Cultural heritage is the legacy and intangible attributes of certain members of the society that are inherited from past generations, bestowed and carried to the next generations. It is a unique and irreplaceable kind of relationship which gives responsibility of preservation on the current generation. This essay will describe my Indian cultural heritage and include a critical analysis of my family practices, traditions, norms and values. The paper will finally use my Indian cultural and compare it with the Mexican culture.
My Indian Cultural Heritage
Throughout the history of mankind, people with different cultures do come in contact with others and realize that every tribe has its own different and distinctive culture diversity. A country or a tribe with no cultural heritage is like an impoverished orphan. I believe that all of us have certain roots somewhere.
I am an American of Indian origin and belong to the middle class. I live in a dominantly Mexican society. I have wide experiences with people of different backgrounds who have been very valuable to me throughout my years allowing me to experience different types of cultures. My Indian roots have a deep rooted culture of my past history that am proud to be associated with. My family has been keeping with the Indian traditions over the years and this has been carried forward to our generation. The only problem with our cultural heritage is that it has on several occasions been invaded by a series of invasions but has retained its originality and traditional characters even with western influences.
My Indian connection makes me a beneficiary of ‘the Vedas’. This is a unique body the world’s earliest literature heritage carbonated in 1500 B.C. The term Veda means knowledge and the contents of Veda have been handed down through several generations orally. It is believed that no one authored the Veda but its contents were revealed to the rishis. The believes goes that the contents of the Veda were flashed before rishis’ mind eyes in the depth of their mystical experience, there was no media to transmit the message they received and so transmissions were done orally. As a result, the Veda has remained synonymous with Sruti which means ‘revealed’ (Indian Cultural Heritage).
My family follows the Rig-Veda which is a large book of prayers. There are set of music meant to be sung at appropriate stages during sacrificial rituals. We follow the Atharva Veda which guides our ethical codes and our human behavior. Our worship of god is not like what my white neighbors do. We have the Jataka tales of Buddhism in which the Jaina literature move around several incarnations of Buddha addressing human values and guiding healthy human relations.
There is also a set of literature known as Agama which is basically sectarian scriptures that deals with worshipping a particular God or Goddess. It contains prescriptions of discipline for the worshipper.
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Dancing and Music
Dance and music have been highly upheld by my Indian culture. Dance and music has been so popular that they have been patronized by noble and kings. Different talented Indian musicians have crowned special functions with smooth vibes including the bhajans’ devotional songs. Together with music, dance was and is still encouraged in the modern India. India has been and still is under full dances and folk-lore which flourishes together with classical dances. Musicians like Ahir, Bhil and Bengali have been entertaining us from time immemorial. We have colorful martial dance done with sticks, words and strings which is very popular among Indians (Indian Cultural Heritage).
Art and Painting
Paintings of ancient Indians are a great master piece of all times. This can be seen from the fresco-paintings on the ceilings and walls of Ajanta and Ellora caves which remain big attraction sites. These paintings also show a close association with religion. It is during one of India’s finest artist, Mughals, that fine art rose to a considerable excellence.
Norms and Values
These are like the guidelines that direct us and our tribe in particular enabling us to conduct ourselves in a particular situation. A norm is a guide that defines acceptable behavior in particular situations while values are more like general guidelines. Thinkers of ancient India provided specific guidelines to people on how to conduct their interpersonal relationships depending on the situation. The values were in such institutions like marriage and rituals. My family’s emphasis on rituals seems a bit high. We conduct numerous practices connected with rites de passages, pilgrimages and festivals including the daily worship of gods and goddesses. Every year, my family and other millions of families from all corners of the world congregate on some specific occasions like the Kumba on specific places like Allahabad without being invited or any announcement being made. The values and beliefs attached to this practice have largely remained the same over the years. Our religious practices and values strive towards what we call ‘Samanvaya’ meaning reconciliation and concord (Indian Cultural Heritage).
Indian cuisine consists of traditional foods dating back to several thousands of years ago. The foods are characterized by use of Indian spices and herbs. My family love serving these traditional delicacies with its own style of cooking.
My family follows the above cultural practices and follows the norms to the letter. For us, religion is life and Hinduism is our religion. It permeates my family’s every aspect of life. Hinduism can be passed by birth and that is why there are no missionaries trying to convert people to this religion. The earlier worship of mother Goddess is linked to the Goddess Durga that my family worships.
India has the tradition of waering the most impressive and charming traditional clothing especially for women. My mother and sisters wear the saris daily while working in the field. The saris are a 6m by 2m scarf that demands some skill to dress it. Every sari is available depending on the festive season. I believe our women have an amazing sense of tasteful clothing with bangles and match that with marching point on their forehead.
Once every year, my family celebrates the Diwali festival in October. Our Indian friends join us for this breathtaking experience to commemorate the victory of Lord Rama over king Ravana who was said to be a demon. This is a festival that we enjoy attending putting in mind that truth overrides evil. Exchange of sweets during this season is also a tradition that has been carried over several generations.
I will compare my Indian culture with that of the Mexican culture. Like the Indian culture, the Mexican culture is also one of the most fascinating in the world cultures in the world. Mexicans are very proud of their culture and have preserved most of their ancestors’ traditions. Mexican culture is generally a traditional one with men holding onto the old-fashioned about gender roles. Their culture emphasizes on family and relationships between people (Mexico adventure).
Mexico has no official religion but many Mexicans are Christians (catholic religion). Much of the current religious culture is influenced by the Catholic Church because about 88 percent of Mexicans have been Catholics. Like the Diwali festivals, Mexicans enjoy Christmas holiday celebrated on the 25th of December every year. This is a national holiday to which they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Mexican food has been known to be a delicious cuisine and Mexico’s has a rich food history beginning when Spain conquered Mexico. They served and still serve distinct spices like chili powder used for seasoning food, Mexican desserts like churro. Mexican meals are meant to be savored and are a leisure experience among family members (Mexico adventure).
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Mexico like India has a proud history of outfits. Mexicans have the sombrero which is synonymous with their culture designed to cover them from the hot sun. Costumes are also a big part of Mexican clothing especially during celebrations. Children wear costumes and are involved is some ‘Halloween’ treating. The Mexican traditional clothes carry the same tradition although they have merged with western fashions (Mexico adventure).
The Indian culture invented jazz but the Mexican culture have the mariachi, jarocho and
Norteño music. Mexico’s traditional music has survived generations and the 12 string guitar is still popular way of entertainment. Mariachi’s today are hired for all kind of events like weddings and entertaining guests.
Mexican art cannot be surveyed without explaining the country’s ancient culture. From the Olmecs 1500 BC civilization of stone carvings, wooden statues and pottery, Mexican art has continued to thrive till today. Current Mexican artist can be found in places like Mata where women produce coiled pots and ceramics that are internationally recognized (Mexico adventure).
Since India’s independence, Indians have been keen on promoting their cultural identity and promote unity. My family’s cultural heritage stands for such things like the Veda that we have already discussed above, works of art, cultural achievements and customs that were passed from earlier generations to our present generation. Cultural practices may have been modified from time to time under different environments but diversified racial contributions have not affected our Indian culture and its associated values and practices. Although different, the Indian and Mexican cultures are determined to keep their traditions and pass them to the next generation.
Read about The Cultural Heritage Assessment