Among the most remarkable features of India, is the arts and culture in particular.India's culture has been enriched by successive waves of migration which were absorbed into the Indian way of life.It is this variety which is a special hallmark of India. Its physical, religious and racial variety is as immense as its linguistic diversity. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization and social structure from the very earliest times until the present day.
Indian culture treats guests as god and serves them and takes care of them as if they are a part and parcel of the family itself. The right hand is usually used for cash transactions because it is considered auspicious. Touching the feet of the elderly is a way of showing respect. Indians place a premium on family relationships, and usually live and socialize within extended family units.
“Respect one another” is another lesson that is taught from the books of Indian culture. All people are alike and respecting one another is ones duty Helpful nature is another striking feature in our Indian culture. Right from our early days of childhood we are taught to help one another in need of help and distress. If not monetary then at least in kind or non-monetary ways.
Indian culture tells us to multiply and distribute joy and happiness and share sadness and pain. It tells us that by all this we can develop co-operation and better living amongst ourselves and subsequently make this world a better place to live in.
The culture of India is reflected in its people, their way of dressing their languages, the religions followed by them, their food and in the traditions they follow and their beliefs etc.
Indians are considered very hospitable. An Indian welcome is thousands of years old, and the simple aarti ritual that honours all guests as manifestations of God, has been refined over centuries. It involves the waving of an ‘arati plate’ around a person or idol and is generally accompanied by the singing of songs in praise of that deity or person.
A bindi is an auspicious mark worn by young girls and women. Bindi is derived from bindu, the Sanskrit word for dot. It is usually a red dot made with vermilion powder which is worn by women between their eyebrows on their forehead. Considered a symbol of Goddess Parvati, a bindi signifies female energy and is believed to protect women and their husbands. Traditionally a symbol of marriage.
Tilak is a ritual mark on the forehead. It can be put in many forms as a sign of blessing, greeting or auspiciousness. Usually made out of a red vermilion paste (kumkum) which is a mixture of turmeric, alum, iodine, camphor, etc. or of a sandalwood paste (chandan) blended with musk, tilak is applied on the spot between the brows which is considered the seat of latent wisdom and mental concentration, and is very important for worship. This is the spot on which yogis meditate to become one with Lord Brahma. It also indicates the point at which the spiritual eye opens. All thoughts and actions are said to be governed by this spot. Putting of the coloured mark symbolizes the quest for the 'opening' of the third eye. All rites and ceremonies of the Hindus begin with a tilak topped with a few grains of rice placed on this spot with the index finger or the thumb. The same custom is followed while welcoming or bidding farewell to guests or relations.
Namaskar: Namashkar or Namaste is the most popular form of greeting in India . It is a general salutation that is used to welcome somebody and also for bidding farewell. While doing namaskar, both the palms are placed together and raised below the face to greet a person. It is believed that both the hands symbolise one mind, or the self meeting the self. While the right hand represents higher nature, the left hand denotes worldly or lower nature.
The Indian culture and traditions have persisted through the ages precisely for the reasons of antiquity, unity, continuity and the universality of its nature.
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