The culture of India is like a garland of beads of various colors. Diversity is its hallmark. But there is a string that joins all the beads into one single piece. And this, in fact, is the Indian-ness. The epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata gained its popularity all over India not through their originals in Sanskrit, but because of their free versions in the regional tongues. Thulsidas (Oudhi / Hindi), Kampar (Tamil), Ezhuthachan (Malayalam), Ponna (Kannada) and other poets like them created free versions of Ramayana. Ramayana has its versions in many languages in South East Asia. Diversity of a staggering scale exists all over India in the fields of music, literature, theatre, sculpture, painting, architecture, cuisine, sports and games and other entertainments etc.
The music of India has two variants. Of these, the classical style is what is called the ‘Margi’, and the folk style is the ‘Deshi’. The Karnatic music of South India and the Hindustani music of the North are the two streams of Indian classical music. A complete picture of the Indian Music will be in sight only when diverse traditions of folk music, instrumental music, film songs, and pop-rock music, all rolled into one pageant. The Bhangra of Punjab, Lavani of Maharahstra, Dandia and Garbha of Gujarat, Baul of Bengal – the list is so impressive. And then the religion-based music and chanting – of how many enchanting ragas and styles!