Indian culture is one of the most ancient cultures present in the world. The country is quite diverse and is home to several communities, each of whom has their own culture and traditions. It is this combination of various splendid cultures that make India one of a kind. The Indian cultural diversity is what makes India unique and beautiful.
Situated in the continent of Asia and enclosed by the Arabian sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal, the nation, is divided into twenty-nine states and seven union territories. Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, and Nepal form the neighbouring countries of India.
India is a land of diversity each state in the country is home to several communities who live in harmony with each other while preserving and upholding their own distinct culture and traditions. From Delhi, the capital of India, to Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India, the land, is blessed with amazing scenic beauty. The country is also home to several historical monuments which add to the varied heritage of India.
The vast differences in the customs, traditional beliefs and rituals can be witnessed if one analyses the differences in the culture prevalent in the northern and southern part of India. The festivals, the art forms, and to an extent, even the dressing style of the people are quite different in Northern India when compared to those in Southern India. While most of the Indian women wear the saree, the style of draping the saree varies in different parts of India. This difference can be seen, not only among different states but also among the various communities within the same state.
Though Hindi is the most commonly used language in India, there exist many other languages too. As diverse the country is, each state has its distinct language, such as Kannada, (which, is spoken in Karnataka), Malayalam, (which, is spoken in Kerala), Tamil, is spoken in Tamil Nadu, etc. Apart from the fact that each state has its own language, it is also worth mentioning that some states in India have more than one and sometimes more than three prevalent languages. Due to this, it would not come as a surprise that most Indians are bilingual (or sometimes Multilingual), and can effortlessly handle more than one or two languages.
The family has always been an integral part of Indian society. In an Indian family, all the members share a close-knit connection. Joint families are also common in the country. In joint families, all the members of the family live under the same roof. However, in present times, nuclear families are becoming more common. In India, arranged marriages are relatively more common. The concept of an arranged marriage might seem a bit confusing to people from the western part of the world. However, in India, arranged marriages are more encouraged and are still very much prevalent in the country.
The unique and splendid art forms of India have a significant position in the culture of India. Each state is blessed with its unique art form and differs considerably from that of its neighbour. Though, it is worthwhile to note that many art forms of India are in some ways the amalgamation of other art forms borrowed from the neighbouring states. From the elegant Mohiniyattam, which focuses on the elegant and graceful movements of the dancer to the Ghoomar, a folk dance in Rajasthan, the art forms vary from each other but are equally beautiful and magical.
The festivals of India, too, are worth mentioning. As said earlier, each state has its own festivals, from the fragrant Onam, the festival of Kerala, which is characterized by the making of a floral carpet to the Pôhela Boishakh, (the onset New Year according to the Bengali calendar), the festivals are both colourful and equally incredible.
Music plays a significant role in the culture of any country, and India, too, is not an exception. Carnatic music, Hindustani music are the most popular in India. These are usually accompanied by the tune of the traditional musical instruments such as the tabla and the veena. Indian music is quite soothing and pleasing to the ear.
The movies produced in India, too, reflect the culture of the society. Each state in India has its own movie industry, though Bollywood is the most popular among them. The movie industries in India are known by different terms such as Mollywood (Malayalam movie industry), Tollywood, etc. Owing to the number of movies produced each year in different languages across India, adding to the fact that Indians love movies, India has now become one of the greatest producers of films.
India has also been blessed with many intellectuals and legendary writers and poets who are renowned worldwide for their contributions to humanity. Prominent among them is Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian and Indian to win the Nobel Prize. His work Gitanjali continues to spread its message and inspires all those who read it. Other prominent writers of India include Sarojini Naidu, Aurobindo Ghosh, among others. Artists such as Raja Ravi Varma, Rabindranath Tagore, and M F Hussain have helped in changing the face of Indian art.
Festivals and celebrations are a common occurrence in India as they occur almost every other day; however, the grandeur and pomp of these festivals are quite impressive. The country is also home to many heritage sites and monuments, including the Taj Mahal. It is all these facts combined that makes the Indian culture unique and distinct from others.
The seventh-largest country in the world, India has set itself a unique and distinct place among the other countries of the world. The host of a culture that has been prevalent for a long time, India is perhaps one of the most diverse countries in the world. From the attire worn by the people belonging to different communities to the languages spoken and even in the food habits, the country both reflects its diversity and varied heritage.