INDIAN CULTURE: PERSPECTIVE FOR TOURISM
Q1. Describe in detail the chief features of Indian cultural heritage.
Ans. Many characteristic features of our tradition are as follows:
The quality for assimilation is a very strong element in Indian culture. This is evident not only in the adoption of new cultural forms and symbols through history, but also in food habits, particularly in North India, and dresses, building styles, marriage customs, gods and goddesses, rituals etc. Tea and coffee have become staple drinks of north and south India respectively. Potato, chilies, pineapple, tobacco and many other agricultural products have come from foreign lands and become part of Indian food. Bread, Chinese chow-mien and tandoori food are quite popular. Salvar-kameez, pants and shirts are now Indian dresses. New melodies which came from Persia with the Muslims became part of the repertoire of Hindustani classical music.
- Unity in Diversity
Our cultural profile today bears testimony to the diversity and secular basis of our culture forged by popular cultural expression through history. It underlines the central role of the common people in determining the nature of our cultural unity as well. A great deal of information about this has come out in the form of a ………………….
- Patriarchy and Women
Our cultural heritage has not given an equal place to women. It has not been kind to them. Women’s subordination and social oppression have had strong religious and social sanction throughout our history. Crimes against women have been perpetrated against women without any widespread social disapproval right up to the modern times. Most of the traditional crimes against women such as widow-burning (sati) female infanticide, child marriage, have their roots in ancient India and have been reinforced by the modern roots of inequality. The religious texts of the ancient period have derogatory references to women. ………………….
- Syncretic Tradition
Composite culture has been the hallmark of the Indian tradition. Starting with the Aryan migrations to India, the fusion of cultures has constantly taken place giving rise to new cultural forms both at the elite and the popular levels. Examples of this are to be found in the Indo-Greek styles in architecture, sculpture and painting in ancient India, Indo-Islamic architectural styles in medieval India as witnessedin many tombs and mosques erected during this period. In music, this tradition found expression in Qawwali, Tabla, Sitar, Khayal etc. At the level of language, urdu developed as a medium of literature and ………………….
- Religious Tolerance
Religious Tolerance is an important characteristic of our culture. Since ancient times, this spirit has prevailed and the religious issues were sorted out more by debate than by violence. The earlier theory that the Aryans destroyed the civilization and culture of the Harappans is now discarded. In fact, the Aryans and the Harappans ………………….
- The Cultural Traditions of the Elite and the Masses
The Indian culture has been enriched by the contributions of both the elite and the masses. The poetry of Kalidas and the Grammer of Panini, along-with the verses of Kabir and ecstatic dances of the Bad artiste are parts of our ………………….
Q2. Discuss India’s major customs and rituals? Give suitable examples.
Devo Bhava’ is what inspires the hospitality business in India, which is what reflects the most popular custom of India. ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ means that guest is God and should be treated like a deity. This is what is expressed in welcoming a guest with a garland and putting vermilion on the forehead of the guest. There are a number of such customs that are part of Indian society. Even the Tourism Ministry, Government of India has launched the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ campaign to make people aware of India’s rich cultural heritage and the philosophy of treating a tourist like God.
Indians are steeped into various customs and traditions. Right from the birth to death, there is hardly any occasion that does not have an elaborate ceremony. Soon after the birth of a child, an elaborate ceremony to name the child takes place, which is marked by chanting of slokas and singing of hymns. Weddings are grand affairs in India, as they follow various customs and rituals. So, many foreigners come to India to marry in Indian style. Rajasthan is the place that is most popular for royal weddings in India.
Even cremation is done according to rituals after one passes away. Taking a heritage tour to India is one of the best ways to know more about the fascinating aspects of Indian customs and rituals. Festivals are other important occasions when one can see different customs and rituals followed by people. Come on a fascinating journey to the myriad land of different faiths and unique cultures with Heritage in India.
In India rituals and customs are closely knit in social and religious life of people. Almost all the communities or religious groups in India have some customs or rituals assigned to various stages of lifecycle.
