Culture is the mixture of several things like fashion, music, artistry, behaviour, socialnorms, architecture and even food and dress sense. A living, vibrating and dynamic activitywhich engulfs the whole of living, in a certain period of time.
This is what makes up thewhole panorama of our social fabric filtering down from the upper strata to the basic roots,to the common man on the street. The Indian Culture as we know it today is an assimilationof several social behaviors. India has been a huge melting pot of various beliefs andbehaviors which make up the different cultures to become it. It is a composite culture dueto the multiple influences which have contributed to the creation of values and ethics.
Theprojection of our culture has definitely taken a nosedive but something which has lasted,grown and emancipated over centuries cannot easily be wiped out or disintegrated. It growsmay be differently with time. It takes generations to give a definite shape and keeps onadding to itself. It’s always dynamic, something vibrating and acceptable to changes. Indiais wellknown for it’s varied culture and traditions and is one the of the oldest civilizationacross the globe. India is the only birthplace of the four major religions in the world that isHinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. Even India is the home of Indus valleycivilization which is one of the oldest amongst all the civilizations in the world. The cultureof India represents a mix of its long richness and foreign influences.
Warmth in the natureof people found here in not found anywhere else in the world. Also, you will find and feelthe Indian culture in all cuisines, dresses, festivals, music, dance, literature, monumentsand so on…. And along with cultures and traditions there are superstitions that comes withit. Further, I would like to describe about the few of the cultural differences andsuperstitions in India.Cultural differences cause behavior and personalities differences like body language,thinking, manners, communication, prejudices etc.
For Example: The Cultural differencebetween two main parts of India that is North and South India is so immense that you willbelieve that they are two different continents. Even residents of south and north havedifferent prejudices against each other. Those who are residing in northern part will thinkthat south Indians are backward and narrow minded and South Indians will think that northIndian are spoilt brats and undisciplined. This prejudices and lack of communication witheach other will result in separation within country. Different culture would have their owntypical rules for which they are obliged to follow and accept it. To have an effectivecommunication between people of different cultures within India they would have to accepttheir differences with open mind.Ethnocentrism plays an important role in hindering the communication between differentcultures.
Ethnocentrism is forming a group of its own culture and other culture are notconsidered as their part, which creates illusion that people within the group are good andthose who are outside of that are considered bad which I think has negative impact. Due tothis it affects the understanding, miscommunication and encourages hostility. One of thebest example of it in India is almost 80% of Indians follow Hinduism and around 13% byIslam, because of these two religions being so different in their culture have caused lots ofreligious Riots like ‘Bombay Riots’, ‘AntiSikh Riots’, which has led to increaseddifferences and lack of contact amongst them.Family system plays an important role in India. There are two types of family system inIndia that is Joint family and Nuclear family.
Joint family is given more importance inIndia as it is followed since long time. In joint family, nearly 2 to 4 generation live togetherwhich shows immense respect towards the elder people at their last phase of life. To livein joint family is good but there is problem with the productivity of individual. When anyof the family member comes out of the city for job opportunities they need to stay awayfor long time which causes in the formation of nuclear family.Joint family has its advantages and disadvantages compared to nuclear family and vice-versa. In Joint family, People living together in family has mutual understanding betweenthem so that they can understand everything without hurting anyone.
The basic necessityof all the members are always taken care of in the joint family which gives security in termsof minimum subsistence for living. Also, Proper care is taken for widowed, physicallyweak and disabled people. There are few disadvantages of being in joint family in terms ofdecision as individual are not included in taking major decisions of the family.Nuclear family also has its merits and demerits. You can spend more time with you childas you don’t have to think about your whole joint family.
The economic resources arelimited to its wife and children only. Also, nuclear family prefer to have less number ofchildren to give them better quality of life. Their economic and emotional resources are notdiluted as they used to be in joint family. The family is also exposed to modern society thatwas not possible in joint family. The family expense is also reduced which can be used forsavings for the future and for leisure. This has several disadvantages also like the child isnot well rounded and does not share their stuffs with all siblings. Having a single kid canlead to loneliness as he/she cannot share his/her feelings with other siblings.Collectivism Marathi, Hindi, Urdu and other languages of India are representative oftraditional cultures which favor collectivism.
Contacts with the West, English education,and economic independence have promoted individualism for the past twentyfive years.Yet, the majority of speakers remain relatively collective. Collectivism is reflected inlinguistic, semantic and pragmatic structures. Fatalism – The concept of fatalism stemsfrom one of the most characteristic traits of Indian culture spirituality. The notion ofKarma and that everything happens for a reason is still significant in the decision makingprocess of many Indians. It also influences the concept of time in India and as aconsequence business negotiation may take longer and are never rushed.In Masculine society in India, Men are supposed to be tough, focused and material success,while women are tender modest and concerned with quality of life.
