Advantages Of Indian Culture Biography
LIVING WITH DIVERSITY
Spanning an area of 3,287,263 square kilometers, India is a vast country. One can find desert, evergreen forests, snowy hills, the Himalayas, a long coast, and fertile plains. This naturally beautiful and welcoming country offers an experience enriched by incredibly diverse backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles. Years of foreign rule, religious movements, and spiritual discoveries have given way to a rich potpourri of social habits and customs.
Family ties are very important in India. Earlier days the concept of joint families or many members of a family living under the same roof came into practice largely due to economic considerations. Later it became a social norm. Multiple families shared the same household, kitchen, bathrooms and even professions. In a joint family, businesses were a joint set up and families practiced the same trade for generations.
One of the benefits of joint family was the shared environment and the feeling of security for the family members. Commercial Hindi cinema and soaps have painted a saccharine sweet picture of families. Replete with ../images of benevolent parents, brothers and sisters and their spouses—all of whom display cloying affection and are willing to sacrifice their happiness for the sake of the family. But it’s not an entirely unrealistic portrayal. Compared to the West, to a large extent in India the family comes first and then the individual.
Though the joint family system has its disadvantages, a harmonious joint family set-up can be a boon. It can provide a wonderful support system, both emotionally and financially. For instance, the joint family set-up is beneficial for working women. They can leave their child with relatives when they are away at work, rather than leaving their child in a creche or with servants. But as the decades passed, this family structure came under tremendous social pressure with need for privacy and family planning. It was only towards the end of the century that India moved towards a nuclear family.
Rapid urbanization has played an important role in the break down of the joint family system in India, but there are still many families who still swear by the institution. The joint family system gradually started disappearing mostly due to migration of people from towns and villages to cities in search of employment. Another important reason was the gradual increase of unproductive dependents on the family, leading to financial and other constraints. The net effect of all these is the division or partition of joint and ancestral properties.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Over one billion people inhabit India. All of them have diverse food habits, dictated by the availability of raw materials, cooking traditions, local spices, and also their religious beliefs. For instance, Jains do not kill life to feed themselves, and that includes plants growing below the ground. Some communities define meat as anything that moves.
Food has always been an integral part of Indian culture. People in this country love to eat as much as they love to prepare a spread for guests. One of the myths about Indian food is that its purely non-vegetarian thanks to the by now famous exports of chicken tikka masala. Both veggies and meat and fish based dishes are used in a variety of dishes.
The earliest of the inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent probably had a diet consisting mainly wheat, rice, lentils and meats such as goat, lamb, chicken and pork. Historians believe vegetarianism became popular only with the arrival of Buddhism and Jainism. Both the religions forbade nonvegetarianism as the emphasis was on non-violence. Later on, vegetaranism taking on caste-based connotations, with Brahmins and upper castes having a vegetarian diet. Widows were also not supposed to eat meat and so-called ‘hot’ ingredients such as ginger, garlic and onions. The logic being that non-vegetarian food acted as a sort of aphrodisiac.
The cuisine of Modern India has great variety and each region has its own distinctive flavours. Broadly speaking, Indian food is rich in oil and spices. Rice and wheat are the primary bases for Indian food. The coastal areas fashion seafood delicacies, while the desert areas have mastered cooking with minimal use of water.
The staple cereals are rice and wheat. North Indian meals consist of wheat-based rotis and chapatis. They are eaten with a wide variety of side dishes like dals and curries. On the other hand, South Indian staple cereal is rice which is usually had with sambhar, rasam, yoghurt and vegetable curries. One of the most important ingredients in south Indian food is coconut. South Indian fare offers a host of snacks made out of fermented batter of rice and dal, such as idli, dosa and uttapam.