7 Jul 2008

We travel to India


People


India is probably the only country with the largest and most diverse mixture of races. All the five major racial types - Australoid, Mongoloid, Europoid, Caucasian and Negroid - find representation among the people of India.


Languages


India has 17 major languages and 844 different dialects. The Sanskrit of the Aryan settlers has merged with the earlier Dravidian vernaculars to give rise to new languages.Hindi, spoken by about 45 per cent of the population, is the national language. English has also been retained as a language for official communication.Indian literature dates back several millennia to the hymns of the vedic Aryans. The oral tradition nurtured classical literature, and produced great works of philosophy and religious doctrine. It also accounted for compilations of anecdotes like the Panchatantra and the Jataka tales, as well as epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In southern India, the creative energies of the Tamil poets found expression in the great works of Sangam literature. The epic Tirukkural by Tiruvalluvar is a masterpiece of this age. In the north, dramatists like Kalidasa and Bhasa produced great dramas in Sanskrit.


Religion


Hinduism: The Hindu religion had its origin in the concepts of the early Aryans who came to India more than 4,000 years ago. It is not merely a religion but also a philosophy and a way of life. Hinduism does not originate in the teachings of any one prophet or holy book. It respects other religions and does not attempt to seek converts. It teaches the immortality of the human soul and three principal paths to ultimate union of the individual soul with the all-pervasive spirit.The essence of Hindu faith is embodied in the Lord's Song, the Bhagavad Gita: "He who considers this (self) as a slayer or he who thinks that this (self) is slain, neither knows the Truth. For it does not slay, nor is it slain. This (self) is unborn, eternal, changeless, ancient, it is never destroyed even when the body is destroyed."


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