Namaste – Swagatam – Welcome to the review of Indian culture and traditions. As we all know India’s culture is among the oldest in the world. Many sources describe it as “Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara” — the first and the supreme culture in the world. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it is the unique culture and tradition of our country that attracts people from all over the world.
We are a diverse country and each region has its own distinct culture, religion, tradition, food, language and art. Let’s just brief out few of the cultures and traditions.
Namaste– sometimes also expressed as Namaskaar or Namaskaaram, is a traditional customary greeting when individuals meet or at farewell. “Namaḥ means ‘bow’, and te means ‘to you’. Therefore Namaste literally means ‘bowing to you’.
Tulsi plant– the Holy Basil or commonly known as “Tulsi” plant is said to be auspicious and hence one would mostly see this in any Hindu household. In Sanskrit language, the term Tulsi means, ‘the incomparable one’.
Touching Feet– It is old Indian tradition where people’s whose feet are touched are superior in age and position. It is said that when an elder person’s feet are being touched, he /she, in turn, is supposed to touch the head of the person doing the act and bless him /her for long life, fortune and prosperity.
Overview of Cultures–
While Hindi and English are the official languages, each State has atleast one official language. There are about 22 official languages and 400 living languages spoken in the country. Most of the languages belong to two families, Aryan and Dravidian.
India is the birthplace of Hinduism. Majority of the people are Hindu. Approximately 13% of Indians are Muslims. There are small sections of Christians and Sikhs and also Buddhists and Jains.
Indian cuisine is famous for its use of herbs and spices. Every region has its own cooking style. Wheat, rice and pulses make the staple food of India. The food and curries are rich in cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, ginger etc.
Indian dance has a long time history. The major traditional dances include- Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odyssey, Manipuri, Kuchipudi and Mohinipattam.
Traditional Indian clothing for women is Saree and for men is Dhoti. Generally, women in different states wear the sarees in their own traditional way thus giving each state their own identity.
India has various festivals, but festivals like Durga Puja, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi,
Holi, Rakhsha Bandhan, Eid that arecelebrated throughout the country on a major scale.
These are some of the prominent features of Indian culture and traditions that make us distinct from the rest of the western world. Unity in Diversity– that’s the perfect thing they say about us.
Proud to be Indian.
– Harshali Amin.
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