Southern States of India

Culture and tradition of southern states

South India

South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area (635780 km² or 245476.030 mi²). The region is also known as Dravida as is used in the National anthem.

There are four Southern states: Kerala,Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu

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Differnces in Food between south and north India

North Indian cuisine has been heavily influenced by the Arabs and Persians and the dishes are much heavier and creamier. South Indian dishes are heavily influenced by rice and coconut and the dishes have higher water content.The staple crop in North India is wheat, so a majority of dishes are based around this crop. This crop is mainly used to make naans, parathas, rotis, chapattis, etc.Southern dishes are said to have sharp, intense flavors. The meals are generally surrounded around rice being paired up with sambaar, rasam, dry and curried vegetables and a lot of coconut based chutneys.

Southern food is spicier than the northern food.

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In North India, Depawali is associated with the return of Sri Rama to Ayodhya after vanquishing the demon Ravana. The people of Ayodhya, overwhelmed with joy, welcomed Rama through jubilation and illumination of the entire capital.

In South India, Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura.

To the Jains, Depawali has an added significance to the great event of Mahavera attaining the Eternal Bliss of Nirvana.

Though, Diwali is mainly a 5 day festival but people start preparing for Diwali weeks ahead by cleaning and decorating their households. It is said that Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth roams the earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean and brightly illuminated.

Dussehra or Vijayadashmi

Dussehra or Navratri is one of the most popular festivals of India. Dussehra is the anniversary of the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo-headed demon, Mahishasura, giving the goddess her name Mahishasura-Mardini (the slayer of Mahishasura). Dussehra also commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana of Lanka. The theme of this festival is the victory of good over evil.

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In the South, especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, it is believed that Kama Deva, the God of love, aimed his arrow at his wife Rati. The arrow hit Shiva by mistake. Kama was burnt to ashes by the fire coming out of the third eye of the enraged Lord Shiva. Rati, was so grief-stricken that Shiva relented and granted her the power to see Kama deva but without a physical form. In Tamil Nadu, the festival known as Kaman vizha, Kaman pandigai, or Kama Dahanam commemorates the burning of Kama.

In the North, it is believed that a mighty King Hiranyakashipu ordered his people to worship him as a God. But Prahlad, his only son, refused to accept his father as a God, because he believed only in Lord Vishnu. The King tried to kill his son, but every time Prahlad was saved as he uttered the name of Vishnu. Finally, Prahlad's aunt Holika, claiming herself to be fireproof, took the child in her lap and sat in the fire to burn him alive. When the fire subsided, the king found, the child alive while Holika had perished.

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Durga Puja

In North India the nine-day period from the first to the ninth day in the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra is also known as Navaratri and is dedicated to the worship of nine different aspects of Devi. The ninth day in this month is also celebrated as Ramanavami.

In Gujarat, this is the time for the joyous Garba and Dandia dances and people pour out at night to participate in this community festival.
In Tamil Nadu, the first three days of the festival are dedicated to Lakshmi, the next three to Durga and the last three to Sarasvati.

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India is a country of uncountable festivals and cultures.There are different cultures for every state.

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South Indian Music

Indian musicicans never rely on musical scores. In Carnatic music, compositions and improvisation play an equally important role. Thousands of “songs” have been handed down from generation to generation in oral tradition or are being composed in our time. There is no seperate repertoire for vocalists and instrumentalists. Improvisations such as the exposition of a raga and variations of a theme are so carefully intertwined with a composition that the resulting effect is one of a complete musical unity. For an inexperienced listener it is therefore difficult to identify the beginning and end of an improvisation.

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North Indian Music

Hindustani (North Indian) ragas are assigned to specific times of the day (or night) and to specific seasons. Many ragas share the same scale, and many ragas share the same melodic theme. There are thousands of ragas, but six are considered fundamental: Bhairav, Malkauns, Hindol, Dipak, Megh and Shree. A raga is not necessarily instrumental, and, if vocal, it is not necessarily accompanied. But when it is accompanied by percussion (such as tablas), the rhythm is often rather intricate because it si constructed from a combination of fundamental rhythmic patterns (or talas). The main instrument of the ragas is the sitar, although historically the vina zither was at least equally important.

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Dances of South India

Kathakali, Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattom, Theyyam are traditional south Indian dances.

Padayani (Kerala), Kummi (Tamil Nadu), Kollattam (Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu), Perini (Andhra Pradesh) Thapetta Gullu (Andhra Pradesh) . These are the folk dances of Southern India.

Dances in other parts of the country

Bihu dance,Jhumur Nach, Bagurumba ,Ali Ai Ligang (Assam) Garba,Padhar,Raas,Tippani Dance(Jharkhand)

Tertali,Charkula,Jawara,Matki Dance,Phulpati Dance,Grida Dance,Maanch,Gaur Maria Dance(Madhya Pradesh)

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