CULTURE IN INDIA
India’s cultural heritage dates back to 5000 years. Very few countries in the world has a social and religious structure which withstood invasions and persecution and yet kept its identity by being resilient enough to absorb, ignore or reject all attempts to radically change or destroy them. Indian culture is unique because of its diversity and variety in physical, religious, racial, linguistic and artistic fields.
Indian Painting :- Painting flourished as an art form, from the pre-historic age. The Neolithic man’s drawings on the walls of his cave dwellings represent the oldest examples of Indian painting. Paintings on pots discovered from the Harappan Civilization (3000 BC), the cave paintings of Ajantha and Ellora using earth and vegetable dyes (I-V Century AD)
Indian Dance Indian dancing is a way of communication using the body as a medium. The expressions of dances are perhaps most developed, yet easily understood. Indian dance is a blend of Nirtta (the rythemic movement of the body without any expression of emotion), Nirtya (the combination of rhythm with expression through eyes, hands and facial movements) and Natya (the dramatic element). Dance is performed with Abhinaya(expression), rasa (emotion) and mudras(hand formations) Indian Music
Indian Literature The first known written work of Indian literature is the ‘Ramayana’, in Sanskrit, by Sage ‘Valmiki’ around 4th century BC. The story of ‘Rama’, an incarnation of Lord ‘Vishnu’ was composed in 24000 verses. Ramayana, a great work of literature, is the most sacred and holy of all books written in Sanskrit next only to ‘Bhagvat Gita’. ‘Mahabharatha’ is the largest literary work in the world. ‘Panchathantra’ (five strategies) is a book of edifying tales. ‘Rabindranath Tagore’ won Nobel Prize for his collection of popular poems, ‘Gitanjali’. Raja Rao received the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for literature. Vikram Seth who won the Commonwealth Writer’s prize, published the first Indian English novel in verse (Golden Gate). There were many writers like ‘Aswa Gosha’ (Budhacharitha, II century AD), ‘Vishaka Datta’ (Political plays, VI century), and ‘Kalhana’ (History, XI century) those are only a few who contributed to the development of Indian literature.
Indian Food / cuisine- The Indian food covers a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to India. These cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions. Middle Eastern and Central Asian influences have occurred on North Indian cuisine from the years of Mughal rule. Indian cuisine is still evolving, as a result of the nation’s cultural interactions with other societies.
Indian Fashion The colorful and diversified clothing of Indians from the different parts of the country shall be very much attractive to a foreign traveler in India. Like in any other country, the fashion revolves around the women whose attire is colourful and distinctive in styles.
Religions India is a secular democracy and is the home to Hinduism, Islam,Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and many other religions. In India religion is a way of life, an integral part of one’s day to day activities, influencing every aspect of life. Common practices through ages had influenced most faiths and many festivals that mark each year with music, dance, and feasting are shared by all communities. Each religion even has its own pilgrimage sites, legends and heroes.
Languages India’s original 14 states were formed mainly on language barriers. Indian languages have different origins. The languages evolved from the Indo-European group of languages are known as Indic languages. Gujarathi, Marathi, Punjabi etc belong to this group. The South Indian languages which are distinctly different from the Indic languages and includes Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu etc. are known as the Dravidian group.
Flora & Fauna India has a very rich flora and fauna. It is estimated that there are over 500 species of mammals, 200 plus species of birds and about 30,000 species of insects. In addition to the above, there are hundreds of species of fish and reptiles.