India has an extremely rich and diverse culture which expresses itself through celebrations, food, music, entertainment, art and architecture - to name a few.
India is definitely a country of festivals and events – they take place all year round. There are festivals for “everything”. There is the March festival, the Festival of Colour with elephant shows and parades and the Pushkar Camel festival with the popular camel races. The Holi, a Hindu festival, marks the end of winter in February and everyone throws brightly coloured water and powder over as many people as possible in one day. Indian dancing and music are very different from their western counterparts, and the music in particular seems to lack rhythm and harmony, but that’s only in the eyes of the visitors!
India has a huge and glamorous film industry, often referred to as “Bollywood”, as it is situated in Bombay. The Indians love films and their recipe for a good film is music, romance, violence and beautifully hand–painted billboards. A big “hit” in India would be something like a mixture of the Sound of Music and Rambo!
The arts also have a strong influence on religion and there are beautiful Hindu temples and sculptures all over the country.
The world’s tallest Buddha is presently under construction in India. The 500 ft tall statue cost in the region of $200 million. The Buddha statue will hopefully stand for 1,000 years and the Indians hope it will attract Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world.
There are many key attractions, but make sure you visit the Taj Mahal at Agra, the Ganges river at Varanasi, the Himalayas in the north, palaces in the west and such major cities as Mumbai (Bombay), Calcutta and New Delhi.
Tasks and Activities
- Why was Mumbai formerly called Bombay?
- What is the love story behind the Taj Mahal?
- What is the spiritual significance of the Ganges River?
- Make a list of at least five Indian festivals.
- How many Norwegian festivals do you know of? Can they be compared to any of the Indian festivals?