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Indian Culture

India is said to be the country of Unity in Diversity. Here we see an amalgamation of various cultures of people belonging to different languages, religions, races, caste and creed. The various regions of India - South, North, and North-East have their own distinct cultural niches. Despite this wide cultural diversity, the whole country is united as one nation, mainly because of its common historical background.

India is the heir to the rich cultural legacy that took shape down the various epochs of history, through almost five thousand years. It is a blend of multihued customs, traditions and ideas from both invaders and migrants. Invasions through centuries by Islamic races and later, by the Europeans led to the influence of Persian, Arabic and Turkish cultures over the indigenous culture of India. As a result, religious rites and folk idioms have intermingled to create a culture that is unique to this country.

India was the cradle of religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism, which are now widespread, making their presence felt in South East Asia and all over the globe. Religious influence is palpable till date in the "classical" Indian culture mostly in small towns and underdeveloped villages. However, the urban areas have modernized due to globalization.

Apart from regional multiplicity, the different languages spoken all over the country have produced diverse ethnicities of culture. The languages of India can be grouped under two broad categories: the Indo-Aryan languages, spoken mainly in the north of the Vindhya Range, and the Dravidian languages restricted mainly in the Southern peninsula. The official languages of communication for the national government are Hindi and English. The state governments use 22 other languages. Most of the Indo-Aryan languages have been derived from Sanskrit, the classical language of India and South-Eastern Asia. Its importance is equivalent to that of Latin or Greek in Europe. due its literary and spiritual implications, it is extensively studied in the far east, like Japan, and even by scholars in the Western countries. The orthodox language of the Dravidian family is regarded to be old Tamil. The dialects of the state languages are plenty.

The major purposes of the cultural policy of the Government of India are to preserve the cultural heritage of India, to instill perception of Indian art forms amidst the Indians and to encourage high standards in arenas of creative and performing arts.

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