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Indian Culture Has Staggering Variations

Aug 18, 2007
The subcontinent of India lies in south Asia, between Pakistan, China and Nepal. To the north it is bordered by the worlds highest mountain chain, where foothill valleys cover the northernmost of the countries 26 states. Further south, plateaus, tropical rain forests and sandy deserts are bordered by palm fringed beaches.

Side by side with the countries staggering topographical variations is its cultural diversity, the result of the coexistence of a number of religions as well as local tradition. Thus, the towering temples of south India, easily identifiable by their ornately sculptured surface, are associated with a great many crafts and performing arts of the region.

In the desert of Kutch, Gujarat, on the other hand, a scattering of villages pit themselves against the awesome forces of nature, resulting in Spartan lifestyles made vibrant by a profusion of jewellery and ornamental embroidery used to adorn apparel and household linen. In the extreme north is the high altitude desert of Ladakh. Local culture is visibly shaped by the faith Buddhism as well as by the harsh terrain.

Yet another fact of Indian culture is observed in the colourful tribal lifestyles of the north eastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur with their folk culture.

In the central Indian states of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh tribal village life has resulted in a variety of artistically executed handicrafts.

Indias mountains provide skiing, river running, mountaineering and trekking. Its beaches provide lazy sun bathing as well as wind surfing and snorkelling and its jungles provide shooting wildlife with a camera.

Indias history goes back to 3,200 BC when Hinduism was first founded. Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all exist within the country today. As a consequence of Indias size, the history of the country has seldom been the same for two adjoining territories and its great natural wealth has lured a succession of traders and foreign influences to it, each having left their imprint in the country, however faint or localized. Thus, Chinese fishing nets in Kerala are a throwback to that countries ancient maritime trade, while in the north, terra cotta figurines of the centuries BC bear distinctly Greek traces.

Modern India is home alike to the tribal with his anachronistic lifestyle and to the sophisticated urban jetsetter. It is a land where temple elephants exist amicably with the microchip. Its ancient monuments are the backdrop for the worlds largest democracy where atomic energy is generated and industrial development has brought the country within the worlds top ten nations. Today, fishermen along the countries coastline fashion simple fishing boats in a centuries old tradition while, a few miles away.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The India Rental Site
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