Every year, as 15th August inches closer, one can witness people beginning to open their trunks which safeguard their miniature tricolors, meant to be unfurled with pride on the sacred day. Be it Independence Day or Republic Day, the deeply sown seeds of patriotism in our hearts begin to take full shape and our eyes well with pride and happiness as we reproduce a harmonious version of the beautiful composition ‘Vande Mataram’. For most of us, feelings of intense patriotism surface during these two important days and then get tucked away safely into the trunk, just like the sacred tricolor owing to the fact that we generally lead very busy lives in this fast-paced world. Moreover, we now live in a tech-haven adorned in technology, digitalization and many more advancements and it is quite easy to get lost in this plethora of distractions. Quite understandably, the essence of patriotism often fades away into a dormant space in our minds.
However, one needn’t wait for these two special days in order to rejoice and commemorate the marvel that India is. There are plenty of unopened gifts that Indian culture has presented us with and all of them aptly depict the unique intricacies which make our country stand out on the pedestal of art and culture. Being an Indian is no less than a gift, because where else will one find a country blessed with 22 unique languages, 29 diverse states, each armed with its own culture, cuisine and tradition, but most importantly, a magical bond of unity which celebrates this precious diversity? It is no wonder that people who live abroad are constantly enticed by Indian culture and its countless facets. Such is the power of art and culture; it unites people across mighty oceans, brings together individuals of different castes, creed and background and forms bonds that last a lifetime.
A single stroke of paint on the canvas has the power to speak to millions of souls. Similarly, a single speck of Indian culture has the profound power of reaching out to millions of people living across the world. You could take a dip into this ocean too and receive the chance to voice your artistic thoughts by channeling that bundle of talent inside you.
Indian culture and art is clearly the mightiest weapon that India can wield on the path towards progress and development. Absolutely nothing can mimic the magic of a Warli painting from Maharashtra, recreate the passion present in a Madhubani piece from Bihar or reproduce the natural imagery and ethnic beauty of a Rajasthani Mural. Delving into the stories behind these cultural masterpieces can be quite a joyride indeed! Are you intrigued by these incredible creations handed to us by our country? Well, you are in for a treat because here are 10 fascinating facts about Indian culture we bet you never knew!
- Standing tall as one of the Seven Wonders of the World is Taj Mahal and this monument was the brainchild of Shah Jahan who wanted to capture his love for his beloved wife Mumtaz and preserve it forever.
- The British museum has an astounding repository of over 1000 South Indian paintings hailing from the 17th Century.
- It is said that Madhubani originated at the time of the famous Indian epic Ramayana, where King Janaka requested an artist to capture the moment when his beloved daughter was to marry the mighty Prince Rama.
- Pattachitra is the proud face of Odisha and it is made by using completely natural ingredients like tamarind paste, tree gum, conch shells and lamp soot. From palm leaves to silk cloth, this art-form can be depicted on any canvas of your choice.
- Pattachitra is also known to subtly hint at social issues like HIV, dowry, global warming and women empowerment.
- The devastating Battle of Talikota left many talented artists grappling for survival and this led to people flooding the city-gates of Mysore. Thankfully, they were given shelter by the kind-hearted King Wodeyar who encouraged the renowned art-form of Mysore called the Mysore painting.
- Mehendi, which uses Henna to depict art on a woman’s hand during a wedding or festival, often represents a glowing sun on the palm which holds a deeper meaning of ‘awakening one’s inner light’.
- Tanjore Paintings are rich in texture, color and appeal; true to their origin which was in the midst of grandeur and style at the Maratha courts of Thanjavur.
- Warli paintings were born to commemorate tribal weddings in Maharashtra and were painted on the walls of huts to signify the circle of life.
- The Indian art industry stands out on a worldwide scale to such an extent that its value is estimated to be around Rs. 500 crores presently.
Several countries have their unique culture and India has proven its mettle worldwide by introducing art-forms which are not just a feast to the eyes but also proven to be soothing to the body, mind and soul. Art that comes from the depths of the artist’s soul is purer than any word spoken verbally and when this art goes on to represent the talent present in our nation, accolades and praise are sure to be showered in abundance. Be it dance, music, art, craft, pottery or even martial arts, every art-form has its flavor and mood, with an ability to enrapture the audience and put them in a trance.
If you have refrained from pampering yourself with the gifts of Indian culture so far, now is the time for a fresh start! Go ahead and unlock your inner artistic potential and give back to our country by highlighting its fascinating culture. Try to be the best at what you do and the world will recognize you as the Indian who truly understood the meaning of the tricolor. Incorporating our roots into our lives is a small way of appreciating the bounties of our nation. While not all of us can go to outer space and proudly proclaim, ‘Saare jahaan se accha, Hindostan hamara’, each one of us can definitely take a dip into the gigantic ocean that is Indian culture and add to it in our own small way!