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Bharatanatyam, one of eight designated classical dance forms of India. The culture of India refers to the religions, beliefs, customs, traditions, languages, ceremonies, arts, values and the way of life in India and its people. India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food, and customs differ from place to place within the country. Its culture often labeled as an amalgamation of these diverse sub-cultures is spread all over the Indian subcontinent and traditions that are several millennia old. Several elements of India's diverse culture, such as Indian religions, yoga, and Indian cuisine, have had a profound impact across the world. Pakistan and North Indian States follow the medieval Indo-Persian culture, exemplified by it's musical, culinary and architectural designs like the Taj Mahal, while South India is largely independent from foreign influences — three of the four languages classified as classical languages of India belong to the Dravidian language family, namely Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Contents [hide] * 1 Religions and spirituality * 2 Perceptions of Indian culture * 3 Family structure and marriage * 3.1 Arranged Marriage * 4 Greetings * 5 Festivals * 6 Names and language * 7 Animals * 8 Cuisine * 9 Clothing * 10 Languages and literature * 10.1 History * 10.2 Epics * 11 Performing arts * 11.1 Dance * 11.2 Drama and theatre * 11.3 Music * 12 Visual arts * 12.1 Painting * 12.2 Sculpture * 12.3 Architecture * 13 Sports and Martial arts * 13.1 Sports * 13.2 Indian martial arts * 14 Popular media * 14.1 Television * 14.2 Cinema * 15 See also * 16 References * 17 Further reading * 18 External links|  Religions and spirituality
Close-up of a statue depicting Maitreya at the Thikse Monastery in Ladakh, India. Dharmic religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, are indigenous to India. Main article: Religion in India
India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, collectively known as Indian religions. Indian religions, also known as Dharmic religions are a major form of world religions along with Abrahamic ones. Today, Hinduism and Buddhism are the world's third and fourth-largest religions respectively, with over 2 billion followers altogether, and possibly as many as 2.5 or 2.6 billion followers. India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, with some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures. Religion still plays a central and definitive role in the life of many of its people. According to a 2002 census of India, the religion of 80% of the people is Hinduism. Islam is practiced by around 13% of all Indians. The country had over 23 million Christians, over 19 million Sikhs, about 8 million Buddhists and about 4 million Jains. Sikhism, Jainism and especially Buddhism are influential not only in India but across the world. Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and the Bahá'í Faith are also influential but their numbers are smaller. Atheism and agnostics also have visible influence in India, along with a self-ascribed tolerance to other people. The Hindu religion has many schools, each with their own unique views. For example, according to Yogavasistha, a spiritual text of the Advaita school of Hindu religion, the values of the liberated (Hindi: जीवन्मुक्ति), self-actualized human being, may be summarized as follows: "Pleasures do not delight him; pains do not distress. Although engaged in worldly actions, he has no attachment to any object. He is busy outwardly, yet calm inwardly. He feels free from restrictions of scriptures, customs, age, caste or creed. He is happy, but his happiness does not depend on anything else. He does not feel needy, proud, agitated, troubled, depressed or elated. He is full...