Cultural Imprints Of India

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In pre-vedic periods in India, Ayurveda was found according to Ayurvendantana, stated to be divine revelation by Lord Brahma. The valuable knowledge was imparted to Dakhsha prajapati and Lord Indra in the form of shlokas. This knowledge was learned by Bharadvaja from Lord Indra himself. Bharadvaja taught ayurveda to a group of assembled sages who passed down this knowledge to their students. It was descriptively formalized in Charaka Samhita and Sushruta samhita, used for the teaching of Ayurveda in the ancient universities of Takshila and Nalanda. This is how you can culturally imprint your nativity and blend it with a modern outlook. The ideas mentioned previously give a look into the way cultural knowledge is passed and practiced through generations which shapes the society in general.

A culture can be understood as a quality, possessed by all people in a restricted group. These qualities are exclusive to the land shared by the community. It evolves with changing parameters and socio-political routines. Culture is a dynamic set of basic assumptions and values, belief systems, behavioral patterns, which account for individual interpretations of how people outside their group are perceived. To a large extent, culture determines the appearance, attire, manner of speaking, emotional standpoint, food in terms of what we eat, how often we eat, how much we eat, with whom we eat and how we eat are manifestations of the influence of our culture.

Previously, anthropologists consider culture to be an evolving process. From the viewpoint of that, societies outside of Europe and North America thought that other practices were primitive and culturally backward. The countries which were categorized as crude and inferior included all the colonized countries and people such as African countries, India, and the Far East. The preconceived notion of these western countries was mainly due to ignorance, lack of understanding of customs and traditions, and an innate cultural difference.

In retrospect to the above, Indian culture in its true self has a copious ethnic identity and reverence in modern history. India is a self-sufficient civilization that evolved into a colonial and a centralized system. Each part of this culture includes the south, north, east, west, and northeast have their own unique cultural identity. The diversity is so peculiar that all regions have a difference in terms of their geographical features and climatic conditions. It is also an inclusive civilization that follows all major regions in the world. A combination of these factors has resulted in an exclusive, yet inclusive culture- Indian culture.

Indian culture is a composition of various styles and influences. The festivals in India are majorly defined by color, gaiety, enthusiasm, prayers, and rituals. The Indian art can be copious in its nature; its origin can be traced to prehistoric settlements in the 3rd millennium BC. In terms of the traditional forms of music, India mainly has the Carnatic and the Hindustani style of music. The musicality is based on the principles of Nava Rasa or the nine emotions of Rishi Bharata. The focusing point is based on Riaaz, which is seen as devoting yourself to the worship of art. The art is inspired by the stories and beliefs of divinity. The sensibilities of our music can be structured and modified into newer forms of music. The structure is mainly an amalgamation and patterned understanding of Ragas, Tala, and Shruti. Indian music has a lineage and tradition that has changed and evolved with time. Though, the roots are preserved and sustained beautifully. Indian music is a part of an art form that is culturally practiced. Like music, Indian dance form originated from Natya Shastra in 200 AD by Bharata. The basics of dance is taken from the Taandav dance of Lord Shiva and the Devadasi dance (Tanjore Quartet) that forms the rich heritage of traditional dance. One of the oldest surviving dance forms is Odissi and Bharatnatyam, which are still practiced in a gurukul format. The bonding of the guru (teacher) and the shishya (disciple) has been a major cultural factor that resulted in the survival of these art forms. Just like the dance forms of India, Indian theatre and drama were a huge part of our cultural relevance. As per Natya Shastra, theatre is a divine occurrence. Traditional theatrical performance in India deals with the dramatic representation of ancient rituals and festive occasions, which find deeper religious and spiritual significance.

