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India – India’s primary official languages are Hindi and English, though several other languages are recognized as regional languages in different parts of the country. Over 80% of India’s population practices Hinduism, with about 13% practicing Islam and a small minority of about 2% practicing Christianity. Modern India’s culture has been shaped by traditional beliefs and practices as well as by its former status as an English colony. A variety of music, dance, and theater draw heavily from Hindu mythology, or even political and social events. Television and film are extremely popular in India; the country has the world’s largest film industry. While certain discriminatory elements of India’s caste system were outlawed in the 1940s, many people are still defined by their caste, which determines their standing in the social hierarchy. Arranged marriages are still a common practice as well, and traditional clothing such as the sari and the dhoti are regularly worn. A variety of religious festivals are also celebrated in the country, though different states observe a different number of these as official holidays. Cricket is the most popular sport in India (a result of British influence), though field hockey is also quite popular. Chess and traditional sports such as kabaddi and kho kho also enjoy some popularity. Indian cuisine is very distinct, and uses many herbs and spices to flavor food. Naan flatbread is often served with meals, though rice is a staple food in the southern and eastern parts of the country. Beef is not eaten, as cows are considered sacred. Many Indians are vegetarians, substituting meat with vegetable proteins, however, fish, chicken, and even pork are eaten in different regions of the country.
*Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Pakistan are also part of the India New Delhi Mission but there is no missionary presence in these countries at this time*
Despite being a primarily Hindu country, the Church has established a positive presence in India. Today, approximately 10,000 Latter-day Saints live in India, and on May 27, 2012, India organized its first stake. The New Delhi Mission came into existence on November 1, 2007 with one branch, and with the creation of the Hyderabad India Stake, there is now one stake and six districts of the Church within two missions in India.
Indian cuisine is very distinct, and uses many herbs and spices to flavor food. Naan flatbread is often served with meals, though rice is a staple food in the southern and eastern parts of the country. Beef is not eaten, as cows are considered sacred in the Hindu religion. Many Indians are vegetarians, substituting meat with vegetable proteins; however, fish, chicken, and even pork are eaten in different regions of the country.
Remnants of the caste system remain and a social hierarchy is evident. Traditional practices such as arranged marriage are still common.
Pack clothing for both hot and cold weather as the summer and winter are distinctly different.
Third Floor, F 48
Poorvi Marg, Vasant Vihar
110057 New Delhi