The history of humans in the India subcontinent is extensive, complex, and overflowing with civilizations, cultures, languages, religions, and globally significant figures the historical Buddha, for instance. The people of India have a history of openly embracing sexuality, much of it intrinsically tied to religion. Any history of sex in India would be remiss not examine the Kama Sutra , an ancient text on navigating love, relationships, and sexuality that famous includes a lot of suggested positions. Given its geographical location - isolated by mountains across the north and oceans all around its massive peninsula - India developed as a unique region. Teachers weren't convening classes and creating curriculum to educate the masses, but rather authors, and in some cases, rulers, created resources anyone with access could use to learn about sexuality.
The Ideology of Love in a Tamil Family. As history professor and author Anne Hardgrove writes :. However, India sex culture common aspect remains: the existence of a subtle conspiracy of silence and taboos that clouds the Indian world of sexual desires and expressions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; August 27, One truck driver told the Washington Post he visited four or five prostitutes a week to satisfy his voracious appetite which he said was caused by eating hot, India sex culture food. They may also engage in India sex culture activity with men for money or to satisfy their own sexual desires. Many scholars speculate that Kalyanamalla lived in a more sexist society than Ijdia writers, noting that Kalyanamalla deviates from other writers by neglecting to provide normative advice for producing women's pleasure, such as the use of fingers, a method that other Travel to australia private jet heartily endorse. In recent years, the availability of sexually clture books, magazines, and videos has also acted as major contributory factor for male autoerotic activities. Before puberty, a natural approach to sexuality and cluture prevails, especially cuulture rural areas.
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India is a vast country depicting wide social, cultural and sexual variations.
- India's culture is among the world's oldest; civilization in India began about 4, years ago.
- Return to Scientific questions for BKs.
- The culture of India refers collectively to the thousands of distinct and unique cultures of all religions and communities present in India.
- India constitutes the largest part of the subcontinental land mass of South Asia, an area it shares with six other countries, including Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
- India is a vast country depicting wide social, cultural and sexual variations.
- India is a land of the oldest, most magical cultures, religions and customs.
One Indian psychologist told the Washington Post, that Indian traditions have moved back and forth "between eroticism and sexual repressiveness. Dating still considered taboo by some people. Casual sex is very rare, even in the hippest of crowds. Most couple have not even held hands before they are married. Even so some Hindu temples have very sexually explicit images on their walls. Hindus are not circumcised. Muslim are. A coming of age ceremony is still held in some areas for girls when they reach puberty.
It traditionally meant that the girl had reached marriageable and was marked with the girl being presented her first sari. Studies have shown that married Indian men are more likely to be faithful than men from may other cultures. In the old days marble jalis , or screens, were used by Indian princes to keep eyes off their wives.
Married couples are discouraged from having sex. Many people are surprised AIDS has spread so fast in India, a country known for its conservatism and emphasis on monogamy and female purity. In reality, India is less sexually constrained than many have assumed.
There is a large populations of migrant workers who have sex with prostitutes. One truck driver told the Washington Post he visited four or five prostitutes a week to satisfy his voracious appetite which he said was caused by eating hot, spicy food. Contraceptive prevalence rate: This is up from 48 percent in the early s and Abortion is legal, condoms are advertised on colorful billboards, and government health services offer small bounties for patients undergoing vasectomies and tubal ligations.
In some regions, most notably Kerala, better health care and higher infant survival rates are associated with lowered fertility rates. Two thirds of Kerala women use birth control compared to 40 percent nationwide.
The population is relatively stable in Kerala. In spite of the availability of various contraceptive methods like sterilization, IUD, condoms, hormonal pills, and other temporary methods, the adopters of the program mostly opt for sterilization, more often tubal ligation or tubectomy.
A packet of three condoms sold for lest than two cents in India in the s. Type of birth control used: 71 percent sterilization, mostly women. Less than 7 percent of married women use condoms or the birth control pill, despite their wide availability. Family planning advocates want the RU abortion pill to be legalized.
RU can cause side effects such as bleeding and should be administered under proper medical supervision. The Indian government has only made token attempts to introduce condoms and birth control pills.
A program for vasectomies for men and intrauterine devices for women failed in part because the health infrastructure could not provide adequate sanitary condition, medical training for health workers and follow-up care and many patient died of infections and tetanus. Sterilization of women has been selected because it is the simplest and surest method of birth control.
Some women in India tried to avoid pregnancy by fumigating their vagina with steam from a special kettle. Women in Egypt and India have used suppositories made highly acidic elephant or crocodile dung as a contraceptive. The acid acts as a spermicide. To encourage women to use more conventional methods the New Delhi branch of the Family Planning Clinic has offered instruction on the latest methods of pedicure. Jayaji Krishna Nath, M.
