(Last Updated on : 23/06/2011)
Indian villages constitute a greater portion of the total geographical area of the country. It is a known fact that a major portion of the India`s total population resides in the villages. The villages of India can broadly be divided according to the regions of their location like Eastern region, Northern region, Southern region, Central region, Northeast region and Western region. The villagers in different zones of India speak in different languages such as Bengali language
, Oriya language
, Assamese language
, Punjabi language
, Marathi language
, Kannada language
, Tamil language,, Gujarati language, Telugu, language, Hindi language
, etc. The original form of most of the ancient languages in India can be found in these villages.
Demography in Indian Villages
According to the Indian Census of 2001 nearly 74 percent of Indians live in around 6, 38,365 different villages. India has about 500,000 villages that are scattered throughout the country, where the population varies accordingly. Some villages have a population less than 500, while 3,976 villages have a population of more than 10,000 people. In hilly regions of central, eastern and far northern India, villages are more spread out, reflecting the nature of the topography. In the states of West Bengal
, houses in the villages are more dispersed. Interestingly, in some parts of Kerala, the houses are constructed in continuous lines.
Culture in Indian Villages
Apart from the many caste barriers and differences, there are many observances that emphasise village unity. Each village recognises a deity as the protector of the village, and villagers unite in customary worship of this deity. Festivals such as Holi
, and Durga Puja
, Eid, Muharram
bring villagers together. The difference in costumes worn by the villagers in different regions of India is also quite significant in Indian villages. Though, in most of the places, the Indian men and women wear the costumes like Lungi
, Saree, Choli, Lehanga, Churidaar, Salwar Kameez Dupatta, Borkha, etc., the wearing style differs a lot. The women in the northern Indian villages usually wear Salwar Kameez, along with saree. The women in western Indian villages usually prefer to wear Ghagra Choli or Lehangas. However, there is no difference in men`s wear in most of the villages in India, as all men generally wear Lungi or Dhoti in their daily life.
Society of Indian Villages
The social structures in the villages of all regions in India are almost the same. Mostly a headman is appointed and the Panchayat, which is composed of important men from the village`s major castes. The panchs or the members of the Panchayats are decision makers in case of any problem.. In present-day India, the government supports an elective Panchayat and headman system, which is distinct from the traditional council and headman, and, in many instances, even includes women and very low-caste members
In the Indian villages the people share the common village facilities - the village pond, grazing grounds, temples and shrines, cremation grounds, schools, sitting spaces under large shade trees, wells, village fields, and wastelands. The ways of life in the villages of India differ from one region to another. The head of a family is the father, who is also the principal source of income of the family. The women members usually stay back in the home and take care of household works. However, the family structure is different in the tribal societies, where mother is the head of a family. Now days the women are taking care of the household works as well as engage themselves in different kinds of handicrafts.
Economy of Indian Villages
The occupation scenario in the villages of India varies according to the regions. In spite of industrialisation reaching most parts of India, majority of the Indian villagers still depend on agriculture to earn their livelihoods. However, many people in the villages of south India depend on fishing or farming. The scenario is different in Jammu and Kashmir. The people of this state are engaged in various arts and crafts and handicraft industries and tourism is also a major occupation in this region. Apart from all these occupations, many villagers are also choosing alternate occupations like running their own businesses, getting involved in tourism related occupations, cottage industry, various small, medium or large scale industries, etc.
Caste System in India Villages
In Indian villages the presence of all the four castes is noticed. In northern and central regions India, neighbourhood boundaries are indistinct, with the houses of the lower castes usually located in the outskirts of the settlement. The socio-economic and caste system are stronger in the southern region than in the north. Village population mainly comprises priests, carpenters, blacksmiths, barbers, weavers, potters, leatherworkers, sweepers and water-bearers.
With its folk tradition, uncomplicated lifestyle and unique craftsmanship Indian villages still encompass the essence of Indian ethos.