History of India – A Brief Look at India’s History
To know Indian Culture we should first know history of India. History of India is one of the most interesting topics in any school curriculum. In this regard, history curriculum in India concentrates on three regions or periods in history when the fortunes of numerous Indian kings and rulers can be studied.
There was period of history known as Pre-classical period where there was a fusion of Greek culture and architectural structure as well as Roman influence on the society of that time. Then comes the classical period which witnessed the great architecture of that time and the most developed and organized government system in India.
After the development of Cholistan and Moghuls the Mughal kingdom began to decline and was finally absorbed into the British India. But this development did not affect the regional political structure of India.
For example, the scenario of India where there were numerous kingdoms with different dynasties in existence before the British invasion is quite interesting. It can be studied to understand the evolution of India over a period of time.
Powerful Kingdom of Indian History
The history of Indian kingdoms was also divided into two parts before the partition. First were the princely states, which existed within the existing Indian union. Under the Mauryas and the Rashtrakutas the most powerful kingdoms of that time were established. The Mauryas dynasty was responsible for the unification of most of the southern part of India under one rule.
The most significant of these was the Delhi’s rise as the centre of power in India. Even today New Delhi, the capital of India, is one of the most visited tourist destinations. On the other hand the period of British rule in India gave birth to some of the most significant cities and kingdoms of india.
It was here that the greatest legends of Indian literature were born including the Mahabharata, Ramayana and an epic poem by MS. Taraporei. India is well known for the stone carving which is done by the residents of this valley civilization. Apart from the region of North India, there are many other regions which also tell the story of a great warrior heritage of Indian culture.
The Impact of Culture on Indian Society
Culture of India refers to the rich legacy of literary, artistic, historical and cultural expressions. Its contributed significantly to the social, spiritual communal harmony in India. Indian culture is the unique heritage of socio-cultural norms. Moral codes, beliefs, ritual practices, festivals, patrilineal practices, scientific culture, architectural styles, geographical knowledge, food habits and technical expertise.
Festivals are the sprit of India and they are many, if you will try to explore all Indian festivals then you will find celebration of festivals are going on almost all year in different regions of India.
The diverse cultural diversity in India refers to languages, music, dance, cuisine, fairs & festivals, art, handicrafts and ceramics that are the creations of the local artists and craftsmen. The people of India have a rich history of civilisations that trace their origins to as early as 500 BC.
The evolution of culture in India has been greatly influenced by its contact with various foreign elements. Some of the foreign elements that have had an important impact on the evolution of culture in India are the Mughals, the British, the Dutch and the Chinese.
Art and Literature of Indian Culture
Art and literature of this period can be classified into two major forms – “Sumerian” and “Dravidian”.
The Sumerian art is characterized by geometrical and floral designs that feature natural objects such as rice paddy, wild fruits, persimmon, mango and kukui nut. The works of these artists are highly decorative and depict scenes of life in India, nature and mythology.
Modernisation of Art in India
Modern Indian art is found on everything from carpets and furniture to musical instruments and cinema. Modernism is a more global expression of Indian culture. Pre-modernism expressed ideas that were already present in Hindu society. While modernism sought to express new ideas that emerged during the industrial revolution.
The creation of new expressions of culture requires an infusion of literature, music and film from all over the world. However, many of the popular works of Indian art have come from countries like Persia and China.
India is a country with rich cultural heritage and an advanced economy. All these factors combine to make India the most populous country in the world. Some other factors include unity and diversity.
People living in India live in harmony with all other Indians. They have made history that tell many stories about their colorful existence. India is a land that has so much to offer, no matter how you look at it.
Religious Impact on Indian Culture
The concept of a religious community, which existed in pre-class society, has become a very essential element in the life of modern India. The concept of a nation, which believed in materialistic pleasures. Endeavored to cast off the spiritual heritage of the ancient past has always been an expression of its national character.
Religious intolerance and social hierarchy have been constant features of the social structure of India. There are numerous instances throughout the history. Where the religious fanaticism has been the ruling power and it has been responsible for the demise of numerous great Indian Charities.
There are numerous examples of such ruthless communal cleansing that have occurred in the history of independent India. During the rule of Ashoka the rising of the tombs of the Hindu gods occurred as a result of their religious beliefs.
Religious Changes during different Rule of Kingdom
During the rule of Chalukyas and Mughuls the demolishing of the stone temples of the Hindu community occurred. As a result of their non-conformity with the wishes of the god. It was this intolerance and narrow mindedness of the earlier Hindu kings. This laid the foundation for the rise of the powerful and creative Brahmins. Who established the hindu multinational state as we know it today.
Tantra yoga, which is the most prominent branch of the Hindu religion. The foremost science of life has been the major target of torture and execution by the medieval rulers. However, the Hindu religion and the tradition of Tantra has never accepted any criticism from the western world. The western world has always welcomed the Hindu religious culture with open arms.
Festivals of India
Every year, new festivals are introduced and old traditions are cherished in India. If you want to explore the colorful culture of India, plan your holidays around them. From Bollywood movie star shows to Indian folk dances and festivals. Every part of India is alive with the festive spirit and every festival has a different meaning.
Festivals of India can be broadly classified into several groups, depending on the geographical location of the festival. The most important festivals of India are Lohri Festival, Ganesh Chathurthi, Makar Sankranti, Vaisakhi, Diwali, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Janmashtami and Holi. As they are of special significance to the community concerned.
There are many prominent festivals of India including Lohri, which witnesses an important religious festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. Vaisakhi is renowned for its five days of intense heat. Its festivities include lots of foot sports and dance performances.
These celebrations make India a lively and happy place to visit and are a significant aspect of Indian culture. These are some of the popular Indian festivals of recent times, which have shaped the ethos of Indian festivals and are famous worldwide for their grandeur and magnificence.
Languages of India
Over a billion people speak different languages of India. More than a billion people from all over the world can converse fluently in at least some Indian languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi. The other languages spoken in India include Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, and Marathi. These are just a few of the major languages in India, but there are many more.
India has been a home to millions of ancient cultures. This includes languages which have their roots in India like English, Chinese, Hindi, and Punjabi. India is also a land of great diversity with large percentages of people speaking at least two languages. Hindi is the most spoken language in India with about 44% of the population having knowledge of this language. Marathi and Telugu are next with 6% and 5% respectively.
The majority of Indians are not speaking English and are not comfortable speaking English. A huge percentage of Indians are comfortable with Hindi and want to learn this as a language. If you visit India you will notice that people are extremely friendly and talk in Hindi even if it is not their mother tongue. These are just a few of the reasons why India is such an interesting country to visit and learn a new language.
Understanding Indian Culture and Its Perceptions
In spite of the diversity present in India, there are certain similarities between the people from various states who have migrated to a particular state like Kerala, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. For example, there is hardly anyone who does not have any ethnic pride and regard their ancestors as his or her heroes.
The same social concepts are present, although they are not very strong, in all these states and are more focused on sentiments such as love for the motherland, affection towards the fellow man and the feeling of patriotism to protect the country from the invasion of the foreigner (that is, the outsider)
There is hardly anyone in the country who does not believe in the lord and goddess worshiped in the temples and mosques. Similarly, there is hardly anyone who does not believe in the revivalist movements like the Afrikaans, South Africans and Colonizers.
The sense of religion and spirituality permeates all aspects of Indian life; it is present in music, in poetry, in dance, in food, in cinema, in novels, in dramas and even in Indian cuisine. Different celebrations mark different moments in time and each season brings in its fair share of delicacies.