Birth and Childhood
Rituals related to birth start as soon as a women conceives a child. In fact there are a number of them which are observed if conception does not take place for some time. The preference for the male child is widespread. There are a number of rituals to ensure the birth of a male child. There are a number of restrictions on the pregnant women for the items of food to be taken. There are restriction on her movements also. In some communities women are supposed to give birth to first child in her parents’ house.
A new born child is supposed to undergo some rituals and ceremonies before he/she is initiated and adopted into religious or social fold of the community. In most cases such customs are rituals related to religious rites. One important aspect of initiation is that they particularly concentrate on male child. Among high caste Hindus the thread ceremony (wearing of the sacred thread) for boys takes place ………………….
Marriage in most of communities is a religious and social affair. Elaborate customs and rituals are associated with it. Beginning with the selection of bride or groom, fixing the date for marriage and performance of marriage all ………………….
Death and After
The rituals and ceremonies associated with death in most cases depend on the philosophy of life and death in different communities. Hindus believe that after death a person is reborn (in other human or animal form). Muslims, Christians and many others do not believe in rebirth. In almost all the communities it is assumed that at ………………….
Q3. What are the salient features of modern Indian Theatre?
Modern Indian theatre was started in Calcutta in 1765 by Levedef, a Russian. Eleven years later, in 1776, a theatre was started in Bombay, the other important town. Gradually, general interest increased in the theatre and this was reflected in the setting up of new theatres. New theatrical companies were established which started touring different cities to stage plays. The plays now began to be identified as a popular art form. Among these companies, the role of the Parsi theatre is particularly important. Apart from Parsi theatre, the traditional folk theatre also got an opportunity. The folk theatre also influenced the westernised theatrical forms. The westernised elite theatre had been confined only to big cities and the elite audiences. The formation of Progressive Writers Association in 1936was soon followed by the formation of the Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA) in 1942 which carried forward the march of folk theatres in India.
- Parsi Theatre: Parsis are renowned for their own brand of humor and nothing illustrates Parsi humor like natak plays. But the contribution of Parsis to the realm of theatre in the Indian sub-continent is no laughing matter. In Kim, Kipling mentions the German painter who traveled with the Parsi theatre company to work on the set. Scholars attribute the start of the theatre in the Indian–Sub continent was by Parsis. Parsi theatre, while based on a British model, became an institution where educated people began to develop autonomy in their city and lives.
In 1840, Framji Cowasjee, a prominent merchant prince, along with other leading citizens of Bombay submitted a petition for the construction of a new theatre to the Governor. After a campaign was carried out in the pages of the Bombay Gazette and in meetings in the Town Hall, the government agreed to underwrite the project. But the new theatre remained an unrealized dream until a generous contribution by Jamshedji ………………….
- Elite Theatre: After its inception under the British, the development of the modern theatre got diversified. The Parsi theatres had their appeal among the lower middle classes. The traditional folk forms like Ramlila, Raslila, Nautanki, Yakshagan and Jatra etc. were popular among the rural population of different areas. It is important to remember that these traditional folk forms had not remained unchanged over the centuries. The Nautankies had begun resembling the Parsi plays and the Ramlilas had also changed from the days of the Bhakti movement.
Besides these two another kind of theatre had started developing, and was different from them. The educated Indians, exposed to the western plays and also to the theatres established by the British, could not have been contented either with the English or the Parsi theatre. This class created a theatre which may conveniently be called the Elite theatre. It started in Calcutta. We have already discussed that the Bengali theatre was the result of the efforts of Levdef (1765) but it had no effect on the common people. For almost ………………….
Q4. Examine the genesis and evaluation of various forms of music in India.
- People’s Theatre: Deen Bandhu Mitra’s Neel Darpan, Bhartendu’s Andher Nagri and Madhu Sudan Dutt’s Boodhe Shaliker Ghare Ran generally focused on people’s struggle against imperialism and feudal obsession. Till 1930, the dominant plays were either the commercial plays from the Parsi theatres or the overtly nationalist plays based on historical and mythological themes. The decade after 1930 witnessed an increasing left ………………….