The main aim of themasculine work was to have opportunity for higher earning, get attention when needed,progress in your field. On the other hand, in feminine society in India, emotional genderroles overlap, here both men and women are tender, modest and concerned with quality oflife. The aim of feminine work was to have good relation with the manager, cooperatingwith the coworkers and having employment security.Indian communication style has followed generally high context culture. Now, due towesternization it is slowly transforming into the low context culture.
In a traditional lowcontext culture several affairs are done at the same time which leads to flexible timings.Low context culture has first priority for people and relationships and schedules can bechanged easily as per circumstances, which does not work well with high context mindsetwhere each of the task is to be completed during which it is to be done.Social communication reflects environment of Indian social system. Illiteracy andbackwardness are the two main factors of a large section of population for the socialstructure of Indian society. Due to linguistic diversity in India this problem is becomingmore serious.
This has increased the gap between the elites and the masses. We can clearlysee these problems between high and low caste, illiterates and literates, urbanites andrealties. All these social factors are the determining factors of the environment of Indiansocial structure, social system and political system.
There are lots of bad social practices that are carried since ancestors like Child Marriage,Dowry, and selfimmolation by a widow. These are the practices which were followed byparticular Hindu culture which were totally different in the case of other cultures. Dowry(Bride price) is one of the worst practices that was followed all over the world and is stillfollowed in many countries like in India.
The reason for the origin of these practice seemsto come from uneven ratio male to female because in earlier time in India afterindependence, it started decreasing. I would like to discuss a reallife incident in this essay.There was a girl named priya from lower caste with high ambition to become a doctor butas her age was growing, her parents decided about his marriage in very rich family evenwithout his concern. When she refused the marriage proposal, her parents locked her in aroom and restricted his freedom till marriage date. After, both families met there come thetopic of discussion about “Dowry”.
The Groom’s parent asked for bride price of 50 lac(INR) and one car. After some discussion the bride’s parents agreed on that price. 50 Lacis not small price, her parents were not that rich.
As they were poor, they sold their houseand jewelry to fulfill the bride price but unfortunately, they cannot accumulate hugeamount that they needed. At the day of marriage, the families met and bride’s parent gavethem the money and car. After counting all things, the groom’s parent found that 10 Lacwere missing, they just cancelled the marriage and the ambition of being doctor of her wasnow a dream. Here the upper caste people or the groom can demand whatever they wantfrom bride’s family for marrying. These practices are ugly truth of my society which ispresent and it’s needed to changed.
Immolation of wife after her husband’s death, “Sati” was also wellknown practices inIndia from early 5th century A.D. “Sati” is practice among some Hindu communities bywhich a recently widowed woman commits suicide either voluntarily or by use of forceor coercion. The bestknown form of sati is when a woman burns to death on herhusband’s funeral pyre.
However other forms of sati exist, including being buried alivewith the husband’s corpse and drowning. There was biggest incident regarding that inRajasthan. After death of husband, 18yearold Roop Kanwar was burned to death by herfatherinlaw and brotherinlaw who forced them to sit on the pyre with her husband’sbody. The society all over the country is not same, there are some of the villages wherethere is no communication at all or very less communication.
They don’t know about thelaw and order they far away from these things and sometimes they even can’t understandthings.Now, after talking about unusual practices let’s have some few discussions on “beliefs”,India is a country where belief has no end. Beliefs has been passed down from generationto generation. The faith has sprung with a purpose to protect from evil spirits. But somewere based on reasoning based on astrology. Here I would like to explain some of theBad superstitions in India with real life examples.
Uncommon marriage is one of the Superstition that is not all over the nation but in the ruralarea. In, India there was one case in year 2014 about uncommon marriage in which onegirl named Mangli Munda was married to stray dog with all the ceremonies and rituals.The marriage was held as the local yogi told her that the girl possessed illluck and if shemarries any man, it will ruin his family as well as whole community. Moreover, aftermarrying the stray dog it is believed that all the bad luck will Passover with this marriageand afterwards she could marry any other man without divorcing with the dog.Sadhus also called sages are the one who are trusted more than any family member India.Though there are many sadhus we are fraud and cheats, rapes women are trusted more inthe name of religion.
Even the ashes given by them is considered as holy. “Terhavi” is oneof the superstation that is believed at my home. In this it is believed that soul of a deadperson does exist in some or the other form about the 11 days in the family.
