- Indigenous culture is a consequence of the unique mentality of the Indian people
- Indian attitudes towards cows
- Traditional food
- Right hand rule
- Strange marriages
- Castes and Varnas
- Holidays of the Indian people
The topic of our review is India. The traditions and history of this country and its people are of interest to many.
India has existed for more than five thousand years. Throughout this time, the cultural traditions of India have undergone various changes, but the originality has always been preserved. Few ethnic groups can boast such a strong connection with ancient roots. The scientific and technological revolution leveled the differences between most of the authentic nations. As for India, it seems that this country is freer in choosing a path than any civilized European power. Innovations do not enslave the people, but smoothly and harmoniously fit into the ancient traditions of India, many of which exist and operate at the present time, just as they did many centuries ago.
Indigenous culture is a consequence of the unique mentality of the Indian people
The richest and highly developed civilization of India has been developing all this time according to its own laws, unlike those that changed the mentality of the population of Europe and Asia. To find out what traditions are in force in India today, you must personally go there and settle for a few days in somesome distant, forgotten by civilization, province. Only in this case is it possible to get the most complete picture of the issue of interest.
In India, for many centuries, various nationalities coexisted quite peacefully, originally inhabiting the territory of the Hindustan peninsula. Representatives of various religions and castes honored the rules and customs of each other. India has always maintained its uniqueness, although it has never been isolated from other countries, peoples and beliefs.
Through trade routes have long passed through India. The fertile and rich land supplied the world with the best spices and gems, talented craftsmen and artisans made exquisite household items, dishes, fabrics, etc. All this spread throughout the world, and found its admirers in every country. After the invasion of India by Great Britain, associated with the discovery of a diamond deposit, and, as a result, almost two hundred years of colonization, India underwent, as they say, a very tough test of strength, but survived thanks to the primordial philosophy expressed in peacefulness, tolerance and tolerance of the Indian people. It is not surprising that the modern traditions of India have harmoniously merged and merged with the customs of antiquity. This country is truly the cradle of spirituality for all mankind. Philosophers call India the heart of the Earth - Hindustan, and in fact, the shape resembles this vital organ. It is noteworthy that India is the only country from whose territory the British occupiers were expelled through peaceful and bloodless resistance. Mahatma was the organizer and inspirer of it.Gandhi. Subsequently, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called this great man an enemy of the British Crown and, when Gandhi was imprisoned on a formal occasion, said that Gandhi should not be released even if he died from a hunger strike, which he declared in protest against illegal arrest.
It is generally accepted that Indians, at least for the most part, are vegetarians. This is true: approximately 80% of the inhabitants of this country eat only vegetarian dishes. The emergence of vegetarianism is usually attributed to the fifth or sixth centuries AD. It was then that Buddhists and Hindus adopted the concept of not harming living beings. Some religious groups do not even plow the land so as not to harm the insects, but walk along the roads with panicles, which are used to brush off insects, so as not to accidentally crush them.
20% of the Indian population are Muslims, Christians and representatives of other faiths. They eat meat food. Most often, these birds are chickens and, more rarely, ostriches, turkeys, geese, ducks and quails. Christians, moreover, allow themselves pork. As for beef, eating these animals is punishable by the criminal court.
Indian attitudes towards cows
When visiting an Indian, don't tell him about the delicious beef or veal dishes you cook at home. In India, the cow is a sacred animal. Issues of comfortable existence of cows are solved in the government at the highest level. Cow protection is a matter of national importance. Touriststhey are surprised at how these large and calm animals roam the streets freely, often obstructing traffic. The locals put up with it calmly.
The beginning of the cult of cows is attributed to the second century AD. Scientists explain the emergence of this tradition is very prosaic. By the indicated time, the population density in India had reached a critical level, and a real threat of starvation and extinction loomed over the country. Arable land for growing crops and grazing livestock turned out to be catastrophically small. The jungle was cut down. This entailed new problems - the drying up of fresh water bodies, the extinction of wild animals, soil salinization, and so on. Cows were declared sacred - the death pen alty was due for killing an animal.
But dairy products are not banned in India. There is such a great variety and variety of various options for sour-milk dishes in India that any country that does not profess the cult of cows can envy it.
In addition to dairy products, Indians eat white rice in large quantities. Which country other than China is the largest producer of this crop? Of course, India. The tradition of rice consumption has led to the fact that it has even become a problem - in India, the percentage of diabetic patients is very high, which arose against the background of an unbalanced diet, oversaturated with fast carbohydrates.
Indians never taste a dish at the cooking stage. They believe that the first food should tastedeity, and only after him it is allowed to start the meal for everyone else.
Indians are very fond of legumes. Several dozen species of them are grown in this country - these are mung beans, chickpeas, and all kinds of beans, lentils, peas and soybeans. The most popular bean dish is dal. It is a kind of soup or thick stew. A flatbread is served with the dal. There are also many options for cakes, depending on the composition of the dough and the method of preparation.
