Understanding the Basics of Indian Culture

india cultureIndia is regarded as the most diverse countries in the world. It is one of the world’s oldest civilization, which began about 4,500 years ago. Culture in India indicates beliefs, ideas, customs and social behavior of people in the society. India has 28 states and seven territories. There is no real official language in India, though Hindi is the official language used in government. The Constitution of India recognized 23 official languages.

Local Culture and Language

Many people who live in India write in the Devanagari script. It is a big misconception that the larger population of people in India speak Hindi. What is considered as official languages in India are two languages – Hindi and English. Though the majority of speak Hindi in India, 59 percent of residents in this country speak something other than Hindi. Apart from the 23 languages recognized by the Constitution, there are more than 1,500 languages spoken across the country. The most prominent ones are Bengali, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Punjabi, and Assamese.

The Indian society has traditionally relied on the caste system. This system places a lot of restrictions on social mobility. The system also restricts how people of different caste systems can interact with each other. Family value is an important part of an Indian life. Marriages are prevalent and taken seriously leading to a low divorce rate. It is very normal to see large patriarchal families that span many generations. A lot of small businesses are family run and owned, and there are preferences of employing other family members.

Clothing

In India, traditional clothing varies broadly, in different parts of this vast country. It is very common to see flowing outfits such as the sari for women and dhoti for men. Nowadays, passion for bright colors and shiny jewelry and other ostentatious items has become more prevalent in female dress. In the urban areas, it is widespread to come across men and women wearing more western-influenced clothes.

Etiquette and Customs

The Indian etiquette is a mix of British and Asian influences. In many parts, some customs are similar to those of the west. Diwali is the largest and most celebrated holiday in India. It is a five-day festival and is also known as the festival of the light that protects Indians from spiritual darkness. It is proper to eat with your hands, and in many restaurants, you will find a lot of locals eating using their fingers. If you decide to eat with your fingers, use your right hand and not the left one.

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