Culture the oldest amongst all the civilizations in the

Culture is the mixture of several things like fashion, music, artistry, behaviour, social norms, architecture and even food and dress sense. A living, vibrating and dynamic activity which engulfs the whole of living, in a certain period of time. This is what makes up the whole 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 assimilation of several social behaviors. India has been a huge melting pot of various beliefs and behaviors which make up the different cultures to become it. It is a composite culture due to the multiple influences which have contributed to the creation of values and ethics. The projection 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 grows may be differently with time. It takes generations to give a definite shape and keeps on adding 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 civilization across the globe. India is the only birthplace of the four major religions in the world that is Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. Even India is the home of Indus valley civilization which is one of the oldest amongst all the civilizations in the world. The culture of India represents a mix of its long richness and foreign influences. Warmth in the nature of people found here in not found anywhere else in the world. Also, you will find and feel the Indian culture in all cuisines, dresses, festivals, music, dance, literature, monuments and so on…. And along with cultures and traditions there are superstitions that comes with it. Further, I would like to describe about the few of the cultural differences and superstitions in India.Cultural differences cause behavior and personalities differences like body language, thinking, manners, communication, prejudices etc. For Example: The Cultural difference between two main parts of India that is North and South India is so immense that you will believe that they are two different continents. Even residents of south and north have different prejudices against each other. Those who are residing in northern part will think that south Indians are backward and narrow minded and South Indians will think that north Indian are spoilt brats and undisciplined. This prejudices and lack of communication with each other will result in separation within country. Different culture would have their own typical rules for which they are obliged to follow and accept it. To have an effective communication between people of different cultures within India they would have to accept their differences with open mind.Ethnocentrism plays an important role in hindering the communication between different cultures. Ethnocentrism is forming a group of its own culture and other culture are not considered as their part, which creates illusion that people within the group are good and those who are outside of that are considered bad which I think has negative impact. Due to this it affects the understanding, miscommunication and encourages hostility. One of the best example of it in India is almost 80% of Indians follow Hinduism and around 13% by Islam, because of these two religions being so different in their culture have caused lots of religious Riots like ‘Bombay Riots’, ‘Anti­Sikh Riots’, which has led to increased differences and lack of contact amongst them.Family system plays an important role in India. There are two types of family system in India that is Joint family and Nuclear family. Joint family is given more importance in India as it is followed since long time. In joint family, nearly 2 to 4 generation live together which shows immense respect towards the elder people at their last phase of life. To live in joint family is good but there is problem with the productivity of individual. When any of the family member comes out of the city for job opportunities they need to stay away for 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 between them so that they can understand everything without hurting anyone. The basic necessity of all the members are always taken care of in the joint family which gives security in terms of minimum subsistence for living. Also, Proper care is taken for widowed, physically weak and disabled people. There are few disadvantages of being in joint family in terms of decision 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 child as you don’t have to think about your whole joint family. The economic resources are limited to its wife and children only. Also, nuclear family prefer to have less number of children to give them better quality of life. Their economic and emotional resources are not diluted as they used to be in joint family. The family is also exposed to modern society that was not possible in joint family. The family expense is also reduced which can be used for savings for the future and for leisure. This has several disadvantages also like the child is not well rounded and does not share their stuffs with all siblings. Having a single kid can lead to loneliness as he/she cannot share his/her feelings with other siblings.Collectivism ­Marathi, Hindi, Urdu and other languages of India are representative of traditional 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 in linguistic, semantic and pragmatic structures. Fatalism – The concept of fatalism stems from one of the most characteristic traits of Indian culture ­ spirituality. The notion of Karma and that everything happens for a reason is still significant in the decision making process of many Indians. It also influences the concept of time in India and as a consequence 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 the masculine 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 gender roles overlap, here both men and women are tender, modest and concerned with quality of life. The aim of feminine work was to have good relation with the manager, co­operating with the co­workers and having employment security.Indian communication style has followed generally high context culture. Now, due to westernization it is slowly transforming into the low context culture. In a traditional low context 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 be changed easily as per circumstances, which does not work well with high context mindset where each of the task is to be completed during which it is to be done. Social communication reflects environment of Indian social system. Illiteracy and backwardness are the two main factors of a large section of population for the social structure of Indian society. Due to linguistic diversity in India this problem is becoming more serious. This has increased the gap between the elites and the masses. We can clearly see these problems between high and low caste, illiterates and literates, urbanites and realties. All these social factors are the determining factors of the environment of Indian social 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 by particular 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 still followed in many countries like in India. The reason for the origin of these practice seems to come from uneven ratio male to female because in earlier time in India after independence, 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 but as her age was growing, her parents decided about his marriage in very rich family even without his concern. When she refused the marriage proposal, her parents locked her in a room and restricted his freedom till marriage date. After, both families met there come the topic 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 Lac is not small price, her parents were not that rich. As they were poor, they sold their