Culture is basically defined as the totality of arts and other various manifestations of human intellectual achievements regarded in a collective manner. Culture is an idea, a value, a belief any particular civilization holds closely to its roots or foundation at any given period in time. It is generalized as a “State of Mind”.
It is the way we interact with one another, the way we behave and react to our environment and certain other things. Culture interprets the manner in which a society perceives abstract entities and by which such a society is perceived. It is established as the diverse manifestations resulting from the basic principles, behaviours and ethics of a specific group of individuals.
To limit the definition of the word “Culture” to the above stated few lines would be doing great injustice to a concept that is a system which encompasses the totality of everything we have come to know today. It is a systematic emancipation, which continuously and consistently absorbs and passes back to society, all that is initiated by different religions, beliefs and races, who are in extremely close proximity with one another, giving the cultural concept a new dimension and meaning as time proceeds.
Culture is an integration of diverse entities, music, family, social norms, fashion, food and attitude. It is an existing, vibrant and ever changing activity which completely takes over and absorbs our way of life in any certain period of time. This is what generates the whole visual perception, or picture of the social and psychological fabric of society.
The Indian culture, a majority of historians would confirm is one of the richest, most dynamic and intriguing cultural heritages ever to be known by man. India is blessed with such a rich cultural tradition. There is such a delightful and balanced blend of philosophy, art and religion within the context of Indian culture and history. Each entity is so aesthetically interwoven in the values and fabric of the Indian way of life, customs, thought and values that they are inseparable.
The Indian culture is fundamentally a result of a never ending synthesis that has taken in a variety of numerous superficial influences in the advancement of its journey through time and history (Aurobindo, 20). The first evidence of civilization took place among the Indian people some four thousand years prior to the birth of Christ.
Unarguably, one of, if not the oldest of traditions, the Indians have been exposed to a series of never ending, uninterrupted and unbroken sequences of civilizations. Yet, the flexibility and dynamism of the Indian cultural heritage has enabled its people survive these alien invasions and still significantly hold on to the traditions and originality even after it had inculcated the most beneficial of these outside influences.
The Indians by nature possess a submissive mental attitude towards culture or tradition, born out of a philosophical doctrine that all events are predetermined in advance for all time and human beings are powerless to its inevitability. Thus, the Indian mind has assimilated, to a rather large extent, the context of the diverse cultures, hence the wealthy heritage and uniqueness. Today, it is that buoyant uniqueness that attracts the western world to the Indian culture. Disenchanted from their worldly and bourgeois way of life, westerners turn to India to find peace and solace.
The Indian culture and history can certainly boast of the stimulating and mind opening wisdom found in the ancient epics such as the likes of Ramayana and Mahabharata that serve as beacons of enlightenment and awareness to the seekers of truth and spiritual bliss. Lord Krishna speaks, in the Bhargava Gita of how each and every individual can come to abide in the subtle philosophical principles embedded in the scriptures in ones day to day activities. Lord Buddha equally teaches the principles of followership of the “Middle Path” by exercising and exerting authority over passions. It should be clearly admitted that Indian sages or mentors in spiritual and philosophical issues renowned for their profound wisdom hard started analysing and deducing hypothesis on life’s issues for more than decades of centuries, the west only recently began pondering on such issues.
Influenced and induced by the philosophical trends of history, as well as religious and moral beliefs, Indian art from the caves of Ajanta, Khajuraho, Ellora and the temples of the south are living witnesses and testimonies to the satisfying aesthetic standards and sensibility of perfection achieved by Indian sculptors, architects and artists in the ancient times. Westerners have claim of intense spiritual enlightenment and awakening on visitations to such temples.
In music as well as dance, are two other significant entities that characterize the rich and dynamic culture of the Indians. The Indian cultural music is strikingly extraordinary due to its continuity in development and growth. Prior to the Christian historic period, Indian music had propagated not only definite rules of practical theory, but an even depth of insight and understanding of appreciative measure. Having been built on the foundations and concept of ragas and fast, Indian music and dance are established as appropriate in depicting diverse emotions and moods.
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Hindustani and Karnataka, two significant schools of classical music, whose rules are derived from the Sangeet Ratnakarby Sarangdeva and Natya Shastra of Bharata are well established in Indian history. These forms of classical music have had a great impact as well as having influenced to a large account, western music. Zakir Hussain, Pandit Ravi Shankar and a host of other notable Maestros have made tremendous contributions to the growth and development of Indian classical music to the western world.
