If you are a first time visitor to India and especially coming from somewhere outside the South-East Asia region, then be ready for the cultural shock. There will be many things that will pleasantly surprise you. India is culturally rich and the place is a buffet for all those travel buffs who are more into culture, history and routine lifestyle things.
In terms of land area, India is the 7th largest country in the world. On the other end, it is the 2nd largest country in terms of population. Therefore, it has a lot to offer everyone with its cultural diversity, society, and history, both in urban and rural areas.
In modern times, you will find man Indians eating out, especially those who live in the metropolitan and even in small cities and some towns. However, this hasn’t compressed the likeliness of conventional Indian food. If we want to go in the history of Indian food, then we must traverse back as much as the Mughal Empire, who invaded the region in the 16th century.
They were the ones who left a considerable mark on Indian food. As per some latest research, Indian food is also influenced by several other regions and countries. It is best known today for its liberal use of herbs and species along with the large assortment of dishes. The cooking styles within India vary from one region to the other.
You can see lots of different dishes, traditional foods and many different kinds of cooking styles and compare them as you try the local foods.
At a glance, we see basmati rice, wheat, and pulses as the critical most staples of food in India. Indian Diet, in general, is quite rich with spices and curries that include coriander, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, and dried hot pepper among others. Chutneys of different styles, salad and pickles are the most common side dishes on an Indian dining table.
Indian population is primarily dominated by Hindus, who are mostly vegetarian. However, chicken and lamb are quite loved by the non-vegetarian population of the country. The majority of Indian food such as curries are eaten with typical Indian bread. The majority of other food items including rice etc. are eaten with fingers traditionally.
India is well-known in the world for the range of animals that are found in their natural habitat and as well as in the zoos there. The favorable climatic conditions in the country are quite supportive of the wildlife there. In India, you will find 2,000 distinct species of birds, 30,000 species of insects and as many as 500 different types of mammals.
A range of amphibian species and fishes are apart from that. Such diverse wildlife in the country is preserved in 120 national parks and as many as 500 sanctuaries for wildlife in the country. Out of all the variety of animals in the country, some are from the different parts of the Asian continent, while some are native to India.
The most common native animals from India are Greater Flamingo, Snow Leopard, Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, Indian Rhino, Himalayan Wolf, Indian Sloth Bear, and Peacock, etc.
Health Sector and Challenges
As mentioned earlier, India has a large population and that poses a lot of challenges for the developing health sector of the country. You will witness both extremes in terms of the quality of health services. One part of the country would have a glass structure and glitzy steel-based hospitals delivering world-class medical facilities.
On the other extreme, where the majority of India lies is about the ramshackle settlements depending on compromising health facilities.
Awareness stands as the foremost challenge in the health sector of India. Reaching out to the masses to inform about their healthcare is quite challenging. This I a thing that goes hand in hand with the educational sector that is facing similar issues.
Many Indians in rural parts of the country either have no access to the medical facilities or it is quite difficult to get. As per a study, aspects such as availability, utilization, and supply of healthcare facilities are the most critical, which are denied by many of the Indians in remote areas especially.
On top of all the above, there is also a challenge related to the human-power crisis in the healthcare sector. In short, there is one doctor to serve every group of 1,457 Indian citizens, which is not an encouraging ratio.
Finally, it comes to the affordability factor of health services. About 75% of the medical expenses incurred comes out of the pocket of Indians. The private sector can be too costly for an average Indian. The public sector is known for offering medical services at low or no cost at all. But, the quality of service and reliability becomes a great concern in the public health sector.
Science and Technological Advancement
Just like any other developing country, science and technology stands at the forefront of the country’s agenda and to make it cope with any other country of the world. The recent Chandrayayaan-2 mission is a clear depiction of where the country is heading at the moment.
In terms of market size and for the scientific publications, India is ranked at 6th position. For patents, it is ranked in the 10th position for patents that only includes the resident applications.
India on the Global Innovation Index was ranked at 81st position in 2015. This raking was considerably improved in subsequent years and managed to jump to the 60th position in 2017.
A lot of investment has been made by the Government of India in the research sector. This resulted in building extensive and well-equipped research parks with Technology Business Incubators (TBI). This is something, which would promote innovation in technology and would lead to the phase when they would become commercial ventures.
The recent development had put India quite high on the world map in the technology sector. The country is at 3rd position now for being the largest hub of technology startups. As many as 1,000 new companies have started in 2017 followed by many more in the following years to date.
The product development market and engineering R&D is expected to grow in India at 20.55% CAGR. This would reach 45 billion USD by the end of 2020. Please note that the same was around 28 billion USB by the end of the fiscal year. Several government initiatives are in pipeline, while many others have started to give the expected profits. This is a significant jump and shows bright signs for the development of the science and technology sector of India.
Social Norms and nature of the culture
As we can observe India’s community, there are colors, lots of traditional festivals, and activities that are active all year long. You can see their colorful rituals like Holi, Diwali and lots of functions and festivities at the wedding processions.
Music, colors, and traditions make a solid core in this society. You can see most of the Indians are deeply connected to their families. Despite the prevalence of poverty in some areas, people are hardworking and enjoy putting in a lot of effort into their profession. The traditional aspects are very bold and strong. Though globalization and westernization have impacted the way people eat and wear clothes, some people still follow the traditional clothing and other such things very confidentially.
The massive country has a huge population comprising of people who belong to different regions and religions. Most foreigners have adapted the Indian ways of life but some are still seen to make sure they are close to the true culture.
The festivals, rituals, and activities in India are full of colors and you can surely enjoy the rich, traditional culture alongside the latest developmental advancements in the Country.
The families are closely bonded, connected to traditional norms. Hospitality, tourism, exports of locally made goods help in keeping their economy grow better.
If you want to visit India, you will have lots of seasonal and religious activities there to enjoy alongside the native people there.
Some Final Words
India has a lot to offer through its diverse culture and society. It has a rich history that is deeply inculcated in the culture that it has developed. The Indian food with herbs and species is considered quite delicious and with Indian expats, it can be found the world over.
Spices and traditional handicrafts from India have become well-known around the world and prove to be a trademark of the country.
The country is facing quite a bit of challenges in its health sector, which are mostly related to excessive population and lack of awareness. However, on the flip side, the science and technology sector is doing quite well to cope with the progressive world.
With lots of culturally rich aspects in India, nobody would ever regret the decision of going there to enjoy the community’s vibrant nature.