It is not surprising to know in a male-dominated society, especially in rural areas, that people generally perceive that the program is mostly meant for the women folk as they are bearers of the children. Nayar, Encyclopedia of Sexuality, sexarchive. The condom, a simple reversible and nonchemical method of contraception, is widely accepted by couples in the younger age group, mostly for spacing pregnancies.
Marriages have traditionally taken place when the couple is very young. Girls are expected to be virgins when they get married. In the early s, more than half of Indian women married at 18 or younger and more than 90 percent were virgins when they got married. After Hindu children reach puberty, the sexes are separated so there is little interaction between teenage girls and boys.
According to one survey in the s less than nine percent of all newlyweds had premarital sex and less than a third did it on their wedding night. A survey by India Today in found that 72 percent of men expected their wives to be virgins when they are married and 77 percent said they would not marry a women who had admitted having sex.
Kanya is word used to describe virginity. It is equated with purity, an important element of Hinduism. A woman can only marry if she is pure. A divorced or widowed woman is no longer pure. She is polluted. If she marries she would pollute the man she is married to. Parents who present a pure daughter to marriage earn great merit.
Expressions and feelings that would have been termed scandalous and in need of being tamed to adhere to socially accepted rules, values, and practices, are now accepted as natural. Physical love will tend to be a shame-ridden affair, a sharp stabbing of lust with little love and even less passion.
Indeed the code of sexual conduct for the householder-husband fully endorses this expectation. But intercourse is forbidden on six of these sixteen days, the first four days, and the eleventh and thirteenth. This leaves only ten days for conjugal relations, but since the all-important sons are conceived only on even nights and daughters on uneven nights, the days for conjugal relations shrinks to five.
Add to these taboos, the many festival days for gods and ancestors when erotic pleasures are forbidden. Sex is also beyond the pale during the day. This is quite understandable since changes in sexuality occur at a more gradual pace than transformations in the political and social sphere; sexual time, as Kakar suggests, beats at a considerably slower pace than its chronological counterpart.
Sexual taboos are still so strong in some Hindu communities that many women, especially those in the higher castes, do not have a name for their genitals Kakar , But they can, and apparently do increase the conflicts around sexuality, sour it for many, and generally contribute to its impoverishment.
This can effectively block many men and women from a deep, fulfilling experience of sexual love. It was a duty, an experience to be submitted to, often from a fear of beating. None of the women removed their clothes during intercourse since it is considered shameful to do so Kakar , Despite these pervasive negative images of the conflict between the sexes in marriage, and the negative view of women and sexuality, it must be pointed out that Indian sexual relations are not devoid of regular pauses in the conflict between man and woman.
Tenderness, whether this be an affair with the soul of a Mukesh song, that is much quieter than a plunge into the depths of erotic passion known in Western culture, or sexual ecstasy of a husband and wife who have found their way through the forest of sexual taboos, does exist in India Kakar , Before puberty, a natural approach to sexuality and nudity prevails, especially in rural areas.
Daughters and sons are carefully prepared for their future domestic roles as mothers and fathers. Women are considered to be much more skilled than males in love and sexual pleasures. In some regions of India, pubescent girls are not even allowed to enter a house where a single young man is present.
Some tribal groups practice totally free sex among adolescents. This exposure often results in conflicting responses for girls raised in a society that represses or ignores female sexuality. In rural areas, adults sometimes talk loudly about their sexual experiences in the presence of children, and this provides opportunities for the young men to think more about sex.
In urban areas, especially cities where housing shortage is very acute, adults in public places like parks and cinema theaters generally satisfy their sexual feeling through hugging or other noncoital sexual practices. These acts also provide learning opportunities for the younger ones. The most obvious health risk of teenage sex among the young is pregnancy for girls who are not yet physically matured. Further, if the pregnancy is unwanted or illegitimate, the health hazards are likely to be compounded by the social, psychological, and economic consequences.
In their study of infant and childhood mortality, K. Mahadevan et al. The findings reveal that the high incidence of infant mortality among the first two birth orders may be mainly due to teenage pregnancy and childbirth.
In traditional societies where mothers marry young, there is family support for the young parents although medical risks remain high. Adolescents in India today face a number of problems related to changing value systems and social expectations. The sexual world of adolescents is becoming increasingly complex. In traditional Indian society, adolescents were initiated into their sexual roles, more or less, in a clearly defined period and by a series of ceremonies and rites.
As in some other cultures, these included instruction on their sex roles, marriage customs, sexual morality, and acceptable sexual behavior. But with the influence of Western culture, the present generation of youth are facing a number of problems that are ultimately forcing them to violate the traditional norms as laid down by the society.
Reddy and his colleagues, in a study of young people, found that the sample youth had their first sexual experience between the ages of 15 and 24 years. Homosexual activities were also reported in this study: 38 percentage of women in the sample reported that their first sexual activity had been with a partner of the same sex.
