For example, mountain peoples are much more aggressive than those living on the plains.

At the same time, the uniqueness, the unparalleled significance for humanity of every step in the history of culture is underestimated.

Many prominent cultural historians believe that cultures go through periods of development, prosperity, then death and decline. They think that in the ancient world there were such great cultures, in comparison with which the following times are only a return to the past.

For example, the ancient culture of Babylon, ancient Greece were so perfect that in many respects are not inferior to our culture of the XX century. And, of course, the victory of bourgeois civilization over the epoch of poetic barbarism is not absolute progress.

If we consider cultural and historical progress in terms of filling it with personal origins, link its development with the improvement of man himself as a member of the genus, with the evolution of the inner world of the individual in the direction of greater sophistication, greater receptivity, reflection, awareness of their features, responsibilities and the search for new ideas, artistic and aesthetic means of expression of the spiritual world of the individual – in this case we can talk about progressive development in the cultural-historical process, not forgetting, but rather emphasizing the original value of each step and each nation in cultural history.

Nothing in culture dies, everything in crumbs flows into the stream of eternity.


Johnson D. Lucy. The origins of the human race. – M., 1984. Mead M. Culture and the world of childhood. – M., 1988. Kanarsky AS Dialectics of the aesthetic process. Genesis of sensual culture. – K., 1982. Kuusi P. This human world. – M., 1988. Teilhard de Chardin P. The phenomenon of man. – M., 19871. Introduction to culturology: Textbook. manual for universities / Hand. author, count. EV Popov. – M., 1995. – P. 336. Vernadsky VL. Philosophical thoughts of a naturalist. – M., 1988. Berdyaev NA The meaning of history. – M., 1900.

June 25, 2012

Indian cultural region: general characteristics. Abstract

General characteristics of the region. Religion. Socio-political life. Theater

General characteristics of the region

One of the six regions is the Indian Cultural Region, which includes the countries of Southeast Asia:

India, Burma, Ceylon, Malaya, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, as well as some culturally and linguistically related regions (Tibet, Bhutan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Central Asia).

Some of these countries were classified in the region only by geographical factor (Hindustan Peninsula and surrounding lands), but most of these countries are similar linguistically and religiously. Regarding the above-mentioned geographical factor, a certain location on the mainland, climate, way of life, etc. also affect the worldview and mentality of peoples.

For example, mountain peoples are much more aggressive than those living on the plains. This can be caused by lack of food, severe climatic conditions, lack of oxygen in the air. Therefore, the geographical location significantly affects the formation of culture, the formation of a cultural region.

India as a state is located on the Indian subcontinent in southern Asia between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, 2 thousand km long and 1.7 thousand km wide, with a total area of ​​about 3.5 million square meters. km. It has a large valley 3000 km long, 250-300 km wide between the Himalayas and the Dean, silted up by rivers, with a tropical monsoon and dry climate, catastrophic summer floods of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Indus. This is one of the agricultural regions of the world.

Indian culture occupies one of the leading places in the history of world culture. It is characterized by great achievements over more than three thousand years of development. It is characterized not only by durability, but also by a creative perception of the achievements of foreign cultures and the ability not to lose their own fundamental values. The continuity of Indian culture is largely based on social institutions (varnas, castes, families) and the widespread use of a common list of religious values ​​among classes and communities. A characteristic feature of Indian culture is that in it we encounter numerous religions that interact with each other.

The second feature is that all Hindu literature, both religious and secular, is full of hints of sexual content and sexual symbolism and frankly erotic descriptions. Culture, according to the German philosopher IG Herder, is the phenomenon that distinguishes man from the animal, raises it to the highest stage of development. This is the second birth of man, the crown of evolution.

The encyclopedia offers the following definition of the term “culture”: (from the Latin cultus – way of life, knowledge, education) is a set of material and spiritual values ​​created by mankind throughout its history. If we talk about the cultural heritage of the world, it is difficult to list all the spiritual and material values ​​that ever existed in human history and raised it to the next stage of evolution, because in each part of the world it happened differently … Therefore, the world is conventionally divided into six cultural regions that have their own specifics, their own language, customs, worldview, religion, as well as reflect the development of world culture in general.

The beginning of the antiquity of Indian culture dates back to the second half of III millennium BC. BC, and the lower limit is determined by VI, IX and even XII centuries. N. e. We conditionally delineate the lower limit of the first centuries of our era, without going beyond the chronological framework of the problem.

