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i-love-my-india.peperonity.net

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Culture of India






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Religion

Close-up of a statue depicting Maitreya at the Thikse Monastery in Ladakh, India. India is the birthplace of Dharmic religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.[1]Main articles: Religion in India and Indian religions
India is the birth place of Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.[2] Dharmic religions, also known as Indian religions, is a major form of world religions next to the Abrahamic ones. Today, Hinduism and Buddhism are the world's third- and fourth-largest religions respectively, with around 1.4 billion followers altogether.

India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, with some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures. Religion still plays a central and definitive role in the life of most of its people.

The religion of more than 80.4% of the people is Hinduism. Islam is practiced by around 13.4% of all Indians.[3] Sikhism, Jainism and especially Buddhism are influential not only in India but across the world. Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and the Bahá'í Faith are also influential but their numbers are smaller. Despite the strong role of religion in Indian life, atheism and agnostics also have visible influence along with a self-ascribed tolerance to other faiths.
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Society
[edit] Overview
According to Eugene M. Makar, the traditional Indian culture is defined by relatively strict social hierarchy. He also mentions that from an early age, children are reminded of their roles and places in society.[4] This is reinforced by the fact that many believe gods and spirits have integral and functional role in determining their life.[4] Several differences such as religion divide culture.[4] However, far more powerful division is the traditional Hindu bifurcation into non-polluting and polluting occupations.[4] Strict social taboos have governed these groups for thousands of years.[4] In recent years, particularly in cities, some of these lines have blurred and sometimes even disappeared.[4] Nuclear family is becoming central to Indian culture. Important family relations extend to as far as gotra, the mainly patrilinear lineage or clan assigned to a Hindu at birth.[4] In rural areas it is common that three or four generations of the family live under the same roof.[4] Patriarch often resolves family issues.[4]

Among developing countries, India has low levels of occupational and geographic mobility. People choose same occupations as their parents and rarely move geographically in the society.[5] During the nationalist movement, pretentious behavior was something to be avoided. Egalitarian behaviour and social service were promoted while nonessential spending was disliked and spending money for ‘showing off’ was deemed a vice. This image continues in politics with many politicians wearing simple looking / traditionally rural clothes.
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Family
Main articles: Hindu joint family, Arranged marriage in India, and Women in India

A bride during a traditional Punjabi Hindu wedding ceremony.Family plays a big role in the indian culture. India for ages has had a prevailing tradition of the joint family system. It’s a system under which even extended members of a family like one’s parents, children, the children’s spouses and their offspring, etc. live together. The elder-most, usually the male member is the head in the joint Indian family system who makes all important decisions and rules, whereas other family members abide by it.

Arranged marriages have the tradition in Indian society for centuries. Even today, overwhelming majority of Indians have their marriages planned by their parents and other respected family-members, with the consent of the bride and groom.[6] Arranged matches were made after taking into account factors such as age, height, personal values and tastes, the backgrounds of their families (wealth, social standing) and their castes and the astrological compatibility of the couples' horoscopes.

In India, the marriage is thought to be for life[7], and the divorce rate is extremely low — 1.1% compared with about 50% in the United States.[8] The arranged marriages generally have a much lower divorce rate. The divorce rates have risen significantly in recent years:

"Opinion is divided over what the phenomenon means: for traditionalists the rising numbers portend the breakdown of society while, for some modernists, they speak of a healthy new empowerment for women."[9]
Although child marriage was outlawed in 1860, it is continued to be practiced in some rural parts of India.[10] According to UNICEF’s “State of the World’s Children-2009” report, 47% of India's women aged 20–24 were married before the legal age of 18, with 56% in rural areas.[11] The report also showed that 40% of the world's child marriages occur in India.[12]

Indian names are based on a variety of systems and naming conventions, which vary from region to region. Names are also influenced by religion and caste and may come from religion or epics. India's population speaks a wide variety of languages.

