Diversity in India
India is a highly diverse country. Followers of almost all major religions of the world live in India. Followers of different religions are different in many aspects; like customs, festivals, beliefs, eating habits and traditional costumes. The huge diversity makes out country rich in terms cultural differences.
Ladakh is a cold desert in the eastern part of Kashmir. Since this place is covered with snow for most parts of the year, very little agriculture is possible. People are mainly herders of sheep, goat and yak. They use milk and meat of these animals as food. They also use hairs of these animals to make wool. They weave pashmina shawls and sell them to traders in Kashmir.
Ladakh was on the important trade route since ancient times. Due to this, many travelers from different parts of the world always came to this place. People of Ladakh interacted with those travelers. Due to that, Islam was introduced in this region hundreds of years ago. Even today, there is a sizeable population of Muslims in this region. There is significant number of followers of Buddhism as well in this region.
Kerala is on the southern tip of India. Kerala has been an important centre of trade since ancient times. Traders came here to trade in spices. Because of travelers, Christianity was introduced in Kerala about 2000 years ago. Similarly, Islam was introduced through the traders from the Arab world. Vasco da Gama; who was a Portuguese traveler was the first to discover the sea route between Europe and India. He landed his ship in Kerala. The European culture came to India after that.
People of Kerala follow different religions; like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
The fishing nets which are still being used on the coasts of Kerala resemble the Chinese fishing nets. These are called cheena-vala. A utensil used for frying is called cheenachatti. These things show that there must be very old trade connections with China.
Unity in Diversity
The term Unity in Diversity was first coined by Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru coined this term because diversity proved to be the strength for our country. When the British came in India, they thought it easy to rule a diverse country like India. They even tried the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy. But our struggle for freedom proved them wrong. Most of the people of India opposed the British rule irrespective of religious or cultural differences. It was because of our unity in diversity that we could be successful in getting rid of the British rule.
Even today, we continue to imbibe various cultures. We continue to assimilate cuisines from around the world. We continue to assimilate new costumes from around the world. Today, India is a vibrant country because of its diversity.