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Free Research Paper on Indian Culture

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India is a multicultural and the second largest populated country in the world, which has 950 million people – 1/6th of the world’s population, who speak more than a thousand languages and dialects and who support more than 21 political parties in which is the world’s biggest and perhaps the boldest experiment in democracy. Five decades after gaining independence from Britain, India has put herself in the position of the world’s fifth largest economy and one of the top ten industrial powers. Few countries in the world have such an ancient and diverse culture as India’s.

Stretching back in an unbroken sweep over 5000 years, India’s culture has been enriched by successive waves of migration, which were absorbed into the Indian way of life Few places on earth embrace such juxtapositions. India is a land where anything is possible, where the fantasies are almost a matter of course, where all the flavors are strong. Nowadays the Indian Culture has crossed the geographic boundaries and has extended globally. Whoever May it be an Indian or a person from any other country, attracted from the exuberant Indian Culture and traditions can feel. . India became independent from British rule in 1947 by the precious effort of the great freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi. One can see his picture on the Indian currency. The exchange rate is $1=46.5 Rupees.

Out of 25 states, each has its own culture and language. From time immemorial, India has been seen as a mystery land. A land full of paradoxes, it causes travelers to marvel and also to despair during their journey through India. India has always attracted the attention of the world for various reasons. India has about 18 major nationally recognized languages and some 844 different dialects. The Sanskrit of the Aryan settlers merged with Dravidian languages to give rise to new unique languages. This explains the fact that most of the Indian languages are Sanskrit based. Notable exceptions are Urdu and Kashmiri that are based on Persian and Arabic. Hindi is the national language, which is spoken by at least 45% of the population while English remains the main language, used for commerce and official communication.

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The two major religions are Hindu and Muslim. Hinduism is practiced by about four-fifths of India’s population. This religion forms the backbone of the culture for the majority of the country. Hinduism is more a “way of life”, a cultural form, than it is a “faith”, for its ethical and metaphysical principles pervade most acts of the daily life. Although battered by the destructive forces of time, weather, and invading forces, the temples of India remain as the greatest legacy of the glory of the ancient Indians. More often than not, the Hindu temples have painted or sculpted guardians at the entrance. Throughout India, one can see decorated doormen outside of private buildings and luxury hotels as well. The doormen outside the temples are typically great devotees or strong men. As the western influence percolated India, the doormen are given pants, shirts, and hats. Some guardians are given guns. It is interesting to watch some men wearing part Indian and part European clothing. Because of emigration beyond South Asia during past century, Hindus are today to be found in considerable numbers in almost each country in the world.

Muslims, followers of the Islamic religion, constitute India’s largest religious minority. They number about 105 million making India one of the largest Islamic nations in the world. Some of India’s most beautiful heritage is derived from the Muslims who invaded India over the centuries. While the Taj Mahal is but the most famous of them, the Islamic influence is well integrated into the modern Indian society. India has around 22 million Christians.
Diwali is one of the oldest Hindu festivals occurring in the month of Kartik, which commemorates the return of Rama to Ayodhya after an exile of 14 years. It also marks the beginning of the New Year and is celebrated with the lighting of lamps. Diwali in India is equivalent to Christmas in the West. Therefore it is also the time when people get the festival bonus to their salaries. Muslim festivals include a month of Ramadan and Id-E-Milad, which is Muslim New Year. The other national festivals include Independence Day August 15, Republic Day January 26, Birthday of Gandhi and many other religious festivals. Indians celebrate both ‘Good Friday’ as well as Christmas Day.

A typical Indian meal consists of around five to six dishes. Indians generally eat the full dinner at lunchtime which is exactly opposite as in U.S. Usually Indian food is spicy. Therefore, when you go to the restaurant, you have to tell your server not to make the food spicy if you don’t eat spicy food. Mostly Hindus and other religion people don’t eat any kind of meat or fish. They believe killing the animals and eat them is sin. People don’t eat beef because cow is holy animal for Hindus.

Methods of greeting among Indians vary according to religion, social status and particular context of the meeting. A common greeting is the “Namaste”, which means, “Greeting to you”. Touching women’s hand for greeting is considered impolite. Generally, you don’t shake hand with the opposite sex. Indian standards of living range from the most luxurious to the poorest in the world. A woman’s role in Indian society is incomplete until she bears children. You can’t call an old person by his/her name only. If that person is male, you should add “bhai” at the end of his name, and if the person is female, you should add “ben” at the end. After the marriage, one cannot keep a boyfriend or girlfriend. One can’t have sex before the marriage. Peacock and tiger are national bird and animal respectively. As a result, Indian government prohibits hunting them. Due to the fear of building a duplicate copy in other country, nobody can take pictures inside some palaces, monuments and temples.

There is no better way to travel India than to see it through the window of a train. The trains go to every part of India and you can experience the sights and sounds of India and, as you travel, meet the most hospitable and friendly people in the world. Today, the Indian Railways is the second largest railway system in the world. It carries about 11 million passengers and 1.2 million tons of weight every day in 11000 trains. It is also the largest employer in India– presently employing about 1.6 million people. India has 3 major seasons: summer, winter and monsoon. Summer months are generally hot and humid in most parts of India. Summer is usually experienced between March to May.

Winter months are pleasantly cool for most parts of India but severe in the northern plains and the areas around the Himalayas range. There is no snow during the winter. Winter usually falls between the months of mid November to early March. The monsoon falls between June to September.

One can find many different ways to get entertainment. India has the world’s largest film industry named Bollywood in Mumbai city. Every Friday, many new movies are realized in different languages. Through the centuries the dances have been used as a vehicle of worship and expression of emotions in India. The temple dancers have led very austere lives in order to perform sacred dances to please Gods and Goddesses. The major Indian classical dances are: Bharata Natyam, Kathak and Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Odissi. India’s national game is Field Hockey, but Cricket is the most popular game.

In brief, Indians do like travelers from America. Despite of large population and cultural diversity, one can see the uniqueness of the culture in any part of India. India believes in peace and friendship with other countries. Indians are always ready to help the foreigners if they have any problems or need any kind of guidance. As being an Indian and writing this paper, I am proud of my native land and myself.

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