mohan Roy. Ājīvika and some schools of Hinduism consider atheism to be valid and reject the concept of creator deity.[32] Since medieval India (ca. 13% were not religious. and 3% were unsure or did not respond. 81% of Indians were religious.[29] The main schools of Indian philosophy were formalised chiefly between 1000 BCE to the early centuries of the Common Era. and the Bahá'í Faith are also influential but their numbers are smaller. The Cārvāka school originated in India around the 6th century BCE.
Herbert Risley had classified the people of India into seven racial types. These are- (1) Turko-Iranian (2) Indo-Aryan, (3) Scytho-Dravidian, (4) Aryo-Dravidian, (5) Mongo o- Dravidian, (6) Mongoloid and (7) Dravidian. These seven racial types can be reduced to three basic types- the Indo-Aryan, the Mongolian and the Dravidian. In his opinion the last two types would account for the racial composition of tribal India.

[24][25][26] India has produced some notable atheist politicians and social reformers. Jainism. According to philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Mīmāmṇsā and Vedanta—and four heterodox schools—Jain. Some schools like Jainism."[35] Competition and integration between the various schools was intense during their formative years. like Samkhya and Ājīvika. Samkhya. Yoga.[19] Jainism.[20][21] It is one of the earliest form of materialistic and atheistic movement in ancient India. 3% were convinced atheists. schools of Indian philosophical thought have been classified by the Brahmanical tradition[33][34] as either orthodox or non-orthodox - āstika or nāstika - depending on whether they regard the Vedas as an infallible source of knowledge. Swami Dayananda Saraswati and among others.
It may also be noted that the practice of caste system is not confined to Hindus alone. We find castes among the Muslims, Christians, Sikhs as well as other communities. We have heard of the hierarchy of Shaikh, Saiyed, Mughal, Pathan among the Muslims, Furthermore, there are castes like Teli (oil pressure). Dhobi (washerman), Darjee (tailor) etc. among the Muslims. Similarly, caste consciousness among the Christians in India is not unknown. Since a vast majority of Christians in India were converted from Hindu fold, the converts have carried the caste system into Christianity. Among the Sikhs again we have so many castes including Jat Sikh and Majahabi Sikh (lower castes). In view of this we can well imagine the extent of caste diversity in India.

they were either assimilated or went extinct.[22][23] Sramana. Subsequent centuries produced commentaries and reformulations continuing up to as late as the 20th century who gave contemporary meaning to traditional philosophy.
India is a country of castes. Caste or Jati refers to a hereditary, endogamous status group practicing a specific traditional occupation. It is surprising to know that there are more than 3,000 Jatis in India.

[36] Family structure and marriage[edit] A bride during a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony in Punjab. did not. Vidyaranya for instance identifies sixteen schools of Indian philosophy by including those that belong to the Śaiva and Raseśvara traditions. Ājīvika and Cārvāka - last two are also schools of Hinduism. but others. Buddhist. especially between 800 BCE and 200 CE. Vaisheshika. Śaiva and Advaita Vedanta survived.[19] Atheism and agnostics also have visible influence in India. Buddhism.1000-1500). Judaism. Some of them were Swami Vivekananda.[30][31] However.Hinduism. Buddhism. which date back to the composition of the Upanishads in the later Vedic period (1000-500 BCE).[27] According to the 2012 WIN-Gallup Global Index of Religion and Atheism report. the earliest of these.

Orenstein and Micklin analysed India's population data and family structure.

The second largest language, Telugu, is spoken by about 60 million people, mostly in Andhra Pradesh. Most of the languages spoken in North India belong to the Indo- Aryan family, while the languages of the South namely Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada belong to the Dravidian family.

with urbanisation and economic development. [37] In a 1966 study. The traditional large joint family in India. He mostly makes all important decisions and rules. Since 1956. according to 2011 Census of India.[40] Arranged marriage[edit] Main articles: Arranged marriage and Women in India A bride in India. with about 20 percent using a legal will by 2004. the majority of Indians have their marriages planned by their parents and other respected familymembers. and on average had lower per capita household income.For generations. after summarising the numerous sociological studies done on Indian family.[42] In 2009.[43] In some marriages the bride's family provide a dowry to the bridegroom. the oldest male member is the head in the joint Indian family system. about 7% of women got married before the age of 18.[44] Historically. much like population trends in other parts of the world. Usually. It is a system under which extended members of a family - parents. accounted for a small percent of Indian households. Their studies suggest that Indian household sizes had remained similar over the 1911 to 1951 period.
Now for the other side of the picture. On paper, in a parliamentary democracy like India, it is the people who indirectly rule through their elected representatives, and thus everybody’s voice is heard. Time and again, however, the fairness of elections at many venues in India has been called into question. As against this, it is also true that parties have been repeatedly removed from power at both the state and national levels.

