India: Culture & Traditions
Culture is a term that defines the growth and development of a human being by the influence of the social and political situation. Indian culture is a blend of various cultures across the world, at different points in history and also its own rich traditions. Though development and modernity has set in. the people of India remain rooted in their strong and rich heritage.
The culture of India is inherent from its rich and diverse migrations and invasions from over 5000 year old history. It has an immense physical, religious, racial and linguistic variety. Indian culture is defined by the ideas, thoughts and philosophies prevalent in the country and its people.
The uniqueness of Indian culture lies in its strong social system and family values. The elders are considered the driving force and so are respected and loved. The guests are considered as gods and are treated with respect and love, even if by foregoing some of the personal pleasures. Indians are always ready to help one another in times of need. The philosophy of distributing joy and sharing sorrows is also an important part of Indian culture. Such unity in diversity can be seen here which teaches tolerance and respect for others.
The mildness and humaneness of Indian culture can be seen in all aspect of life. India has people from all religions and walks of life living together in harmony. India being the birth place of many religions like Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, there is freedom to worship and practice any religion throughout the country. In times of calamity as well as celebrations, all religions come together and share the feelings of one another.
Indian festivals, food, religions, rituals, artifacts, monuments, costumes, music and dance, language and literature form an inseparable part of its culture. The diversity can also be seen in the variety of languages spoken here – around 1000, including the regional dialects). The constitution of India recognizes Hindi and English as the two official language used for the Union Government.
India is the most diverse and secular country with people from all religious backgrounds following their beliefs and teachings. Having such a diverse and varied population, India is a country of festivals and occasions. The festivals of all religions are celebrated throughout the nation bringing everyone closer. The three national holidays – Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanthi are celebrated nation wide. Apart from that there are different other religious festivals observed across India. Then there are some local or region specific festivals celebrated by the people of that particular region.
Another notable aspect of Indian culture is the importance of cuisines in the life of people. The main ingredient is the various spices and herbs. Each region has its own mix of spices and elaborate cooking method to make an assortment of dishes. Food has an important role in bringing the family together. It is a time when all members of the family sit and share their daily experiences.
Culture is not only about the art, architecture and literature but it is a part of the people right from the childhood. The culture of a country is shaped by the people and their upbringing- what ideas and thoughts have been put into their development. Indian culture is formed by blending the various influences from the neighbors and invaders as well as by preserving its ancient heritage.