The backdrop and foundations of Indian dance, comes with a diverse and wealthy essence. Historians lay claim to the notion that Indian dance is as diverse as the culture and the land itself. Undoubtedly, it still holds unto the implicit bond that binds the Indian people together. From a range of classical, to folk, the dances of India are an articulate and eloquent blend of expressions of an ancient civilization, whose erudition continuously evokes the desired search of humans for a conscious identity and self-discovery within one’s self and with his creator.
The beauty of Indian dance is in its ability to convey the people’s sense of rhythm and abandon as well as their jocularity. Often said, the origins of these dances can be linked to Hindu temples, where they were first birthed and nurtured until they attained maturity and their full stature, hence the impulse of such dances to have or exhibit some religious context to it. Four systems of classical dance are accounted for in Indian culture, though other prominent ones exist. But as in all performing arts within the context of the Indian history and traditions, the concept of “rasa” advocates a central position. This essence of the rasa is conveyed via the “Bhava” or the “expression”, through the emulation of Abhinaya.
Hinduism is said to be the earliest form of religion in Indian history and dates back to several millenniums. Hinduism’s earliest records can be found in the Indus valley civilization. Owing its core values to Vedas and the Hindu culture, it lays its focus and reference from the Holy Scriptures in the sacred language of the Sanskrit. Laying its projection on the belief in god in a variety of forms and on the emphasis on rituals, which are said to be practical in the unity of spiritual togetherness and kinship, other essentially notable features are the belief in the Guru Shishya tradition of learning and a divided structured caste system.
Apart from the Hindu Religion, Indian culture and history boast of the Jains, who claim, and have presented scholarly reports and documentation to prove that their religion is the most ancient of religions.
Another very critical and historically famous religion notable in the Indian history is Buddhism. Based on the teachings and practises of Gautama Buddha. Many say Buddhism, rather than a religion is more of a system of morality and ethics.
Through forceful coercion and conversions, Islam was introduced into India by invaders, who set up religion and rule in the country. Today it is one of the largest religions amongst the Indian community. The Greeks and Indian civilizations came into close proximity and thus the influences of such civilizations rubbed off on each culture, this was as a result of Alexander’s prominent invasion on India, which opened up a land route from Europe to the India. The impact of civilization was further felt, as the French, Portuguese and to a larger extent the Brits, whose influences of Christianity played a minimal but enduring role on Indian civilization and cultural heritage as well as its religious beliefs.
In recent times, Indians have demonstrated a deep interest in further encouraging and promoting its cultural and unique historical values and heritage. This revivification of India’s national identity has been greeted with a boost of larger awareness in the sectors of Indian classical music and dance and the realm of indigenous folk arts the world over
Educational institutions are beginning to ensure that future generations are inculcated and imbibed with the values of the buoyant cultural and historical heritage of its people for the world to see. Cultural Festivals of India have been a huge success in the west in recent times, so has the government’s effort in promoting Indian heritage and cultural values domestically been met with huge and enthusiastic response.
The Indian culture is one of philosophical dynamism. Throughout history and time, no other civilization nor cultural heritage has been known to produce deduced hypothetical philosophy that has transcended into the future from the past. Be it in the sciences, medicine, astronomy as well as astrology, the Indian culture has bordered it all. Ancient and modern India has produced some of the world’s greatest minds and thinkers, this phenomena can be easily associated to the vast knowledge that lies within the underlying layers of the Indian heritage. As William Durant, the great American historian put it, “India is the motherland of our race.”
- Aurobindo, Sri. The Renaissance in India: On Indian Culture and Other Essays. Arya: Aug 1918. Print.
- Amartya, Sen. The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity. Picador 1st Edition: 2006. Print.
- “Arts and Culture.” National Portal of India. n.d. Web 10 June 2013. Retrieved from http://india.gov.in/india-glance/culture-heritage
- Elwin, V. The Religion of an Indian Tribe. Bombay: Oxford University Press. 1943. Print.
- Muller, Max. F. Sacred Books of the East: The Zend Avesta, Vol 1: The Vendidad. 1910. Web. 10 June 2013. Retrieved from http://www.holybooks.com/the-sacred-books-of-the-east-all-50-volumes/
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Every culture is unique. It has its traditional values, religion, dance, festivals, music, and cloth. This topic involves abundant number of information because it is almost unlimited.
Indian culture is one of the oldest. This country always had an urban civilization. Astonishing cultural diversity throughout whole country makes one to be amazed. Could you imagine that the South, North, and Northeast of India have their own traditions and culture. It is incredible thing to observe such immense variety in culture within one country.
