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Bangladesh Culture Essay Paper

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Essay about The History and Culture of Bangladesh - Essays Papers

Essay about The History and Culture of Bangladesh

The History and Culture of Bangladesh

Bangladesh came to existence in 1971 when Bengali East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan. It is located in southern Asia bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India. Bangladesh and West Bengal form a region which is called Bengal; and Bangladesh is sometimes referred to as East Bengal. It has a population of around 138,448,210 people. (CIA World fact book)The nation’s rapid growth has led to serious overcrowding. About one third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the rainy monsoon season, causing for bad economic development. Bangladesh has three main seasons; tropical, mild winter that lasts from October to March, a hot humid summer that goes from March to June, and a humid, warm monsoon season that brings them back to October. The terrain of the country is mostly flat plains across the country and hilly on the southeast side. Bangladesh shares many cultural and geographical features with nearby West Bengal. The country has come so far in the last few decades by gaining their independence. The educational and government systems of Bangladesh have improved greatly.

History and Geography

Bangladesh is a proud nation built on the foundation of a rich literary tradition and history. As they finally one their independence from Pakistan in 1971 after many years of struggle, the masses of people that once made East Pakistan and East Bengal cheered as they finally gained their independence. As this youngest nation of South Asia was free to chart their own destination, with high hopes of becoming a better nation. But soon all those high hopes and expectations were gone, and Bangladesh soon drowned into a pool of poverty. For an average.


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. ork, Inc; “Bangladesh among the worst trade performers in South Asia: report”. InfoTrac Web: Gen’l Reference Ctr Gold.December 5,2003; Xinhua News Agency, Dec. 9, 2003.

Sri Nandanandana, “Preaching in India’s Northeast For Cultural Preservation” VaiShnava News February 21, 2003; Retrieved information Dec. 9,2003 http://www.vnn.org/world/WD0302/WD21-7837.html

Dr. S.M. Shamim ul Moula, “Fighting Disease” May 9, 2001 African Networks for health research and development; retrieved Dec. 9, 2003 http://www.afronets.org/archive/200105/msg00035.php

“Bangladesh”CIA- World Fact Book, August 1, 2003; retrieved information on Dec. 9, 2003, http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/bg.html

Shrestha, Nanda R. Nepal and Bangladesh: a World studies Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc, 2002

“Bangladesh.” The World Book Encyclopedia. World Book, Inc, 2002

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Newspaper Essay

Newspaper Essay

Introduction: We are in an age of modern science. Modern science has invented new ways and means for our comforts. Newspaper is wonder of modern science. Newspaper is a paper which carries news and views of home and abroad to us. In the morning we wait eagerly for a newspaper. We can not have our breakfast without newspaper of the day. We can not pass a single day without newspaper. It’s a part and parcel in our day to day life.

History: Newspaper was first published in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The Indian Gazette which was the first newspaper in Indo-Bangladesh was published in 1774.Now those days are gone by. Man has invented printing machine. Thousands of newspapers are being printed daily all over the world.

Kinds: There are many kinds of newspapers. They are dailies, biweeklies, weeklies, monthlies and even quarterlies. The dailies contain news and views about the daily affairs of the whole world. There are some others papers which are known as periodicals and magazines. The contain literary articles. There are many English newspapers in our country. They are The New York Times. The Dily Mail, The Voice of America English News, The NY Times etc.

Usefulness: Global distance has been removed. The world has become smaller. One part of the world has been linked up with another through newspaper Newspaper is of great use to us. It serves the purpose of people of different sections. We get all sorts of information in the newspapers. We know through them what is going on the world around us. They give us news of politics, economics, culture, literature, games and sports of the whole world.

Conclusion: Newspapers are very useful to us. Without newspaper we can not even think of our own life.