Men were found to be more liberal in their views than women. Coping with sex is a growing problem for young people. Youngsters are in fact often sandwiched between a near-obsessive preoccupation with sex in the media and a veritable wall of silence from other sources of information on the subject. Sex education, including family planning and reproductive health management, has to be the cornerstone of any youth program that is attempted.
The social, psychological, and emotional consequences to early sexual involvement also need to be carefully explained. Nayar wrote in the Encyclopedia of Sexuality: Traditionally, premarital sex activity was controlled in India.
As the marriages were mostly arranged by elders, premarital sex was not the accepted practice. Although premarital sex among the tribal societies of India has been widely reported, there is very little if any reliable data on this topic in either the rural or urban areas. Since marriage is strongly endorsed for all adults in India, the number of men and women remaining unmarried is very negligible.
With the rapid increase in urbanization and industrialization, more and more young people are moving out of the rural areas into the urban areas, mainly in search of a livelihood.
Yoga originated in India. The eight classical forms accorded classical dance status by India's National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama are: bharatanatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu , kathak of Uttar Pradesh , kathakali and mohiniattam of Kerala , kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh , yakshagana of Karnataka , manipuri of Manipur , odissi orissi of the state of Odisha and the sattriya of Assam. These provisions have ensured that the main minority populations have legislative representation and an interest in pursuing the electoral process. The majority of Sikhs do NOT eat meat. Higher Education. There are thus major geographic differences in diet.
India sex culture. 2. Always a Festive Season
Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh , was built in the s and is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa , Tibet. Ruins of Martand Sun Temple in Kashmir. Indian architecture encompasses a multitude of expressions over space and time, constantly absorbing new ideas.
The result is an evolving range of architectural production that nonetheless retains a certain amount of continuity across history. Some of its earliest production are found in the Indus Valley Civilisation — BC which is characterised by well-planned cities and houses. Religion and kingship do not seem to have played an important role in the planning and layout of these towns. During the period of the Mauryan and Gupta empires and their successors, several Buddhist architectural complexes, such as the caves of Ajanta and Ellora and the monumental Sanchi Stupa were built.
Angkor Wat , Borobudur and other Buddhist and Hindu temples indicate strong Indian influence on South East Asian architecture, as they are built in styles almost identical to traditional Indian religious buildings. The traditional system of Vaastu Shastra serves as India's version of Feng Shui , influencing town planning, architecture, and ergonomics. It is unclear which system is older, but they contain certain similarities.
Feng Shui is more commonly used throughout the world. With the advent of Islamic influence from the west, Indian architecture was adapted to allow the traditions of the new religion, creating the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The Qutb complex , a group of monuments constructed by successive sultanas of the Delhi Sultanate is one of the earliest examples.
The colonial rule of the British Empire saw the development of Indo-Saracenic style, and mixing of several other styles, such as European Gothic. Indian architecture has influenced eastern and southeastern Asia, due to the spread of Buddhism. A number of Indian architectural features such as the temple mound or stupa , temple spire or shikhara , temple tower or pagoda and temple gate or torana , have become famous symbols of Asian culture, used extensively in East Asia and South East Asia.
The central spire is also sometimes called a vimanam. The southern temple gate, or gopuram is noted for its intricacy and majesty.
Contemporary Indian architecture is more cosmopolitan. Cities are extremely compact and densely populated. Mumbai's Nariman Point is famous for its Art Deco buildings.
Recent creations such as the Lotus Temple ,  Golden Pagoda and Akshardham , and the various modern urban developments of India like Bhubaneswar and Chandigarh , are notable. Cricket was introduced to India by the British. Now it is the country's most popular sport. Indian men's field hockey team at the Olympics. Kabaddi , is a contact sport that originated in ancient India. It is one of the most popular sports in India. Field hockey was considered to be the national game of India, but this has been recently denied by the Government of India , clarifying on a Right to Information Act RTI filed that India has not declared any sport as the national game.
However, field hockey in India no longer has the following that it once did. Cricket is considered the most popular sport in India. Football is popular in the Indian state of West Bengal. The city of Kolkata is the home to the largest stadium in India , and the second largest stadium in the world by capacity, Salt Lake Stadium. The city of joy is a centre of football activity in India and is home to top national clubs such as Mohun Bagan A.
Chess is commonly believed to have originated in northwestern India during the Gupta empire ,     where its early form in the 6th century was known as chaturanga. Other games which originated in India and continue to remain popular in wide parts of northern India include Kabaddi , Gilli-danda , and Kho kho. Traditional southern Indian games include Snake boat race and Kuttiyum kolum. The modern game of polo is derived from Manipur, India , where the game was known as 'Sagol Kangjei', 'Kanjai-bazee', or 'Pulu'.
