Ten things you didn't know about India

There is more to the subcontinent than just a billion people.

 |  2-minute read |   15-08-2015
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1. Lost languages

A recent study by the People’s Linguistic Survey of India found that 220 Indian languages have disappeared in just the last half-century. If offspring continue to fail to learn their ancestral languages, another 150 languages are predicted to die in the next 50 years.

2. Religious matters

It is commonly known that India has the third-largest population of Muslims and the largest population of Hindus. However, this diverse country is also home to the largest number of followers of Zoroastrianism and the Bahá'í faith in the world, even though the religions are not indigenous to India.

3. A billion indians

India's infamously large population is set to reach new heights. By 2050, the country is predicted to gain the title of most populated country in the world. However, India's fertility rate is falling at a rapid rate and may reach replacement levels as soon as the year 2020, below which our population will start to decline.

4. Indian hospitality

For the month of June 2015, the numbers of tourists visiting India reached five lakh. For the curious souls reading this article, the all-time high number of tourists stands at 8,77,000 in December 2014. Although India is only the 38th most visited nation as per the United Nations, the tourism industry contributes nearly as much to the economy as the ever-growing information technology sector.

5. Mango madness

India, the largest producer of mangoes in the world, grows over a 1,000 different varieties. This country has been home to the delicious fruit for over 4,000 years.

6. Yes/No/Maybe

Atheism and agnosticism have been prevalent in India since the ancient times. Some religions including Buddhism, Jainism, and certain schools of Hinduism even accept atheism as a valid, albeit difficult to adhere to, path to spirituality. Even our first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru was known to be 'Hindu agnostic.'

7. Land of diversity

Delhi, Bombay, Hyderabad, and Bangalore have been discovered to house nearly 300 language communities each. Additionally, the states in the northeast together play host to more than 200 languages.

8. Poisonous paradise

According to a recent report, India's greenhouse gas emissions are set to triple by the year 2030. While the levels of noxious and heat-retaining gas will remain below those of developed countries, the air pollution is reducing the life-spans of 660 million lives by three years. And shockingly, 13 of the top 20 polluted cities in the world are Indian.

9. Film fare

Tollywood is bigger than Bollywood, in terms of budget, viewers, and total revenue. India largely owes its film-crazy reputation to Tollywood, the largest producer of films in the country.

10. Work hard, play harder

Indians celebrate over 43 major festivals and around a 100 smaller festivals throughout the year and across the country. In the month of August 2015 itself, some of the observed festivals include Divaso, Independence Day, Pateti (Parsi New Year), Tulsidas Jayanti, Onam and Raksha Bandhan.

Writer

Saniya Anand Saniya Anand

The author is a student of Economics and Political Science at UCLA.

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