The Essence of Being Indian: Message to Non-Resident Indians All Over the World
Culture is the sum total of how people live their lives. Hindu culture is highly religious because religion is the center of Hindu lives. The religious culture harks back to ancient times when wisdom and teachings, which form the basis of learned culture, were handed down to Hindu devotees through the ages. Culture manifests in traditions and beliefs and these comprise a huge part of the Hindu religious culture.
Hinduism is the oldest religion on Earth. The Hindu religion is cultural. It is a people’s way of life. Wherever Hindus are located anywhere in the world, religion is part and parcel of their everyday living because Hinduism is their way of life. Customs and traditions are part of the very fabric of the Hindu religion. There are numerous festivals and ceremonies that show devotion and reverence to the gods, as well as to ancestors. One integral part of the Hindu religion is showing complete respect to elders. In the Hindu religious culture, father, mother, and teacher are highly respected, and are even considered next to God.
So, to be an Indian in the truest sense is to embrace the practice of rituals and ceremonies that revere the gods, as much as pay utmost respect to elders. These devotional homages are performed to honor them, such as those rituals for the dearly departed loved ones and ancestors. Moreover, the essence of being Indian is to immerse oneself in prayer and continually seek for the truth. And since the Hindu operates from his own personal effort to seek truth and destiny, he is responsible for his own actions. The fundamental essence of being an Indian is love for truth.