The Republic of India is the seventh largest country in the world, and is unlike any other. It is known to be a country of countries, a kingdom of interconnecting kingdoms, a nation of divided and united nations. This prodigious land has incredibly diverse regions from the breathtaking snow capped Himalayan Mountains to the tropical waterways of the south.
India is an exciting place to be. It epitomizes diversity, and its rapid growth and adaptation to a modernized society leaves it culturally colorful. Community gatherings are common among friends, families, and neighbors for either celebration or sorrow; society in general is very interactive and caring of one another. For the most part, every individual you see in India has no less than 100 other people who support, control, protect, influence, demand, and enable that person’s life. This network will be with them for their entire life. Indian weddings are typically elaborate affairs and arranged marriages are still common, being arranged according to caste and social standing.
India is perhaps the only place in the world where twenty religious streams flow together. It is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, all of which are still practiced today. Any visit to India will be immersed in spirituality. Spirituality has a dominating influence in everything including, food, clothing, home, school, work and friendships. Indian spirituality forms deep connections of the mind and body inspiring the exercise of meditation, an important component to yoga.
For Indians, food has a deeper meaning than just eating. Food is sacred; a way of connecting to God. They are known to eat well, and love to feel guests stomachs full. Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to the Indian subcontinent. Given the range of diversity, these cuisines vary substantially from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Desserts are often gifted and treasured.