Having been around for the last 4500 years, the Indian culture is one of the oldest in the world. Many sources describe it as the first and most supreme culture in the world. According to various notable anthropologists, the western world didn’t favor the Indian culture.
Why Wasn’t Recognized?
As a matter of fact, these anthropologists viewed culture as a ladder in the evolutionary process. As such, any societies that didn’t adhere to the western or European way of life were considered to be primitive and inferior in the cultural sense.
However, the Indian way of life became respected after the indigenous people made notable advances in various fields. These include mathematics (by inventing zero), architecture (designing and building the Taj Mahal), medicine (introduction of Ayurved) and much more.
Today, it has become one of the most diverse countries. It has also been named one of the most populous places in the word with a population of 1.2 billion people. The culture can also be dissected into further subsections such as language, food, arts, religion and much more. Here is what you need to know about these subsections.
The Indian Language
Currently, the country is divided into 28 states and seven territories. There is no official language in Indian. It’s a common misconception that all Indians speak Hindi. Rather, there are other languages spoken in the country such as Urdu, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.
The country is considered to be the birthplace of Buddhism and Hinduism. These two religions are the 3rd and 4th largest in the world. At least 84% of Indians follow the Hinduism religion. Note that; Hinduism has a few variations such as Smarta, Vaishnava, Shaiva and Shakteya.
Besides these two religions, there are also some Indians who follow the Islam religion. They are about 13% thus making India one of the largest Islamic countries in the world. On the other hand, there are Sikhs and Christians, who make up a very small percentage of the total Indian population. According to recent statistics, the Buddhists are few as well as the Jains.
The Indian Food
After the Moghul Empire had invaded India in the 16th century, the cuisine was impacted accordingly. Besides, the Indian food as people know it has also been severely affected by other countries. Today, the cuisine is renowned for the various assorted dishes and the over-indulgence in spices and herbs. Different cooking styles have been adopted to bring the same result, but they often vary depending on the region.
Some of the staple foods in the region include Chana, Basmati rice, wheat and pulses. The food often utilizes the use of spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, peppers, coriander, ginger, cardamom and much more. Condiments (also referred to as chutneys) are produced from various vegetables and fruits. These include cilantro, mint, tomatoes and different herbs.
Most Hindus consider themselves to be vegetarians. Actually, statistics reveal that at least 30% of the population is made up of vegetarians. The rest eat common dishes such as lamb and chicken. The cuisine is eaten with bread, fingers or other utensils. As a matter of fact, much of the cuisine contains bread such as naan (oven-baked and leavened flat bread), bhatoora (fluffy, fried flat bread) and much more.
Architecture And Art
The most notable example of the Indian contribution to architecture is the Taj Mahal. It was built by the emperor to the Mughal kingdom, Shah Jahan. It was actually a symbol of honor to the third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The outstanding design was incorporated by combining architectural elements from Turkish, Persian, Ottoman and Islamic styles as well as a few Indian ones. Besides the Taj Mahal, India also has a few temples with ancient architectural designs that bring lots of tourists from the world over.
The film industry in India (the famous Bollywood) has become quite popular as well. It started in 1896 with a demonstration in Mumbai from the Lumiere brothers. Today, most of the Bollywood films are famous for the artistic singing and dancing. The music, dance and theater scene in India spans as far back as 2000 years ago. Most of the famous dance routines use themes from literature and mythology.
The Indian way of dressing is mostly identified with the saris, popularly worn by women. For the men, dhotis are the most attractive clothes that are usually unstitched and tied around the legs and waist. Another famous dressing for men is the kurta. It is a shirt that, about knee-length. For any ceremonies or special occasions, men wear a long coat, also knee-length, usually buttoned from the collar to the bottom, referred to as sherwani. There is also the Nehru jacket, another form of the sherwani, just shorter.
The Indian way of dressing is mostly identified with the saris, popularly worn by women. For the men, dhotis are the most popular clothes that are usually unstitched and tied around the legs and waist. Another famous dressing for men is the kurta. It is a shirt that, about knee-length. For any ceremonies or special occasions, men wear a long coat, also knee-length, usually buttoned from the collar to the bottom, referred to as sherwani. There is also the Nehru jacket, another form of the sherwani, just shorter.
In conclusion, the Indian culture has been around for many years and has been adopted in various countries worldwide.