Indian Culture and Tradition Overview

India’s culture is one of the oldest in the world with civilization beginning about 4,500 years ago. Many sources consider it as “Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara” – the world’s first and supreme culture, according to the All World Gayatri Pariwar organization.

India has a distinct and diverse culture which has been developed for thousands of years. Here is an overview of Indian culture and tradition.

Religion

It is believed that India is the birthplace of some major religions of the world: Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Nowadays, though Hinduism remains the most popular religion in India, other ones such as Christianity and Muslim have worked their way into the Indian population as well.

Food

Perhaps, the heavy herbs and spices used in Indian dishes can be difficult to adjust to for some visitors. The spices of India are legendary for food-preserving powers, flavor kicks, and medicinal purposes. Spices like cumin, cardamom, and turmeric have been used by Indians for thousands of years to make bland and nutritional dishes taste better. Although it varies from region to region, Basmati rice, pulses, and wheat are staples of the Indian diet. Several Indian religious groups are vegetarian or have certain limitations to what kind of meat they can consume. However, chicken and lamb are most common for people who do eat meat.

Languages

After China, India is the world’s second most populous nation and has an extensive language range. The constitution recognizes up to 15 regional languages, among of which Hindi and English are recognized as India’s official languages.

Clothing

In India, women used to wear colorful silk saris while men traditionally wear a dhoti. The sari may have originated among the temple dancers in India in ancient times. The dhoti was considered to be the attire which commanded dignity and respect.

Architecture

The most well-known example of Indian architecture is the Taj Mahal, located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It is a white marble mausoleum which was built by Shah Jahan – the Mughal emperor – in memory of his third wife as a testament of his love for her.