Music has always been a companion to culture. The sequence of growth visible in music traverses the same sequence as the culture. Thus, in the early stages of its development music and its manifestations – the swara, musical instruments, and to some extent forms of dance – appear to be in a process of growth. Folk music, as we all know, definitely preceded the classical forms.
The form of music might have been practised during the earliest phase of Indian civilization, i.e., the Harappa culture. Contrary to this the Vedic culture abounds in references pertaining to music. All the three forms – the vocal, the instrumental, and the dance music – were prevalent in a fairly developed shape during the Vedic period. The recitation of Vedic humans was essentially a musical exercise. The following references from Rigveda will certainly interest you and add to your information.
Variety of songs
Variety of Instruments
It must, however, any text or realise detailing the tenets of music does not become available to us till the very end of the Vedic period. In the period following the Vedic period, we find a continuously ascending graph of the ………………….
Music is the least documented of all the fine arts of medieval India. Whatever little information we get about the music and its development in the Delhi Sultanate is from the works of Amir Khusru. There is not much change in this situation in respect of provincial kingdoms. Historical information is scanty and at times it becomes difficult to sift history from legend. We shall, however, prepare a narrative account on the basis of piecemeal records handed down to us by history.
The earliest known treatise on music in the medieval period is Sangeet Ratnakar. The text has not been lost and is referred to by the practitioners of music even today. It was composed by Sharangdev sometime between 1210-47 at the court of the Yadav ruler of Devagiri. Besides being a treatise on music – vocal as well as ………………….
their lives to fighting a general apathy as also a feeling of disrespect among the common folk about music they travelled extensively and wrote profusely, and succeeded in reviving that wading interest of the public in Indian classical music.
At the same time some more music devotees were trying to sustain the tradition of music training in the gharanas. Prominent among these was Ustad Alauddin Khan, who came to live and practice music in Maihar, a small state in Madhya Pradesh. He gave to Indian music two of the brightest stars – Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (Sarod player) and Pandit Ravi Shankar (Sitar playcr). The gharana system of music has contributed immensely to the resurgence of classical tradition.
Q5. What are the contributions of the Slave Dynasty in the construction of monuments? Substantiate your answer with suitable examples.
his formal recognition as the Sultan of Delhi from Ghias-ud- din Muhammad, the nephew and successor of Muhammad Ghori in Ghor.
Thus Qutub-ud-din Aibak ascended the throne of Delhi in 1206 and with him started a new line of successive kings in Delhi hitherto came to be known as the slave dynasty in the history of the Delhi Sultanate Qutub-ud-din Aibak and all his successors were slaves to their respective predecessors. Three families of the slaves are known in history after their founders, i.e. Qutub-ud-din Aibak, Iltutmish and Ghias -ud-din Balban. But excepting Qutub-ud-din Aibak both Iltutmish and Ghias-ud-din Balban were slaves only in their earlier career.
The slave kings ruled about eighty four years, from 1206 A.D. to 1290 A.D. Out of the ten kings who ruled during this period five kings rose to prominence and three of them rather reckoned among the greatest Sultans of history. These three greatest Sultans were Qutub-ud-din Aibak, Iltutmish and Ghias-ud-din Balban. The achievements of these three Sultans had enhanced the prestige and importance of the history of the Delhi Sultanate period.
Qutub-ud-din Aibak – Founder of the Sultanate of Delhi
Qutub-ud-din Aibak (also Qutubuddin Aibak, Qutb-ud-din Aibak) ruled for a shorter period of four years, from 1206 to 1210 A.D. He started the Slave dynasty. Virtually Qutub-ud-din Aibak is considered to be the founder of the Delhi Sultanate. It was Aibak who saved the infant state from all its impending dangers and immediate break up and also gave it its required stability.
Aibak realized that it would not be worthwhile to crave for suzerainty over Gazni as that would cost him heavily. Hence he accepted the over lordship of Tazi-ud-din Yilduz in Gazni and Nasir-ud-din Qabacha (also Kubacha) on Sindh and Punjab to the west of the Indus. This action of Qutub-ud-din was indeed prudent enough as that had saved the Sultanate of Delhi from many dangers in its infancy.
