Five Things I love about being Indian
1) Multi-cultural, diverse
What I love the most about being Indian is that we are a mixed bunch of people here in India. Not just ethnically different, but also different in our culture and language. We have over 400 living languages and 11 extinct ones, although the government has laid down 15 languages as the “official languages.” These languages have different scripts and in some cases, different origins. If one has to explain this to someone who is not from India, I guess one can say that the differences between Tamil and Hindi and Gujarati are as wide as those between Polish and English and Italian. Maybe more, because the scripts are different. The cuisine of different states varies and so do the clothes and culture, and the way religious festivals are celebrated. For example people in Bengal celebrate Durga Pooja but other states do not. People from different religions live here – Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Jains, Buddhists and Jews. Also, Zoroastrianism has its largest centre in India. The Zoroastrians, originally from Persia (called Parsis here) came to India due to religious persecution.
2) Great History: I also love the fact that I belong to a country which had one of the oldest civilizations in the world – the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. In fact, the Indian subcontinent was the richest both culturally and commercially at one time, during its Golden Age. It is any wonder then that four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here? Our tradition of Indian classical music is one of the greatest in the world. We have great ancient texts like the Upanishads, which are rooted in philosphical thought. Yoga originated in India. Our ancients were well versed in mathematics, astronomy and other sciences. India invented the “zero”. In fact ancient India was never just the “land of sages and seers but also a land of scholars and scientists.” We had an ancient university of ancient university at Nalanda which was flourished from the fifth century A.D to the 12th century, when it was destroyed by the invading armies of the Mughals. It had a nine storey library.
In fact, the decline of India started with the outside invasions, but the decline ended with the end of British rule. It took some time for India to lick its wounds and start to rise again. But what I love about being Indian is that we never ruled anybody and nor did we wish to, even if it meant that we suffered for it.
3) What I love about being Indian is that just sixty years after the “rulers” left our lands, we have started to rise again. We are slowly getting rid of the chains that shackled us since the 12th century! Today India is the world’s third largest economy in purchasing power and the second fastest growing large economy. It is predicted that India’s growth will continue and that India will become a world power in another 50 years.
4) Another thing I love about being Indian is that we are by nature a spiritual people. It is in our blood.
5) The last but not the least – I love being an Indian because we are a democratic, peaceful and tolerant people. We are a secular country which has welcomed people from all religions into our fold. And in India we have one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Just an example: One can walk through a slum without any fear of getting mugged.
(This write-up has been written for Engtech’s Group Writing contest.)