Реферат: Bangladesh Essay Research Paper Bangladesh in full

Bangladesh Essay, Research Paper

Bangladesh, in full, is The People’s Republic of Bangladesh. It is the republic of southern Asia, in the northeastern portion of the Indian subcontinent, bordered on the west, north, and east by India, on the southeast by Burma, and on the south by the Bay of Bengal. The area of the country is 55,598 square miles. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh is Dhaka.

Geographically, historically, and culturally, Bangladesh forms the larger and more populous part of Bengal, the remainder of which constitutes the neighboring Indian state of West Bengal. From 1947 to 1971 the region of Bangladesh was a province of Pakistan. On March 26, 1971 leaders of East Pakistan declared their independence as a nation of Bangladesh while fighting a war against the central Pakistani government. Bangladesh was soon recognized by most other nations. Bangladesh was admitted to the United Nations in 1974.

Most of Bangladesh lies within the broad delta formed by the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers and is exceedingly flat, low-lying, and has annual flooding. Much fertile soil is deposited by the floodwaters. The only significant area of hilly terrain, constituting less than one-tenth of the nation’s territory, is the Chittagong. Rivers are an important feature of the landscape in Bangladesh.

The climate of Bangladesh is of the tropical monsoon variety. In all areas about 80 percent of the annual rainfall typically occurs in the monsoon period, which lasts from late May to mid-October. Annual precipitation ranges from about 55 inches along the country’s

east central border, to more than 200 inches in the far northeast. Bangladesh is subject to cyclones, originating over the Bay of Bengal, in the periods of April to May and September to November. Bangladesh also has many floods during the monsoon season. Bangladesh has warm temperatures throughout the year, with relatively little variation from month to month. January tends to be the coolest month and May the warmest. In Dhaka the average January temperature is about 66. F, and the average May temperature is about 84..

The population of Bangladesh in 1991 was 109,876,977, making Bangladesh the world’s eighth most populous country. There is about 1976 people per square mile. Most of the people of Bangladesh are young. Over 45 percent are under the age of 15, and only about 3 percent are 65 or older. Life expectancy at birth is about 51 years.

The major cities of Bangladesh are: Dhaka, the capital, with a population of over 3,397,190 people; the Chittagong, the leading port, with a population of 1,364,000; the Khulna, a rapidly growing center for small-scale industry, has a population of 545,849; Narayanganj, the inland port for Dhaka, with a population of 268,950; and the Rajshahi which is located in a silk-producing area, has a population of 299,670.

The people of Bangladesh declared their independence as the nation of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971, while fighting a war against the central Pakistani government. The separation from Pakistan took place on December 16, 1971. Bangladesh was admitted to the United Nations in 1974. The country’s government was formed in January 1972. Bangladsh has a parliamentary form of Government. The president is the head of the state. The Government is headed by the prime Minister. The national language, Bengali, is the first language of more than 98 percent of the population. It is written in its own script, derived from that of Sanskrit. Urdu and Burmese are also spoken by few percent of population. English is also spoken and understood. Islam is the main religion. It is the faith of about 85 percent of the population. Hindus makes up most of the remainder, and the country has small communities of Buddhists, Christians, and animists.

Elementary education is free, but at least one-third of all children are not enrolled in school. Poor school attendance is a major reason for a literacy rate of only 35 percent for Bangladeshis aged 15 and older. In the period 1989 to 1990, the country had about 45,000

elementary schools, with a total annual enrollment of some 11.3 million pupils, and about 10,000 secondary schools, with a combined yearly enrollment of about 3 million. Bangladesh has several universities, the largest of which is the University of Dhaka. Others

include Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and Jahangirnagar University, both are in Dhaka. Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh. The University of Chittagong and the National University, Khulna University. Some colleges include Bangladesh College of Textile Technology in Dhaka. The Bangladesh Institute of technology. Some private universities have been established during ’90s. Higher cultural life is concentrated in Dhaka, which is where the Bangla Academy is devoted to the promotion and development of the Bengali language and literature. The country’s largest library is part of the University of Dhaka, and the Bangladesh National Museum, also in Dhaka, is noted for its art and archaeology collections.

