For all occasions, garlands and bouquets are used. While making garlands and bouquets, each flower has its own beauty and fragrance. When they are arranged artistically, all the flowers unitedly mingle together to form ONE WHOLE BEAUTIFUL GARLAND OR BOUQUET. Gujaratis Prepare Undhyu, wherein many vegetables, with different characteristics like Surfi papdi, small black brinjals, methi, muthiyas (bhajiyas made out of methi leacves), special tubers, like crimson yam (kand) are added with special gravy. Similarly, in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Avial is prepared with special wax pumpkin, raw plantain, drumsticks and many vegetables bound together by chutney type of gravy. Maharashtrians prepare Panchabheli Bhaji, Sindhis prepare Sindhi Curry, Parsis prepare Dhansak. Each mixed vegetable has the distinct characteristics of the taste of the particular state or community. All have one common characteristic of certain commonly used species which is the unique feature of Indian art of cooking, signifying unity in Diversity. In an orchestra, there are a number of instruments such as stringed instruments, bowing instruments like Sarangi, Violin; plucking instruments like sitar, veena; wind instruments like flute, trumpet etc. Each instrument contributes its special characteristics to form one symphony or melody where all the different sounds are synthesized to form one musical composition. Similrly a form of art represents the synthesis of a variety of elements and colors which contribute to form the total work of art. In all these analogies, the united, combined effect or appeal can be produced only when many different components or parts are combined to achieve a common goal. In a nation, each individual, each family, each community contributes its abilities, talents and efforts to achieve a common goal, thus achieving Unity in Diversity. The Spirit of Unity The trees of India – Peepal, Banyan, Mango, Neem, Sandal wood breathe an air of freshness and purity. They convey the message of magnanimity and sacrifice for others. They symbolize strength and tranquility. The Himalayas and other mountains of India show India’s greatness. The forests of India with rich animal and tribal life convey the high thinking of our ancient sages. Unfortunately, the forest wealth is being depleted by wanton exploitation of Nature by Man for his personal gain many of the animals are now becoming an endangered species. In spite of this, the forest wealth, the mineral wealth and the resources continue to inspire India to spread the message, of living with herbs, to the countries of the world. The use of herbs for medicine is a vast culture, which is spreading from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and to every corner of the country. Everywhere in India, (tulsi), mint (pudina), ginger (adarak), turmeric (haldi) and garlic (lasun) are used widely as home medicines. Every region has its characteristic form of music and dance, like the vigorous Bhangra of Punjab, Ras-Garba of Gujarat, Koli dance of Maharashtra, Kolattam of Tamilnadu, Onam dance or Kaikutthkali and Kathakali of Kerala. Besides these there are the characteristic forms of Music like Kirtan, Bawool of Bengal, Bhavgeet and Lavani of Maharashtra, Bhajans, Kajri, Ghazal etc. The common factors in all these forms of Music and Dance, are that they depict the ecstasies of the people and their faith and devotion to the God or goddess they worship they worship. Some of them are expressions of joy in getting the fruits of hard labor or some happy occasion. The festivals of India are characterized by their varied nature. They are mainly classified into three categories: (i) celebration of some joyous mythological events, (ii) those having austere significance; and (iii) national festivals. Festivals of the first category are Pongal in the south, Makar Sankrant, Holi or Rang Panchami, Ramzan Id, Gudi Padva, Yugadi or Vishu, Baishakhi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Khordad Sal, Dasserah or Navaratri, Deepawali, Christmas. The festivals of the second category which inculcate specific values are Muharram which teaches the value of sacrifice, Samvatsari which teaches austerity, forgiveness and compassion, Easter which teaches love, devotion and faith. The festivals of the third category are the national festivals like Independence Day, Republic Day, special days like World Environment Day, World Population Day, International Literacy Day and the birth and death anniversaries of Indian leaders like Tilak Jayanti, Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti, Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti, Maharashtra Day, In the celebration of all these testivals, the main objective is that people have an opportunity to get together, to exchange ideas, greetings, participate in the celevrations, mingling together and becoming one with the spirit of the occasion. Lokmanya Tilak introduced the ideas of Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav with a view to creating an awareness among the masses. Similarly in Kerala, Onam is a festival where the entire community of the place participates, forgetting all social differences, and status. Often these festivals, sports meets and cultural programmers are carefully designed to create awareness among the communities to tackle the problems of the society and the nation. Thus the environment, if properly protected, would reflect the spirit of unity of the people. The festivals of India, the languages reflect the Unity in Diversity which is closely interwoven in the life and culture of India and its people.
The Spirit of Unity
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