Monday, September 26, 2011

Village Life in India

India is the largest democracy in the world. It's natural boundaries comprise the Bay of Bengal on the east, Pakistan and the Arabian Sea to the west, China, Nepal and Bhutan to the north and the Indian Ocean in the south. India cradles the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and is a region consistently explored for ancient trade routes and past empires. It is the home of Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism and also flaunts the presence of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and the followers of the Islam religion.

Ever since the country's independence from the British colonial rule in 1947, the economy of the nation has banked upon its agrarian society. Most of its population is involved in agriculture and allied industries, transforming it into one of the fastest growing world economies. India is a multilingual nation and home to a multiethnic society, that truly personifies the adage 'Unity in Diversity'. Village life in India is totally dependent on agriculture and innate throughout the land. The lifestyle of people and their working styles are as interesting as the balance provided by the lifestyles in the metropolitan cities.

Village Life in India
Village Life in India:

The Government of India promotes socialist-inspired rural policies and extensive protectionism in Indian villages. The attempt to save the Indian village from pervasive corruption is consistent and totally market-based, since the agricultural surplus is an advantage to the increase in population. Village life in India is simple. The village folk not only dress simply, but also display simplicity in their meals and work life. Indian villages are major contributors to the agricultural products like wheat, rice, various lentils and cereals and also cash crops like cotton, oilseed, jute, tea, coffee and sugarcane. The typical village home also houses cattle, sheep, goats and poultry.

Village life revolves around tilling and reaping and providing the raw material for allied industries. In spite of regular migration of youth to cities and townships, the population directly involved in agriculture remains constant and dedicated to the cause. Villagers begin the day with baths in the makeshift baths and eat only after worship at home and at the village temple. The rest of the day spreads over work in the fields and/or the creation of ingenious crafts. Their meals comprise of hand baked breads and lentil. The day culminates in either richly earned rest or sharing of thoughts in the village quadrangle.

Most homes are eco-friendly units, with courtyards, cattle enclosures, and thatched kitchen areas. Their community life spurs to action during annual fairs and pilgrimages. While men in most Indian villages sport light, cotton shirts and loose trousers or dhotis, the women's attire comprises the typical sari or long skirts and blouses. Handcrafted jewelry like bangles, anklets, nose rings and earrings highlight every dress code, urban as well as rural. Festivities of Diwali and Holi bring the villagers together and it is not uncommon to see even non-Hindus have a whale of a time with the colored water and special delicacies.

Villagers display a deep loyalty to the village deity and the village itself. Village feuds are not uncommon. Certain facilities are common to the village, like ponds and tanks, meadows, temples, cremation grounds, trees and wasteland. Traditionally, Indian villages follow the panchayat or headman system, which offers equal opportunity to women and men to be a part of and contribute to the village administration.

Village Life in India
Village Work Life in India:

Village work life largely depends on the main occupation of the family or gram (village). While some are pledged to agriculture, some indulge in the creation of arts and crafts for generations, and yet some others, dedicatedly trade. The village work life depends on the location of the village. For example, people of the coastal villages of Kerela naturally indulge in large scale fishing, while those near the tribal settlements capitalize on the national and international market for native craft. Villagers in India use simple tools and implements and in spite of the current trend of dependency on automated tools, the preference is for manual labor.

However, the government has made technology and automated revisions of farming implements available to every villager and currently the readdress of 'ownership of land tilled' is being considered to encourage the retention of village youth, who are otherwise migrating to cities. Today, the outskirts of Indian villages flaunt textile industries, food packaging plants, steel plants and sugar industries. These have again generated employment opportunities for the young and old alike. Ongoing government reforms endeavor to fashion the nation as a 'motor' for world economy. Improvements in public sector reforms, agrarian infrastructure and rural development, redressed labor norms etc have redefined village life in India.

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