Any talk about India is incomplete without the mention of the adjective 'diverse'.
In fact, the popular quote 'Unity in Diversity' perfectly defines the blend of various elements of India. Billions of people reside in different parts of the country, follow different religions, dress differently, speak different languages, yet, they all are a part of one country and this is where the beauty lies. The international students stepping their feet in India, to study, get introduced to a mixture of traditions, dance, music, arts and crafts, architecture, delectable food, religion and languages. Oneness is a unique feature of Indian culture and the country collectively takes pride in it. Here is a glimpse of this fascinating culture.
Namaste From India
The first and foremost element of Indian culture is the way people usually greet i.e Namaste or Namaskar. Interestingly, the greeting custom is not only limited to India but people from other countries have expressed their likeness towards it as well. Several world leaders now greet people in the Indian way with folded hands (Namaste). The term simply translates to 'I bow to you' and the folded hands placed in front of the chest is a way to say 'may our minds meet'.Another popular cultural value of India is the philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' that translates to 'the world is one family and it emphasises holistic development and non-violence.'
The Graceful Dance Forms and Vibrant Music
Indian culture is also characterized by vibrant music and intricate dance forms. The art of dance and music has been passed on from generation to generation and in ancient times, it was used as a medium to tell mythological stories through hymns, facial expressions and movement of hands. Presently, there are around eight classical dance forms (such as Kathak, Kathakali, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, etc) and some folk dances (Bhangra, Ghoomar, Dekhnni, Chhau, etc) practised in India. Further, a range of melodies and musical hymns inked in ancient scriptures have formed the base for music in India. In the present time, multiple types of music including classical, folk, rock, and pop exist have become prevalent in the country.
The Marvellous Architecture
The eye-catchy architecture is another distinguishable element of the culture of India. From caves, monuments, temples to mosques, India architecture is also characterised by diversity. The complex yet intricate carvings and technically sound artistry are the highlighted features of Indian architecture-. In fact, India is home to around 40 World Heritage Sites, declared by UNESCO. The architectural marvels like the Taj Mahal in Agra depicting grace, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur showcasing a perfect blend of creativity and innovation, the second largest monastery, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Qutub Minar in Delhi or the magnificent Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, continue to be popular tourist sites.
In addition to the concept of Namaste, gracious dance forms, soulful music and eye-catchy architecture, the idea of community is also deep-rooted in the country. Be it the festive celebrations or eating food, the concept of sharing with the whole community is embedded in the customs of India. A moment of joy or grief, the people of the community readily get involved. Moreover, the culture of 'neighbourhood' is also prevalent in the country, wherein people celebrate, grief, eat and live together in harmony.
Another distinct concept of 'Atithi Devo Bhava' or 'the guest is equivalent to god' is an old verse but believed by people even today. The guest-host relationship represents the philosophy that guests must be respected, welcome and treated with warmth. By following the notion of 'Atithi Devo Bhava' India embraces each person coming from outside with utmost friendliness, kindness and making them feel at home. Lastly, there are several elements of Indian culture that have crossed the boundaries and travelled around the world. Be it colourful Sari (for women) or accessories such as bindi or bangles these authentic Indian things are loved by people around the globe.
India is a South Asian country, covering an area of approximately 3.3 million sq. km. The country's landscape is marked by the presence of mountains, sea, and plains wherein it is separated from mainland Asia by the Great Himalayas and surrounded by the Bay of Bengal in the East, the Arabian Sea in the West to the Indian Ocean in the South. Further, it is located in the Northern Hemisphere, the mainland of India lies between latitudes 8°4’ and 37° 6’ North, longitudes 68° 7’ and 97° 25’ East. Moreover, India is a democratic republic consisting of a total of 28 states and 8 Union territories. The mainland of these states and Union territories consists of four regions i.e. the great mountain zone, the desert, the plains of Ganga and the Indus and the southern peninsula.
To know about the key information about India, have a sneak at the following snapshot:
|01.||Country Name||The formal name is the Republic of India and it is also known as Bharat.|
|02.||Capital||Situated in the northern part of the country, Delhi is the capital of India.|
|03.||Government Type||India is a democratic republic that follows the Parliamentary System of Government.|
|04.||Area||India covers an area of 3.3 Million sq|
|05.||Coastline||The coastline of India stretches along 7,517 km, enclosing Lakshadweep Islands, Andaman & Nicobar and the mainland.|
|06.||Latitude and Longitude||India is a part of the Northern Hemisphere and it stretches between 8° 4’ and 37° 6’ latitudes North of the equator as well as 68°7’ and 97°25’ longitudes to the East.|
|07.||Calling Code||The calling/country code is +91|
|08.||Population||As per the 2011 Census of India, the population stands at 1,210,193,422.|
|09.||Languages||A total of 22 different languages have been recognised by the Constitution of India.|
|10.||Religions||India is home to a range of religions and major of them include, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains|
|11.||Climate||Primarily, the climate of India is classified as tropical monsoon. Also, there are a total of four seasons: Winter (December-February), Summer / Pre-Monsoon (March-June), South-West Monsoon (June-September), Post Monsoon (October -November).|
|12.||National Days||There are 3 national days in India including, 26 January (Republic Day), 15 August (Independence Day) and 2 October (Gandhi Jayanti).|
|13.||Transportation Options||India has multiple options for transportation including flights, trains, buses, cabs and autos.|
The worlds highest motorable road is located in Ladakh and it is built at a height of 19,300 feet.
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