Culture of India

Indian culture is a conglomeration of different traditions, customs, religions and ideas. All these factors blended together with its history and geography, resulting into the present rich heritage and dynamic culture. Down the ages, since the days of Indus Valley Civilization India has absorbed different cultures of the travelers and conquerors. Apart from the British, India has been under the influence of Turkish, Arabic and Persian culture as well - hence this diversity.

Religions of India

India has been called Spiritual Guru of the world. This land has witnessed the birth, rise and reaching zenith of many religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism as interpretations of the Vedic thought concept and Sikhism as a alternative to Islamic and Hindu thought concepts. India is a secular nation with peaceful co-existence of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Sikh, Bahai followers and yet many more. Religion in India is not just a theological philosophy but a way to live your life. Hinduism has majority of the followers, while Islam is the second to majority not only in India but also in the world. Existence of multiple religious thoughts never disrupts the national harmony.

Festivals of India

India is a country of festivals. People tired of hard work and struggling to meet the ends look forward to every single opportunity to celebrate. Christmas, Id and Diwali are celebrated with same zeal. Other main Indian festivals are Dussehra, Pongal, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Muharram, Id-ul-Fitr, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Easter and the list goes on. Festivals are meant for reunion, feast and merry-making and Indians do that successfully.

Art and Music of India

India is blessed with the oldest and richest cultural heritage in the world. Art, music and dance is a reflection of that. The cave paintings of Ajanta and Ellora, sculptors carved in different temples across the country and different genres of paintings like Madhubani, Mughal or Tanjore testify the rich history of artistry as well.

People live and thrive for music. Music is in harvest, wedding, child birth or any mundane affair. Folk music is a legacy handed over to generations musically. Pandvani, Kajri, Faag etc are some of them. Classical music is another genre having a deep impact of religious scriptures and has been developed over the ages. In fact, earliest known melodies are the shlokas of Samveda.

Dance, too, has two indigenous genres of classical and folk. Some folk dances are the war dances like Chhau of Jharkhand and southern part of West Bengal, Bihu of Assam and Nongkrem of Meghalaya is related to harvest while Bhangra of Punjab is a dance form of celebration. Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Mohiniattam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Manipuri are the classical dance forms. Film dances are heavily inspired by these and western art forms and is followed and copied by aspiring artists all over India.

Literature of India

Literature of India is not only one of the oldest in the world but also acknowledged as the most diverse one. With 22 official languages, yet many scripts and more than 400 mother-tongues, the database of Indian literature has to be the richest of its kind. Tamil and Sanskrit are the classical languages and Vedic texts are the earliest literary pieces. Pali and Prakrit are other ancient languages and were spoken by the subalterns. Ramayana and Mahabharata are regarded as the greatest epics of the world. Sangam Literature is the earliest Tamil literature compiled over years and it was from here that Dravidian history was documented. Presently, thousands of novels, magazines, poetry collections and plays are written and published every year. There are various awards to felicitate these novelists, poets and playwrights.

Indian culture is all about unity in diversity. The cuisine, clothing or languages spoken in North India is completely different from that in South India. But all these diverse factors are woven together with the thread of harmony and homogeneity. This is the lesson imparted by the age old history and traditions.

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