India and its Culture and Traditions
India consists of twenty-nine states, Six different languages and five major religions-Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Sikhism. It is one of the most popular countries of the world owing to its historical background, cultural diversity, and interesting traditions.
Currently, India is the seventh largest country in terms of area and the second most populated country in the world. Civilization in India began about 4,500 years ago which makes it one of the world’s oldest culture.
Know more about our Culture and Traditions:
- According to the Gujarat High Court ruling in 2010, there is no official language in India. Although Hindi is the official language of the Government. Our constitution officially recognizes 23 official languages.
- It is a misconception that a majority of people in India speak Hindi. 59% of the Indians speak other languages like Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, and Urdu.
- Many people living in India write in Devanagari script.
- India is the considered as the birthplace of the third and fourth largest religions in the world -Hinduism, and Buddhism.
- About 13% of Indians are Muslim which makes it one of the largest Islamic nations in the world.
- Apart from this, there are even fewer Buddhists, Jains, Christians and Sikhs.
- According to the World Factbook, 80 percent of the population is Hindu, 14.2 percent is Muslim, 2.3 percent is Christian, 1.7 percent is Sikh and 2 percent is unspecified.
- Wheat, Basmati rice and pulses with chana (Bengal gram) are considered as the important component of Indian food.
- Food rich in spices including ginger, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, dried hot peppers etc is considered as the specialty of the Indian food.
- 20 to 40 percent of India’s population is vegetarian. While lamb and chicken are common in main dishes for non-vegetarians.
4) Architecture and Art:
- Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world is the live example of the Indian architecture. Build by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz, it comprises Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles.
- Apart from this, there are many Hindu temples famous for their beautiful carvings and architecture.
- Bharata Natyam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and Kathakali are the major classical dancing traditions in India.
- India women are identified by the colorful silk sarees worn by them. While for men, it is dhoti with long knee-length kurtas.
- For special occasions men are seen wearing sherwani or achkan- a long coat that with a collar having no lapel.
- A shorter version of sherwani is called Nehru jacket. But the ultimate fact is Nehru never wore Nehru Jacket.
6) Customs and Celebrations:
- Diwali, the festival of light is considered as the most important festival in India. It is celebrated to symbolize the inner light to protect us from spiritual darkness.
- Holi, the festival of love and colors is celebrated in the spring season.
- Republic day (Jan. 26), Independence Day (Aug. 15) and Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday (Oct. 2) are also celebrated here.