The Many Facets Of India Essay Research — страница 2

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it fluently. India declares 15 official languages and 35 additional regional languages. English, the seemingly universal language, is not official in India but it spoken, especially in the urban areas. 35% of India’s adults are literate in one language or another, but as education improves, 80% of children are now enrolled in school with hopes of raising that literacy rate. Schooling is free for children up to the age of 14, and additionally training is available past that for wealthy children of upper castes. The Caste system is one traditional element of India’s culture that still exists despite the government’s discouragement. The system, which divides people into distinctive groups based on wealth and societal stance, affects everything from community organization to

employment. Neighborhoods are patterned to segregate castes, and only people of higher castes hold professional or powerful jobs in part because of influential family connections. Urbanization is helping to reduce the significance of the caste system; in larger cities, anonymity is easier to achieve, and people may not know to which caste their neighbors belong. The family set-up is one excellent example of cultural dissonance. Traditionally, marriages are arranged by the families of the two parties and there is generally a dowry involved. Even now, 95% of marriages are arranged. Women, however, have managed to gain more independence and choice. While they are still expected to be subordinate and modest, women now can vote, file for divorce, and own property. 10% of the

Parliamentary seats are filled by women in India. India’s government is more modern than many foreigners think. The 1949 constitution guaranteed a federal system composed of a central government and subgovernments for each of the 25 states and 7 territories. The President, elected by the people, appoints governors to each other these states/territories. This parliamentary democracy is based on the British system and contains the two houses, the “Rajya Sabha” (Council of State) and the “Lok Sabha” (House of the People). The President has little actual power. As happens in politics, the party with the most seats in the Parliament controls the country. Religiously speaking, India is very diverse. Hindu is the most common religion of the land, but Christian, Muslim, Sikh,

Buddhist, and Jainist beliefs are also prevalent. People are moving! As times change, so do means of transportation. Buses and trolleys carry Indians through the urban areas, and an increase in traversable roads has led the to the logical increase of urbanization and the ability for rural inhabitants to travel to urban areas. Telephones, televisions, and movies are gradually seeping into India’s culture, and a centrally located radar dish brings in news and images from the world outside of India. While the transmission of news is the main objective to India’s telecommunications system, televisions have also been used to broadcast religious re-enactments. (Personal note: See, violence in the media IS worldwide!) India boosts its income by exporting large amounts of raw

materials. While rates of export have decreased recently, minerals such as iron ore, coal, cooper, and manganese. India imports food despite the fact that naturally grown foods are the basis of internal economy. Industrial machinery is also a much needed import considering the importance of agriculture and the lack of “cutting-edge” technology. Agriculture, as in many countries of this region, is indescribably pungent to the country. Indians live off the land, honor the land, and preserve the land in a way that many Western countries could learn a lot from. Countries in this region may not be as advanced as the US is, but they are gradually catching up to us, and perhaps mimicking us, in the areas of technology, communication, and new tradition. All the countries in this area

share characteristics, but each, including India, possess unique cultures and traditions that must be honored. It is that cultural diversity that makes our world such an incredible place, and learning to respect and learn from that diversity is what makes us grow as human beings. Bibliography World Book Encyclopedia, 1997, 1999 Comptom’s