Do you know about the oldest culture in India and who was the first one to experience it? Undoubtedly, the soil of India has seen all the stages of growth of culture in India.
Indian cultural heritage exemplifies vibrant medley of people belonging to different traditions, religions, cultures, customs, cuisines, and languages. All in all, we can call India a melting pot of different morals, values, culture, and traditions. India is a perfect blend of such elements which are responsible for the peaceful coexistence of Indians from the diverse social, religious and cultural background.
Indian Values – Part of Indian Culture
Morals and values play an imperative role in our Indian culture and our value system is something that has remains consistent and unchanged. You will find these values deeply entrenched in every Indian’s heart.
- India is a country where guests are treated as gods and are welcomed and served with love and respect. Even a poor man can stay hungry, but will never let his guest stay empty stomach.
- In the same way, parents and elders in India are treated with love and respect. Indian families consider the presence of their grandparents as a blessing in their family. The duty of loving and respecting the elders is culturally inbuilt in every generation. We cannot find such moral values in western culture.
- Although India faces a lot of economic challenges yet the happiness proportion is high in India because Indians are believed to be very sensitive towards other people’s problems and issues. Kindness and helpfulness are the two traits that can be found in every Indian.
- The young generation is taught the lessons on moral values, human values, and social values through various means like tales, religions, practices, the celebration of festivals, customs and traditions, etc. All these values inspire the young generation to eradicate all the regional boundaries and respect every woman, men, younger and elder.
No matter you are living in a joint family or a nuclear family, you are a part of India’s cultural heritage.
The traditional joint family system is still prevalent in India, especially in villages. In these large families, you can see a number of relationships living together peacefully and the elders are the Head of the family whose commands are followed by the other members in the hierarchy. Due to urbanization, you can see the trend of the nuclear family system replacing the joint family system but their values and relationships are still the same. Marriage is also a crucial part of the family culture of India in which the entire family, society, friends, and relatives attend auspicious occasion to bless the newlywed couple. In India marriage happens between two families and not only between two individuals.
About the Religions of Indian Culture
India is known for giving birth to numerous yet greatest religions of the world, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, etc. These religions together reflect the rich Indian cultural heritage. Each region has its own believes, rules, customs, and traditions. Almost 80% of the people in India are following Hinduism. In states like Punjab, Chandigarh, and Delhi, you will find the majority of people following the Sikh religion. The population of Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism is small but still, their presence is reflected in Indian culture. Indian follows their own religion and at the same time, they create space for other religions as well to flourish.
It’s not about which religion is in the majority and which is in minority, but it’s about the religious values that Indians respect and follow. The holy books like Bhagavad Gita have helped every Indian in living its actual day to day life peacefully.
Attires in Indian Culture
One of the most interesting segments of Indian Culture is the dressing sense, which entirely depends upon the climatic conditions of a particular region and also on the cultural beliefs of that area.
- In order to deal with hot and humid climatic conditions, cotton fabric is extensively used whereas in colder months or in regions like Himachal Pradesh people prefer wool and woolen fabrics.
- Indian sari is considered to be the most important part of Indian culture. It is very elegant and versatile but due to the regional variations, there are different ways of wearing a sari and also there is a huge variation in the colors and fabrics from region to region.
- Usually, grown-up women, ladies wear traditional saris; the younger and unmarried girls prefer to wear ghagra choli or lehenga choli dupatta that consist of elegant colors and designs.
- In the Northern part of India, you will find girls wearing salwar kameez that covers the entire body of women with a lot of grace.
Music and Folk Dance
In India, music and dance are given the utmost importance since the historical periods. Indian music tradition is also called classical music and the two most important classical music styles are Hindustani music and Carnatic music. There are many other music forms that rule different regions of India such as pop music, popular songs, Bollywood songs, folk songs, etc. Due to modernization, India has also adopted Western music both in vocal as well as instrumental form.
When it comes to dances, Bharatanatyam is one of the most reckoned dance forms in India which is still alive due to the conscientious efforts of Indians. Apart from that Kuchipudi, Kathak Kali, Garba, Bhangra. Lavani and Ghoomar, etc. are the popular dance forms performed at the regional level with great zeal. India has adopted the Global dance forms as well including Bollywood dance, Salsa, etc.
The ancient architecture of India reflects the elements of self-expression and elements from other cultures. Many settlers came to India and brought their styles of architecture. They mixed their own thoughts with the existing Indian style and created some of the exemplary pieces of architecture.
- We can still see the remains of Indus valley civilization. Cutting of streets, town planning, using rectangular bricks, well-developed training systems are still followed in the following periods with the addition of a few new planning and building techniques.
- Ancient Buddhist structures like Shanti Stupa, Ajanta and Ellora Caves are the masterpieces that people still explore.
- Apart from that, there are numerous building structures that are influenced by Mughal and British style architecture, including Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, etc. These are the specimens of time that reflect India’s rich cultural heritage.
The Present Scenario
People have been using culture and civilization as synonyms, but they are unaware of the fact that there is a huge difference between these two words. Culture signifies the values, traditions, customs, food habits, religions, beliefs and other behavioral traits of a given geographical environment but civilization depicts the scientific and intellectual achievements of people. Therefore, these two systems are interrelated with each other.
The study of the ancient past depicts that our Indian cultural heritage is very vast and exceptional.
Even today, ample cultural elements are derived from the ancient Indian culture only, including dairy farming techniques, agriculture farming, cattle rearing, painting, dressing in ornaments, etc. Also, the traditional beliefs, customs, dances, and rituals are similar to those of ancient Indian traditions. The present scenario of India is vividly depicting our collective heritage of the past and shows that Indian culture is the richest, diversified and unique. Communication, styles, languages, beliefs, behavior, habits, etc. reflect the culture of India and all these things are passed from one generation to another.
Religion, philosophy, customs, traditions, etc. are entwined so perfectly with each other that they reflect the Indian way of life. There have been so many syntheses and external influences in the history of India. India is all about uniqueness, which is attracting Western societies. Undoubtedly, India is taking forward its traditional value systems, but the country has always been open to scientific progress, rationality, new creative ideas, and innovations. Educational systems of India are playing an important role in teaching and influencing the younger generations to inculcate the right values and morals in their personalities. The young generation is taught about not forgetting India’s rich cultural heritage so that they become mature enough to understand that pizza is nothing more than Italian Dish made with leftover dough and vegetables.
Whether it’s about cuisine, dressing styles, spirituality or religious beliefs younger generations should not neglect or let go of their rich heritage and great cultural legacy.