A secular parliamentary form of democracy was established by the 1972 constitution, but it was suspended in late 1974 and replaced in January 1975 by a presidential form of government. In February 1991 a parliament of 300 members was elected. 30 additional seats were subsequently filled by indirect ballot. Constitutional provisions abolishing presidential government and restoring a parliamentary

democracy, headed by a prime minister, were approved by parliament in August 1991 and ratified in September. The highest tribunal in Bangladesh is the supreme court, which is divided into a high court and an appellate division. The chief justice and the other justices

of the supreme court are appointed by the president.

The national flower of Bangladesh is the Water Lily. It is surrounded by two sheaves of rice on the National Emblem. The Doel is the national bird. Bangladesh s flag has a green background with a red circle on the middle. The circle is a sun (blood shed for freedom) on a green field (fertile nature of country and Islam). About 35 daily

newspapers in Bengali and nine English-language dailies are published in Bangladesh, mainly in Dhaka. Radio Bangladesh and Bangladesh Television are under government direction. About 4 million radio receivers, 480,000 television sets, and 206,000 telephones were in use in 1990.

The National Anthem translated is:

My Bengal of gold, I love you.

Forever your skies, your air set my heart in tune

As if it were a flute.

In spring, O mother mine, the fragrance from your mango groves

Makes me wild with joy

Ah, what a thrill!

In autumn, O mother mine,

In the full blossomed paddy fields

I have seen spread all over sweet smiles.

Ah, what a beauty, what shades, what an affection

And what a tenderness!

What a quilt have you spread at the feet of banyan trees

And along the banks of rivers!

O mother mine, words from your lips

Are like nectar to my ears.

Ah, what a thrill!

If sadness, O mother mine, casts a gloom on your face,

eyes are filled with tears!

Nearly 40 percent of the gross domestic product is from agriculture. Most farms are small, and per-capita output is low. Rice is the leading food crop in all areas and accounts for at least five-sixths of the cultivated area. Pulses, the main source of

vegetable protein, are the most important food crop after rice. Various oilseeds, wheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples also are raised. The main cash crop is jute. Jute is a plant used to make burlap and twine. It is grown throughout the annually flooded portions of the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. Tea, the second most valuable cash crop, is grown almost only in the northeast, around Sylhet.

More than 90 percent of Bangladesh’s electricity is generated in thermal plants using either coal, natural gas, or petroleum products, and most of the rest is produced by hydroelectric facilities, including a large installation on the Karnaphuli River. In 1990 Bangladesh consumed about 8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.

Recapping on what was stated earlier, the capital and largest city of Bangladesh is Dhaka, the population is 109,876,977. The national language is bengali. Bangladesh is hit by monsoons year round. Education is free. Under half of the gross domestic product is from agriculture. Bangladesh has a 300 seat parliment, and the chief justice and the other justices of the supreme court are appointed by the president.

Culture Of India Essay Research Paper Culture - рефераты

Culture Of India Essay Research Paper Culture

Culture Of India Essay, Research Paper

Culture of India

Nearly one sixth of all the human beings on Earth live in India, the world’s most populous democracy.

Officially titled the Republic of India, it?s 1,269,413 sq. mi. lie in South Asia, occupying most of the

Indian subcontinent, bordered by Pakistan (W); China, Nepal, and Bhutan (N); and Myanmar (E) and

Bangladesh forms an enclave in the NE. Its borders encompass a vast variety of peoples, practicing

most of the world’s major religions, speaking scores of different languages, divided into thousands of

socially exclusive castes, and combining the physical traits of several major racial groups (Compton?s).