Indian cuisine, religion, and philosophy has a huge impact on the whole world. Although this is short essay on Indian culture, a person may find something new and interesting for him. So, continue reading.
India is one of the oldest civilizations. One may find this country to be highly populated. India belongs to the most religiously diverse countries in the world. This huge country along with cultural diversity possesses geographical characteristics. Climate in India is also extremely different. Scarcely any country in the world may compete in its cultural mixture with India.
1.Religion in India. Four religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism were born in India. In this country a person may found people of different faiths. Religion in India is a significant part of its culture. One may be confused how people of different faiths may live in peace and harmony.
The Constitution of India made it possible. Religious tolerance in India was established by custom and law. The Constitution declared the principle of freedom of religion. This matter supports the freedom of individual or community to believe in any teaching.
Some say that Christianity in India as old as Christianity itself. This fact is striking. History asserts that Apostle Thomas instituted Christianity in the 1st century AD. According to the census of 2011, there are 27.8 million followers in India.
2.Traditional Cultural Values. This subject is significant. If a person is writing any essay on Indian culture, he should mention this brilliant ritual. To traditional cultural values in India belongs one special value different from others: touching feet of elders. Younger people and children show respect and honor to elders. Essay on honor completely reveals honor theme.
It is a common gesture to touch feet of elders in India. The first lesson in etiquette that Indian children are taught is touching elders’ feet. Nevertheless, one important thing related to this tradition is that a person whose feet one touches must be superior in age or spiritually accomplished.
Namaste is the first word a person hears when step up into India. This is traditional Indian greeting. This feature also belongs to traditional cultural values. The greeting, Namaste, literally means “I bow to you.”
3.Family Structure. Traditional Indian family is joint family. It means that more than one generation live in one house. To live under the one roof is a unique experience for a person. The grandfather is the main authority in family matters. Although this tradition is old and makes family ties close, it breaks up. Most people in India turn to nuclear family system.
Both family systems are vital for India. Joint family reminds people their traditions while nuclear family helps them to move forward.
4.Marriage in India. From ages in India prevailed arranged marriage. It may sound strange especially for people from West countries. Today in India many young people have their marriages planned by parents. What is interesting, the young do not protest. Despite debatable opinions according this issue, there are many advantages of such a marriage. Young people may enjoy their youth and do not worry of relationships that come about.
Even though the tradition of arranged marriage is old, the evolution of time has already corrected it. Now in India a girl and a boy are asked whether they agree to marry or not.
Since Indian society has undergone huge changes, love marriage becomes a new system of marriage. The divorce rate in India is low. One may clarify main features of divorce issue in essay about divorce.
5.Wedding Rituals. Wedding in India is one of the brightest festivals in the country. All the elements of ceremony depend on the preferences of groom and bride. In India a person may count for about ten millions weddings each year. Most of them are Hindu weddings.
Although the rituals may vary, there are several main rituals that remain unchanged: father gifts his daughter, holding hand near the fire; the groom takes the bride’s hand as a sign of their union; bride and groom make seven vows after which they become legally married. Isn’t it beautiful?
6.Indian Cuisine. This country is a wonderful place for food. Its cuisine is diverse no less than India. The way of cooking and taste of dishes make Indian cuisine different from other. The way one dish is cooked depends on the region where it is made.
Indian people usually add many spices and herbs, mix different food, cook meat and vegetarian dishes. The main elements of Indian dishes are wheat, rice, and chana. Sweets are also very popular. Curry is common dish in India.
7.Clothing. Indian clothing style is different in every region. People wear traditional cloth as well as modern. During festive occasions people put on traditional clothing. Thus, people cover the body of a newborn child with langotas and loincloths. Traditional dress for women is sari, and dhorti for men.
Earrings, bangles, and other jewelry are common among women. Bindi is one of the traditional elements in women’s make up which is worn on foreheads. If you have never been to India, you might see it in Indian movies. Red bindi in India traditionally was worn by married women, and colored bindi by single ladies. Now both styles are part of women’s fashion in India.
8.Dance and Music. These two items are integral parts of every culture. Folk dances in the country have numerous styles. Local traditions have shaped their own idea of a dance. Indian dance is the expression of inner beauty. Each gesture tells some idea.
Some people say that music in India exists from the beginning of its culture. Indian people usually use drums and cymbals for producing music. Different forms of music reflect the culture of the nation. Every year in India one can attend numerous music festivals which speak about musical culture. If you are intersted in this theme, surely you would like to read about musical festivals around the world.
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