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terça-feira, 16 de dezembro de 2014


India is a country occupying 2.4% of the territory on the planet, but containing 16.8% of the population. By July 2006 it was 1.095.351.995 inhabitants.

Of great cultural diversity, India has in its people the portrait of a society rich in customs, but also in ethnic clashes. Hindus and Muslims are always in animosities, by the side of religion. The origin of the Indian people through the invasions of other people makes it clear that cultural diversity is a result of animosities, but it is nevertheless up to preserve the culture.

Hindu culture

Hinduism, the religion of more than 80% of the Indian population does not have a founder. It is based on helping the individual to experience the divinity that is in all parties. She asserts the existence of a supreme being (Brahman) whose various facets are represented by a trinity consisting of the desuses: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is the creator god who puts the universe in motion and is the representation of the creative force. Shiva, in turn, is the destruction or transformation, which destroys in order to build something new. And Vishnu is the conservative god, responsible for the maintenance and conservation of the universe created by Brahma. The Hindu prayers are made by his followers in temples or small shrines. Hinduism is a flexible religion in which there are believers who do not show are Hindus. The sacred codes of religion are based in the Vedas (Sanskrit word meaning knowledge) which are a set of sacred texts consisting of scriptures that include songs, hymns, rituals, sayings and teachings which are divided into four books: Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Artharvaveda. These four volumes are divided into two portions: the portion of the work (polytheistic rituals) and the portion of the knowledge (philosophical speculation), also called Vedhaantha. In Hinduism there is a great respect for the animals, especially the cow, the monkey and the snake. These animals are considered sacred, for in them usually manifest deities.

Buddhist culture

Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings left by Siddhartha Gautama or Shakyamuni (the Sage of the Shakya clan), the historical Buddha, who lived approximately between 563 and 483 BC in northern India, Nepal today. Born Prince, according to his story, he lived surrounded by luxury since childhood and at age 29 he decided to abandon his life and material possessions and lead a wandering life. Buddha discovered that the best way to get to the truth is by meditation, nonviolence and moderation. He traveled to India for 44 years. At 35 years of age (about 525 BC), sitting under a Bodhi tree, on a full moon night, he experienced extraordinary wisdom, understanding the ultimate truth of the universe and reaching insight into the ways of human life. Buddhists call this understanding of "enlightenment". Since then, he came to be called Buddha Shakyamuni. The word Buddha can be translated as: "one who is fully awakened and enlightened." In Buddhism there was no caste system, which attracted a considerable number of fans. This number was increased due to the language used which was not Sanskrit but more popular. The Buddhist religion has no sacred books.

Islamic Culture

Founded by the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century, Islam is a monotheistic religion which follows 13.4% of the Indian population. The Islam's message is characterized by its simplicity: to achieve salvation just believe in one God, pray five times a day, to undergo the annual fasting month of Ramadan, pay ritual gifts and do, if possible, a pilgrimage to city of Mecca at least once in life. As sacred scripture, Muslims have the Koran they believe is the word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. They are also used the Torah written by Moses, the Psalms of David and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

By the eighth century began the Muslim invasion of northern India and after three centuries of battle its attachment was irreversible. It began at that time, and perpetuates until today a conflict between Muslims and Hindus, who are the majority in India. Islam, by having an egalitarian appeal ignoring the caste system, attracted parts of the Indian population marginalized by caste or incontentes with Hinduism. Another point of contention between these religions is the monotheistic nature of Islam that contrasts directly with the Hindu polytheism.

Sikh culture

Sikhism is the mixture of Islam and Hinduism. This religion was founded node fifteenth century by Guru Nanak, who, according to his story, disappeared in a river and returned three days after reciting the phrase "There is no Hindu. There are Muslims" (Puratan Janam-sakhi), its maximum most famous. According to his teachings, religion should be a means of union among human beings, but in practice, this put people in conflict. In this sense, Nanak lamented in a special way the clashes between Hindus and Muslims, as well as the ritual character of practices that departed human beings from the divine search. The Sikhism followers were persecuted in the seventeenth century and, therefore, formed their own army (Khalsa). Its members are characterized by 5 K: kes (never cut hair); kangha (comb); kirpan (dagger); kara (bracelet iron) and kachh (pants). The number of Sikhs in the world is estimated at about 23 million, which makes Sikhism the fifth largest religion in number of adherents. It is estimated that about 21 million live in India, mostly in the state of Punjab.

