There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that India is one country but with striking differences between the north and the south. And frankly speaking, it would not be unfair to compare our geographical existence with that of Europe where each state is a different country with its own flavor, but of course, ours is united under one flag and one constitution.
Each and every state of India has its own regional language, cuisine, clothing style, customs, and artistic values/expression.
If we talk about the northern part of India, it is defined by the folks who mostly speak Hindi in areas like UP, J&K, Uttarakhand, HP, Rajasthan, Delhi, Bihar, Punjab, and Haryana. Whereas you won’t find a lot of people who are fluent in Hindi when it comes to states like TN, AP, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala.
Be it weather, architecture, language, attire, or culture, there is a vast difference between the North and the South. And in this article, we will talk about the five major ones that make these two sides different from each other, yet, they stand united.
Unlike North India which is landlocked, South India is surrounded by the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. North India is mostly cool and dry in winter and hot during summer, with the monsoon season running from June until the end of September.
South India is more tropical with warmer temperatures throughout the year combined with higher humidity that makes it feel considerably hotter. The winters tend to be driest, with relatively low rainfall between November and April.
The majority of South Indians speak at least one of the four major Dravidian languages: Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada which evolved nearly 5000 years ago. Would you believe it if we told you that approximately 240 million people speak these languages?
Dravidian languages are unrelated to languages of other known Indo-European linguistic families.
The languages spoken by North Indians belong to the Indo-Aryan family which is closely related to modern European languages, primarily Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. Another difference is that North Indian languages are inflectional in nature while South Indian languages are agglutinative.
One of the best thing that we like about India is not only the diversity in the culture but also in the cuisines that we get.
When it comes to South Indians, they love their rice and lentils, both as standalone dishes and ingredients to prepare items like dosas, idlis, vadas, and uttapams. Also, since India has a prominent coastline in the south, you will find more coconuts, fish, prawns, and seafood. To add to the fun part of the food, these are cooked mostly with coconut oil and served on a banana leaf, which makes you feel connected to nature even more. With abundant coffee plantations, South India is also a region of coffee drinkers.
But if you like your food spicy and heavy, then you have no option but to head to North India. North Indians prefer wheat over rice and flatbreads (roti/chapati) is the common team during lunch and dinners. Thick curries made from creamy gravies, spicy tandoor-fired kebabs, and deep-fried samosas are some of the common dishes that you would find across this belt.
In reference to more traditional attire, Saris are worn by women across the country. However, the salwar kameez or churidar is common in North India. Men will almost always wear pants, shirts, and kurtas.
Bright-colored saris and half saris (for unmarried women) are preferred by women in South India. Men often wear white dhotis or colorful lungis.
Invasion by the Muslim rulers played a major role in the change of style when it comes to dancing in the northern part of India, but the South made sure to preserve its originality. It is a form of societal expression and therefore culturally influenced.
Though the costumes worn by artists of the North and south are different, you will find the usage of gorgeous colorful, and attractive shades. In the north, you would find Bhangra, Rasleela, Nati, Dumhal, and Kathak to be the popular form, and in the South, you will find Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, and Mohiniyattam to be the most followed form of dancing.
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