What comes to your mind when you hear the word India? There is a lot to know about this beautiful country and here is your glimpse.
Built in the 20th century, India is one of the most spiritual and diverse countries in the world, with many religions, castes, tribes and several linguistic groups. They are known for their different cuisines, arts and traditions. Bollywood, Temples, Visiting Scientists, Music, Yoga, Mehndi, Spices, Curries, Tea, and more. India has more under its belt than any other country!
The power of Indian food
Known as the spice capital of the world, India’s cuisine is truly unique. They pride themselves in the culinary world with their vast array of dishes from their spice and herb arsenal. Even in modern times, Indians remain traditional with their cooking—integrating their food with ingredients and methods passed down from generation to generation. Apart from that, the cuisine of India characterizes its diverse heritage. And it is worth noting the color and taste that illuminates each plate!
Chaat is a wonderful Indian popular dish. It is made from a combination of potatoes, chickpeas, crispy fried bread, flavored curd, tamarind sauce, dry ginger and fresh coriander leaves. Did you know that chat means three things in Hindi? It means “to lick a finger,” “a delicacy” and “to enjoy with taste”!
A large number of people in India’s population are vegetarians, and korma is a top choice for them. It is a tangy and flavorful stew made from a combination of curd, chillies, garam, saffron and other spices. Although the dish is traditionally vegetarian, it is common to come with meat.
3. Dal Makhani
Another popular dish in India that was first introduced in Punjab, Dal Makhani is a dish made with whole black lentils, red kidney beans, tomato sauce, ginger, garlic, chili and topped with ghee or butter. You can find this dish anywhere in the country.
Drinking culture in India
Although Indians are not heavy drinkers due to the influence of their traditions, beliefs and lifestyle, the country’s drinking culture was invented earlier than claims to the contrary. When it comes to drinking, Indians prefer spirits-based alcoholic beverages over beer, making them one of the strongest nations. And one thing is for sure, Indians make it best with herbs, spices and fresh fruits!
1. Lemon foil
Also known as Shikhanji, this popular street drink is a mixture of lemonade, sugar, coarse salt, and ground cumin seeds, or “jira” as Indians call them. With these ingredients, you can already imagine it and say a vague, sweet and delicious taste in your mouth! Oh, and its name means lime water. A favorite for roadies!
2. Masala chai
Chai means “tea” in Hindi. In Indian drinking culture, masala chai has been an antidote since thousands of years ago when an Indian king claimed a drink that could heal. Spice teas include ginger, black pepper to stimulate digestion, clover to relieve pain, cardamom to boost mood, cinnamon to improve blood circulation, and star anise to freshen breath. Although in modern days, masala chai already varies according to region, culture and family traditions, masala chai is still a traditional drink that is popular on every street in India from sunrise to sunset.
Thandai is a refreshing drink that celebrates spring and honors Lord Shiva, usually served during India’s most colorful festivals. It is made with milk, rose water, sugar, saffron, almonds, watermelon seeds, fennel and pepper. Fun fact: Bhang thandai is a type of thandai served during the festival that has ganja paste as its main ingredient!
Industry in India
Culture plays an integral part in every country. Traditions, beliefs and practices represent this. Indian art is deeply rooted in their traditions, and the world sees them through India’s vast number of art forms in visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, traditional monuments, temples, festivals, wood and metal crafts, handicrafts and more. Indian art forms are highly influenced by the range of their culture.
1. Henna (Mehndi)
Henna or Mehndi is an integral part of Indian culture. This art form is used in Indian celebrations that embody various meanings behind its application to hands or feet, such as weddings, childbirth, pregnancy and other traditional festivals. Even pictures of Indian gods and goddesses are seen with henna art. It is made into a paste from ground henna leaves. In addition, henna is also proven to have natural healing effects on the human body.
2. Zari Zardozi
India is famous for its lace dresses. Zari work is a gold thread embroidery where gold or silver thread is woven into colored silk fabric creating intricate patterns. This artwork is considered to be one of the oldest handicrafts and elaborate art techniques of India.
Dhokra is an ancient Indian casting art form first explored in West Bengal. This art form uses bronze and copper-based alloys to create magnificent metal sculptures. Although Dhokra is a tribal art form, nowadays, it is used to make various accessories, utensils, jewelery pieces and art works.
Immerse yourself further in Indian culture
There is much more to discover about the “Land of Diversity”. India’s food, drink and arts are more interesting than we can imagine. They will embrace you with open arms when you step on Indian soil. And as you wander its streets, you’ll realize how each part of this fascinating country is deeply intertwined with its culture.
We made it accessible to you with our Indian locals from the pink city of Jaipur. Join us to experience two of India’s most beloved traditions through us make chai And Henna and culture Virtual events with DIY kits wherever you are. Virtually experience India like never before!