Traditional Indian Culture Biography
Indian cultural history has been derived by the absorbing customs, traditions, and rituals from both invaders and immigrants. Many Indian customs, cultural practices and languages are examples of this co-mingling over centuries. It was the birthplace of many religious systems like Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism which influenced not only this country but also the neighboring countries. With the following invasion of the Islamic rulers the culture of India was heavily influenced by Persian, Arabic, Turkish cultures.
The 5000 years old Indian culture is both ancient and varied. But unity in diversity which is the main mantra of Indian civilization can be seen if any one monitors its various art forms and traditional diversity.
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The history of Indian traditional dance which traces its origin back in 2 BC is as colorful as it can be possible. Classical, folk and contemporary,all dance items are preformed here in India. Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, Odissi, Kuchipudi and Mohini Attam are the few leading forms of classical dance. Kathak the main dance form in North India comes form the Islamic invasion though in the later years it evolved into the Hindu gharanas like Banaras gharana , Jaipur gharna. Maximum classical dancing originated from the religious feelings . But in addition to these classical dancing there are numerous forms of folk tribal dance which can be found in India.
Indians always believed in the divine association of the music. In India mainly two school of classical style can be found one is north Indian Hindustani style one is south Indian Carnatic style of singing. Like dance, music has a rich and robust folk tradition and music is inextricably woven into the fabric of rural India. Contemporary music of India includes even jazz. Pop, rock .
Paintings are the favorite way of expressing some one's feelings. In ancient India it has been even used as a tool to demonstrate someones religious beliefs. Cave Paintings from Ajanata, Elora, Khajurago And Temple Paintings all are the testimony of this truth only. Most Rock art in India is mostly influenced by Hinduism or Buddhism. Painting is not necessarily always made on a paper canvas or on the rocks in India a freshly made colored flour design (rangoli) is still a common sight outside the doorstep of many (mostly South Indian) Indian homes.
Popular cinema is how much popular can be understand with this small fact that over 900 films are made and released in India annually. In a country where cine stars get similar treatments like god nobody simply deny that popular cinema is very much an integral part of the Indian society, as we all know cinema is the mirror of the society.
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Style of Dress
India is a land of color and diverse cultures, so evident in the varied dresses that grace its people. Indian traditional way of dressing is marked by variations, both religious and regional with a wide choice of textures and styles. Simple Sari is draped by the Indian girls of different region in different style. Traditional dress for Rajasthani and Gujarati girls are colorful Ghagra choli. South Indian girls Wear half sari with duppatta. Churidar kurta is worn by the north Indian girls but now a days quite popular with the young generation as well. Western dressing style is gaining its popularity amongst the urban youth.India’s one billion people have descended from a variety of races. The oldest ones are the Negroid aboriginals called the Adivasis or First settlers. Then there are the Dravidians, The Aryans, the Mongols, The Semites and innumerable inter-mixtures of one with the other.
The great Epic, The Mahabharata and the sacred text, the Bhagavad-Gita teaches the Indians that survival can only be in terms of quality of life. It provides a framework of values to make the Indian culture well- groomed.
Swami Vivekananda (1863- 1902) laid stress on physical development as a prerequisite for spiritual development, which in turn leads to the development of the culture of the country. For the past 1000 years various foreign invasions like that of the Huns, the Kushanas, The Arabs, The Muslims, TheDutch, The French and the British took place. So the Indians were exposed to cultures that were totally alien to them. Several attempts were made by the Indian rulers like the Pallavas, the Chalukyas, the Palas, the Rashtrakutas, the Cholas, and the Vijayanagar Emperors to give the Indians an administration, which was in consonance with the cultural heritage of the country.
Later, religions became an important part in the culture and places of worship became community centers. The innovations in religious thinking brought two popular beliefs in India, namely Buddhism by the Buddha and Jainism by the Saint Mahavir. Then there was a socio-religious shift or orientation in the Indian culture.
Later in the century Westernization of Indian culture began , but it was stemmed by the efforts of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dayananda Saraswathi, Swami Vivekananda, Narayana Guru, Maharisi, Aurobindo, etc. Then there took place a Renaissance, that emphasized the need to recognize the country’s own culture while ushering in an age of modernity.
If India’s culture tended to become tolerant, accommodating, open-minded, deeply but not ostensibly spiritual and concerned with the common human welfare, then it is due to the great and relentless efforts of our great ancestors and leaders. Thanks to them our country has achieved a common culture, despite a staggering pluralistic society.