Indians living near bodies of water include fish in their diet. However, they do not distinguish between species. The fish is divided into large and small. When you come to a restaurant and ask for a fish dish, the waiter will only ask about the size. It is not customary in this country to distinguish by habitat (sea or river), by fat content or boneiness. This also shows the culture and traditions of India associated with vegetarianism.
Right hand rule
Indians eat with their hands, more precisely, with their right hand. In this regard, some original traditions of India, which are difficult for Europeans to perceive, have developed. Since the right hand is considered clean, and the left, respectively, unclean, they do the so-called dirty work with the left hand and eat with the right. The Indians put their hand in a handful and very deftly, without spilling a drop, pick up even very thin soup.
In major cities, there are European and Chinese restaurants that offer the appropriate cutlery, but the food there still has a hint of Indian. This is due to the aroma of spicy plants added to food. howIt is known that the best and fragrant spices are produced in India. It seems to Europeans that the Indians season their dishes so strongly that the taste of the main products is lost. Spicy herbs not only add a specific shade, but also act as preservatives. In hot climates, food spoils very quickly. Indians do not prepare food for the future and do not put it in the refrigerator after a meal, as we do. They throw away everything they don't eat.
The right hand rule is strictly observed by the Indians at the present time. When going to India, a European should be aware of this, and try not to offend the locals by offering treats with his left hand, and taking or giving money with his right. In general, Indians do not like to be touched by hands. They consider hugging, patting on the shoulder and other physical contacts in public places a manifestation of bad manners and rudeness.
The culture and traditions of India are such that in this country from time to time there are marriages of people with animals. This strikes the Europeans, but by no means shocks the Indians themselves. The union, strange in our opinion, is perceived by the Indians as a natural reflection of the concept of the transmigration of souls. Reincarnation, re-incarnation or transmigration of souls is the evolution of each individual soul. Before getting to the final abode - the human body, the soul lives life in hundreds or thousands of different non-human bodies, and the Bhagavad Gita speaks of as many as 8,400,000 incarnations. Only being in the human body, the soul has the opportunity to complete sucha long and difficult cycle of births and deaths. It is noteworthy that in early Christianity there was also a doctrine of rebirth, but at the Second Council of Nicaea it was excluded from the official doctrine.
In India, European customs are hard to take root. If it seems to us that marriage is most natural for a woman between the ages of twenty and thirty, then the Indians consider it right to marry off daughters before puberty. An older unmarried woman is considered dirty. Bleeding, according to adherents of old beliefs, is an unnatural phenomenon. The woman must be constantly pregnant. If a girl was not married before the appearance of the first hairline, then in the old days her father was deprived of class privileges, and the son born to her was considered a defiler of sacrificial food brought to the souls of ancestors. Interestingly, before the arrival of the British in India, early marriages, when they married newborns and even unborn children, were the privilege of the upper castes. Gradually, representatives of the lower castes joined this tradition. Some archaic traditions and customs of India, for example, such early marriages, were condemned by the most respected politicians, in particular, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and others. The current legal age for marriage is 18 for girls and 21 for boys. However, temple marriages are still considered more legal and at an earlier age than state marriages in the villages.
Castes and Varnas
Speaking of India, one cannot ignore this unusualsocial order system. Most of the country's population, although not 100%, is divided into varnas and castes. Every Hindu knows what class he belongs to, but asking about it is considered bad form. Mahatma Gandhi, India's most respected politician, condemned and fought against this relic of the past.
As for the varnas, there are four of them in India, and they are older than the castes. Each varna has its own symbolic color. Brahmins are the highest class. Their color is white. Iconically Brahmins were priests, doctors and scientists. On the next lower level are the kshatriyas. These are mainly representatives of authorities, as well as soldiers. Their symbol is red. The kshatriyas are followed by the vaishyas - merchants and farmers. The color of this varna is yellow. The rest, those who are employed and do not have their own plot of land, are sudras. Their color is black. In the old days, the traditions and customs of India prescribed for every person to always wear a belt of the color of their varna. Now, in order to make a career and get rich, it is not necessary to be of high class, it is not uncommon for a taxi driver or a waiter in a restaurant to be a Brahmin.
Castes appeared in the second century BC. There are more than three thousand of them in India. It is very difficult to say by what system the division took place - as we have already said, the traditions of India are constantly being transformed. Currently, castes unite people of the same profession, one religious community and a common area of \u200b\u200bresidence or birth. They are listed in the Constitution, there is also an articleprohibiting discrimination on the basis of caste. Prior to the passage of this law, Indians strictly followed the caste law regarding who you can and with whom you cannot marry, from whom you can and from whom you can not take water and food, raw and cooked. There are a lot of restrictions. In addition, in India there is a large percentage of the population that does not have strong ancestral roots. These are untouchables. Also a kind of caste. It includes immigrants from other countries, as well as local residents expelled from their castes for their misdeeds. The untouchables also include people doing dirty work. Dirty means killing living creatures (hunting and fishing), leatherworking, and everything related to funerals.