The first polo club was established in the town of Silchar in Assam, India, in In , India inaugurated a privately built Buddh International Circuit , its first motor racing circuit.
The 5. One of the best known forms of ancient Indian martial arts is the Kalarippayattu from Kerala. This ancient fighting style is mentioned in Sangam literature BCE and CE and is regarded as one of the oldest surviving martial arts. A bamboo staff is used as the main weapon. Among eastern states, Paika akhada is a martial art found in Odisha. Paika akhada, or paika akhara, roughly translates as "warrior gymnasium" or "warrior school".
Today's paika akhada teach physical exercises and martial arts in addition to the paika dance, a performance art with rhythmic movements and weapons being hit in time to the drum.
It incorporates acrobatic maneuvres and use of the khanda straight sword , patta guantlet-sword , sticks, and other weapons. In northern India, the musti yuddha evolved in AD and focussed on mental, physical and spiritual training.
Indian martial arts techniques have had a profound impact on other martial arts styles across Asia. The 3rd-century BCE Yoga Sutras of Patanjali taught how to meditate single-mindedly on points located inside one's body, which was later used in martial arts , while various mudra finger movements were taught in Yogacara Buddhism. These elements of yoga , as well as finger movements in the nata dances, were later incorporated into various martial arts.
Indian television started off in in New Delhi with tests for educational telecasts. Only one national channel, the government owned Doordarshan existed around that time. The year marked a revolution in TV programming in India, as the New Delhi Asian games became the first to be broadcast on the colour version of TV.
The Ramayana and Mahabharat were among the popular television series produced. By the late s television set ownership rapidly increased. Hence the government started another channel which had part national programming and part regional. Both channels were broadcast terrestrially.
In , the government liberated its markets, opening them up to cable television. Since then, there has been a spurt in the number of channels available. Today, Indian small screen is a huge industry by itself, and offers hundreds of programmes in almost all the regional languages of India.
The small screen has produced numerous celebrities of their own kind, some even attaining national fame for themselves. TV soaps enjoy popularity among women of all classes. A scene from Raja Harishchandra , the first full-length Indian motion picture. Producer-director-screenwriter Dadasaheb Phalke , the "father of Indian cinema". Bollywood is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai -based film industry in India.
Bollywood and the other major cinematic hubs in Bengali Cinema , Oriya film industry , Assamese, Kannada, Malayalam , Marathi, Tamil , Punjabi and Telugu constitute the broader Indian film industry , whose output is considered to be the largest in the world in terms of number of films produced and number of tickets sold. Iyer , Mani Ratnam , and K. Balachander see also: Indian film directors. With the opening up of the economy in recent years and consequent exposure to world cinema, audience tastes have been changing.
In addition, multiplexes have mushroomed in most cities, changing the revenue patterns. India's diversity has inspired many writers to pen their perceptions of the country's culture.
These writings paint a complex and often conflicting picture of the culture of India. India is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse countries in the world. The concept of "Indian culture" is a very complex and complicated matter. Indian citizens are divided into various ethnic, religious, caste, linguistic and regional groups, making the realities of "Indianness" extremely complicated. This is why the conception of Indian identity poses certain difficulties and presupposes a series of assumptions about what concisely the expression "Indian" means.
However, despite this vast and heterogeneous composition, the creation of some sort of typical or shared Indian culture results from some inherent internal forces such as a robust Constitution, universal adult franchise, flexible federal structure, secular educational policy, etc. According to industry consultant Eugene M. Makar, for example, traditional Indian culture is defined by a relatively strict social hierarchy.
He also mentions that from an early age, children are reminded of their roles and places in society. Several differences such as religion divide the culture. However, a far more powerful division is the traditional Hindu bifurcation into non-polluting and polluting occupations. Strict social taboos have governed these groups for thousands of years, claims Makar.
In recent years, particularly in cities, some of these lines have blurred and sometimes even disappeared. He writes important family relations extend as far as 1 gotra , the mainly patrilinear lineage or clan assigned to a Hindu at birth. The patriarch often resolves family issues. Others have a different perception of Indian culture.
According to an interview with C. Prahalad by Des Dearlove , author of many best selling business books, modern India is a country of very diverse cultures with many languages, religions and traditions. Children begin by coping and learning to accept and assimilate in this diversity. Prahalad — who was born in India and grew up there — claimed, in the interview, that Indians, like everyone else in the world, want to be treated as unique, as individuals, want to express themselves and seek innovation.
These changes have led to Indian families giving education opportunities to girls, accepting women working outside home, pursuing a career, and opening the possibility for women to attain managerial roles in corporate India. Lockwood claims that change is slow, yet the scale of cultural change can be sensed from the fact that of India's million workers, million are now women.