The modern nation of India (also known by its ancient Hindi name, Bharat) is smaller than the Indian

Empire formerly ruled by Britain. Burma (now Myanmar), a mainly Buddhist country lying to the east,

was administratively detached from India in 1937. Ten years later, when Britain granted independence

to the peoples of the Indian subcontinent, two regions with Muslim majorities–a large one in the

northwest (West Pakistan) and a smaller one in the northeast (East Pakistan)–were partitioned from

the predominantly Hindu areas and became the separate nation of Pakistan. East Pakistan broke away

from Pakistan in 1971 to form the independent nation of Bangladesh. Also bordering India on its long

northern frontier are the People’s Republic of China and the relatively small kingdoms of Nepal and

Bhutan. The island republic of Sri Lanka lies just off India’s southern tip (New World Encyclopedia).

Much of India’s area of almost 1.3 million square miles (3.3 million square kilometers–including the

Pakistani-held part of Jammu and Kashmir) is a peninsula jutting into the Indian Ocean between the

Arabian Sea on the west and the Bay of Bengal on the east. There are three distinct physiographic

regions. In the north the high peaks of the Himalayas lie partly in India but mostly just beyond its

borders in Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. South of the mountains, the low-lying Indo-Gangetic Plain, shared

with Pakistan and Bangladesh, extends more than 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from the Arabian Sea

to the Bay of Bengal (Compton?s). Finally, the peninsular tableland, largely the Deccan, together with

its adjacent coastal plains, makes up more than half of the nation’s area.

In general, India’s climate is governed by the monsoon, or seasonal, rain-bearing wind. Most of the

country has three seasons: hot, wet, and cool. During the hot season, which usually lasts from early

March to mid-June, very high temperatures are accompanied by intermittent winds and occasional dust

Strong, humid winds from the southwest and south usually lasts from early March to mid-June, very

high temperatures are accompanied by intermittent winds and occasional dust storms.

Most of the far northeast (north and east of Bangladesh), northern West Bengal, and the west coast

from Cochin to somewhat north of Bombay get more than 80 inches (200 centimeters) of rainfall

annually. This is usually enough to keep the soil moist throughout the year. The natural vegetation

associated with these regions is an exceedingly varied, broadleaf, evergreen rain forest, typically tall

and dense. Much of the rain forest, however, is in hilly regions that have been repeatedly burned over

and cleared for slash-and-burn agriculture, a type of farming particularly associated with India’s tribal

population. As a result, the soil has become less fertile. Where the forest has grown again, it is

generally lower and less open than the original vegetation (New World Encyclopedia).

It is not certain which racial group first occupied India. The assumption is often made that the first

inhabitants had characteristics in common with the small-statured, dark, aboriginal population of

Australia, as well as with other tribal groups still found in isolated, forested regions of Southeast Asia.

Therefore, the term proto-Australoid has been applied to the racial type represented by a number of

tribes still living in India, mainly in the states of Bihar, Orissa, and Madhya Pradesh. Other early arrivals

were the ancestors of the peoples, now living mainly in southern India, who speak languages of the

Dravidian family. The Mongoloid peoples have also been in India a long time. Their present-day

descendants include several tribal groups living along the frontiers with Myanmar, China (Tibet), Bhutan,

Linguistic differences are much clearer than those of racial groupings. Two linguistic groups, the

Indo-Aryan and the Dravidian, account for all but a tiny proportion of the population (Compton?s). Of

the Indo-Aryan languages, Hindi, the official national language, is the most important. In its standard

form and its many dialects, it is spoken by about 43 percent of the population and is understood by a

large number of others. It is predominant in the northern and central regions. Included among the Hindi

variations is Urdu, referred to until 1947 as Hindustani or Khari Boli, which is recognized as a separate

“official” language in the Indian constitution. Urdu is also the official language of Pakistan and is spoken

by most Indian Muslims (except in the far south and east).