Qutub-ud-din also formed matrimonial alliances with the above noted kings so that these rival powerful chiefs might not cause any trouble in future. In fact both Yilduz and Kubacha were the slaves of Muhammad Ghori and they could easily claim their right on the throne of Delhi. But Aibak cleverly diverted ………………….
Q6. Discuss the main archaeological remains discovered in Harappa Civilization.
to remains of early 20th century activities. It includes places of worship, defence installations, burial grounds, farms and fields, and sites of manufacture.
These remains vary enormously in their state of preservation and in the extent of their appeal to the public. “Upstanding” remains are familiar enough – the great stone circles, the castle and abbey ruins of the Middle Ages or abandoned coastal defence systems. But less obvious archaeological remains, such as ancient settlements and field systems, are also to be found across large parts of the country. Some prehistoric sites in wetland areas contain important wood and organic remains. Many buildings in older towns lie on top of Roman, Anglo-Saxon or medieval structures.
Archaeological remains should be seen as a finite and non-renewable resource, in many cases highly fragile and vulnerable to damage and destruction. Appropriate management is therefore essential to ensure that they survive in good condition. In particular, care must be taken to ensure that archaeological remains are not needlessly or thoughtlessly destroyed. They can contain irreplaceable information about our past and the potential for an increase in future knowledge. They are part of our sense of national identity and are valuable both for their own sake and for their role in education, leisure and tourism.
The present century has been a period of striking environmental change. Some changes, like the erosion of coastal areas, have occurred naturally. But much archaeological heritage has been destroyed by human activity – for example, by modern construction methods in urban development and expansion of the road network, by modern agricultural techniques (in particular deep ploughing or drainage of wetlands), and by mineral extraction.
With the many demands of modern society, it is not always feasible to save all archaeological remains. The key question is where and how to strike the right balance. Where nationally important archaeological remains, whether scheduled or not, and their settings, are affected by proposed development there should be a presumption in favour of their physical preservation. Cases involving archaeological remains of lesser importance will not always be so clear cut and planning authorities will need to weigh the relative importance of archaeology against other factors including the need for the proposed development. Regardless of the circumstances, taking decisions is much easier if any archaeological aspects of a development site can be considered earlier in the planning and development control process. ………………….
minerals planning, particularly in the extraction of sand and gravel. River valleys have provided an attractive place for man to settle but at the same time these areas often contain valuable sand and gravel resources. Minerals can clearly only be worked where they are found so they often differ from other forms of development in that there is not the same flexibility of choice of location. The CBI’s revised Code of Practice for Mineral Operators on archaeological investigations provides advice on how minerals operators should consult archaeological interests in formulating planning applications, to ensure that archaeological factors are fully taken into account in the planning decision process.
Q7. Write a note on the wood crafts of India with centre of its production.
In India wood craft continues to be dominated by the expertise of craftsmen. Intervention of machines and the factories in this field is still minimal. Like the potter almost every village has its carpenter. Things made with wood are widely used in day-to-day life. In certain regions even the houses are made with wood. We may not be able to give you the whole range of wood products because of its wide prevalence. However, we will try to give you the important products and list some select centers. Here we will also include bamboo and cane works.
Varieties of Wood and Cane Work:
The most widely used articles of wood are certain agricultural implements, carts, accessories of houses and household furnitures. All the towns and big villages have artisan workshops making these items. Among the agricultural implements plough is most important. These are made in various shapes and sizes with a small iron ploughshare. Bullock carts, the main carriers of goods in rural India, are as widespread as plough in all the regions except hills. The wooden doors and windows are a regular feature. The unique feature is beautiful carvings on these which are specific to diverse ………………….
to 11th and 12th centuries. The walnut and deodar (a variety of pine) are most favourite woods in Kashmir. Fourteenth century palace of king Zain-ul-abdin was almost entirely made of wood with beautiful carvings and lattice work. House boats made of wood in all shapes and sizes are special items of Kashmir. Bowls, wall plates and a host of decorative pieces made of walnut wood are prized items.