The issues in India with women empowerment are similar to those elsewhere in the world. According to Amartya Sen , the India born Nobel Laureate in Economics, the culture of modern India is a complex blend of its historical traditions, influences from the effects of colonialism over centuries and current Western culture — both collaterally and dialectically.
Sen observes that external images of India in the West often tend to emphasise the difference — real or imagined — between India and the West. Western writers and media usually misses, in important ways, crucial aspects of Indian culture and traditions. The deep-seated heterogeneity of Indian traditions, in different parts of India, is neglected in these homogenised description of India. The perceptions of Indian culture, by those who weren't born and raised in India, tend to be one of at least three categories, writes Sen:.
The curatorial approach, one inspired by systematic curiosity for the cultural diversity of India within India, is mostly absent. Susan Bayly , in her book, observes that there is considerable dispute in India and Orientalist scholars on perceived Indian culture. She acknowledges that many dispute claims of pervasiveness of caste and strict social hierarchy in modern India. Bayly notes that much of the Indian subcontinent was populated by people for whom the formal distinctions of caste and strict social hierarchies were of only limited importance in their lifestyles.
Tanisha Rathore from Thousand Miles Online Magazine wrote, "Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi since his government has taken many initiatives for a better environment, like to throw the trash in dustbins. Is this the successive evolution of the human brain in its educational years? According to Rosser, an American sociologist, Americans of South Asian origins feel the Western perception of the culture of India has numerous stereotypes.
Rosser notes that the discourse in much of the United States about the culture of India is rarely devoted to independent India. People quickly make sweeping and flawed metaphysical assumptions about its religion and culture, but are far more circumspect when evaluating civil society and political culture in modern India.
It is as if the value of South Asia resides only in its ancient contributions to human knowledge whereas its pathetic attempts to modernise or develop are to be winked at and patronised. The study reports a stark contrast between Western perceptions of the culture of India, versus the direct experience of the interviewed people. For example:. The presentation of South Asians is a standard pedagogic approach which runs quickly from the "Cradle of Civilisation"—contrasting the Indus Valley with Egypt and Mesopotamia—on past the Aryans, who were somehow our ancestors— to the poverty stricken, superstitious, polytheistic, caste ridden Hindu way of life There may be a side bar on ahimsa or a chart of connecting circles graphically explaining samsara and reincarnation, or illustrations of the four stages of life or the Four Noble Truths.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Mythology and folklore. Mythology folklore Indian epic poetry Vedic mythology Buddhist mythology. Architecture Sculpture Painting. Indian poetry. Music and performing arts. Television Cinema. World Heritage Sites. Flag Coat of arms. Hindu Kandariya Mahadeva Temple. Jain Palitana Temples. Buddhist Mahabodhi Temple. Sikh Golden Temple.
Main article: Indian philosophy. Earliest Hindu philosophy were arranged and codified by Hindu Vedic sages, such as Yajnavalkya c. Jain philosophy were propagated by 24 Tirthankaras , notably Parshvanatha c.
Buddhist philosophy was founded by Gautama Buddha c. Marriage in India. A bride during a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony in Punjab, India. Main article: Festivals in India. Play media. Cows depicted in the decorated gopuram of the Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Chennai. Cow statue located at the open hall looking into the eastern doorway of the Kalleshvara Temple.
Main article: Indian cuisine. Indian cuisine is diverse, ranging from very spicy to very mild, varying with seasons in each region. These reflect the local agriculture , regional climate , culinary innovations and cultural diversity. Food in India is sometimes served in thali — a plate with rice, bread and a selection of sides. Above are thali samples. E, documents the fine art of making Kheer , a milk based dessert of India: Select the cows carefully; to get quality milk, pay attention to what the cows eat; feed them sugar canes; use this milk to make the best Kheer.
While, another popular variant is Phirni. Main article: Clothing in India. Main article: Indian literature. Language families in India and its neighbouring countries.
India has 22 official languages — 15 of which are Indo-European. The census of India found first languages in active use. The second map shows the distribution of the Indo-European languages throughout the world. Numerous words from India entered English vocabulary during the British colonial era.
Main article: Dance in India. Main article: Theatre in India. Main article: Music of India. Images of musical instruments drawn by Pierre Sonnerat, the French explorer, in during his voyage through India. Main article: Indian art. Main article: Indian painting. Main article: Sculpture in India.
Marble Sculpture of female, c. Main article: Architecture of India. Main article: Sports in India. Main article: Indian martial arts.
Indian martial arts. Jasmine Simhalan performing steps and postures Silambam and Kalarippayattu , ancient India martial arts. Yoga originated in India. Main article: Television in India. See also: List of Indian television stations. Main article: Cinema of India. Main article: Stereotypes of South Asians.