house and jewelry to fulfill the bride price but unfortunately, they cannot accumulate huge amount that they needed. At the day of marriage, the families met and bride’s parent gave them the money and car. After counting all things, the groom’s parent found that 10 Lac were missing, they just cancelled the marriage and the ambition of being doctor of her was now a dream. Here the upper caste people or the groom can demand whatever they want from bride’s family for marrying. These practices are ugly truth of my society which is present and it’s needed to changed.Immolation of wife after her husband’s death, “Sati” was also well­known practices in India from early 5th century A.D. “Sati” is practice among some Hindu communities by which a recently widowed woman commits suicide either voluntarily or by use of force or coercion. The best­known form of sati is when a woman burns to death on her husband’s funeral pyre. However other forms of sati exist, including being buried alive with the husband’s corpse and drowning. There was biggest incident regarding that in Rajasthan. After death of husband, 18­year­old Roop Kanwar was burned to death by her father­in­law and brother­in­law who forced them to sit on the pyre with her husband’s body. The society all over the country is not same, there are some of the villages where there is no communication at all or very less communication. They don’t know about the law and order they far away from these things and sometimes they even can’t understand things.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 generation to generation. The faith has sprung with a purpose to protect from evil spirits. But some were based on reasoning based on astrology. Here I would like to explain some of the Bad superstitions in India with real life examples.Uncommon marriage is one of the Superstition that is not all over the nation but in the rural area. In, India there was one case in year 2014 about uncommon marriage in which one girl 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 she marries any man, it will ruin his family as well as whole community. Moreover, after marrying 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 in the name of religion. Even the ashes given by them is considered as holy. “Terhavi” is one of the superstation that is believed at my home. In this it is believed that soul of a dead person does exist in some or the other form about the 11 days in the family. And the family becomes free from the impurity of death after 12th day. To be free we need to feed Brahmins, 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 of India. In Northern India, if anyone sneezes before he/she steps out of the house is considered as ill­luck. Whereas in Western India, sneezing is someone is thinking about you 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 if person is talking about any topic or person, if he/ she sneezes at that time then this will come true. So, sneezing at different moment also describes different meaning.The superstitious people have classified the seven days of the week in the different category. They believe that Tuesday and Saturday are not an auspicious day to start a new work. 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 due to lack of education. Thus literacy rate of the country needs to be improved to remove superstitions from India. Otherwise, superstition will reduce the speed of development of our country.In many parts still people believe that if there is itching on right side of the palm, there is possibility of good luck and you will gain something during that day. And the most interesting and funny is if any crow starts to caw on the rooftop of your house then you should expect arrival of guest. To stop all of a sudden to see a cat crossing our path is a widely seen phenomenon in Indian society. It is almost universally believed that this is likely to bring failure to the mission of the person who is going to cross the road after it first 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 chance he/ she is unsuccessful, he begins to believe that it was caused due to that animal. If this incident 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, Lord Jesus dined with his twelve disciples and was later crucified. Salt was spilled on the table on which they dined and, therefore, even now spilling of salt is considered unlucky. They consider Friday as an inauspicious day to start a new work. They also believe that going under a ladder brings ill­luck. Also, when some is going to start his journey, if you see empty bucket or any old man then it is considered as bad. A black spot on a fair lady is considered as protection against an evil eye, while an unfair child is protection against itself and evil eye. The sight of a meteor, howl of a jackal, the wailing of a dog is more dangerous than a bank murderous robbers. If we wear an iron bangle in our right hand, we will not feel afraid or scared (frightened). Even in our sleep we will enjoy peaceful dreams. There will be no disturbance. If a student eats curd or pudding while going to the examination center, his paper will be easy and his success in the examination will be a sure shot. It is all an idea of a silly mind. No one can reason out. If we try to bring round to our scientific view, the people will give a hearty laugh making us an ass. We will have to cut a sorry figure. In our heart of hearts, we know that we are cent­per­cent correct, but we lack the courage to stick to our guns.Ignorance is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge). In our country, there exists a curious mixture of superstition and faith mostly arising out of ignorance. Superstitioninvolves beliefs, practices and procedures based upon assumptions usually concerned with nature 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 and also blindly following what others are saying. To make the backward and superstition minded Indians enlightened, education should be spread widely. Community plays very important role here as the person who influences community knows whom he needs to manipulate 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 and mature enough to take decision so that this type of superstitions is not carry forwarded in this era. Education cultiva­tes reasoning and thinking in a human being and as soon as a per­son comes under the shelter of reason and scientific outlook, he or she, becomes free from blind beliefs. Indians by nature are fatalists and they do not apply their energy to work for the better­ment of their lot. This is the greatest superstition which has undermined and is still undermining the real prosperity of India.To conclude that, we are in such an era where people are judging an individual on the basis of their outer appearance but not on their inner beauty. The truth is we generally are more dissatisfied with everything around us and that brings a very important point home, that like we had to get rid of some of the religious superstition from medieval ages in the starting of Industrial and Knowledge age, its high time we should also get rid of scientific superstition, to bring the balance back where we don’t count destruction of society and environment, and our souls as development. Science says man is evolving and it is becoming more intelligent than the nature, and now it is almost controlling all the forces of 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 of consciousness, the focus is in shopping malls, automobiles, apartments, wealth and investment, mobiles, technology …Unfortunately many of such superstitions are very much prevalent in India, especially in rural India.