Understanding Diversity

Indian regions are diverse in their characteristics with unique histories. Nature plays crucial role in shaping cultural variations. For example, the people in Rajasthan wear bright and colourful clothes, and their camels are decorated with colourful ornaments. The reason is to add color to the desert environment there.

Diversity is reflected in race, heritage, art, architecture, cuisine, customs, beliefs, physical appearance, mental capabilities, etc. In India, people speak different languages, eat various types of food, celebrate different festivals, and practice different religions. Ladakh in India is a region with cultural diversity and different climatic conditions and their influences on the people there. They rear sheep and produce wool. They wear cotton and light woolen clothes in summer and heavy woolen dresses in winter.

Kerala is another example for a region with diverse cultural practices and climatic variations. The region remains hot and humid during the day and cool in the night. In the pasts, the region’s abundant spices had attracted traders from Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome and China. Arab traders settled down in Kerala. Ibn Battuta records this fact in his travelogue. In 1498, Vasco da Gama reached the port of Kozikhode in Kerala. Coconut, rubber and tea plantations, fishing with a special fishing-net called Cheena- vala, trade in spices are major economic activities in Kerala. Here, people practice Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

India's diversity has always been thus recognised as a source of its strength. Jawaharlal Nehru described the country as a land of “Unity in Diversity”.

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