Other important Indo-Aryan languages are Bengali (the official language of the state of West Bengal

and also of Bangladesh), Panjabi (the official language of the state of Punjab and the most widely

spoken language of Pakistan), and Marathi, Gujarati, Oriya, Assamese, and Kashmiri (respectively, the

official languages of the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa, Assam, and Jammu and Kashmir). Two

other languages of the Indo-Aryan family are among the 15 regarded as official languages by the

constitution: Sanskrit, a classical literary language, and Sindhi, spoken largely in the Sind province of

Pakistan and also by Hindu refugees who came to India after partition in 1947. The list of official

languages includes four Dravidian tongues: Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada, which predominate,

respectively, in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka (Compton?s).

English is understood by most educated persons. While it is not one of the 15 languages, it is officially

recognized and is used, for example, for correspondence between Hindi-speaking and

non-Hindi-speaking states. It is also the language shared by the Dravidian-speaking south and the

Hindi-speaking north. Of the scores of languages not officially recognized, many are spoken almost

exclusively by tribal peoples, known collectively as Adibasis (New World Encyclopedia).

Though a number of religions flourish in India’s tolerant social climate, four fifths of the people are

Hindus. Hinduism evolved from Vedism, the religion of the early Aryan invaders. While it recognizes

innumerable gods, they are widely regarded as diverse manifestations of one great universal spirit.

Hinduism has no standard orthodox form. It is, in effect, what people who call themselves Hindus do in

carrying out their dharma, or religious obligations. This varies considerably from one region and social

group to another.

The social groups with which Hindus identify most strongly are their jatis, or castes. A caste is a

hereditary group whose members intermarry only among themselves. Each has its own origin myth,

traditional occupation, rules relating to kinship, diet, and various forms of behavior. Castes are graded

in a social and ritual hierarchy in which each expects respect from inferior groups and gives respect to

superior ones. While obviously creating disparities, the caste system is not regarded by most Hindus as

unjust. According to generally accepted beliefs associated with reincarnation, or rebirth after death,

the caste into which one is born depends on one’s karma–that is, one’s accumulated good and bad

deeds in previous existences. The way to achieve higher status in future incarnations is to accept one’s

station in life and live accordingly. This is the path that may eventually lead to salvation, called

moksha, freedom from the continuous round of rebirths (New World Encyclopedia).

Muslims, who constitute 11 percent of the population, are the largest religious minority. Many of these

followers of the monotheistic faith of Islam are descendants of invaders from the Middle East and

Central Asia who began entering the subcontinent as early as the 8th century. Most, however, are

descendants of converts from Hinduism and other faiths. The majority belong to the Sunnah branch of

Islam, though the Shi’ah sect is well represented among Muslim trading groups of Gujarat.

Although Islam, unlike Hinduism, stresses the equality of people, the institution of caste is so strong in

the subcontinent that it has affected the communities professing Islam and most other faiths. Thus,

most Indian Muslims intermarry within graded, castelike groups, many of which have traditional

occupations. Muslims form a majority of the population in Jammu and Kashmir and substantial minorities

in the states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, and Kerala.

Sikhs, with 2.6 percent of the population, are predominant in the state of Punjab. Their faith, which

dates from the early 16th century, combines aspects of Hinduism, such as belief in reincarnation, with

ideas borrowed from Islam, in particular strict belief in only one God. A militant brotherhood, they are

recognizable by their distinctive beards and turbans. Sikhs form a prominent part of India’s army and are

influential in many professions and in government (Concise).

Households often consist of more than one married couple. These joint families are usually headed by a

senior male, whose wife, mother, or another related senior female assigns domestic chores to the

women and girls. Generally the extended family may include his unmarried children, his younger brothers

and their wives and unmarried children, his unmarried sisters, and his married sons and grandsons and

their wives and unmarried children. In practice, however, brothers commonly separate and form new

households soon after the death of their father.

