Member Nation : India

India is a vast South Asian Country with diverse terrain - from Himalayan peaks to Indian Ocean coastline - and history reaching back 5 millenia.

In the north, Mughal Empire landmarks include Delhi's Red Fort complex and massive Jama Masjid mosque, plus Agra's iconic Taj Mahal mausoleum.

Piligrims bathe in the Ganges in Varanasi, and Rishikesh is a yoga centre and base for Himalayan trekking.

Culture


Indian cultural history spans more than 4,500 years. During the Vedic period (c. 1700 - 500 BCE), the foundations of Hindu philosophy, mythology, theology and literature were laid, and many beliefs and practices which still exist today, such as dharma, karma, yoga, and moksa, were established. India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the nation's major religions. The predominant religion, Hinduism, has been shaped by various historical schools of thought, including those of the Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras, the Bhakti movement, and by Buddhist philosophy.

Ethnic Cuisine


Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines, often depending on a particular state (such as Maharashtrian cuisine). Staple foods of Indian cuisine include pearl millet, rice, whole-wheat flour (atta), and a variety of lentils, such as masoor (most often red lentils), toor (pigeon peas), urad (black gram), and mong (mung beans). Lentils may be used whole, dehusked—for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad — or split. Split lentils, or dal, are used extensively. The spice trade between India and Europe is often cited by historians as the primary catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. Popular dishes are Chapathi, Dhal, Idly, Dosa, Sambar, Chutneys, Samosa, Chats.

Ethnic Clothing


Traditional Indian dress varies in colour and style across regions and depends on various factors, including climate and faith. Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as the sari for women and the dhoti or lungi for men. Stitched clothes, such as the shalwar kameez for women and kurta–pyjama combinations or European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also popular. Use of delicate jewellery, modelled on real flowers worn in ancient India, is part of a tradition dating back some 5,000 years; gemstones are also worn in India as talismans

Tourist Attractions


There are 37 World Heritage sites in India that are recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as of August 2017.These are places of importance of cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. Taj Mahal, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Mysore Palace- Karanataka, Golden Temple-Amritsar, Varanasi, Hampi, Madurai temple - Chennai, Kerala Backwaters, Qutub Minar.

Reference Links


Hindu Cultural Center - https://www.hindutemplealbany.org/cultural-center/
Preview of FON 2018 - Manoj Ajmera - http://cbs6albany.com/news/videos/preview-festival-of-nations

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