[46] .[41] The average age of marriage for women in India has increased to 21 years. in most families the inheritance of family estates passed down the male line. the age of marriage was young. Even today. He finds that joint family still persists in some areas and in certain conditions. Indian laws treat males and females as equal in matters of inheritance without a legal will. in his book. In the past. It also typically included portable valuables such as jewelery and household goods that a bride could control throughout her life. in the 1990s.[45] Indians are increasingly using a legal will for inheritance and property succession. Traditionally.[38][39] Sinha. children. India has witnessed a break up of traditional joint family into more nuclear-like families. and other family members are likely abide by them. the cultural trend in most parts of India has been an accelerated change from joint family to nuclear families. - live together. the children's spouses and their offspring.[38] Youth in lower socio-economic classes are more inclined to spend time with their families than their peers due to differing ideologies in rural and urban parenting. notes that over the last 60 years. the dowry was considered a woman's share of the family wealth. arranged marriages have been the tradition in Indian society. India has a prevailing tradition of the joint family system. etc. since a daughter had no legal claim on her natal family's real estate. Thereafter. For centuries. in part due to cultural traditions and in part due to practical factors.

The sacred square fire container (yajna kund) is behind the priest. and taking seven steps before fire with each step including a set of mutual vows. Japan and other nations.[51] The study found that fewer marriages are purely arranged without consent and that the majority of surveyed Indian marriages are arranged with consent. for some modernists. Weddings are festive occasions in India with extensive decorations. local adaptations. particularly in the urban parts of India. dance. They find that the marriage trends in India are similar to trends observed over last 40 years in China.

In addition to the above described major forms of diversity, we have diversity of many other sorts like settlement pattern - tribal, rural, urban; marriage and kinship pattern along religious and regional lines and so on.

There is a dearth of scientific surveys or studies on Indian marriages where the perspectives of both husbands and wives were solicited in-depth. the Guru Granth Sahib four times. music.Kanyadaan.[47][48] These statistics do not reflect a complete picture. The percentage of self-arranged marriages (called love marriages in India) were also increasing. Women initiate about 80 percent of divorces in India."[50] Recent studies suggest that Indian culture is trending away from traditional arranged marriages. While there are many festival-related rituals in Hinduism.[49] "Opinion is divided over what the phenomenon means: for traditionalists the rising numbers portend the breakdown of society while.554 households across 33 states and union territories in India in 2005. Urban divorce rates are much higher.[52] Wedding rituals[edit] A Hindu wedding ritual in progress. Sample surveys suggest the issues with marriages in India are similar to trends observed elsewhere in the world. costumes and rituals that depend on the religion of the bride and the groom. as well as their preferences. there are a few key rituals common in Hindu weddings . voluntarily holding hand near the fire to signify impending union.[56][57][58] Sikhs get married through a ceremony called Anand Karaj. colors. and Saptapadi.[54] of which over 80% are Hindu weddings.[55][56] Typical Hindu families spend significant effort and financial resources to prepare and celebrate weddings. vivaha (wedding) is the most extensive personal ritual an adult Hindu undertakes in his or her life. gifting away of daughter by the father. Indian Muslims celebrate a traditional Islamic wedding following customs similar to those practiced in the . resources of the family and preferences of the bride and the groom. The divorce rates are rising in India. Banerjee et al. receiving instructions from the priest. Nevertheless.[53] The nation celebrates about 10 million weddings per year. The couple walk around the holy book. After the seventh step and vows of Saptapadi. these are respectively. The bride and the groom are seated together. the divorce rate is low — 1% compared with about 40% in the United States. they speak of a healthy new empowerment for women.In India. Panigrahana. The rituals and process of a Hindu wedding vary depending on region of India. surveyed 41. though. the couple is legally husband and wife.

Other greetings include "Jai Jagannath" in Odia Language. Ambedkar and "Nama Shivaya". and (te): "to you". younger men and women are taught to seek the blessing of their elders by reverentially bowing to their elders.a common cultural practice in India. Namaskar is considered a slightly more formal version than Namaste but both express deep respect. The rituals include Nikah. "Ram Ram". Vanakkam (Tamil). Nomoskar (Assamese) is a common spoken greeting or salutation when people meet or a form of farewell when they depart.

