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Indian culture is one of the most fascinating cultures in the world. This week let’s get to know more about Indian culture.
India, a land with ornate temples, aromatic spices and a heaving population. It is well known that India has a somewhat unique culture which is very different from what is familiar to us in the west. Foreigners can often be overwhelmed by the culture shock when visiting India for the first time. There are many things to see and do there, but these cultural differences are often of fascination to tourists. Here are a few things to know before you visit India.
5 Things Know About Indian Culture
In India, people love a celebration. There are several religious festivals that take place throughout each year and each one is a special occasion. Diwali, the festival of light, is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists in India. The family-oriented festival takes place over five days and is a joyous occasion with blessings and fireworks. Holi, the ‘Festival Of Colors’ is also a great celebration that includes the burning of the demoness, Holika and covering one another in colored powder.
Weddings are a Big Deal
In the western world, weddings are a big celebration, with large sums of money being invested in the day. In India, the average wedding lasts for around three days, with some celebrations continuing for up to a week! There are several ceremonies and celebrations that form an Indian wedding. Some take place privately with only the closest family members of the bride and groom present. Others, such as the Sangeet, involve mingling, singing and dancing before the big day. The main day of the wedding includes around six further rituals.
There are several religions practiced in India. India is a secular state, meaning that the state does not favour any particular religion – although religion plays an important part in the lives of many people living there. Temples in India are often large, ornate buildings and rightfully attractive to tourists.
If you plan on visiting these magnificent buildings there are a few considerations you should make to be respectful. It is customary to take off your shoes before visiting a religious building as feet are considered to be dirty. Despite the warm weather in India, you should have your shoulders and lower body covered before entering a temple. Wear loose clothing in order to remain cool and respectful.
Indian cuisine is often a big draw of tourism. Recipes containing delicate balances of spices have been perfected and passed down through generations. Street food is also very popular here, particularly within India’s busy cities as many families lack the space and facilities to do much home cooking. Foreigners are often surprised to find that Indian’s often eat with their fingers, particularly dishes of rice and curry that we might consider to be ‘messy’.
People are Inquisitive
In the poorer areas of India, you will find that local people are very inquisitive of foreigners. Do not be surprised, or indeed offended if you notice that you are being ‘stared at. It’s often the case that locals are just interested in a new face, and generally speaking, a smile in their direction will likely be reciprocated.
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