India is the largest democracy in the world, the 6th largest country in the world and one of the most ancient and living civilizations (at least 10,000 years old). The name ‘India’ is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers. The official Sanskrit name for India is ‘Bharat.”
Although modern images & descriptions of India often show poverty, India was one of the richest countries till the time of British in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus was attracted by India’s wealth and was looking for a route to India when he discovered America by mistake.
The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700 B.C. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
The number system was invented by India. Arybhatta was the scientist who invented the digit zero. Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are studies, which originated in India. The ‘place value system’ and the ‘decimal system’ were developed in 100BC in India.
Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine know to mankind. The father of medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
Chess was invented in India. The game of “Snakes & Ladders” was created by the 13th century poet saint Gyandev. It was originally called ‘Mokshapat.’
Three of the world’s major religions-Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism started in India.
All Indian foods are seasoned with spices. Rice and wheat are important foods. Most people practice vegetarianism.
The capital of the country is New Delhi.
India is the largest democracy in the world.
Because of climate, most articles of clothing are loose fitting made of cotton. Women wear “Saris”. Men wear “Kurta-Pajama.”
To learn more about India, check out some of the materials on display. There are some great cookbooks, histories, dvds, works of literature and more. Don’t forget to grab one of the handouts!
posted by Bela Kaul