Multiculturalism is a state of mind in India, and it is in perfect sync with the democratic spirit of mutual accommodation and cooperation.

Middle East. and a reception."[61][62] In most Indian families. and respect. payment of financial dower called Mahr by the groom to the bride. In Indian and Nepali culture."Jai Shri Krishna" (in Gujarati). However. and Sat Shri Akal (Punjabi "Ami Aschi" (in Bengali). It is commonly used in India and Nepal by Hindus. R. "Jai Bhim" used by Buddhist Converts in Maharashtra after B. Namaskar (Hindi). or said without the folded hand gesture. The handshake is another common form of greeting. Namaskar. used by followers of Sikhism). Namaste (Sanskrit). the same hands folded gesture may be made wordlessly. "Jai Sri Ram" etc. Malayalam). Juhar/Namaskar in Odia. These traditional forms of greeting may be absent in the world of business and in India's urban environment. signing of marriage contract. Greetings[edit] Main article: Namaste Pressing hands together with a smile to greet Namaste . it means "I bow to you".[60] In Hinduism it means "I bow to the divine in you. and many continue to use this outside the Indian subcontinent. reverential salutation.[59] Indian Christian weddings follow customs similar to those practiced in the Christian countries in the West in states like Goa but have more Indian customs in other states. a common greeting used across the Jain community. Jai Jinendra. Jains and Buddhists. Taken literally. This custom is known as Pranāma.[63] Festivals[edit] . "Jai ambe". the word is spoken at the beginning of written or verbal communication.Nomoshkaar (Bengali). The word is derived from Sanskrit (namah): to bow. Swagatam (Marathi) or Namaskara (Kannada) or Namaskaram (Telugu.

Karthigai festival celebrates the bond between sisters and brothers in south India. Indian New year festival are celebrated in different part of India with unique style in different times.

More than the inhabitants of any other nation on Earth, Indians are used to living with differences, and because democracy involves the peaceful coexistence of people with differing and even disparate points of view, it is the form of government most suited to the Indian ethos.

Holi.With India's cultural diversity. Rakshabandhan. The three national holidays in India. and Buddh Purnima. the Republic Day and the Gandhi Jayanti. while brothers give gifts and promise to protect their sisters. Certain festivals in India are celebrated by multiple religions.
Next comes Islam which is practiced by 13.04 per cent. This is followed by Christianity having a followers of 2 03 per cent, Sikhism reported by 1.9 per cent, Buddhism by 0.8 per cent and Jainism by 0.4 per cent. The religions with lesser following are Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Bahaism.

at Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan. It is a major Indian festival celebrated every spring. being a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. are celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm across India. the festival of lights. Above children enjoying Holi. Popular religious festivals include the Hindu festivals of Navratri. Ratha-Yatra. Ugadi. Gudhi Padwa. the Independence Day. and Dussehra. A tug of war. In addition. Bihu. Sikhs and Jains. Bhaiya-Dhuj and Raakhi is celebrated. Notable examples include Diwali. celebrates holidays and festivals of various religions. Diwali. the country has more festivals than there are days in a year. Sisters wish their brothers happiness and feed them sweets. With little lamps and lot of care. the "festival of colours". many Indian states and regions have local festivals depending on prevalent religious and linguistic demographics. celebrated by . Several harvest festivals such as Sankranthi. In autumn. Durga Puja. one of the major festivals is Diwali. In other parts of India. Puthandu. Pongal and Raja sankaranti swinging festival "Nuakhai" are also fairly popular. Main article: Festivals in India India. Ganesh Chaturthi. Ugadi. Vishu and Vishuva Sankranti are the New years festival of different part of India. which is celebrated by Hindus. Maha Shivratri.

Islam in India is the second largest religion with over 172 million Muslims.

As things stand, in many places in India, if a voter belongs to Caste A, oftener than not he will vote for a candidate who also belongs to Caste A, irrespective of whether this candidate is a thug or an idiot; and irrespective of the qualities his election rival possesses. And so it may easily come to pass that the least-deserving electoral candidate gets the largest number of votes by virtue of belonging to the numerically superior caste. The anachronism of class- consciousness apart, this is not how a proper democracy should function.

