INDIA – people & culture
Mrs. Sharda Jagdish
7th Grade Geography
What you will learn today.
The population of India
Influences of the past
Religions practiced
Art and Architecture
Languages spoken
Festivals celebrated
Compare the life of a teenager in India with yours
Influences of the Past
1500 B.C. warriors known as Aryans
entered the subcontinent from Central Asia
Brought Hinduism & the caste structure
700 A.D. Muslims from Southwest Asia
brought Islam
In 1500 they founded the Mogul Empire &
ruled India for 200 years
Influences of the past (Cont)
British came & ruled India from 1700’s to mid
1900’s. They built roads, railways & ports.
Indian leader- Mohandas Gandhi led a nonviolent movement which resulted in India’s
independence. Since then, India has been a
Which civil rights leader in the U.S. was inspired
by Gandhi’s non-violent, non-cooperation
Martin Luther King, Jr.
About 80% of Indians are Hindus. They
believe in reincarnation – that the soul is
eternal & goes through a cycle of birth &
death many times until it reaches perfection
on a higher plane of existence.
There are 140 million Muslims in India –
making it one of the largest in the world.
Religions (Cont)
Other major religions include:
Sikhism – combines elements of Hindu &
Muslim faith & founded by Guru Nanak.
Jainism – practice of strict vegetarianism
Buddhism – was developed by Siddharta, a
Hindu prince. It has a greater following
outside of India.
The Arts
Religion has influenced the arts of India.
Ancient Hindu temples were built with
elaborate, carved towers and intricate stone
sculptures of the Hindu gods & goddesses.
Hindu writers have written epics and
poems like the Mahabharata & the
The Arts (Cont)
Muslims built some of the finest gardens and the
famous mausoleum – the Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal was a monument built by a
Muslim ruler, Shah Jehan, in the mid 1600’s, in
memory of his beloved wife.
Taj Mahal link
Unfortunately, the British have ruined and looted
many of India’s treasures.
Life in India
Village Life
 Rural population is about 74%
 Live in brick or mud houses with straw
 Mostly work in the farm
 Government has tried to provide basic
amenities but life is still rather difficult
 High rural-urban migration
Life in India
City Life
 The cities are very crowded. Delhi, Mumbai and
Calcutta are densely populated cities.
 High-rise apartments & office buildings stand
side-by-side with slums.
 Bicycles, bullock carts, rickshaws & cars fill the
narrow streets lined by small family-owned
Locate Mumbai, New Delhi (the capital) & Calcutta.
Writing Exercise (Pair work)
You are going to read about Rani and Amit
Singh who are teenagers like you living in
With your assigned partner, compare their
lives with yours and make a list of the
similarities and differences.
Languages spoken
Did you know that a total of more than 1000
languages & dialects are spoken.
Hindi is the official language. Note that an
official language is one chosen by a nation for
government business.Half the country speak it.
English and 14 other major languages are also
Why do you think English is a major language
Life of Rani & Amit Singh
Rani & Amit live with their parents, grandparents and
uncles in their high-rise apartment in Mumbai. They go
to a nearby school by rickshaw. Wearing their starched
gray & white uniform, they take a “tiffin” lunch to
school prepared by their mother.After school they
would change to some light clothing as it is hot. Amit
usually wears an Indian loose shirt and pants & Rani
wears a “salwar”(pants) and “kameez”(blouse).
When they get a chance, Rani & Amit love going to the
movies.Filled with action, romance and songs, movies
Life of Rani & Amit Singh
are the most popular form of entertainment. India
makes more movies than any other country in the world.
Amit also enjoys playing cricket and soccer while Rani
likes street hockey.Their favorite holiday is Diwali – the
Festival of Lights.It is a Hindu festival that celebrates
victory of good over evil.
Comparison between your life
with Rani or Amit

INDIA – its people