On the 31st of March, 1989, I was born in a middle class Tamil Brahmin family in the city of Bangalore. I did a majority of my schooling in a Christian convent school headed by a principal who was a Muslim. The company that funded the school was headed then by a Sikh. My best friend then was a protestant and the two guys with whom I shared my bench, lunch and now share fond memories with, had the names Munaf Ahmed and Zaheer Khan. And between them I sat, a fat young Tamil kid listening to his two friends arguing in Urdu most often than any other language.
What these memories remind me ten years later is the fact that as a child I was so unaware of the irony of the situation I was in. The whole aspect of being part of such a diverse environment never did once occur to me back then. It’s only today as I was writing this article did it occur to me that, trying to find an example of how people from different religions coexist and live self dependent on each other is not such a difficult task after all. The credit to which has to go to our country and its culture for maintaining unity amidst such diversity.
For 5000 years now, India’s culture has been enriched by the successive waves of migration which has made the culture and the Indian way of life more unique and special in its very own way. The Indian culture is built upon certain habits and conventions that are to be followed when it comes to certain aspects such as family values, religion, education, society, tradition and the roles of men and women in our country.
It preaches several family values and moral values which include- one should always offer respect to elders; one should never use a high tone to address older people; one should not consume alcohol & cigarettes; one should always speak the truth and not engage in violent behavior etc.
Each religion in India again has its own set of rules and set of practices to be followed. Several other values and practices that set our culture apart from the rest include the Bindi (red dot on a woman’s forehead) that are worn by women, arranged marriages, touching feet of elders for blessings, Gurudakshina, Griha Pravesham (house warming ceremony), thread ceremonies for men etc. These few examples of practices are followed by a majority of the people in the country even today. The Indian culture provides our country with its rich heritage and we as a country have been able to sustain the culture and have resisted change even in today’s westernizing world.
Indian culture also offers discipline and helps maintain the integrity of the families that follow these traditional practices. Indian culture has indeed become a multifaceted entity. The metaphysics and ritualistic pattern of Indian religions, its folk culture and ancient arts has gripped the minds of people from all over the world. People come to India in search of peace and salvation from all over the globe. Indian culture has indeed gained a unique place in the hearts of people from around the world. It’s now our responsibility to ensure that the pedestal that India holds in the world map because of its colorful and unique culture survives with pride in the modern era.
The writer is a Raipur based correspondent at Youth Ki Awaaz
Get your free copy of our eBook ‘Tips and Steps on How To Be The Change and Make a Difference’ now. Click here.
Supporters: SaveLife Foundation