[65] Animals[edit] Cows depicted in the decorated gopuram of the Kapaleeshwarar temple in Chennai. Milad un Nabi. cow remains a divisive topic in India. Muharram and Shab-e-Barat. according to India's 2011 census. Pushkar fair is one of the world's largest markets and Sonepur mela is the largest livestock fair in Asia. Eid ul Fitr.[68] As of January 2012. namely the Gau-Vansh Vadh . Christianity is India's third largest religion. For example. The word has been also made famous in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.[64] Regional and community fairs are also common and festive in India. cows are revered in Hindu culture and feeding a cow is seen as an act of worship.Buddhists. Madhya Pradesh enacted a law in January 2012. the Dree Festival is one of the tribal festivals of India celebrated by the Apatanis of the Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh. while many states have no restrictions on the production and consumption of beef.[64] Some of the Indian states have declared regional holiday's for the particular regional popular festivals. such as Guru Nanak Jayanti.[67] For this reason. With over 23 million Christians. which is the easternmost state of India. Baisakhi are celebrated with full fanfare by Sikhs and Hindu. such as Arba'een. See also: Wildlife of India. of which 17 million are Roman Catholics. while other Indian groups are vehement that what kind of meat one eats ought to be a matter of personal choice in a democracy. mother goddess and bringer of good fortune and wealth. Animal husbandry in India and Cattle in religion The varied and rich wildlife of India has had a profound impact on the region's popular culture. Common name for wilderness in India is Jungle which was adopted by the British colonialists to the English language. Several states of India have passed laws to protect cows. Adding colours to the culture of India. the cow is regarded as a symbol of ahimsa (non-violence).[18] The Islamic festivals which are observed and are declared public holiday in India are.[66] In Hinduism. Sikh Festivals. India's wildlife has been the subject of numerous other tales and fables such as the Panchatantra and the Jataka tales. The country celebrates Christmas and Good Friday as public holidays. India is home to many Christian festivals. Eid ul Adha-(Bakr Eid). Some groups oppose the butchering of cows. Jumu'ah-tul-Wida and Shab-e-Qadar.

regional climate. ranging from very spicy to very mild. including Hindus.Pratishedh (Sanshodhan) Act. Gujarat. a western state of India. beef accounts for nearly half of all meat consumed by all communities. In contrast. other Indians are arguing "If the real objective is to prevent cruelty to animals. These reflect the local agriculture. enacted in October 2011. such as vedic texts. For these reasons. In southern Indian state Kerala. A beef ban has been made in Maharashtra and other states as of 2015. Contrary to stereotypes. varying with seasons in each region. has the Animal Preservation Act. a sizeable number of Hindus eat beef. In the states of West Bengal and Kerala. then why single out the cow when hundreds of other animals are maltreated?"[69][70][71] Cuisine[edit] Main article: Indian cuisine Indian cuisine is diverse. that prohibits killing of cows along with buying. Sociologists theorise that the widespread consumption of cow meat in India is because it is a far cheaper source of animal protein for the poor than lamb or chicken. consumption of beef is not deemed an offence. currently. selling and transport of beef. for instance. India is one of the five largest producer and consumer of cattle livestock meat in the world. culinary innovations and cultural . do not prohibit its consumption. Odisha and Andhra Pradesh allow butchering of cattle with a fit-for-slaughter certificate. and many argue that their scriptures. which retail at double the price. which makes cow slaughter a serious offence. While states such as Madhya Pradesh are passing local laws to prevent cruelty to cows. India's beef consumption post-independence in 1947 has witnessed a much faster growth than any other kind of meat.

it just amazes me. to get quality milk. a favourite of many Michelin-starred chefs.. Above are thali samples. the first Indian to receive two Michelin stars[74] . Indian cuisine is invariably complex. Food is an integral part of every human culture. innovate and develop sophisticated cuisines. they reflect human knowledge. Chang notes that the importance of food in understanding human culture lies in its infinite variability . Kheer is a traditional Indian sweet dish. use this milk to make the best Kheer.diversity. Indian food is as diverse as India. documents the fine art of making Kheer. cooking techniques and culinary presentation. writes "for sheer inventiveness with milk itself as the primary ingredient. Indian cuisines use numerous ingredients. I don't think any cuisine in the world has got so many influences the way that Indian food has. It's always inspirational. . There is so much to learn from India because each and every state is a country by itself and each has its own cuisine. I don't actually think that there is a single state in India that I haven't visited. bread and a selection of sides. no country on earth can match India.E. It is a very rich cuisine and is very varied. a milk based dessert of India: Select the cows carefully. " — Atul Kochhar..a variability that is not essential for species survival. people everywhere could eat the same and some simple food. For survival needs. over the ages.[72] But human cultures.a plate with rice. culture. pay attention to what the cows eat. I keep my mind open and like to explore different places and pick up different influences as I go along. feed them sugar canes. Every region in the world has their own sense of how Indian food should be perceived. deploy a wide range of food preparation styles. Food in India is sometimes served in thali . written about 1500 C. experiment. art and expression of love. from vegetarian to meat. Harold McGee. Indian food is a cosmopolitan cuisine that has so many ingredients. from spices to sensuous. Nimmatnama-i Nasiruddin-Shahi (Book of Recipes)."[73] "I travel to India at least three to four times a year. from breads to desserts. There are lots of things to learn about the different cuisines . From salads to sauces. Cuisines become more than a source of nutrients.

