Cultural Differences in India

The people of India belong to one of the oldest and more interesting civilizations in the world. Everyone who decides to visit this country becomes mesmerised by its history, culture, philosophy and way of life. Thousands of years shaped India’s extraordinary identity, creating a colourful mosaic of different cultural elements.

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A great proof of the cultural differences in India is the multitude of languages. India’s states have different languages, and some of them are not officially recognised by the Indian government. They are separated in two large language families, the Indo-Aryan group and the Dravidian group: 90% of India’s languages is part of these two. The Indian constitution recognises 22 languages, also known as Scheduled Languages. Some of them are:

  • Hindi
  • Kannada
  • Sanskrit
  • Bengali
  • Punjabi
  • Gujarati

So, it is very important for those who want to visit India, to get informations about the region’s language.

Religion

Hinduism, obviously, is the most popular religion in Indian, practised by almost 80% of the population. Following are Islam (14.2 %), Christianity (2.3 %), Sikhism (1.7%), Buddhism (0.7 %) and Jainism (0.4 %).

Social hierarchy

The caste system is one of the most characteristic elements of India. This system is specific for the Hindu people and it is almost 3,000 years old. It features four categories, Brahmins (top category), Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and the Shudras (lowest category). There are also the Dalits, but they are excluded by the system. These classes define a specific place in the social hierarchy, which means every class leads to certain jobs, economical situation, privileges or restrictions. People that belong to different social classes, cannot get married or have social relations among them.

Through the years, due to social unjustice, there have been efforts to make useful changes to the caste structure.

India offers a great opportunity to see how diversity enriches a country’s identity without sacrificing its unity.