India is culturally a land of diversities. It stretches from the snow capped Himalaya mountain ranges down the coastal tip of Kanyakumari. Since prehistoric times, Aryans later followed by other tribes from Central Asian entered India and through passes in Himalayas settled in Northern India. The Afghan and the Mughals envated India and built their empires especially in the North. South India continued to be ruled by native kings till the the Mughals extended their empires. So there are wide ranging cultural diversities in India. We welcome you to view these diversities through our Culture Tours.
Taking the Homalayan ranges extending from North to North-East first, Kashmir is Muslim dominated area whereas Jammu is a Hindu dominated area in the Same State of Jammu & Kashmir. Their traditions and cultural ethos contrast. Islam does not believe in idol worship and male dominance goes to the extent of keeping the woman fully covered from head to toe. On the contrary Jammu is famous for the Hindu Goddess riding a lion and the male god Bhairon’s temple is considered inferior.
Himanchal Pradesh represent a different cultural milliu and their language is Dogri. They workship the Forest Goddess among other dieties. North-East Himalayan is inhabited by various tribes with their different cultural practices and traditions. In the entire North Eastern region with seven Indian States, shops are run by females and in some tribes, head of the family is female. It is funny to see girls teasing boys who pass by with eyes downcast. In some tribes, the festivals of the young are organized to choose their life partners themselves.
However, the norm in Indian society, excepting some Northeastern regions , is arranged marriages. But the norms in arranging the marriages vary. In Muslims and in some South Indian ethnic groups, marriage in close relations is permissible. Since Aryans constitute Caste devided society. Marriages between the same sub-caste called gotra is not permissible as well as the inter-caste marriage. But there are ethnic groups who invaded Aryans to secure space for their settlements remained outside the caste system. They are the different clans now collectively called Jat or Gujjar. In order to maintain their purity of blood they marry between their broader group while observing the taboo of not fixing the marriages between the clans of each father and mother up to three generation. However, the barriers are breaking down in metropolitan cities to some extent.
The life styles, traditions, customs, and mores vary from one ethnic group to another in the same region. You will find the striking cultural contrasts between North and South India. North India is the home of Aryans and other settlers who invaded India and their groups settled in India. However, four South Indian States are native Dravidians invaded by Aryans.
There are striking differences in architectural styles, handicrafts and way the different groups people dress themselves and address each other.