Generally. and varied demographics of the country. planning and style of dining amongst other things. such as the Central Asians. you will notice how much attention was paid to the planning and cooking of a meal. eastern. Cuisine across India has also been influenced by various cultural groups that entered India throughout history. Kapoor claims. and are used to enhance the flavour of a dish and create unique flavours and aromas. southern. the feel of various foods.[80] In most Indian restaurants outside India. Arabs. Varied uses of spices are an integral part of certain food preparations. a member of Singapore Airlines' International Culinary Panel. Fish-based cuisines are common in eastern states of India. cultural diversity. and other meats. it takes me back to the first Christmas I can remember.the most common cuisine served on the menu would be Punjabi cuisine (chicken tikka masala is a very popular dish in the United Kingdom). beef. written in the 12th century. buffalo. many traditional Indian dishes also include chicken. Mughals. Indian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines across the globe.. reflecting the local produce. lamb. Historically. Indian cuisine can be split into five categories . author of On Food and Cooking[75] Some Indian confectionery desserts from hundreds of varieties. some unifying threads emerge.. The book describes the need to change cuisine and food with seasons. sent me a box."[77] One such historical record is Mānasollāsa. and European colonists. goat. There do exist some restaurants serving cuisines from other regions of India. Indian cuisine varies from region to region.[79] Despite this diversity. particularly West Bengal. the best blend of flavours. when the grandmother I hadn't yet met. a wide assortment of recipes and cooking techniques. people in India had developed the technology to produce sugar crystals. these are called mithai or sweets. fish. which is the source of the word candy. (Sanskrit: ममानससोल्लमास Indian spices and herbs were one of the most sought after trade commodities. the menu does not do justice to the enormous variety of Indian cuisine available .northern. In the local language. The Delight of Mind). these crystals were called khanda (खणड). western. who was Indian and lived in England. In certain parts of India. Indian food has long been an expression of world cuisine.[76] According to Sanjeev Kapoor.[78] India is known for its love for food and spices. various methods of cooking. Great thought was given to the texture and taste of each dish." — Harold McGee. although these are few and far between. Though a significant portion of Indian food is vegetarian. The diversity of Indian cuisine is characterised by differing use of many spices and herbs. For me it still carries the taste of strangeness and confusion and wonder. "if you looked back in India's history and study the food that our ancestors ate. The spice trade between India and Europe led to the rise and dominance of . and north-eastern. Sugar and desserts have a long history in India: by about 500 BCE.".

[82] Regional Indian cuisine continues to evolve.Arab traders to such an extent that European explorers.[83] Clothing[edit] Main article: Clothing in India Punjabi woman dressed traditionally for 'Teej' festival. such as Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus. Illustration of different styles of Sari. Gagra Choli and Shalwar Kameez worn by women in India. . which originated in India. along with regional adaptations of fast food are prominent in major Indian cities. A fusion of East Asian and Western cooking methods with traditional cuisines.[81] The popularity of curry. across Asia has often led to the dish being labeled as the "pan-Asian" dish. set out to find new trade routes with India leading to the Age of Discovery.

Indian dress etiquette discourages exposure of skin and wearing transparent or tight clothes. These developments played a pivotal role in the fusion of Indian and Western clothing styles. increasing involvement of women in the fashion industry and changing Indian attitudes towards multiculturalism. Consequently.[88] In 5th century BCE. women may wear cheerful colours with various ornaments made with gold. earrings. with dupatta (long scarf) thrown over shoulder completing the outfit.[86] Since India's weather is mostly hot and rainy.

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