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Indian Subcontinent >> India >> India People and Society

People and Society of India

The fabric of Indian society is woven with myriad threads. The result is multi-textured, many layered and though this diversity has fuelled some dissension, it continues to be India’s strength. One of the most marked things about Indian society is the great diversity. This applies to religion, ethnicity and language as much as to the economic situation. The yawning gap between the rich and the poor is bridged by a large middle class of small businessmen, professionals, bureaucrats etc.

Most Indians actively practice their religion, and despite the creeping westernisation, most of India is socially orthodox. That means that caste distinctions have not been forgotten, man-woman interaction may be frowned upon, and the public display of affection is strictly no-no. The cow is sacred and ‘all ye who forget that-be doomed’. The left hand, which is an indispensable tool for Indian ablutions, is considered impure and isn’t used in passing things around.

On the whole the people of India are warm and welcoming. The guest is next only to God and crooks and touts notwithstanding, and curious looks and probing questions notwithstanding, you’ll find that they are great hosts. Their idiosyncrasies just make it all the more interesting; be patient and you will learn to love the complete package.

The national language of India is Hindi, other than this there are 18 official languages and over a thousand recognised dialects. English is widely spoken here.


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