The term culture refers to a state of intellectual development or manners. The social and political forces that influence the growth of a human being is defined as culture.
Indian culture is rich and diverse and as a result unique in its very own way. Our manners, way of communicating with one another, etc are one of the important components of our culture. Even though we have accepted modern means of living, improved our lifestyle, our values and beliefs still remain unchanged. A person can change his way of clothing, way of eating and living but the rich values in a person always remains unchanged because they are deeply rooted within our hearts, mind, body and soul which we receive from our culture. Indian culture treats guests as god and serves them and takes care of them as if they are a part and parcel of the family itself. Even though we don’t have anything to eat, the guests are never left hungry and are always looked after by the members of the family. Elders and the respect for elders is a major component in Indian culture. Elders are the driving force for any family and hence the love and respect for elders comes from within and is not artificial. An individual takes blessings from his elders by touching their feet. Elders drill and pass on the Indian culture within us as we grow.
“Respect one another” is another lesson that is taught from the books of Indian culture. All people are alike and respecting one another is ones duty. In foreign countries the relation between the boss and the employee is like a master and slave and is purely monetary whereas in Indian culture the relation between the boss and the employee is more like homely relations unlike foreign countries.
Helpful nature is another striking feature in our Indian culture. Right from our early days of childhood we are taught to help one another in need of help and distress. If not monetary then at least in kind or non-monetary ways. Indian culture tells us to multiply and distribute joy and happiness and share sadness and pain. It tells us that by all this we can develop co-operation and better living amongst ourselves and subsequently make this world a better place to live in. Even though India is a country of various religions and caste our culture tells us just one thing 'phir bhi dil hai Hindustani '.
Values in India : Tradition in India is about values that transcend down generations automatically. These are genetic traits and simplicity is the main ingredient. Ancient culture believed in a lot of dogmas and rituals that can be termed as false beliefs and Indians are an intelligent lot to traverse these paths and modify the social requirements. Indians are highly flexible in the sense they would like to imbibe the changes dictated by western influence and yet clearly affirm their belief in traditions.
It is customary to respect elders and touch their feet as to seek their blessings. Occasions or festivals demand a lot of participation in terms of rangoli drawing, diyas and an array of yummy treats made in the authentic variety as per the caste and geography. Hindu rituals are a lot about song and dance and each family has a natural way to adjust to these formats. It is a ritual to pray to the Goddess of learning Ma Saraswathi to achieve success. Similarly business people always insist on drawing the Swastika which marks prosperity and worship the Goddess of wealth.
With the advent of technology and women emancipation there is a trend to mingle free with the western concepts of dress, belief, work and also get into a secular concept. But one can feel a distinct Indianness and most of our brethren abroad miss their homeland. Indians all over the world are known for their hospitality and high level of tolerance. Their adaptation power is high and hence they are able to scale heights in the international arena. Putting oneself on the global map, Indians are seeking new vistas of communicating their beliefs and tradition. The gift of health and well being through yoga and meditation is a great source of Vedas in the rich Hindu tradition which has actually benefited the world.
The values in India is about living life with a zest and observing the belief that there is one God prevailing despite so many religions.
Respecting elders, understanding cross culture traditions, free mingling to accommodate tolerance, staying interested in rural welfare are the values of India. The artifacts, cuisine handicrafts, attire and lifestyle of the rural folks is still followed and preserved by Indians.
Family Culture of India :Family is about joy and sharing. In India, the family culture is all about love and patience. A girl weds into a family and adjusts herself seamlessly to the rituals, routine and cuisine. Of late, one can see a lot of love marriages i.e. cross border mingling which is also being accepted by the elders in the family. Association with religious beliefs and sects is also followed by families as many families believe in a particular Guru or saint who guides them in their spiritual path. Families are also getting nuclear owing to independent lifestyle preference and also the concept where in both husband and wife is working and has demanding careers. This is quite common in metros where families are independent in their upbringing and yet love and respect the elders who reside separately. The earlier homes housed themselves together in very large families where one can actually see three or four generations put up together.
Certain families observe a matriarchal concept i.e. the groom resides in the house of the bride or also follows a tradition as per the bride’s ancestors. Generally India is patriarchal in the sense the children get the surname of the father and the wife changes her surname to follow that of the husbands. It is also a tradition in certain families that the wife changes her maiden name but again this concept is also changing. Indian families are very accommodating and willing to accept change. It is a concept to observe the karva chauth or the raksha bandhan with great aplomb. There is an occasion for gifting and seeking the blessings of elders. It is important to respect and hold certain family traditions which are unique in terms of cooking, rituals and beliefs. Families give a lot of importance to lighting the diya in the evening and also each person in family has a habit of doing the puja in his own way.
Metros are also seeing a lot of family value in celebrating birthdays and anniversaries by observing the rituals and also entertaining outdoors. The Indian culture has imbibed the right mix of western influence and yet maintaining the ethnic family tradition. There is more love in every family while blowing candles on the birthday cake and also lighting the diya to observe an Aarti for the birthday person.