Over most of India (though not in the south or northeast), a girl marries outside her village, usually

while still in her teens. Even where a female marries within the village, she moves to the husband’s

household. Widow remarriage is frowned upon. Married couples display a marked preference for male

children. Boys are desired not only because of their anticipated contribution to the family income but

also because sons are needed to perform certain rites at a parent’s cremation. Girls, on the other hand,

are seen as a liability because they require expensive dowries when they are married. Various state

governments have tried to discourage this practice, but often families still go into debt to provide

dowries; a family with several daughters and no sons may face financial disaster. Boys are expected to

help in the fields and girls in the home. The freedom that girls enjoy is restricted after they reach the

age of puberty; in northern India, even among the Hindus, female seclusion is common (New World

Most villagers are farmers. The majority own some land, usually in scattered parcels, but a substantial

number must rent all or part of the land they farm, either for cash or for an agreed-upon share of the

harvest. The amount depends on whether the cultivator or the landlord pays for seed and irrigation

water, and on who provides the animals for plowing. Shares typically range from one third to one half

the harvest. Many families, especially among the scheduled castes, have no land at all, and both adults

and children must sell their labor to the larger farmers.

The simple tools used by most Indian farmers are generally made in the villages. Plows are wooden, with

short iron tips. They furrow but do not turn the soil. Draft animals are mainly oxen in the drier regions

and water buffalo in the wetter, rice-growing areas. Both cattle and water buffalo are milked, but yields

are low. Transport is still largely by oxcart or buffalo cart, though the use of trucks is gaining as a

result of road improvement. Tractor cultivation is rare except in Haryana and the Punjab (Compton?s).

Goods and services that are not available locally are obtained from nearby villages, at weekly outdoor

markets, in towns and cities, and at fairs, usually held in connection with religious holidays. Payment for

goods and services provided within the village may be either in cash or in kind. The latter type of

payment, usually a portion of grain at the time of harvest, used to be the customary rule. Most

specialized-caste families catered to a particular set of patron families, known as jajmans, with whom

they were linked by hereditary ties. This jajmani system is breaking down over most of India, but

patron-client alliances among various castes remain a common feature of village life.

Most villages have at least a primary school offering up to six years of instruction. Some also offer adult

education classes in the evening. While few villages can support a well-trained doctor, many have

practitioners of traditional medicine. Government-aided dispensaries are increasingly common.

For entertainment men join their fellow caste members or those from castes at levels close to their own

to pass the evening hours smoking and chatting. Women and girls talk at the village well and may join

groups to sing religious songs. Male youths sometimes form sports clubs or drama groups. Village-owned

radios set up in public spaces are common, but television is rare. Traveling storytellers, musicians,

acrobats, and snake charmers relieve the drabness of life, as do weddings, religious celebrations, trips

to local fairs, and occasional religious pilgrimages.

India’s present constitution went into effect on Jan. 26, 1950. At that time, the nation changed its

status from a dominion to a federal republic, though it remained within the Commonwealth. The

governor- general, appointed by the British Crown, was replaced by a president, chosen by an electoral

college. The president is the official chief of state, but the office is largely ceremonial.

Village government is in the hands of a democratically elected council, known as a panchayat, presided

over by a village headman. In former days virtually all panchayat members were men of the upper

castes, usually those who owned the most land. Now many states require that a certain number of

women and members of scheduled castes be included. Increasingly, elections are held by secret ballot.

The panchayats are expected to work closely with the government-sponsored Community Development

Program, which has divided the entire country into community development blocks, averaging about a

hundred villages each. Village-level workers within each block are the chief links between the

government and the villagers. They bring news to the villagers of developments that might benefit them

and report back the sentiments of the people (Concise).

The artistic and literary heritage of India is exceptionally rich. Probably most renowned are the

country’s architectural masterpieces. These date from many different ages. The ancient Buddhist

domed stupa, or shrine, at Sanchi was probably begun by the emperor Asoka in the mid-3rd century BC.

The Kailasa Temple at Ellora was carved out of solid rock in the 8th century. The enormous, elaborately

sculptured Sun Temple at Konarak dates from the 13th century, and the Minakshi Temple in Madurai,

with its striking outer towers and inner Hall of 1,000 Pillars, from the 16th century. The sublime Taj

Mahal at Agra was built in the 17th century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his

favorite wife. Every major region and religious group of India has produced works of extraordinary merit.