Although women and men are equal before the law and the trend toward gender equality has been noticeable, women and men still occupy distinct functions in Indian society.Woman's role in the society is often to perform household works and pro bono community work[4]. This low rate of participation has ideological and historical reasons. Women and women's issues appear only 7-14% of the time in news programs.[4] In most Indian families, women do not own any property in their own names, and do not get a share of parental property.[13] Due to weak enforcement of laws protecting them, women continue to have little access to land and property.[14] In many families, especially rural ones, the girls and women face nutritional discrimination within the family, and are anaemic and malnourished.[13] They still lag behind men in terms of income and job status. Traditional Hindu art, such as Rangoli (or Kolam), is very popular among Indian women. Popular and influential woman's magazines include Femina, Grihshobha and Woman's Era.
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Animals

Cows depicted in the decorated goppuram of the Kapaleeshwarar temple in ChennaiSee also: Wildlife of India, Animal husbandry in India, and Cattle in religion
The varied and rich wildlife of India has had a profound impact on the region's popular culture. Common name for wilderness in India is Jungle which was adopted by the British colonialists to the English language. The word has been also made famous in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. India's wildlife has been the subject of numerous other tales and fables such as the Panchatantra and the Jataka tales.[15]

In Hinduism, cow is regarded as a symbol of ahimsa (non-violence), mother goddess and bringer of good fortune and wealth.[16] For this reason, cows are revered in Hindu culture and feeding a cow is seen as an act of worship.[17]
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Namaste
Namaste, Namaskar or Namaskara is a common spoken greeting or salutation in the Indian subcontinent. Namaskar is considered a slightly more formal version than namaste but both express deep respect. It is commonly used in India and Nepal by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, and many continue to use this outside the Indian subcontinent. In Indian and Nepali culture, the word is spoken at the beginning of written or verbal communication. However, the same hands folded gesture is made usually wordlessly upon departure. In yoga, namaste is said to mean "The light in me honors the light in you," as spoken by both the yoga instructor and yoga students.

Taken literally, it means "I bow to you". The word is derived from Sanskrit (namas): to bow, obeisance, reverential salutation, and respectand (te): "to you".

When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly or calling on another god Eg: "Jai shri Krishna" and carry the same meaning.
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Namaste
Namaste, Namaskar or Namaskara is a common spoken greeting or salutation in the Indian subcontinent. Namaskar is considered a slightly more formal version than namaste but both express deep respect. It is commonly used in India and Nepal by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, and many continue to use this outside the Indian subcontinent. In Indian and Nepali culture, the word is spoken at the beginning of written or verbal communication. However, the same hands folded gesture is made usually wordlessly upon departure. In yoga, namaste is said to mean "The light in me honors the light in you," as spoken by both the yoga instructor and yoga students.

Taken literally, it means "I bow to you". The word is derived from Sanskrit (namas): to bow, obeisance, reverential salutation, and respectand (te): "to you".

When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly or calling on another god Eg: "Jai shri Krishna" and carry the same meaning.
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Festivals
Main article: Festivals in India
India, being a multi-cultural and multi-religious society, celebrates holidays and festivals of various religions. The three national holidays in India, the Independence Day, the Republic Day and the Gandhi Jayanti, are celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm across India. In addition, many states and regions have local festivals depending on prevalent religious and linguistic demographics. Popular religious festivals include the Hindu festivals of Navratri Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga puja, Holi, Rakshabandhan and Dussehra. Several harvest festivals, such as Sankranthi, Pongal and Onam, are also fairly popular. Certain festivals in India are celebrated by multiple religions. Notable examples include Diwali which celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and Buddh Purnima which is celebrated by Buddhists and Hindus. Islamic festivals, such Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and Ramadan, are celebrated by Muslims across India. Adding colors to the culture of India, the Dree Festival is one of the tribal festivals of India celebrated by the Apatanis of the Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh, which is the easternmost state of this country.
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Cuisine
Main article: Cuisine of India

A variety of Indian curries and vegetable dishes.The multiple families of Indian cuisine are characterized by their sophisticated and subtle use of many spices and herbs. Each family of this cuisine is characterized by a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques. Though a significant portion of Indian food is vegetarian, many traditional Indian dishes also include chicken, goat, lamb, fish, and other meats.

Food is an important part of Indian culture, playing a role in everyday life as well as in festivals. Indian cuisine varies from region to region, reflecting the varied demographics of the ethnically diverse subcontinent. Generally, Indian ...
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