India is a diverse country, a fact that is visibly prominent in its people, culture and climate. From the eternal snows of the Himalayas to the cultivated peninsula of far South, from the deserts of the West to the humid deltas of the East, from the dry heat and cold of the Central Plateau to the cool forest foothills, Indian lifestyles clearly glorify the geography. The food, clothing and habits of an Indian differ in accordance to the place of origin.
The Indian culture varies like its vast geography. People speak in different languages, dress differently, follow different religions, eat different food but are of the same temperament. So whether it is a joyous occasion or a moment of grief, people participate whole-heartedly, feeling the happiness or pain. A festival or a celebration is never constrained to a family or a home. The whole community or neighbourhood is involved in bringing liveliness to an occasion. Likewise, an Indian wedding is a celebration of union, not only of the bride and groom, but also of two families, maybe cultures or religion too! Similarly, in times of sorrow, neighbours and friends play an important part in easing out the grief.
The global image of India is that of an upcoming and progressive nation. True, India has leaped many boundaries in all sectors- commerce, technology and development etc in the recent past, yet she has not neglected her other creative genius. Wondering what it is? Well, it the alternative science that has been continuously practiced in India since times immemorial. Ayurveda, is a distinct form of medicine made purely of herbs and natural weeds, that can cure any ailment of the world. Ayurveda has also been mentioned in the Ancient Indian epics like Ramayana. Even today, when the western concept of medicine has reached its zenith, there are people looking for alternative methods of treatment for its multifarious qualities.
With increasing complexities in one’s lives these days, people are perpetually looking for a medium through which they get some peace of mind. This is where another science, that of meditation and spirituality comes into the scene. Meditation and Yoga are synonymous with India and Indian spirituality. Meditation is one of the most important components of Yoga, which is a mind-body therapy involving a series of exercises. The word ‘meditation’ covers many disparate practices from visualizing situations, focusing on objects or images, thinking through a complex idea, or even getting lost in a provocative book, all qualifying as meditation in the broad sense. However in Yoga, meditation generally refers to the more formal practice of focusing the mind and observing oneself in the moment. Many people from India and abroad are resorting to yoga and meditation to de-stress and rejuvenate their mind.
Another widely followed phenomena in India is the Doctrine of Karma that preaches that every person should behave justly as every act or deed comes back in full circle in one of the births of an individual.
A very important aspect of India in the recent past is the emergence of the New Age woman. Women in India are predominantly homemakers, though this perspective is changing. In many places, especially metros and other cities, women are the bread earners of the house or are at par with their male counterparts. The increase in the cost of living/economy has also contributed to the rise in this aspect.
The beauty of the Indian people lies in their spirit of tolerance, give-and-take and a composition of cultures that can be compared to a garden of flowers of various colours and shades of which, while maintaining their own entity, lend harmony and beauty to the garden – India!