Hindu and Jaina temples are usually richly embellished by sculpture. Because of the Islamic opposition to

representative art, mosques are comparatively austere and rely for adornment largely on inlaid

stonework, decorative tiles, geometric designs in stone, plaster, or wood, and ornate calligraphy

Painting is relatively less developed, and much of the work of the past has fallen victim to weather.

However, the well-preserved, sensuous cave paintings at Ajanta, dating from the 1st century BC to the

7th century AD, demonstrate great technical proficiency at an early date. Altogether different is the

lyric and romantic style of the various schools of miniature painting that flourished in the courts of the

Mughals and the Rajput princes in the 16th and subsequent centuries. Modern painting, inspired by both

European and Far Eastern models, has had several internationally recognized exponents.

Classical Indian music, dance, and drama are closely linked. Their roots go back nearly 2,000 years.

Their mastery calls for great discipline and intensive practice. Each has a conventionalized “language”

that demands considerable sophistication on the part of the audience. As with architecture, a number

of regional styles have developed. Folk music and dance also show wide regional variations (Compton?s).

The literature of India covers many fields of knowledge, but religious and philosophical texts are

particularly numerous. The oldest religious texts, the Vedas (beginning with the ‘Rig-Veda’ around 1500

BC, were transmitted only by word of mouth for many centuries before being committed to writing. For

most Hindus the two best-known texts are the great epics, the ‘Ramayana’ and the ‘Mahabharata’,

composed roughly 2,000 years ago. The former recounts the adventures of the god-king Rama and

provides models of proper conduct for both men and women. The latter, the longest poem ever written,

relates a great mythical war involving all the peoples of ancient India. The most important portion of

that epic, the ‘Bhagavadgita’, is the principal Hindu tract on morality and ethics (Compton?s).

Indian Muslim literature covers a wide range of practical subjects. However, the authority of the Koran,

Islam’s holy book, leaves little room for religious speculation. Poetry is particularly admired.

India. Compton?s Encyclopedia Online. 1 November 1999

India. Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Third Edition. 1 November 1999.

India. New World Encyclopedia. New York: Pelican, 1995.

MLA. Modern Language Association. 23 October 1999 http://www.mla.org/set_stl.htm.

Official Name: Republic of India.

Capital: New Delhi.

India: Indus, from Sanskrit Sindhu referring to Indus River.

National Emblem: Adapted from Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka in 1950. Four lions (one of which is hidden

from view) standing back to back with wheel in the center of the abacus; a bull on the right, a horse

on the left, and the outlines of the other wheels on the extreme right and left. The words Satyameva

jayate (Truth Alone Triumphs) are inscribed below the wheel in the Devanagari script.

Anthem: ‘Jana Gana Mana’ (Lord of the People, of Society, and of the Mind).

Borders: Coast, 3,533 miles (5,686 kilometers); land frontier, 9,425 miles (15,168 kilometers).

Natural Regions: Himalaya; Indo-Gangetic Plain; Deccan.

Major Ranges: Himayalas, Karakoram, Vindbya, Aravalli, Satpura, Western and Eastern Ghats.

Major Peaks: Nanda Devi, 25,646 feet (7,817 meters); Kamet, 25,447 feet (7,756 meters); Anai Mudi,

8,842 feet (2,695 meters).

Major Rivers: Ganges, Yamuna (Jumna), Brahmaputra, Narbada, Mahanadi, Godavari, Kaveri.

Notable Lake: Wular.

Major Islands: Andaman, Nicobar, Lakshadweep.

Climate: Three seasons for most of the country–cold season from November to February; hot season

from March to June; rainy season from June to October.

Population (1996 estimate): 952,969,000; 733.1 persons per square mile (288.8 persons per square

kilometer); 26.8 percent urban, 73.2 percent rural (1995 estimate).