In the Rajouri region of Kashmir, a local variety of wood called chikri is used. This grain wood of cream colour is used to make combs, spoons and other small items. In Anantnag fine quality of cooking spoons, sandals and toys of wood are made. Saharanpur in U.P. is famous for wooden furniture, screens and decorative pieces. According to tradition, a few families from Kashmir have settled here and gave impetus to this art. Here the main wood used is shisham. Inlay of brass, bones and ivory (before the ban on it) in wood is a special feature of Saharanpur.
In the South availability of sandalwood in Karnataka has given rise to the wood craft. Beautiful carvings are done here. Large statues and elephants and a host of small pieces of art are made with this fragrant wood. Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh also has a flourishing wood craft. Here the sandalwood used is of red colour (Rakta Chandan). Madura is famous for the use of rosewood.
Q8. Give an account of tribal society in India. Would you like to recommend use of tribal resources for tourism development?
Tribal’s, though possess certain common characteristics which cut across the geographical regions, yet there are some strong local variations. The factors which form the matrix of the social Life are:
- i) geographical environment,
- ii) human resources
iii) techniques of production and economy, and
- iv) kinship network.
These factors constitute the parameters for organised social life. Based on these factors, we now examine the social set up of the Indian tribes.
- Social Organisation
- a) HIMALAYAN TRIBES
- i) North-Eastern Himalayan Tribes
Among the tribes inhabiting the North-Eastern Himalayan region (Garos, Khasis, Janitias, etc.) basic unit of society is the ‘michong’ meaning ‘motherland’. In some ways it is different from a family. All members of a ‘michong’ claim descent from common ancestors. Michong is affiliated with a larger group known as Chatchi. Another social unit is the ‘mahari’ which is the effective unit within the clan-lineage type. ………………….
- ii) Central Himalayan Tribes
The primary unit among the Tharus is family. The number of families constitute a kuri (clan). The clans are grouped together into two groups to create higher and lower moiety which finally form the whole group – the tribe.
- b) CENTRAL INDIAN TRIBES
The Central Indian tribes present a notable common pattern with a few radically different types. In Bihar and West Bengal, Santhals are divided into 12 clans called paris. Each pari is divided into sub-clans or sub-groups. ………………….
- c) WESTERN INDIAN TRIBES
In Western India, the major tribes are Bhil, Gond, Kokna, Dhondia and so on. The Bhils occupy a large area in Central as well as Western India. Their social system maybe described; as polysegmentary with a number of successive narrow segments dividing the entire community into several kindred groups. The basic principle of alignment is matrilineal descent.
- d) SOUTH INDIAN TRIBES
In South India the popular social units are clan and family. The clans are mostly named after the settlement or the territory and it is an exogamous group for all.
- Institution of Marriage
The institutions of marriage is a point on which the tribal people throughout the world follow different practices. There is some degree of differentiation with many mainstream societies as far as institution of marriage is concerned. Indian tribes like tribes in other parts of the world practise several forms of marriages as a matter of ………………….
to maintain small landholdings together. Fraternal polyandry ensured that property remained undivided. This custom of polyandry has been discouraged over the past decades and is now said to be slowly dying out and being replaced by monogamy.
- Family Structure
Tribal India exhibit diverse structures of families because of varied rules and customs among different tribes. Two types of families may be distinguished on the basis of the number of family members: i) simple or nuclear family, and ii) extended or joint family.
The first type represents the basic grouping of the mates and the children. Such families have wry limited number ofmembers. Many Indian tribes like Birhor, Pariya, Korwa, etc. maintain this type of family. If this nucleus is extended by the addition of other closely related kins, then it is called an extended family. If it is further extended by the principle of kinship, then we get a family like the Hindu joint family.