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R — Z, Volume 2. Indian Association of Kickboxing Organisations. Archived from the original on 12 July Examples of this include the depiction of Apsaras , roughly equivalent to nymphs or sirens in European and Arabic mythology, on some ancient temples. The best and most famous example of this can be seen at the Khajuraho complex in central India built around 9th to 12th century. Although the Portuguese and French had managed to set up some small enclaves in India, such as Goa, where the Catholic inquisition forcibly converted some of the population of the small region to Catholicism, it was the arrival of the British , who managed to annex the entire Indian subcontinent through alliances with various monarchs, that had the largest effect on the culture of India and its attitudes to sex.
Rule was indirect at first through the East India Company whose administrators did not necessarily interfere extensively and even took advantage of the tattered remnants of Hindu liberalism in sexual matters, for example through liaisons and by maintaining de facto wives. At the same time there were significant number of orientalists who saw India as a great civilisation, invented the field of Indology , and advocated a more accepting point of view.
A number of movements were set up by prominent citizens, such as the Brahmo Samaj in Bengal and the Prarthana Samaj in Bombay Presidency , to work for the 'reform' of Indian private and public life. Paradoxically while this new consciousness led to the promotion of education for women and eventually a raise in the age of consent and reluctant acceptance of remarriage for widows , it also produced a puritanical attitude to sex even within marriage and the home.
The liberality of pre-colonial India had also respected the home and relationships. Conservative views of sexuality are now the norm in the modern republic of India, and South Asia in general.
It is often argued that this is partly related to the effect of colonial influence, as well as to the puritanical elements of Islam in countries like Pakistan e. However, such views were also prevalent in the pre-colonial era, especially since the advent of Islam in India which brought purdah as ideal for Muslim women. Before the gradual spread of Islam largely through the influence of Sufis, there seems to be evidence of liberal attitudes towards sexuality and nudity in art.
However, scholars debate the degree to which Islam, as a mass and varied phenomenon was responsible for this shift. While during the s and s in the west, many people discovered the ancient culture of sexual liberalism in India as a source for western free love movements, and neo-Tantric philosophy, India itself is currently the more prudish culture, embodying Victorian sensibilities that were abandoned decades ago in their country of origin.
However, with increased exposure to world culture due to globalisation, and the proliferation of progressive ideas due to greater education and wealth, India is beginning to go through a western-style sexual revolution of its own, especially in cosmopolitan cities. Modern issues that affect India, as part of the sexual revolution, have become points of argument between conservative and liberal forces, such as political parties and religious pressure groups.
These issues are also matters of ethical importance in a nation where freedom and equality are guaranteed in the constitution. The entertainment industry is an important part of modern India, and is expressive of Indian society in general.
Historically, Indian television and film has lacked the frank depiction of sex; until recently, even kissing scenes were considered taboo.
On the other hand, rape scenes or scenes showing sexual assault were shown. Currently, some Indian states show soft-core sexual scenes and nudity in films, whilst other areas do not. Mainstream films are still largely catered for the masses. The distribution and production of pornography are both illegal in India; however, accessing pornography in private is not. Regardless, softcore films have been common since the late s, and many directors have produced them.
The Information Technology Act , Chapter XI Paragraph 67, the Government of India clearly considers transmission of pornography through any electronic medium as a punishable offence.
The CEO of the Indian subsidiary of eBay was charged with various criminal offences for allowing the trading of a CD on the website that contained pornography. While trade in sex was frowned upon in ancient India, it was tolerated and regulated so as to reduce the damage that it could do. Unfortunately, however, the stigmatisation that has arisen in modern times has left the many poor sex workers with problems of exploitation and rampant infection , including AIDS , and worse, it has allowed a huge people-trafficking industry, like that of Eastern Europe , to take hold.
Many poor young women are kidnapped from villages and sold into sexual slavery. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from History of sex in India. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Khajuraho Hindu and Jain temple complex is famous for erotic arts. Main article: Sex in Indian entertainment.
Main article: Pornography in India. Main article: Prostitution in India. Burton, and ibn M. The Kama Sutra. New York: Diadem Books,
Intercourse: Habits And Practice
India is a vast country depicting wide social, cultural and sexual variations. Indian concept of sexuality has evolved over time and has been immensely influenced by various rulers and religions.
Indian sexuality is manifested in our attire, behavior, recreation, literature, sculptures, scriptures, religion and sports. It has influenced the way we perceive our health, disease and device remedies for the same.
In modern era, with rapid globalization the unique Indian sexuality is getting diffused. The time has come to rediscover ourselves in terms of sexuality to attain individual freedom and to reinvest our energy to social issues related to sexuality. Modern India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Excavations in the Indus Valley trace civilization there back for at least 5, years. India's cultural history includes prehistoric mountain cave paintings in Ajanta, the exquisite beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra, the rare sensitivity and warm emotions of the erotic Hindu temple sculptures of the 9 th -century Chandella rulers, and the Kutab Minar in Delhi.