Vital Statistics (estimated rate per 1,000 population): Births, 26.5; deaths, 9.8.

Life Expectancy (at birth): Males, 58.7 years; females, 59.8.

Major Languages: Hindi (official), English (official), Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati,

Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese.

Major Religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism.

MAJOR CITIES (1991 estimate)

Bombay (9,925,891) Major port and financial and commercial center of India; capital of Maharashtra

state; well known for cotton-textile, film, and printing industry; Victoria Gardens, Brabourne Stadium,

and Marine Drive.

Delhi (7,206,704) Capital of India; political, educational, cultural, and transportation center; Red Fort,

Central Secretariat, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Qutab Minar, and the National Gallery of

Calcutta (4,399,819) Major port, capital of West Bengal state; cultural, commercial, religious,

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Madras (3,841,396) Major port and capital of Tamil Nadu state; educational, transportation, cultural

and traditional handicraft center; the Indian Institute of Technology, University of Madras, the Madras

Government Museum, Napier Park, Marina beach, and the Corporation Stadium.

Bangalore (3,302,296) Capital of Karnataka state; leading cultural, educational, industrial, publishing,

and transportation center of south India; Vidhana Saudha, Mysore Government Museum, Lal Bagh, and

Hyderabad (3,145,939) Capital of Andhra Pradesh state; educational, cultural, industrial, commercial,

and handicraft center; the Char Minar, Mecca Masjid, Salar Jung Museum, and racecourse.

Ahmadabad (2,954,526) Industrial, commercial, financial, and educational city; major cotton-textile

center, Lake Kankaria, Gandhi Ashram, Jama Masjid, Tin Darwaza (Three Gates), and the Tomb of

Kanpur (1,879,420) Industrial and commercial city; rail and lead junction; Kanpur University, the Indian

Institute of Technology, and a Hindu glass temple, cantonment, and Sati Chaura.

Nagpur (1,624,752) Transportation, industrial, educational, agricultural, and cultural center; British Fort,

Ambajheri Tank, Bhonsla Palace, Kasturchand Park, and Secretariat.

Lucknow (1,619,115) Capital of Uttar Pradesh state; transportation, commercial, educational, cultural,

and handicraft center; Hazratganj, Great Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Residency, botanical and zoological

Pune (1,566,651) Educational, cultural, commercial, and industrial center; Empress Gardens, Wellesley

Bridge, Deccan College, Statue of Shivaji, and Shanwar Wada (Saturday Palace).

Chief Agricultural Products: Crops–sugarcane, rice, wheat, corn (maize), sorghum, millet, mangoes,

bananas, oranges, lemons, limes, apples oilseeds, pulses, coconuts. Livestock–cattle, goats, water

Chief Mined Products: Limestone, iron ore, bauxite, manganese, chromium, zinc, copper, lead, gold,

diamonds, coal, crude petroleum, natural gas.

Chief Manufactured Products: Cement, finished steel, steel ingots, refined sugar, fertilizers, paper and

paperboard, bicycles, motorcycles and scooters, cotton cloth.

Foreign Trade: Imports 59 percent, exports 41 percent.

Chief Imports: Fuel oil and refined petroleum products, chemicals, fertilizers, iron and steel, machinery,

vegetable oils, rough diamonds, transport equipment, electrical machinery, foodstuffs.

Chief Exports: Handicrafts, engineering goods, tea, fish, fruits and vegetables, coffee, textile yarn and

fabrics, clothing, leather, precious and semiprecious stones, iron ore, road motor vehicles, works of art,

tobacco, iron and steel.

Chief Trading Partners: United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia.

Monetary Unit: 1 Indian rupee = 100 paisa.

Public Schools: Lower primary (age 6-10) is free throughout India; secondary (age 11-17) is free in

Compulsory School Age: From 6 to 14 in all states except Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh.

Literacy: 52 percent.

Leading Universities: More than 100;