- Position of Women
all the tribes women play key role in running the household. Besides, she helps her husband in chopping wood in the jungle, transplanting paddy, etc. She also weaves the cloth for the entire family. Women enjoy considerable freedom. She participates freely in singing and dancing during festivals and entertains the guests. Among Bhotias women enjoy a greater freedom.
- Village Structure
clan and occupies a particular area in the village called sangao. In every sang, there used to be a bachelors’ house known as morung. Nagas always keep one pig in the enclosure so that the family can provide a feast at the shortest notice.
Q9. Discuss the typology of media. How they promote culture? Explain.
Media is a vast area and a number of methods of communication are adopted through the media in the field of culture and tourism. They can broadly be divided into two categories:
- i) The material developed for specific purpose by the government, industry or individuals in relation to culture and tourism, and
- ii) Mass media which in some way or the other represents culture.
Mass media which includes:
Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. The origin of the name comes from the fact that photographic film (also called filmstock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist – motion ………………….
as persistence of vision — whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Also of relevance is what causes the perception of motion; a psychological effect identified as beta movement.
The Internet (also known simply as “the Net” or “the Web”) can be briefly understood as “a network of networks”. Specifically, it is the worldwide, publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP). It consists of millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and governmental networks, which together carry various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked Web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web.
Publishing is the industry concerned with the production of literature or information – the activity of making information available for public view. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers.
Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works such as books and newspapers. With the advent of digital information systems and the Internet, the scope of publishing has expanded to include websites, blogs, and the like.
A book is a collection of sheets of paper, parchment or other material with a piece of text written on them, bound together along one edge within covers. A book is also a literary work or a main division of such a work. A book produced in electronic format is known as an e-book.
In library and information science, a book is called a monograph to distinguish it from serial publications such as magazines, journals or newspapers. Publishers may produce low-cost, pre-proof editions known as galleys or ‘bound proofs’ for promotional purposes, such as generating reviews in advance of publication. Galleys are usually made as cheaply as possible, since they are not intended for sale.
A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of articles, generally financed by advertising and/or purchase by readers.
Magazines are typically published weekly, biweekly, monthly, bimonthly or quarterly, with a date on the cover that is in advance of the date it is actually published. They are often printed in color on coated paper, and are bound with a soft cover.
A selection of newspapers:
A newspaper is a publication containing news and information and advertising, usually printed on low-cost paper called newsprint. It may be general or special interest, most often published daily or weekly. The first printed newspaper was published in 1605, and the form has thrived even in the face of competition from technologies such as radio and television. Recent ………………….
festivals, handicrafts, fashion, cuisine, television and a whole range of cultural aspects. The culture is covered in three ways:
(i) as information about happenings in these areas,
(ii) reviews, analysis and opinions, and
(iii) through advertisements for the promotion as well as campaigns for or against specific issues.
Q10. Write short notes on the followings:
- a) Unity in Diversity
India, also known as Bharat, is a big country. Her Civilisation is 5000 years old. She has given birth to the world’s most important religions. She provided refuge to other leading religions. People of many races have come to India and settled here. She absorbed them all into her blood and fraternised them as her children. Unity and synthesis are the embodiments of Indian culture.
Physical Diversity and Unity:
India is a vast country extending from the Himalayas in the North to Kanyakumari in the South. The Himalayas separate her from the rest of Asia. The Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean make her a peninsula. We find endless diversity in the Indian sub-continent from the physical point of view.
India-An Ethnological Museum:
India has been often described as an ethnological museum from the human point of view. Her pre-history tells us about the Harappan people who lived in the Indus River areas prior to the coming of the Aryans.
- b) Kumbh Mela
a pot (kumbha) of “amrit” – the nectar of immorality. During the struggle for the possession of the “amrit” between the demons and the gods, some drops of the precious nectar got spilt. These fell at twelve places including nether world called “patala”. Four of these twelve places, namely Haridwar, Ujjain, Allahabad and Nasik, are in India and a great fair is held at each of these places in a 12 years cycle. Ujjain is also visited by many pilgrims during eclipses when a holi bath is considered meritorious.]]>