Globally, India has the maximum number of languages spoken in a country. Each language has a historic memory and importance. Formation of every language in India, the structure, phonetics and ease of speaking is based on the socio-economic and political situation which has unfolded in many years. When we talk about languages and its diversity, the indigenous cuisines of India travels back to 5000 years of history. The cultural imprint is fabricated by years of culinary art and methodologies. A peculiar taste that is so Indian, a food that is a mixture of natural spices, herbs, vegetables, lentils, and grains. From East to West, North to South, Indian cuisine seems to be only united by its locale, but its flavor is clearly boundless.

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Indian contributions in the field of astronomy has played a pivotal role in the development of modern day astronomy. The earliest references to astronomy are found in the Rig Veda, which dates back to 2000 BC. All these are well-documented facts and findings which include calculation of occurrences of eclipses, determination of Earth's circumference, theorizing about gravitation and many other theories about the existence of the sun and its role in our solar system. Early cultures related to celestial objects with gods and spirits. They are analogous to these objects to the phenomena such as rain, drought, seasons, and tides. The primary knowledge about astronomy states that the first astronomers to study this subject were the priests (Magi) and it was believed that their understanding of the space was seen as divine. Ancient constructions with astronomical alienations (such as Stonehenge) probably fulfilled both astronomical and religious functions.

When we talk about medical sciences, India has been an expert in Ayurveda and Siddha. As mentioned through the example of how ayurveda came into existence in Indian culture. The imprint which this science has left is globally researched and practiced by many doctors. The practice of medicine in Ayurveda is based on the idea that there is no material in the world that does not have a potential medicinal property. The pharmacopoeia of Ayurveda works on continuous discovery of new medicines from biological and natural sources. Similar to Ayurveda in Tamil Nadu, Siddha medicines came into relevance. It is traditionally believed that Siddha was founded by eighteen Siddhars who contributed immensely to the growth of this field of medicine.

Many of the aforesaid sections rely to some extent on Indian mythology. Mythology forms a part of what we know as ‘folklore’ and in the international community it falls under traditional and cultural expression. Indian mythology is a narrative that is found in text such as vedic literature and epics. It speaks of way of life, politics, war etc. One such example of indian philosophy is taken from Matsyanyay, where a government is like Manu which creates laws and regulations that help the weakest in the system by keeping the check on the rich and by creating a system where the weakest can thrive. The government imposes certain restrictions where the strong business units cannot monopolize the free market to kill the small businesses. The small businesses however should not function on a small level forever. It grows in size and it is dependent on the government to provide the resources to meet their bigger needs. Eventually, the government has given too many resources to these businesses that they are not able to function independently. This theory defines the world level crisis where there is a disparity between the governments wanting to help their citizens and the citizens becoming too dependent on what they are getting for free. Many such assertions, discussing political, economic, social and philosophical phenomena have been part of the culture that shaped India as a country till date and in the future as well.

In prospect to what Indian culture means to people who don’t live in the country and don’t know how their heritage is defined through movies, clothing, music, and dance. India is well known for its film industry. The country's movie history began in 1896 when the Lumière brothers demonstrated the art of cinema in Mumbai, according to the Golden Globes. Internationally, India’s relevance is built up around a lot of things but essentially it generates a huge influx of foreigners who want to visit the country and experience the rich tradition in every nook and corner of the country. The cultural footprint is so prevalent and futuristic that people who visit India are in awe of the heritage and traditional values. The imprints are so valuable that they are followed all over the world in some or the other.

Indian culture is incomplete without its diversity. The idea that the Constitution of a nation supports and respects all religions, genders, linguistic groups and communities reflects the foundation of unity in diversity. Our forefathers have developed a nation inspired from the learnings that unifies every segment of the society based on mutual respect, appreciation, trust, and love.

A country of 1.3 billion people finds peace in cultural values and exchanges. A country where each and every festival is celebrated with equal enthusiasm and vigour mirrors the true fabric of India and its cultural imprints - futuristic yet firmly rooted.

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Cultural Imprints Of India. (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Cultural Imprints Of India.” Edubirdie, 24 Feb. 2022,
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