Today we travel to India, the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world.
The Indian culture often labeled as an amalgamation of several cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent and is among the world's oldest, reaching back about 5,000 years. Many sources describe it as "Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara" — the first and the supreme culture in the world. Many elements of India's diverse cultures, such as Indian religions, yoga and Indian cuisine, have had a profound impact across the world.
"Unity in diversity" - it is not just another phrase or quotation. But these words are highly applicable to a country like India that is incredibly rich in culture and heritage. A few quotations or statements cannot describe the pedestal that India holds on the world map because of its colorful and unique culture. From the times of Mauryas, Cholas and Mughals to the period of British Empire, India has always been famous for its traditions and hospitality. The warmth in the relations and euphoria in celebrations make the country stand out distinctively. The country's liveliness and generosity attract a number of tourists. The cuisines, festivals, music, literature, and theatre, everything is 'special' in this 'Land of Gods'.
For an Indian, "Namaste" is a common way of greeting outsiders and elders. Both palms placed together and raised below the face not only show the respect for others but it also makes you feel the affection in the greeting others. It is for sure that no 'hello' or 'hi' can create that magic.
Indian people are also famous for welcoming with flower garlands. In Indian marriages, the exchange of garlands between bride and groom is a ritual in itself. People also offer flower garlands to gods and goddesses during their prayers.
Normally, a day in India starts with Surya Namaskar. In this people offer water to the sun and enchant mantras and prayers. Indians worship nature and this is unique about its culture. In Hindu religion, trees and animals are worshipped like gods. People believe in god and keep fast ('vrata') on many festivals. They offer morning's first fresh meal to cow and night's last meal to dog. Nowhere in the world one can find such generosity.
All the religions here start the day with morning hymns and these rich values are inculcated into the kids since childhood. Morning prayers and moral education is also a very important part of the education system in India. Here people are not judged by caste, color or creed. They are judged by their values and this is what makes India a unique place to live.
Allah-Rakha Rahman is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician and philanthropist. Described as the world's most prominent and prolific film composer by Time magazine, Rahman's works are noted for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music, world music and traditional orchestral arrangements. Have a little taste with this live performance along with Jordanian singer, Farah Siraj, and Nepalese Buddhist Nun Ani Choying. This song truly brings together diverse cultures and musical genres, enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!
- Alba Serrano-Miro