Indian culture and traditions are something that has now become renowned all across the planet. We all ask India and its culture as something very diverse and unique. But seldom can we provide a thought to why things are wiped out certain specific ways. Indian culture is filled with several unique customs and traditions, which outsiders might find intriguing. Most of those originate from the traditional Indian scriptures and texts, which have dictated the way of life in India for thousands of years.
Here are 6 fascinating cultures and traditions of India:
- Festivals & Religion- India also sees a large number of festivals, mainly because of the prevalence of diverse religions and groups. The Muslims celebrate Eid, the Christians have Christmas and Good Friday, the Sikhs have Baisakhi (harvesting of the crop), and therefore the birthdays of their Gurus and the Hindus have Diwali, Holi, Makar Sakranti, the Jains have Mahavir Jayanti, the Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s birthday on Buddha Poornima, and quite honestly, the amount is endless. All of those translate to holidays in our book, of course.
- Architecture:The Science Behind Temples- Most temples are located along magnetic wave lines of the Earth, which help in maximizing the available positive energy. The copper plate (called Garbhagriha or Moolasthan) buried under the most idol absorbs and resonates this energy to its surroundings. Going to the temple often helps in having a positive mind and garnering positive energies, which successively causes healthier functioning.
- Traditions of Treating Guests- In India, the saying ‘Atithi Devo Bhavah’ is also integral. It means ‘the guest is equivalent to god’. It is a Sanskrit verse taken from the Hindu scriptures, which later became a neighborhood of the ‘Code of conduct for Hindu society since the guest has always been of supreme importance in the Culture of India.
- Indian Dances- India is a land of ‘unity in diversity’, and our dances are no different. Different sorts of dance(classified as folk or classical) find origin from different parts of the country, and that they are how of representation of the actual culture from which they originate. Eight classical dances, which are classified as Indian classical dances and find a mention within the Hindu Sanskrit text ‘Natyashashtra’, (a text of performing arts) are:
- Bharatnatyam from Tamil Nadu
- Kathakali from Kerela
- Kathak from North, West and Central India
- Mohiniyattam from Kerela
- Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh
- Oddisi from Odhisa
- Manipuri from Manipur
- Sattriya from Assam
All the dance mentioned above forms are an entire dance drama, wherein a dancer or performer narrates a whole story, almost entirely and exclusively through gestures. Such stories are mostly supported the vast Indian mythology. These performances are mostly based on stories that are orally passed on from one generation to the other. Folk dances mainly trace their importance to the rural areas, where performances depict the day to day life of rural inhabitants.
- Cuisine- Indian food and cuisine not only form an integral part of the culture of India but are also one of the critical factors of India’s popularity worldwide. The style of cooking varies from region to region, though unanimously, Indian food features a significant reputation for its extensive use of spices and herbs. Almost every region is understood for a signature dish or ingredient. The staple, however, throughout the state consists mostly of rice, wheat, and Bengal gram (Chana). While vegetarian food is an integral part of Gujrati South Indian and Rajasthani cuisines, non-vegetarian dishes form a central part of Mughlai, Bengali, North Indian and Punjabi cuisine. It is also interesting to note that specific cuisines like that of Kashmir have also been influenced by foreign cooking styles from Central Asia, Persia, and Afghanistan.
- Languages- India is socially, culturally, and linguistically very diverse. Hindi and English are widely spoken and recognized for official purposes. Other than than, there are 22 scheduled languages recognized by the constitution of India. However, more than 400 languages and dialects in India are still not known. Dialects change even with a few kilometres of travel in the state. Over the years, about 190 languages became endangered thanks to only a few surviving speakers.
There exist thousands of traditions and culture in India, and quite a few of them would leave outsiders rather curious. But the crux of Indian society and culture has always been to be mannered, polite, respect others, and progress together.