At present, the traditions of medieval India, when representatives of different castes strictly adhered to the rule of detachment from each other, have softened significantly. There are frequent cases of marriages of young people of different castes. Among politicians there are untouchables, Shudras, Vaishyas and Brahmins.
Holidays of the Indian people
The national traditions of India are most clearly manifested during the big holidays associated with the cult of the gods. As a rule, such celebrations are not limited to one day and are not tied to a specific date. Honoring correlates with the lunar calendar and depends on the phase of the moon. During the holidays, it is considered bad luck to look at the night star. To get to know India better, the first trip to this country is better to coincide with the Diwali or Holi festivals. Participation in such events most fully revealsbefore travelers the most interesting traditions of India. Diwali and Holi are described in more detail below.
In addition to these holidays, in spring and autumn, Indians celebrate the incarnation of the supreme god in the images of female goddesses. They also honor Ganesha, the elephant-headed god who gives wisdom and abundance of the fruits of the earth, for several days. These are far from all the religious celebrations of India. Different provinces and religions add their own holidays.
The traditions and religion of India are very clearly manifested in the way the people of the country venerate their spiritual shrines. All holidays are celebrated very noisily and cheerfully with fairs, music and dances. In addition to religious ones, India celebrates several common public holidays - this is Republic Day, or Constitution Day, as well as Independence Day from the British Crown. On October 2, all of India celebrates Gandhi's birthday. Indians consider him the spiritual father of their country and honor him as the greatest man in the world.
On October 27, the five-day celebration of the New Year - Diwali - begins in India. Another name is the harvest festival, or the festival of lights. These days, Indians celebrate the victory of Krishna and Satyabhama over the demon of chaos Naraksura, as well as several other significant events - the return of Rama (one of the incarnations of Vishnu) from the forest hermitage, the appearance of Lakshmi from the milky ocean, who is asked for material - prosperity and good luck, pacification by Krishna proud Indra and the birth of the divine Buddha.
Besides, one daycelebrating the meeting of brother and sister Yama and Yami. In honor of this, Indians give gifts to their brothers and sisters, most often in the form of thread bracelets. They symbolize friendship, care, trust and protection of each other from outside offenders. If a brother and sister were in a quarrel, then this is the most suitable day to make peace.
All of the above events are marked by the lighting of symbolic fires, the burning of incense, fireworks, fireworks and the explosion of firecrackers. For this, Diwali is called the festival of lights.
This festival is dedicated to Holika, the evil demon goddess who opposes the supreme god of the Hindu pantheon, Vishnu. On the first full moon of the year, at the junction of February and March, the Indians drive Holika away. During the day, Indians arrange a merry procession with music and dancing. In the evening, a large straw effigy of the goddess is made, which is burned at the stake. People and animals jump over this fire. During the festival, you can see yogis dancing on hot coals. It is believed that diseases and troubles are destroyed in this way. The traditional drink of the holiday is tandai with bhang (Indian hemp), it is not recommended to get involved in it. At the beginning of the festival, it is customary to sprinkle each other with colored powders and water with colored water. The paints are made from ground plants - turmeric, indigo, henna, madder, sandalwood and others. At the end of the festival of colors, as Holi is also called, the participants of the fun sprinkle each other with ashes and water mixed with earth.
Indians have long tried on European clothes. Jeans are in the majority of young people from the urban population. And yet, national clothes do not leave the wardrobe of the inhabitants of the Hindustan peninsula. This is not surprising. Cotton, silk, ramie and other fabrics from which everyday and festive clothes are sewn are something that India can rightly be proud of. Weaving traditions go back to ancient times. This is a primordially male profession, and the beautiful patterns woven on the sari and containing various symbols are the fruit of the imagination of hereditary artists and textile masters. They decorate fabrics for saris with embroidery, stencil designs, weaving, sew in mirrors, stones, metal jewelry. Sari fabrics are distinguished by a great variety of colors and brightness. The swarthy skin of Indian women looks great framed by bright fabrics. Pale pastel colors do not suit them. Depending on the region of residence, saris are draped in different ways. Sarees are worn with little cholis.
In addition to the sari, Indian women wear various trousers - loose trousers and narrow, straight pipes. They also have long vests and jackets in their wardrobe, as well as tunic dresses that they borrowed from the men's wardrobe. In general, after visiting India, many Europeans come to the conclusion that it is not always possible to determine the gender of an Indian dressed in national clothes - both women and men like to dress brightly, adorn themselves with metal bracelets and chains, draw bindi on their foreheads.
Ifif you are attracted to India, the history and traditions of this original and amazing country, and you are going to go there, then be sure to learn the generally accepted polite greeting, namaste, with which Indians accompany their meetings with friends. This is a symbolic expression of the phrase "the divine in me welcomes the divine in you" - two hands should be folded with palms and, bowing slightly, touch your forehead with your index fingers.