The culture of a society means its ideas, customs and art. The culture of a country is its customs, religions, music and dance. The food habits of the people, the festivals they celebrate, their art and handicrafts are all part of their culture.
India is a large country. A unique feature of our country is that all the major religions of the world are practised here like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Shikhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism. There are also many languages
gjid dialects spoken in different parts of the country. There are also great varieties in costume, food-habits, and social customs.
India, being a secular country, provides his citizens the freedom to follow any religion. But we notice many common beliefs and customs among all the religions. On the occasion of festivals we pray, feast, go to the fairs, sing, and dance and wear colourful dresses. We have some festivals which are religious, and there are some festivals which are associated with seasons. Apart from these, we have National festivals such as Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanti.
These festivals are celebrated throughout the country with same zeal and enthusiasam. Some festivals such as Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, Id and Christmas are celebrated in most parts of the country. But Baishakhi, Pongal, Onam, Guruparv, Bihu, Basant Panchami, etc. are the regional festivals celebrated in some parts of the country. Birthdays of gods and other great man are also celebrated as festivals, for examples, we celebrate the birthday of Gautam Buddha as Buddha Purnima, lord Mahavir’s birthday as Mahavir Jayanti, and Guru Nanak’s as Guruparv.
Our culture also includes dance, music and art. Two types of dances classical and folk are in practice in India. Classical dance includes Bharat Natyam which comes from Tamil Nadu, Kathak from North India, Kathakli from Kerala, Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh, and Manipur from simpler and are mostly associated with “seasons. The Punjabis enjoy Bhangra, the Gugaratis enjoy Garba, the Biharis Chhau, the Rajasthanis Ghumar, the Assamese Bihu and the people of Maharashtra enjoy Lavoni.
There are two main schools of classical music. North Indian School is called Hindustani and the South Indian School is called Carnatic. In India we have the Gharana Tradition. A student learns music from his guru by living in his house. Apart from these, we have film music which is very popular.
So far Indian art and sculpture are concerned we have paintings at Ajanta and Ellora in Maharashtra. Miniture art is seen in Pahari, Rajput and Mughal paintings. There are the stupas of Sanchi and there is the TajMahal, one of the bonders of the world.
Indian food habit also differs from region to region. Likewise the dress worn by the people also varies from area to area. Sarees are worn in different styles in different parts of our country. Other popular dresses are salwar kamees with dupatta, dhoti kurta, lungi kurta, lahnga, choli, etc.
Thus we see different parts of our country have different customs, religions, languages, dress, and food habits