The seeming contradictions of Indian attitudes towards sex can be best explained through the context of history. It may be argued that India pioneered the use of sexual education through art and literature. As in all societies, there was a difference in sexual practices in India between common people and powerful rulers, with people in power often indulging in hedonistic lifestyles that were not representative of common moral attitudes.
India is a multiethnic and multilingual society with wide variations in demographic situations and socioeconomic conditions. Sexuality means different things to different people. Sexuality encompasses many ideas and has many facets. The definition of sexuality has been evolving along with our understanding of it. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles and relationships.
The first evidence of attitudes towards sex comes from the ancient texts of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, the first of which are perhaps the oldest surviving literature in the world. These most ancient texts, the Vedas, reveal moral perspectives on sexuality, marriage and fertility prayers.
It seems that polygamy was allowed during ancient times. In practice, this seems to have only been practiced by rulers, with common people maintaining a monogamous marriage. It is common in many cultures for a ruling class to practice both polyandry and polygamy as a way of preserving dynastic succession. Nudity in art was considered acceptable in southern India, as shown by the paintings at Ajanta and the sculptures of the time.
It is likely that as in most countries with tropical climates, Indians from some regions did not need to wear clothes, and other than for fashion, there was no practical need to cover the upper half of the body. This is supported by historical evidence, which shows that men in many parts of ancient India mostly dressed only the lower half of their bodies with clothes and upper part of the body was covered by gold and precious stones, jewellery, while women used to wear traditional sarees made of silk and expensive clothes as a symbol of their wealth.
The main theme here appears to be the expression of Indian attitude toward sex as a central and natural component of Indian psyche and life.
During 10 th century to 12 th century, some of India's most famous ancient works of art were produced, often freely depicting romantic themes and situations [ Figure 1 ]. Examples of this include the depiction of Apsaras, roughly equivalent to nymphs or sirens in European and Arabic mythology, on some ancient temples.
The best and most famous example of this can be seen at the Khajuraho complex in central India built around 9 th to 12 th century. In this 16 th century guide, what people of that time thought were the most satisfactory characteristics of lovers and love making, have been poetically and colorfully described.
At the end of the medieval period in India and Europe, colonial powers such as the Portuguese, British and French were seeking ways of circumventing the Muslim controlled lands of western Asia, and re-opening ancient Greek and Roman trade routes with the fabled rich lands of India, resulting in the first attempts to sail around Africa, and circumnavigate the globe. The Indian Rebellion of caused widespread condemnation of the East India Company's alleged shortcomings and the Government of India Act completely did away with the Company's intermediary role, ushering in the British Raj era of direct rule.
This put India much more at the mercy of Britain's official guardians of morality. Victorian values stigmatized Indian sexual liberalism. Paradoxically, while this new consciousness led to the promotion of education for women and eventually a raise in the age of consent and reluctant acceptance of remarriage for widows, it also produced a puritanical attitude to sex even within marriage and the home. The historical analysis of the status of women shows that in Vedic India, as revealed by its literature, women were treated with grace and consideration.
However, in the post-vedic age, there was a slow but steady decline of their importance in the home and society. A decline, indeed a distinct degeneration in their status, is visible in medieval India. The purdah system of female seclusion, the sati tradition of immolating the widow on the husband pyre, dowry, and child marriages were obvious in the pre independence period.
The family in Indian society provides for the satisfaction of the fundamental biopsychic drives of hunger and sex, and makes it possible to perpetuate the species through reproduction and the social heritage through the handing down of traditions from generation to generation. The function of preserving language, customs, and traditions is normally performed in collaboration with other social groups. Husband and wife, though, contribute to the maintenance of the family, there is a clear division of labor based on sex.
The sex roles of a person consist of the behavior that is socially defined and expected of that person because of his or her role as a male or female. In India's male-dominated tradition, and everywhere in Vedic, classical, medieval, and modern Hinduism, the paradigms in myths, rituals, doctrines, and symbols are masculine. However, just as goddess traditions encroached successfully on the territory of masculine deities, so too has the impact of women's religious activity, the ritual life, in particular, been of increasing significance in the overall scale of Hindu tradition.
Adult marriage is generally the rule in India. Usually it is expected that a husband must be in a position to earn a living and his wife must be able to run the home, which they set up after marriage.
The influence of the Hindu religion has resulted in some pre-puberty marriages. The vast majority of regular marriages are still parent-made, arranged marriages. In one form of irregular marriage, the two lovers run away and stay away until they are accepted by their family, which is done as a matter of course.
Sometimes a betrothal ceremony takes place before the marriage proper is solemnized. Legally, marriage takes place only between those who have passed the puberty stage. At the marriage ceremony, the local priest is required to officiate prayers and offerings are made to the gods. In Indian folklore, Shiva and Parvati argue interminably about who is the better dancer, while Vishnu and Lakshmi are constantly debating which the greater divinity is.