And the familybecomes free from the impurity of death after 12th day. To be free we need to feedBrahmins, do some sort of charity to give peace to that soul.Sneezing one of the common things in everyday life yet another belief in different part ofIndia. In Northern India, if anyone sneezes before he/she steps out of the house isconsidered as illluck. Whereas in Western India, sneezing is someone is thinking aboutyou that may be your beloved one’s. In southern India, if father sneezes before the birth ofhis child it is considered as good omen. Finally, in Eastern India, especially in Bengal ifperson is talking about any topic or person, if he/ she sneezes at that time then this willcome true. So, sneezing at different moment also describes different meaning.
The superstitious people have classified the seven days of the week in the differentcategory. They believe that Tuesday and Saturday are not an auspicious day to start a newwork. On the other hand, Thursday is the best day to start a new work. Isn’t it funny?Superstition in India is really a serious concern. People fall in the grip of superstitions dueto lack of education. Thus literacy rate of the country needs to be improved to removesuperstitions from India. Otherwise, superstition will reduce the speed of development ofour country.
In many parts still people believe that if there is itching on right side of the palm, there ispossibility of good luck and you will gain something during that day. And the mostinteresting and funny is if any crow starts to caw on the rooftop of your house then youshould expect arrival of guest. To stop all of a sudden to see a cat crossing our path is awidely seen phenomenon in Indian society. It is almost universally believed that this islikely to bring failure to the mission of the person who is going to cross the road after itfirst being crossed by the cat. Now, I would like to tell reason of rooting this superstitious.For example, any person going on certain mission comes across any animal and by chancehe/ she is unsuccessful, he begins to believe that it was caused due to that animal. If thisincident is repeated several time, the animal is considered as bad omen.People in the West still regard ’13’ as an unlucky number because at the Last Supper, LordJesus dined with his twelve disciples and was later crucified.
Salt was spilled on the tableon which they dined and, therefore, even now spilling of salt is considered unlucky. Theyconsider Friday as an inauspicious day to start a new work. They also believe that goingunder a ladder brings illluck. Also, when some is going to start his journey, if you seeempty bucket or any old man then it is considered as bad.
A black spot on a fair lady isconsidered as protection against an evil eye, while an unfair child is protection against itselfand evil eye. The sight of a meteor, howl of a jackal, the wailing of a dog is more dangerousthan a bank murderous robbers. If we wear an iron bangle in our right hand, we will notfeel afraid or scared (frightened).
Even in our sleep we will enjoy peaceful dreams. Therewill be no disturbance. If a student eats curd or pudding while going to the examinationcenter, his paper will be easy and his success in the examination will be a sure shot. It isall an idea of a silly mind. No one can reason out. If we try to bring round to our scientificview, the people will give a hearty laugh making us an ass.
We will have to cut a sorryfigure. In our heart of hearts, we know that we are centpercent correct, but we lack thecourage to stick to our guns.Ignorance is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge). In our country, there existsa curious mixture of superstition and faith mostly arising out of ignorance. Superstitioninvolves beliefs, practices and procedures based upon assumptions usually concerned withnature of cause and effects and mysteriously connects unrelated incidents and coincidencewith each other. Superstition destroys one’s peace of mind creating insecurity.The reason I founded out why it is prevailing is due to illiteracy amongst the people andalso blindly following what others are saying.
To make the backward and superstitionminded Indians enlightened, education should be spread widely. Community plays veryimportant role here as the person who influences community knows whom he needs tomanipulate other things will be done by community itself. To get rid of this blind belief,the leader of the community should be welleducated, honest, loyal to community andmature enough to take decision so that this type of superstitions is not carry forwarded inthis era. Education cultivates reasoning and thinking in a human being and as soon as aperson comes under the shelter of reason and scientific outlook, he or she, becomes freefrom blind beliefs. Indians by nature are fatalists and they do not apply their energy to workfor the betterment of their lot. This is the greatest superstition which has undermined andis still undermining the real prosperity of India.To conclude that, we are in such an era where people are judging an individual on the basisof their outer appearance but not on their inner beauty. The truth is we generally are moredissatisfied with everything around us and that brings a very important point home, thatlike we had to get rid of some of the religious superstition from medieval ages in the startingof Industrial and Knowledge age, its high time we should also get rid of scientificsuperstition, to bring the balance back where we don’t count destruction of society andenvironment, and our souls as development.
Science says man is evolving and it isbecoming more intelligent than the nature, and now it is almost controlling all the forcesof nature. Religion says man is degenerating because the focus has come to external world,and not to inner world. The focus is no longer in bliss, purity, truth, growth ofconsciousness, the focus is in shopping malls, automobiles, apartments, wealth andinvestment, mobiles, technology …Unfortunately many of such superstitions are very muchprevalent in India, especially in rural India.