Society and the People of India

The people of India make up the world's second largest population and consist of a huge array of attributes which make them a truly fascinating race to study.

The textures and dimensions of Indian culture and society reflect the past glories and splendor of India's rich heritage, geography and culture as well as the inadequacies and equalities of modern Indian life. The end result is this incredibly deep, multi layered and multicoloured society which has shaped the people of India into what they are today.

Five thousand years of rich history, international trade, technology and various occupations have woven an elaborate and colourful pattern on the fabric of the Indian society and people. The huge geographic variations throughout the massive country have resulted in huge cultural and physical differences for the Indian people. Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians along with five thousand years of mass immigration have contributed to the religious aspects of Indian life, languages and the wide ethnicities which populate India.

People of India, Indian man in red turban

The Indian People

The unquestionable beauty of the people of India lies in their spirit of tolerance and forgiveness but more predominantly, it is their unrivalled acceptance of endless change which amazes me. A give and take attitude and the respect for your neighbour are vital in a country as overcrowded as this and without these beliefs the country simply would not work.

Apart from the ruthless touts and crooks which seek to make a living of hapless tourists, the people of India are, as a whole are incredibly warm and welcoming. One thing which amazed me when I was there was the fact that there was no difference in the way you were treated from people of different social statuses. It was more the geographic location which determined the treatment I received from the people rather than how much money they had. I felt the same warmness and compassion from the millionaires in the world exclusive Bombay yacht club as I did from the people who where sleeping on its doorstep. In India, the guest is considered next to God and you will find that they are great hosts, despite the probing questions and curious looks!

Despite the ever increasing western influence, most Indians are incredibly active within their religions and the large majority of the country remains socially orthodox. Caste distinctions lie unforgotten, man and woman interactions are frowned upon in almost everywhere but the big cities and public displays of affections are definitely a real taboo.

Another thing that also intrigued me on my adventure was the willingness of the Indian people to share their happiness and sorrow with one another. They are incredibly open and sensitive people and events such as weddings or birthdays are not constrained to close family and friends like they are in the west but rather the whole community will join in. A lot of festivals, religious or not are all about sharing with your neighbours and friends and being involved in a community. This tradition is as strong as ever and it is something that we in the west could definitely learn from.

India Society

People of India man with bananas

The habits, food, clothing and customs of the people all differ according to ancient traditions crossed with geographic locations and monetary circumstances. Despite this inexplicable diversity which is so apparent throughout India, there is a real consistency of richness and quality in the arts and culture.

The family is king in India and deep rooted family values run through the blood of all Indians. The surname of most Indian men is derived from their origin, occupation or family occupation/caste. Men are still considered head of the family but although they continue to make all the decisions, in an increasing amount of circumstances, they are no longer the sole providers of the family. The woman still cook and except in very wealthy, western homes they will wait until after the men have eaten before they start. Parents command a lot of respect from children and even into adulthood they hold an incredible amount of influence over their sibling's lives. Children are supported financially through college by their parents, alternatively, they are expected to take up the father's occupation.

Ethnic groups

The Indian people have their roots in the six great ethnicities of the world which covers people from pretty much every corner of the world. Click here for more informations on the Origins of the Indian people.

People of India, women in saris

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