India (Bharat) is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with history of more than 5000+ year, a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. India (Bharat) has achieved all-round socio-economic progress after its Independence.
India has become self-sufficient in agricultural and in terms of Industrial production is now one of the top countries in the world. India (Bharat) covers an area of 32,87,264 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to Eastern part of Asam to the tropical rain forests of the south and Sahara Desert to west.
As the 7th largest country in the world, India (Bharat) stands apart from the rest of Asia by mountains, food, culture and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. The Indian peninsula is separated from mainland Asia by the Himalayas.
India (Bharat) is surrounded neighbor like Afghanistan and Pakistan to the north-west, China, Bhutan and Nepal to the north; Myanmar to the east; and Bangladesh to the east of West Bengal. Sri Lanka is separated from India (Bharat) by a narrow channel of sea.
India (Bharat) has one of the largest coastlines, 7,516.6 km encompassing the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Climate of India (Bharat) can broadly be classified as a tropical monsoon and summer. In spite of much of the northern part of India (Bharat) lying beyond the tropical zone, the entire country has a tropical climate marked by relatively high temperatures and dry winters. There are four seasons:
- winter (December-February)
- summer (March-June)
- south-west monsoon season (June-September)
- winter (December-February)
India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and other many religions. Today, Hinduism and Buddhism are the world’s third and fourth-largest religions respectively, with over 2 billion followers altogether, happily enjoying their culture. They are collectively known as Indian religions. Indian religions are a major form of world religions.
Followers of Indian religions – Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists make up around 80–82% population.
India is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse nations in the world, with some of the most deeply religious societies, festival and.
Religion plays a central and definitive role in the life of many of its people. India is a secular Hindu-majority country, it has a large Muslim population.
Except for Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Lakshadweep, Hindus form the predominant population in all 28 states and 8 union territories.
The 2021 Census of India (Bharat), also the 16th Indian Census, will be taken in 2021. The 15th Indian Census taken in 2011, estimate the population based on Socio-Economic and Caste Status for the first time since 1931 will be taken in 2021.
Out of the total population of 1,028 million in the Country, Hindus constituted the majority with 80.5%, Muslims came second at 13.4%, followed by Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and others.
There are 22 different languages that have been recognized by the Constitution of India (Bharat), of which Hindi is an Official Language. More than 19200 mother tongue languages are spoken in India apart from 22 recognized.
According to the provisional results of the 2011 census, the literacy rate in the Country stands at 74.04 per cent, 82.14% for males and 65.46% for females.
Two main schools of classical music-Hindustani and Carnatic continue to survive through oral tradition being passed on by teachers to disciples in society. it led to the existence of family traditions called gharanas and sampradayas.
Dance in India has a tradition of over 2,000 years. The themes are derived from mythology, legends and classical literature, two main divisions being classical and folk.
Classical dance forms are based on ancient dance discipline and have rigid rules of presentation. Important among them are Bharata Natyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, Kuchipudi and Odissi. Bharata Natyam though it derives its roots from Tamil Nadu, has developed into an all India form. Kathakali is a dance form of Kerala. Kathak is a classical dance form revitalized as a result of Mughal influence on Indian culture.
Manipur has contributed to a delicate, lyrical style of dance called Manipuri, while Kuchipudi is a dance form owing its origin to Andhra Pradesh. Odissi from Odisha, once practised as a temple dance, is today widely exhibited by artistes across the country. Folk and tribal dances are of numerous patterns.
Theatre in India is as old as her music and dance. Classical theatre survives only in some places. Folk theatre can be seen in its regional variants practically in every region of india. There are also professional theatres, mainly city-oriented and culture oriented mostly funded by Governments.
India has a rich tradition of puppet theatre, prevalent forms being puppets, rod puppets, glove puppets and leather puppets (shadow theatre) origin from Rajasthan. There are several semi-professional and amateur theatre groups involved in staging plays in more than 22 Indian languages and in English.
Family structure and marriage
For generations, India has a prevailing tradition of the joint family system. It is when extended members of a family – parents, children, the children’s spouses and their offspring, etc. – live together.
The oldest male or female member is the head of the joint Indian family system. He/she mostly makes all important decisions and rules, and other family members are likely to abide by them.
Arranged marriages have long been the norm in Indian society. Even today, the majority of Indians have their marriages planned by their parents and other respected family-members. In the past, the age of marriage was young.
Weddings are festive occasions in India with extensive decorations, colors, music, dance, costumes and rituals that depend on the religion of the bride and the groom, as well as their preferences. The nation celebrates about 10 million weddings per year, of which over 80% are Hindu weddings.
While there are many festival-related rituals in Hinduism, vivaha (wedding) is the most extensive personal ritual an adult Hindu undertakes in his or her life. Typical Hindu families spend significant effort and financial resources to prepare and celebrate weddings.
The rituals and process of a Hindu wedding vary depending on the region of India, local adaptations, resources of the family and preferences of the bride and the groom. Nevertheless, there are a few key rituals common in Hindu weddings – Kanyadaan, Panigrahana, and Saptapadi; these are respectively, gifting away of daughter by the father, voluntarily holding hand near the fire to signify impending union, and taking seven steps before fire with each step including a set of mutual vows.
Indian cuisine consists of a variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to the Indian subcontinent. Given the diversity in soil, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits.
Indian food is also heavily influenced by religion, in particular Hinduism, cultural choices and traditions. Centuries of Islamic rule, particularly by the Mughals, also introduced dishes like samosa and pilaf.
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