The Architecture

Indian architecture is significantly well developed. Influenced by various cultures and religions who live in its territory, it has gone through several different phases absorbing every stage elements of each influence. The first phase is characterized by a great influence of Buddhism with the stupas (small temples dedicated to save the relics of the Buddha) and chaityas (cave temples). From the fifth century, the rise of Hinduism and Jainism added to the Indian architecture valances, of which the most important examples are on the hill of Parasnath in Bihar; Abut in Mount Abu in Rajasthan; and Strunjaya in Gujarat. With the arrival of the thirteenth century and Muslims, Indian architecture has added features of the same present in temples like the famous mausoleum of Gol Gundadh (1660), in Bijapur. The Mongolian influences came in the sixteenth to eighteenth and is characterized by the use of luxurious materials like marble, with the biggest example the famous mausoleum Taj Mahal. With the English domination, another style was added to the already rich Indian architecture. Today its buildings ranging from Indian classical architecture and the European architecture.

The sculpture and painting

As well as the architecture, sculpture and painting to Indian were changing with time and new cultures and people who came to India. Marked the beginning of a large Buddhist influences with many sculptures depicting their gods, Indian sculpture that time was marked by works in low relief in columns with common forms of animals that adorned the temples. The reliefs were very well used after the development of Hindu sculpture by reliefs in the sanctuaries. The Muslim influence was responsible for a change of Indian sculpture for linear forms for the pronounced contour instead of the volume makes it an object of decoration. This influence also brought a change of sculpture that failed to portray the sensitive figures of Buddhist gods and went on to portray figures in great detail characterized by multiple arms that were seen present in Hinus and jain temples.

The Indian painting seems to have developed in the beginning, in addition to sculpture and has already fully formed in his first known manifestations, belonging to the period of Sanchi (II-I centuries BC). Being on the road between the East and the West Indian painting, unlike other Eastern paintings, brings more familiar elements of Western culture. Despite the similarities, the Indian art in general is manifested in large part to the service of religion. Although, with great influence from diverse cultures that were for the Indian territory and today is a fusion of the same. Indian paintings can be classified broadly into murals and miniatures. The murals are huge work carried out in solid structures of walls more seen in temples and caves. Have thumbnails are drawings made on a small scale marked by colorful works and rational impressions.


The Hindu mathematics has great influence worldwide, universally known '' Arabic numerals '' are of Hindu origin. Hindus knew the extraction of square and cube root and had notions of the fundamental laws of trigonometry. The mathematical knowledge of the Hindus, so essential to many sciences, were released in Europe by the Arabs. One of the major influences of Indian mathematics in the West is through the mathematical Báscara (or Bhascar), born in 1114, whose name evokes the solution of algebraic equations of the second degree, and quefoi also an important astronomer. His treatise of algebra was based algebra to Europe a few centuries later. Another important contribution of the Hindus for mathematics is the sine function in trigonometry.

the letters

The literature of ancient India is rich and varied and, according to some experts, the oldest in the world. It was in India that brought the first literary manifestations of Western culture, written in Sanskrit (2500 BC). At first the Vedas were written, religious-philosophical work that is the meeting of Hinduism's sacred texts, which tend to be grouped in three blocks: the Samhita, Brahmana and the Sutra. After the Vedas are written the famous epics - Mahabharata and Ramayana - reporting the deeds of heroes and include numerous ancient legends.

