India country overview

The people of India

Geography, People, Culture, and Economic Profile

india information index

The people of India

India, often described as a subcontinent, is home to more than 1.3 billion people and is the second-most populous country in the world. The cultural diversity found in India is unparalleled, with a dizzying array of languages, religions, festivals, and traditions that vary dramatically as one traverses this vast nation. This cultural wealth has evolved over thousands of years, influenced by historical invasions, trade, and the unique geography of the region. In this article, we explore the multifaceted cultural tapestry woven by the people of India — a spectrum of unity in diversity. India’s ethnicity is as varied as its landscapes. From the fair-skinned Punjabis in the north to the darker-toned Tamils in the south, and the tribal communities of the northeast to the desert dwellers of the west, each group brings its own unique heritage to the nation’s human mosaic. In terms of language, the Constitution of India recognizes 22 official languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, and Tamil, among others, with more than 19,500 dialects spoken across the country.

Nowhere else in the world do so many religions coexist with relative harmony. India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism — each contributing its rituals, philosophies, and ways of life to Indian culture. Furthermore, India has a significant population of Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, Jews, and followers of indigenous faiths. This plurality is reflected in the myriad of temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras, and monasteries that adorn the country, many of which are architectural marvels.

India’s calendar is a perpetual cycle of festivals, ranging from the national holidays of Diwali and Holi to regional events like Onam in Kerala and Durga Puja in West Bengal. Each festival, whether it celebrates the harvest, commemorates historical events, or honors deities, is observed with fervor and specific customs. Celebrations often involve elaborate preparations, including traditional attire, decorations, music, dance, and of course, sumptuous local cuisines.

Indian cuisine is as diverse as its cultures. Each region boasts distinct flavors and specialties, ranging from the rich and creamy curries of the North to the coconut-infused dishes of the South. Street foods, like chaat and vada pav, are an integral part of the Indian gastronomic experience, and the ubiquitous spice markets add to the country’s sensory tapestry. The use of spices, herbs, and flavorings distinguishes Indian food, making it a culinary adventure for locals and visitors alike. India’s art and craft traditions are a testament to its cultural richness. Classical dance forms, such as Bharatanatyam and Kathak, as well as folk dances like Bhangra and Garba, depict stories and rhythms unique to their place of origin. The country’s music ranges from classical ragas to Bollywood pop tunes. Indian crafts, including textiles, pottery, jewelry, and painting, have gained international recognition with their intricate designs and meticulous artisanship.

Indian society is often described as collectivist, where family and community ties hold significant importance. Traditional values like respect for elders, hospitality, and the concept of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (the guest is equivalent to God) are ingrained in the social fabric. Despite the changing urban landscape, these values endure, reflecting the tenacity of Indian culture.

India, while steeped in tradition, is not isolated from global influences and the complexities of modern life. Urbanization, globalization, and technology are reshaping the lifestyles and aspirations of its people, leading to a blend of traditional and contemporary values. Issues such as gender equality, social justice, and sustainable development are increasingly coming to the fore.

The people of India and their culture form a dynamic and enduring narrative of humanity’s diversity and resilience. Across the tapestry of its languages, religions, customs, and cuisines, India showcases the beauty of cultural coexistence. As it stands at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, India continues to dance to the timeless rhythm of its ancient land, while tuning to the beats of the new world, inviting all to partake in its ongoing cultural symphony.

brics | ICP

and Cooperation

The Information and Cooperation platform IN4U is a digital hub for BRICS members to collaborate, share information, and promote cooperative initiatives. Stay connected and engaged with the latest developments.


The cooperative

The Cooperative Framework of BRICS by IN4U platform is a dedicated digital space for fostering collaboration and cooperation among inter BRICS government entities and international organizations.

BRICS Collaboration Made Easy: Access info & cooperation tools on IN4U.

This website stores cookies on your computer. Privacy Policy