Question: The ancient civilization in Indian sub continent differed from those of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece in that its culture and traditions have been preserved without breakdown to the present day. Comment.
Answer: Indian civilization is unique in various aspects especially due to its ability to maintain continuity over hundreds of years without undergoing drastic changes. The practices followed thousands of years back in ancient era is still preserved with minor changes.
Continuation of culture and traditions in present scenario
- Social practices
Social practices followed in ancient times such as marriage institutions, relationship and kinship practices, community control etc have been still prevalent in rural areas. These practices may have evolved over time but their core belief remains the same.
- Religious practices
Ancient Indian religious practices such as animal and plant worship from Indus valley civilization era is still practiced in India. Indus civilization gods such as Pashupati has evolved to take place of Shiva. Vedic practices such as fire sacrifices is still followed today. The teachings of Buddhism and Jainism have managed to keep their existence.
The languages of ancient civilization is still used in same form or with evolved form. Vedic language like Sanskrit is still prevalent, eventhough of less significance. Prakrit and Pali languages have modified to give rise to subsidiary languages such as Maithili, Bhojpuri, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati etc.
Ancient Indian crafts such as metal sculpture is still prevalent. The method used by Indus valley civilization people, called the lost wax technique, is still used for making metal statues. Stone sculpting has also not lost its significance and is still practiced.
Ancient Indian art in form of music, dance, paintings etc have been existent till today. Dance form such as Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi have their origin in ancient texts and is still practiced. Carnatic and Hindustani music have evolved but its basis has been preserved. Painting style of ancient India such as Worli, Madhubani is still practiced in households.
Thus, Indian civilization has managed to preserve its cultural practices through oral traditions and social practices. This has been done despite the drastic changes that threatened to destroy the cultural ethos.