It’s well known from most of the historical scripts that Indian culture and its people are one of the most ancient cultures in the history of the world. With over 1 billion people residing in the country, and 1,500 different mother tongues, India is truly a unique country in itself.
It is a land of great diversities in its culture and heritage and through its similarity in lifestyle; the Indian citizens build a strong relationship among each other even when separated by thousands of kilometers of land. Let us journey into the rich cultural heritage through time and through aromas to rediscover India like never before.
The Language Knows No Bound
India is adorned with 28 states and 7 union territories, most of which have at least one native language. While the official count is about 22 different languages that include Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Urdu, Punjabi, Oriya, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, etc.; unofficially the language count escapes over 1,500.
Most of these languages descend from the two major races: the Aryans and the Dravidians. However, despite this variation in languages over states, India is united by its national language Hindi.
The Indian Religion
India is known to be the birthplace of two religions: Hinduism and Buddhism. India is about 84% Hindu community making it the largest Hindu hub in the entire world. It is also the largest Islamic nation in the world with about 13 % of the Indians being Muslims. The other subtle religions are Buddhism and Jainism.
Having India respect all the religion with equal zeal, the people of India organize national holidays to celebrate religious days for every religion.
Food is another major concern for the Indian people. No matter the community you visit, you will definitely hear them say that ‘Food comes first over every other thing.’ So why are the Indians obsessed with food? Simply because they love to diversify, experiment and spice up their tongue. They even boast of the Turkish, Arabian, European and Chinese cuisine. Though cooking styles vary from region to region, one thing remains the same from north to south and that is the liberal use of spices and herbs in their aromatic dishes.
They are usually rich in the use of ginger, cardamom, basil, turmeric, dried hot peppers, cinnamon and the likes. Every dish is accompanied by a staple chutney, whether hot or sweet and usually spicy too. Most of the Hindu are born vegetarians but chicken and lamb are still a delicacy. An Indian takes his religion seriously even while cooking up a delicious meal.
You can identify Indian women from far away with the clothing she has. Traditional silk saris with a lot of jewelries and a bindi. She is a walking personification of modesty, peace and pride. Traditional men’s wear includes a dhoti or a kurta pajama.
Occasions like marriage ceremonies also find the men dressed in beautiful embroider sherwanis. While westernization has influenced the Indian way of clothing, India still retains its tradition of the past.