The first known centers of Indian culture existed in the III millennium BC. BC on the banks of the Indus, but it reached its peak in the II millennium BC. BC, in the era of “Rigved”. On the basis of a large collection of hymns “Rigved” was created a kind of spiritual and ideological system of Hinduism – the core of Indian culture. In the same era, there was a division of society into castes – a phenomenon without which it is impossible to understand the nature and originality of Indian culture. It was in the Rigveda that the moral and legal motives for the division of society into four estates (varnas) were substantiated: brahmanas (priests), kshatriyas (warriors), vaishvas (farmers, artisans), and sudras (servants).

A whole system of human life and behavior depending on the condition was developed. For example, only marriage within one varna (endogamy) was considered legal, the same applied to the choice of profession, occupation in a certain craft.

The Indian caste is the result of a long process of formation of industrial, legal and cultural relations between people who are divided among themselves by origin, profession, customs and laws. The final division of society into castes took place during the early Middle Ages and is an extremely complex phenomenon: for example, in 1947, at the time of the proclamation of India as an independent state, the number of castes reached almost 3.5 thousand.

From the Indian epic the most famous poem is “Ramayana” (IV-II centuries BC, written in Sanskrit). At the heart of the poem is King Rama’s struggle against demons (rakshasas). In the Middle Ages, the poem became one of the sacred books of Hinduism. For almost a millennium, the ancient Indian epic “Mahabharata” (18 books) was created on ethical, religious and philosophical themes using mythological and historical plots.

The first empires declared themselves in the IV century. BC BC, when numerous kingdoms and tribal organizations united under the rule of the Mauryan dynasty. Under Emperor Ashoka (third century BC), the state reached its greatest prosperity and expansion; in those days Buddhism became the state religion. During the existence of the empire of the Gupta dynasty (IV – V centuries) came the golden age of Hindu culture.

The culture of India, its specifics, began to take shape in the IV millennium BC. e. However, this was not a well-known ancient culture. But modern archaeological evidence suggests that this region was the center of active human activity at a civilizational level similar to that which already existed in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. Nile. This was the so-called Indian civilization, which is still known for the location of settlements discovered by archaeologists – Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. There is a lot of evidence of commonality with the culture of Mesopotamia and Egypt through contacts with these countries.

Harappan culture was characterized by a high level of agriculture on irrigated lands, engineering construction, urban lifestyle with perfect for that time technology of metal (copper, bronze), stone, ceramic production, use of vehicles, developed trade, both domestic and foreign. … The temples had special rooms for washing with a well-developed sewer system. Harappan civilization was theocratic in nature, unions were dominated by “unchanging traditions of the temple.”

It has already happened that the oldest Indian culture is known mainly for its material remains (ancient writing has not yet been fully deciphered), and they show that some images of religious cults show a tendency to imitate Harappan civilization by the next culture, which was not brought only by Indo-European conquests. allegedly not only politically, but above all culturally conquered the indigenous population of Hindustan. Although, naturally, the interaction was for a long time.


Mythology also played an important role in mixed Indian culture, becoming a synthesis of Aryan Dravidian munds and other fantastic elements. Aryan tribes are hypothetically considered the ancestors of Ukrainians who brought to India their language – Sanskrit (in translation – orderly, perfected).

The oldest monument of ancient Indian folk art is the Vedas, Indo-Iranian texts that emerged in the XV-V centuries. BC is. and written in Vedic Sanskrit. They consist of 4 samhitas: “Rigveda” “Samaveda”. “Yajurveda” “Atgarwaveda” – a collection of mantras, which contain the oldest achievements of Indian philosophical thought. The Vedas also include the Brahmanas, exegetical texts. Aranyakn – mystical texts. Upanishads – texts that contain the basic concepts of Indian philosophical systems. The texts of the Vedas in Hinduism are considered sacred, narrated through revelation.

Vedism is the oldest form of Hinduism known from the Vedas, which arose as a result of the mutual influence of the beliefs of the Aryans and the primitive inhabitants of India. It is a kind of polytheism with monotheistic tendencies, a belief in the existence of a cosmic order (ruta) that connects all the elements of the universe; developed a sacrificial cult, which was sent through specially trained priests.