Indian fables - especially the Panchatantra and Hitopadeza collections that depict animal stories - were spread over the centuries throughout Europe, becoming, in the opinion of some historians, the basis for a number of well-known fables of the Western world as the Fables of Aesop and The Arabian Nights. Many rich Indian literature features continued influencing medieval literature from various countries in Europe.

The Indian literature also spread by Persia, came even to classical Greece. With the conquest of Spain by the Moors, are introduced Indian corners of medieval Europe.

The contemporary Indian literature is marked by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1913 for his book of poems Gitanjali (Lyric Offering), was a great poet, short story writer, playwright and critic of Hindu art. Another writer of great expression is currently the novelist Salman Rushdie, whose work 'Sons of Midnight', written in English, is considered one of the best contemporary novels. Today, the Indian literature is also very strong in English due to the decision by the decision in 1950 by meeting Writers Workshop to encourage Indian literature published in English.

The Cooking

It is often said that India is more a continent than a country. Within the same territory are housed huge variations religion, customs, languages, cuisine, as well as its topography.
Characterized by the use of many spices and herbs, the Indian cuisine has different influences of foreign people along the Indian history, have settled in the country. These different people, coupled with climatic differences between regions cause a huge change in cuisine between the south and north.
Contrary to common sense, not all Hindus are officially vegetarians. Although found everywhere, strict vegetarianism is most commonly found in the South and in the communities of Gujarat, where contact with the Aryans and the Arabs was lower. Still is in Indian cooking chicken, lamb, goat, fish and other meats. The beef is not eaten by Hindus, as well as pork is not by Muslims.

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The tea - called cay - is found everywhere in India. Other than prepared tea in the West, especially in Europe, it is often more a mixture of milk and sugar than tea, and sometimes contain spices such as cardamom. Everywhere tea is prepared in a slightly different way, thereby providing a wide range of flavors. The tea prepared the way usually drink Europeans (with milk and sugar served separately), is usually found in hotels. Coffee is more easily found in South India, where it is very popular. Another very traditional Indian drink is popular Lassi, a beverage prepared with yogurt that can be salted, sweetened or mixed with fruit.

Other beverages are also found, but are less popular. There is a wide variety of soft drinks in India being the Limca brand best known place lemonade that has a touch of ginger in your recipe. The Pepsi Co. and Coca Cola companies have recently entered the market and its products are found in some places.

With respect to alcohol, there are many brands of local beers that are very good and strong, for Perfect Example, the a famous Kingfisher which is also distributed in many countries such as England and the United States. The local spirits are also of very good quality, especially the Old Monk rum, popularly drunk with Thumbs Up! which is a popular in India cola. Recently some wines have been produced, but are not highly regarded. There is also a shy production of champagne as the Marquise de Pompadour.
Due to the existence of a very large Muslim community, the habit of drinking alcohol is not as common. The access is more restricted to the upper classes.

Respecting local customs

Both men and women should dress conservatively, with clothes that cover your knees and shoulders. Wear shorts away from coastal areas is considered the same as go around wearing only their underwear.

Nudism is totally intolerable anywhere.

You often see two men walking hand in hand, which represents only a sign of good friendship. Many expressions between people of opposite sex, however, are not very well seen.

When entering temples, mosques or family homes, you must remove their shoes.

To sit on the floor, never point the soles of the feet of a person or religious altar. The foot is considered dirty, and the greatest insult you can do to a person is to hit it with his foot or shoe. You should not either touch people on the head.

Any activity that is related to the upper half of your body (eg, eating, offer or receive objects) should be done with your right hand. The left hand is considered little hygienic.

Always ask permission before entering religious worship places. Many Hindu temples restrict the entry of non-Hindus, and some mosques also become inaccessible in times of special rituals.

Always ask permission before photographing or filming each other and respect the right to say no. It is especially inappropriate to photograph Muslim women, some religious ceremonies (cremation, for example), while people are eating or bathing in public. When in doubt, ask your guide.

Do not throw garbage of any kind in the fire, as this may constitute contravention of pollution laws or may also be considered disrespecting any religious ritual.

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