10 Most Fascinating Indian Culture And Traditions
Enchanted by a world-class education, lucrative careers, unfettered freedom, seemingly better lifestyles, or associated status-quo, you may have made the conscious decision to move abroad. However, after a while, pastures no longer look that green as you often feel something is amiss. This is the sentiment most of the Indian diaspora resonates with after spending a few years in a foreign land.
Things that you often miss while living far away from your homeland are your family, your cuisines, your festivals, the noisy roads, the scrumptious street food, and most importantly your rich cultural heritage. No number of get-togethers or festive celebrations organized by Indian communities abroad give you the real feel of our rich Indian culture and traditions.
Even while residing in India, our busy lives make us hard-pressed for time to know more about our ancient practices and the ideologies behind our beautiful Indian culture and traditions.
Let’s discuss about some fascinating aspects of our Indian culture and traditions.
1. Indian Dances
India is home to different dance forms. Presently, 9 classical and more than 30 folk dances exist in India. While the classical dance forms have originated from Natya Shastra penned down by Bharat Muni, folk dances have their roots in local customs and traditions. Thus, every state in India has its unique folk dance form.
Indian classical dancers narrate stories from Indian mythology or depict contemporary issues through rhythmic leg movements and symbolic hand gestures. Folk dances, on the other hand, involve dancing in groups with synchronized hand and leg movements. Unlike classical dances, folk dances are usually informal and unstructured.
In the recent past, Indian cinema has given birth to a new form of dancing - Bollywood dance forms. It draws steps from Indian classical, folk, as well as western dance moves.
Dancing is an indispensable part of our festivities, celebrations, and happy occasions. So, why not make your happy events more special by learning different dancing styles and doing your own choreography.
2. Classical Music
Indian classical music primarily comprises two forms - Carnatic and Hindustani. Hindustani music belongs to North India whereas Carnatic music belongs to South India. The former has a Persian influence while the latter has a Middle-East flavour. While both forms of music focus on vocals, the accompanying instruments are different. The common accompanying instruments in Hindustani music are tabla, pakhawaj, veena, and sitar while in Carnatic music they are violin and mridangam.
Both follow the seven-node scale - sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa. In short, both forms of music have a distinct identity, unique characteristics, and soulful compositions.
India is an embodiment of ‘Unity in Diversity’ as people belonging to different religions, cultures, and traditions co-exist in our country with peace and harmony. This diversity extends to the realm of languages as well.
While most of the Indian languages have stemmed from Sanskrit, each language has carved a distinct identity for itself over the years. Each Indian language boasts rich literature, a significant number of dialects, and distinctive script with heavy influences from the local culture. Currently, there are 22 official languages in Indian and approximately 20,000 native languages.
If you have a flair for new languages, try learning various Indian dialects and re-connect with your roots. You may also teach your own native language to many others across the globe through various e-learning platforms.
4. Indian Cuisines
Indian cuisines both vegetarian and non-vegetarian are popular worldwide. India’s diverse culture can be found in its cuisines as well. Different states of India have their own signature dishes and cuisines. However, rice, wheat, pulses, beans, and lentils form a part of the staple diet across India.
Indian cooking is by and large characterized by the use of spices and herbs. However, the proportion and type of spices and herbs used in different dishes vary as per religion, region, cooking styles, prime ingredients, culture, and tradition.
5. Architecture and Sculpture
The beauty of Indian architecture is evident in the architectural design of its religious places and monuments. Be it the gopurams of South India, or the temples of the north or the Indo-Islamic designs of the mosques, or our churches with a colonial touch, etc. all of them are unique architectural masterpieces. Our intricate sculptures right from the ancient Harappan civilization to date also have garnered immense popularity across the globe.
Different forms of painting exist in India. Some popular ones are Madhubani art from Bihar, Warli paintings from Maharashtra, Tanjore paintings from Tamil Nadu, and Kalamkari paintings from Andhra Pradesh. Even though each Indian painting style is unique in itself, common themes represented in all types of paintings are stories from Indian mythology or the life of a common man.
Rangoli happens to be an important element of Indian culture and traditions, which deserves a special mention. A rangoli at the doorstep invites Goddess Lakshmi who is symbolic of good luck, wealth, and prosperity by warding off all evil forces. It invokes spiritual energies and resonates positive vibes during festivities and celebrations. Like all other art forms, there are different styles of Rangolis too. If you are an art lover, try your hand in creating some amazing Rangoli. For a perfect Rangoli, you will not only need to be artistic but should also have a good sense of colours.
Since time immemorial, people across the globe have been awestruck by the different varieties of Indian handicrafts. Of late, it has become one of the favourite shopping items for foreigners on Indian soil. Moulding decorative pieces out of clay, stone, wood, etc., require considerable skill and patience, and rural India has mastered the skill. In fact, many rural people earn their living by making these amazing handicraft items that we usually buy to decorate our homes. Handicrafts are a perfect representative of Indian culture and tradition.
Yoga is a mind and physique practice that is believed to be 5000 years old. In fact, Yoga can be considered as India's most prominent gift and contribution to the world. What was initially developed in ancient India by the indigenous 'yogis' is today being adapted as a way of life. It is an amalgamation of breathing exercises, meditation techniques, and body postures. This ancient technique helps to tone your mind and body for greater stamina and endurance. India has always promoted yoga as an important part of its culture and traditions. As this spiritual discipline is gaining popularity across the globe as a practice to stay calm and stress free.
Last but not the least, Indian festivals are the epitome of our opulent cultural heritage. Each Indian festival has a unique mythological story, culture, and ancient philosophy behind it. Most of our festivals also commemorate the birth and important events from the lives of our Gods and Goddesses. While some festivals like Diwali and Durga Puja are now celebrated globally, many others like ‘Onam’, ‘Pongal’, etc. still predominantly belong to India.
Exploring and spreading knowledge about the ancient past and various Indian cultures and traditions is definitely a joy ride you should not miss.
In an attempt to preserve and promote Indian culture and traditions within NRI households and give them a feeling of “Indianness” while residing abroad, we have come with a unique digital delivery platform - Vimarza. Our courses are designed solely to spread our rich Indian culture and traditions worldwide. Besides, netizens living in India can also gain more insights into the origins and varying manifestations of our rich Indian culture and traditions in different Indian states.
We also give ample opportunities to people across the globe to pass on their knowledge of Indian culture and traditions. Thus, Vimarza is an online platform for both the learner and the learned. It is a common platform for Indians residing within as well as outside India or anybody interested in Indian culture and traditions.
Tailor-made online courses, world-class instructors, pre-recorded lectures, live classrooms, 24X7 backend learning support, and virtual cultural events are our unique strengths. We continuously work to deliver high-quality and engaging content to our learners.
Interested to know more about Indian culture and traditions? Want to learn about its myriad forms? Then, enter the mesmerizing world of Indian culture and traditions with Vimarza today. Get in touch with us for more details!