Vibrant skies and lively smiles,
In the many words and many more lives
The melting pot of culture, here it lies
India, the land of diversity, where we see the land changing with the language, has many unique characteristics. The country has a heritage thousands of years old, from the early Indus valley civilization to the journey of its struggle to become a democratic nation. Today as we stand on the onset of global, virtual advancements, what can we say about our culture? Have we fully embraced ourselves, our identity as individuals, as a nation together with our culture? A treasure passed down from our ancestors, our heritage is a part of our identity as well as our lives.
India: A melting pot of Culture
Our legacy of many generations which has led India to where we are today makes this country one of a kind in the world. Known to be one of the oldest cultures in the world, our story dates back to around 4500 years ago. India has a very expansive heritage which varies throughout different parts of the country. Our culture is also known to have evolved equally in intellectual, philosophical as well as creative aspects. India has been home to ancient civilizations like the Indus valley civilization which had organized and systematic town planning and societal hierarchy. The Rigvedic Sanskrit is one of the oldest attestations of any Indo-Aryan languages, and one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European languages. The earliest inscriptions of Tamil have been found on pottery dating back to 500 BC. Indian classical music performing arts like dance and drama express and bring to life a deep connection of the performer to the art, connecting it to a spiritual level.
India and the world
Today, India stands as a one-of-a-kind culture, offering a flavorful experience to the world. We can see the world moving towards the advanced future with rapid speed and this is when we should understand the value of our culture. Since Indian culture has such a deep connection to its people, it has had an impact on the world, shaping its story. Many elements of Indian culture, religions, mathematics, philosophy, cuisine, languages, dance, music and movies have had a profound impact across Southeast Asia and the world. Yoga is one of the greatest contributions of India to the world. This way of incorporating the spiritual process into practical life has uniquely crafted Indian culture and is followed widely around the world. Indian architectural heritage has also been very monumental evidence of its past, with its various styles, from the opulent Taj Mahal to the majestic forts and palaces and the enchanting religious monuments.
India also calls for people who want to explore, celebrate and experience its colourful diversity. Thousands of people gather for the Kumbh Mela, while many others come here to try the variety of sweets and spices in the cuisine. In our festivals, celebrations, art, and even movies, it can be seen that the people of this land exude a sense of vitality and positive energy that conveys the essence of life. Even though the west has cast its influence on India through colonial rule, Indians still maintain their rich culture and heritage, which is to be admired.
Why is it important?
A country without culture lacks the roots for its branches to grow. Our culture, when deeply imbibed, helps create a distinct identity for us as one entity in the world. It helps us grow, develop and evolve continuously. Breaking this thread of culture will interrupt this process and affect us on many levels. Learning about our own culture and heritage helps us understand the way of life in the past, and why our history came to be. Structures which were built hundreds of years ago but are still standing tall today, teach us about the complex but efficient architecture and engineering of the past. These buildings, houses, temples, and palaces were built for the people who live. one gets to learn about how they lived and how they solved their problems. Sometimes, some traditional practices were not beneficial to society, and when we know this, we can make those changes around us today.
Being aware of our own culture also brings a sense of togetherness among people. Our country India has a lot of diversity on many levels, but it is our culture that ties us together. Simple things like sitting cross-legged, eating with our hands, welcoming guests, you can easily know an Indian! This culture of India has been simply there. When cultural traditions are handed down from generation to generation, they are preserved with honour and increase the sense of pride in people. They help strengthen connections among generations. From toddlers to elders, everyone lives, learns and celebrates festivals together. Understanding our heritage and cultural richness today can also make it easier to pass it down to our future generations. We see many traditional arts and crafts, and languages dying today, it could be that some years down the lane, people wouldn’t even know they existed!
What can we take from it?
India is chaotic and busy and the hustle-bustle of things might confuse a stranger. But it is just how our culture is. It is not organized like a machine, but there is harmony in that disorder. This is where life happens. Even though one might have many problems they face in their lives, in the end we come together to grow, live, to celebrate. And this is the difference between our cultures. Small things like eating with our hands directly or sitting on the floor. Even the way we greet each other has connections deeper to ourselves, and our roots since many years ago. To cherish this sense of life, a deeper connection and this legacy we need to reinstate our cultural strengths. Manifesting our identity, and our unity in diversity can help empower us to greater heights, as individuals and even as a nation. Our ancestors learned from their predecessors, and then from their experience, they removed what was not useful and passed it down further. Culture is our way of life and thinking. Culture can bring change. Every day, we learn from it, and add new ideas, and it continues to evolve.
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