One of the major factors that have made India famous all over the world is its cultural diversity. This is one country with 29 states and several union territories that have their own unique history and culture, and have still existed, more or less, peacefully with each other for years. In this country you would people who practise different religions – in fact there are perhaps people of all religion in this country – and speak various languages. Do not be surprised to see that a single language has 30 dialects. Apart from this, there are different festivals, cultural activities, ways of dressing and cooking, etc. that have imbued the country with diversity that could very well have been the stuff of legends. Apart from that you also need to consider the fact that over here you find people from various racial origins.
As a country, India has been there for eons – from much before history started to be recorded as such. In fact, it is so ancient that much of its early history is still shrouded in myth and told in the form of epics and other literature. It is this long existence that has endowed it with a cutlture that is the envy of so many. Apart from its religion, Indian culture has been blessed over the years with its impressive body of literary and artistic work along with performative arts such as music and dance to name a few. India has been invaded over the years by various races and tribes, and all of them have made their significant contribution to India’s cultural being.
A land of minorities
India is one place where you can find minorities existing alongwith the majorities. Muslims are the biggest minority making up 12% of the population and highly aware of their Islamic faith. The same can be said of the other major religious minorities – Sikhs (concentrated mostly in Punjab) and Christians (concentrated mostly in Goa). Apart from that you have Parsees, Jains, Buddhists, and others. In terms of language Hindi rules the roost but other languages such as Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Telugu enjoy significant presence as well. In terms of race you can find 40 million tribal and neo-aboriginal people over here.
Interaction between urban and rural areas
India is a growing economy and as such a significant amount of growth is taking place in the rural areas as well which are steadily becoming towns and in some cases full-fledged cities as well. The general conception is that people in cities look down on rural people but now that growth is happening in these areas as well people from rural areas are coming and working in the big cities too. It remains to be seen how this dynamism affects the relationship between both sets of people in the years ahead.
A curious mixture
One of the things that you will hear every tourist enamoured with India say is that they love the organized chaos of this country. Then there are others who say that they are in love with its mystic nature and the way people simply go about their lives in spite of immense and unbearable hardships. The truth is that India has both these qualities and more. It is an intriguing country where people celebrate life at every conceivable opportunity in spite of what they may be passing through and this is what has given this country its unique appeal.
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