Chapter 2 – Indian Culture: Introduction and Characteristics of Indian Culture

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Indian Culture is continuous or addition which further becomes an assert for the coming generations.

  • This is a continuous and never-ending process. It is a precious possession unique to human beings and is known as culture.
  • It is a way of life. Indian Culture is as many sided as life. It includes intellectual and social aspects of any human being.
  • It also takes account of the aesthetic instinct as well as spiritual impulses of human being.
  • It has also an appeal to the subconscious as a force making for the formations of character.

Characteristics of Indian Culture

Characteristics of Indian Culture

Continuity and Change

  • Many great cultures had developed in different countries and regions of the world. Many of them have perished or have been replaced by other cultures.
  • Indian culture has had an enduring character. Despite major changes and upheavals significant threads of continuity can be traced throughout the course of Indian history right up to the present day.
  • Harappan civilization which flourished in the Indian subcontinent over 4500 years ago.
  • Arachnologists have found evidences to show that cultures existed here even before the matures phase of the Harrapan civilization.
  • This tells us that we have a very long history behind us. A process of continuity and change has always been a feature of Indian culture. This shows the dynamic of our culture.

Variety and Unity

  • Indian culture, over the last three mellenia, has successfully, but quietly, observes the best assimilable parts from other religious and cultures, from time and integrated them into itself.
  • Indeed, few cultures in the world have such variety as the Indian culture.
  • A large number of languages and dialects are spoken in our country which has led to the growth of a great variety of literature.
  • Unity in diversity is reflected in our political forms as well. During the early Vedic period, society was pastoral, that is people used to move from place to place in search of pastures.

Secular Outlook

  • The secular character of Indian culture is a result of the intermingling of people belonging to diverse cultural groups over a long period over a long time.
  • There have been instances of occasional conflicts here and there, but by and large, people have lived together peacefully for centuries.
  • The popular cultural traditions of India are the best examples of such cultural synthesis in which a large number of people belonging to different religious come together.


  • The concept of coexistence has not been confined to the geographical and political boundaries of the country only.
  • India has a universal outlook and it has been promoting the message of peace and harmony to the entire world.
  • India has been raising a strong voice against racialism and colonialism. It has protested against the formation of power blocks in the world.
  • India becomes one of the developments of other underdeveloped nations. India has been discharging her responsibilities as a part of the world fraternity and has been contributing to the progress of the world.

Materialistic and Spiritualistic

  • Culture is spiritual development of a race or nations in the field of mind, interests, conduct, thought, art, skills and civilization.
  • India is popularly known to be a land of spirituality to the west.
  • The culture of India is the living expression of the simplicity and profoundly of her people.