The social context determines whether the woman is viewed as a divine, good, or bad-as partners in ritual, as mother, or as an object of sensuality. Faced with this perennial conflict between husband and wife, the object of the wife's affectional and sensual currents traditionally has been the husband's younger brother in the joint or extended Indian family.
For a time in Indian social history, the custom of niyoga officially recognized the erotic importance of the brother-in-law-in the sense that he would or could have sexual relations with his elder's brother's widow. The niyoga custom has been traced back to the times of the Rig-veda where a man, identified by the commentators as the brother-in-law, is described as extending his hand in promise of marriage to a widow inclined to share her husband's funeral pyre.
The fate of sexuality within marriage is likely to come under an evil constellation of stars. Physical love will tend to be a shame-ridden affair, a sharp stabbing of lust with little love and even less passion. Indeed, the code of sexual conduct for the householder-husband fully endorses this expectation. In the life of a Hindu male, for instance, marriage is regarded as necessary, because without a wife, he cannot enter the Grihasth ashrama the life stage of a householder.
In addition, without marriage there can be no offspring, and without a son, no release from the chain of reincarnation in birth-death-rebirth. According to Hindu custom, which still prevails in most families, marriage must take place within one's caste or Varna, although marriages between members of different castes and communities are gaining acceptance.
Hindu marriage, being a religious sacrament, is indissoluble. According to Hindu tradition, a husband should only approach his wife sexually during her ritu season , a period of sixteen days within the menstrual cycle. However, intercourse is forbidden on 6 of these 16 days, the first 4 days, and the 11 th and 13 th.
This leaves only ten days for conjugal relations, but since the all-important sons are conceived only on even nights and daughters on uneven nights, the days for conjugal relations shrinks to five.
Add to these taboos, the many festival days for gods and ancestors when erotic pleasures are forbidden. Sex is also beyond the pale during the day. After the foundation of the Delhi Sultanates and the set-up of several Muslim states in the 14 th th centuries in India, Islamic customs of the complete covering up of women changed the approach that once existed in India.
However, it came to be followed more like a staunch rule than a tradition, and of course, it must be remembered that this was not an indigenous custom, being, in fact, imported from areas in the Persian sphere of influence in South Asia such as Rajasthan or under Turkic-Mongol Muslim conquerors. The purdah system still prevails in the Muslim northern region of the country, where a female has to cover her face in front of other males and elders, but this custom is also slowly fading out.
A Muslim marriage is solemnized by signing a legal document and can be dissolved. Indian children are pampered as much as possible, often until age 6 or 7. Before puberty, a natural approach to sexuality and nudity prevails, especially in rural areas. Daughters and sons are carefully prepared for their future domestic roles as mothers and fathers. Women are considered to be much more skilled than males in love and sexual pleasures. At puberty, most boys and girls are segregated. In some regions of India, pubescent girls are not even allowed to enter a house where a single young man is present.
For boys however, it is considered a preparation for mature sex life. Though boys at the younger ages may masturbate together without shame, at little more mature ages, they all give it up. Among adolescents, Reddy et al. Traditionally, premarital sex activity was controlled in India.
As the marriages were mostly arranged by elders, premarital sex was not the accepted practice. Although premarital sex among the tribal societies of India has been widely reported, there is very little if any reliable data on this topic in either the rural or urban areas. Heterosexual acts, the only socially acceptable sexual expression, are based primarily on the much wider contact and more common relationships between males and females in society. The family is promoted as the early valid social unit.
Although homosexuals existed even in ancient India, they never attained social approval in any section of the Indian population. Early Buddhist and Hindu periods covered in ancient texts such as Manusmriti, Arthasastra, and Kamasutra refer to same-sex attraction and behavior.
The Buddhist tradition, as indicated in the pillar caves of Karle CE , shows two bare breasted women embracing each other. In Hindu scriptures, for example, Bhagiratha is born from the union of two women. Shikhandi in Mahabharata and Ardhanarishwar have also been described.
Ayyappa dual gendered god is worshiped by hijras. Several sculptures and carvings in Khajuraho and Sun temple of Konarak depict same-sex behavior including, mutual fellatio and orgiastic scenes. It is further reported in this study that most of the men were between the ages of 21 and 30, and took both active and passive roles in unprotected anal and oral intercourse. Homosexuality is slowly gaining acceptance, in part due to the efforts of one or two organized groups in metro cities that are affiliated with a couple of activist homosexual groups connected to international bodies of gays.
It is highly interesting to note cross-gender and cross-gender behavior in the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. He then tied a cloth on his flowing hair, stood facing the east, meditated on his armor, got into the chariot and gloried in the familiar feel of his famous Gandiva bow.