India Cultural Study Research Zyana Tucker-Taylor 74744- Public Speaking/Senior Project Ms. Thomas December 18, 2017 India or originally named Bharat, or the Republic of India, is the country that fills the larger part of South Asia. Because it’s surrounded by water on three sides, most of India forms a Peninsula. Being greatly influenced by the British, the government of India is considered a parliamentary democracy. Being the second most popular country, India has one sixth of the world’s population with an average number of 1.324 billion people. Major cities include: capital city, New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore and many others. It’s a diverse multi-ethnic country that is home to thousands of small ethnic and tribal groups.
Despite its large popularity it only consist of two major languages, Hindi and English. There are probably hundreds of major and minor languages and many hundreds of recognized dialects in India. When traveling to India you should know that India’s currency is the Indian rupee. You should visit some of their most famous landmarks such as the Taj Mahal, Amer Fort or the Red Fort.
(“India,” 2017) Indian subcontinent has a history which dates back to more than 5000 years ago. Its origins lie on the banks of the Indus River and came to be known as the Indus Valley Civilization. The roots of numerous ideas and philosophies can still be traced back to India. The Indus Valley Civilization laid down the foundation of India and Indian history, the Dravidians came in as the inhabitants of this civilization which was called the Harappan culture and flourished for 1000 years. Gradually, Aryan tribes started invading from Afghanistan and Central Asia, around 1500 B.C. The Aryans brought new ideas, new technology and new gods with them and this became an important era in the history of India.
After the Greek power receded there was a phase of uncertainty and that was when Indian history’s first imperial dynasty, the Maurya Dynasty came into power. Founded by Chandragupta Maurya, this dynasty reached its height under King Ashoka. After his death there came no other kings as powerful as him this caused India to then break into smaller kingdoms. Chandragupta II became the unifying force in northern India. India is said to have enjoyed its golden period during this time. Though not as big as the Mauryan Empire, it saw huge developments in the field of art and architecture. Then the Muslim invasions in 1000 AD happened.
The political instability gave opportunity to the Muslim invaders who raided the North India successfully under Mahmud of Ghazni.In the 16th century, Indian history saw the Mughal dynasty getting established by Babur, which lasted for 200 years. This period saw an amalgamation of Indian, Persian and Central Asian influences in the field of art and architecture. Many monuments like the forts, palaces, gates, buildings, mosques, gardens were built during this period, the most notable being the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. During this period India saw the most efficient administration. As the Mughal Empire faded out, other foreign invasions began. India was a country rich with spices and minerals and which caused them to become a target for invasions and colonization. In the late 1400s, Europeans arrived in India and began setting up trading companies.
In 1757, Britain had gained control over most of the country, ruling for 300 years. Uprisings against British rule began in 1856. The first war of Indian independence took place in 1857, after which India was taken over by the British government. In 1920, the famous Mahatma Gandhi began nonviolent protests to push the British out. Gradually the people of India felt the need for independence which then became a national movement. The struggle turned fruitful when the British decided to quit India. Much damage was done by then, because many Muslims felt that an independent India meant a Hindu dominated India.
This led to the demand of a separate Muslim region – Pakistan. On August 15th, 1947, India was declared completely independent after 350 long years of struggle. Pakistan was also created, a place with Muslim majority. Then on January 26th, 1950 India adopted a new constitution and became a republic. Today India has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Rapid growth in the fields of science, education and technology has seen Indians occupying important positions throughout the world. (“Timeline and History of India,” n.d.) Few areas of the world can claim an artistic heritage comparable to that developed in India over the course of more than four millennia. Painting is an traditional form of art in India.The history of Indian painting dates back to the era of Ajanta, Ellora and other murals.
Other famous examples are Buddhist palm leaf manuscripts, the Jain texts and the Deccan, Mughal and Kangra schools. Indian paintings is a portrayal of tradition and depiction of ancient texts and theories in color and anecdotal accounts. It was common during the ancient times have paintings in households in the doorways or indoor rooms where guests stayed. From the early civilization to the present day the paintings provide an aesthetic continuum.
Various traditions that have existed in the country have helped for the evolution of paintings in India. Cave painting is another example we can refer to know further about Indian paintings. The paintings of Ajanta, Bagh and Sittanvasal and temple paintings testify to a love of naturalism. Miniature paintings are those executed on a very small scale on perishable material such as paper, cloth, etc., though this style had been perfected by artisans under the various rules, not many remain today.
Prime examples are the Rajasthani & Mughal miniatures. Contemporary artists have kept up to the times & excel in their modern works, giving free expression to their imagination & artistic liberty. (“Traditional Indian art,”n.d.) Architecture is perhaps India’s greatest glory. Its one of India’s most enduring achievements of the Indian civilization. Different types of Indian architectural styles include a mass of expressions over space and time, transformed by the forces of history considered unique to India. As a result of vast diversities, a vast range of architectural specimens have evolved, retaining a certain amount of continuity across history.
(“Indian Architecture,” n.d.). Among the most-renowned monuments are many cave temples hewn from rock, the Sun Temple at Konarak (Konarka); the vast temple complexes at Bhubaneshwar, Khajuraho, and Kanchipuram(Conjeeveram); such Mughal masterpieces as Humayun’s tomb and the Taj Mahal; and, from the 20th century, buildings such as the High Court in the planned city of Chandigarh. Architecture was one of the reasons I chose India as my country. I was very fascinated with it and how beautiful it was.
Another thing that grabbed my attention were the the beautiful natural landscapes I’ve never seen anything like it. Their culture is very interesting as well. I love how everything is so colorful and full of life. If I could take a trip I definitely would.
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(n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2017, from http://www.culturalindia.net/indian-architecture/ Traditional Indian art, Traditional indian paintings.
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India. Retrieved December 16, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/place/India#accordion-contributors