India is a massive subcontinent where people of different ethnicity live together. It is a multiethnic country that is home to many other ethnic and small tribal groups. They form almost a billion numbers of the world population.
Generally, the people of India are called Indians. The people in India is a combination of various races sharing different cultures. They are a fascinating group of people living in South Asia.
Indians is a term used for people who live in India. It is a modern connotation for people who were born and migrated to India for years. Most Indians are a combination of ethnic groups who intermarried locals.
If we trace the ethnicity of the Indians, we will see that they came from different roots based on geography. Indians living in north-central and northwestern India have European and Indo-European affinities.
On the other side, those living in the western Himalayan part often resemble the Tibetan. They are also closely associated with Burman culture, as well. Indians also have Southeast Asian affinities, especially those living in Chota Nagpur Plateau.
You will notice that people living in India are diverse. They are often an amalgamation of different ethnicities based on geography. For a massive country like India, you can expect this formation among its people. They also speak other languages and believe in several religions.
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What race are people from India?
Indians are a combination of races and a mixture of diverse ethnic groups, as well. It is difficult to pinpoint what race Indians came from. The Indians are the product of migration and intermarriages. They form a unique group of people, making up the whole population of India.
People from India came from different races or ethnic groups. There are six main categories of ethnic groups or Indian race encompassing the Indian population.
These are the following:
- Pro-Australoids or Austries
- Western Bracycephals
Since some parts of India are close to Africa, Negritos migrated to India for a long time. The Negritos are the earliest people who come to India and form a life. Most of them are in the Southern part of mainland India.
After the Negritos, the Austries came to India. This particular group of people is generally medium height with a dark complexion. They were the ones who form the foundation of Indian civilization. The Austries cultivated rice began agriculture in the subcontinent.
You can find Austries in some parts of India. But today, they are mostly on the island of Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar.
You can find Mongloids in the Northeast of India.
They are in the states of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Tripura. Some live in West Bengal, Sikkim, and Ladakh. They are widespread in the country and can easily be identified.
Among the famous group considerably associated with the country are the Dravidians. You can find them in South India and believed to come from the Aryan race. The Dravidians were the widely known people who started the Indian city civilization. They formed the earliest society in the world found at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.
From the name itself, they are living in the western part of the country. You will usually see them in Ganga Valley, Kashmir, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, among others.
The Indo-Aryans are very close to the Aryan race. You can find them in Punjab, Kashmir, and Rajasthan. They compose the contemporary Kashmiri Brahmins and Rajputs type of people in India.
The physical nature of modern Indians is vague. The population of India, given its colossal number, is too complicated. Historically speaking, India was subject to waves of migration of different groups. They chose to settle in the country and form a civilization.
The Indians we know today are products of intense penetration of external elements. Since the beginning of time, India was a home of outer races who chose to settle for long.
Why are Indians called Indians?
Generally, the people living in India are called Indians. They are the citizens and nationals of India and the second most populated nation in the world.
The word ‘Indian’ refers to nationality and not a particular language. The term refers to people who migrated and settled near the Indus Valley.
The Indus Valley was also the birthplace of one of the earliest civilizations in the world. It is contemporaneous with the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. The biggest city that flourished were the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Almost 80,000 settled in these great civilizations.
Many people would associate the term ‘Indian’ with the Hindu religion. It is often a misnomer since the first settlers did not identify their faith during that time.
In these contemporary times, the demonym ‘Indians‘ applies to all the citizens of India. They are the nationals of the Republic of India residing in the country. Those who migrated to other countries like Canada and U.S. are Overseas Indians. They are called Indians because they live and born in the Indian subcontinent.
The people of India are unique. They have distinguishing characteristics that separate them from the rest of the world. These make them distinct even for the Overseas Indians:
- Hospitable Character
- Death and the Afterlife
Indians are good with visitors. They are very hospitable to make guests more comfortable. They are friendly by nature and would make people memorable when in their home country.
Another distinguishing factor of Indian uniqueness is their religion. Almost the majority of the Indian population is Hindu.
82% of Indians believe in the Hindu faith, while 12% are minority Indian Muslims.
Hinduism as religion influences how most Indians live today. You can see temples and holy places dedicated to the Hindu religion. Religion is influential that spread through the other parts of the world.
Hinduism as a religion laid the fundamentals of how Indians live today. They conform to the teachings and belief system associated with the Hindu religion.
The belief in reincarnation is often part of Indian culture. Death and the Afterlife are of great value to the Indian belief system. Reincarnation is a common belief among Hindus where they value good and bad deeds. Your past will determine the kind of life you can have when reincarnated. It is how the Indian caste system came upon.
India has the oldest literature of all time. It is home to the world’s earliest literature.
Sanskrit is the oldest literature from the Indo-European language recognized globally.
Rig Veda is a widely recognized religious text. It has three other Vedas following the Rig Veda. It is a valuable Indian text that initiated the flourshing of Indian literature. You can say that the great poets and novelists in the world are of Indian origin.
What is the correct term for someone from India?
Indians also have specific names based on which part of India they came from. They can be Bengali, Punjabi, Sikh, and a lot of different names. You can hear these names when you visited India, as well.
However, when they live outside Indian, they are generally called Indians. It is a term used to identify their nationality and to recognize Indian roots. It should not be mistaken with the natives of America. Both of them are entirely distinct from one another.
Today, many Indians are living overseas especially in the United States. Some people find it hard to identify what word to use when referring to Native Indians and Indians. There is a level of confusion on what to use when referring to people from India and Indian Americans.
It is improper to use the word Indian to describe a Native American. Some will take it offensively as they are different from the people from India.
The correct demonym or term when referring to people who came from India is Indians. In America, you can call them Asian Indians to distinguish them from the Native Americans. You can also call them Hindustani or Bharati.
It is not to be confused for Hindu or Hindi, as well. As not everyone you meet is following the Hindu religion.
Is Hindu an ethnicity?
Hindu is a religious ethnicity. It is a term referring to a group of people who ethnically and religiously adhere to Hinduism.
Hindu is one of the third-largest religious group in the world next to Christians and Muslims. There are over 966 million Hindus, and 94.3% of them are living in India.
As a religious ethnicity, Hindus like Christians are present in many parts of the globe. There are Hindus in Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka in South Asia. The religion also spread in Southeast Asia like Indonesia, Malaysia, the U.K., and the UAE.
You will notice that some temples in these countries are dedicated to Hinduism, as well. Religion is very influential. Hinduism heavily influences Indian culture.
The worship of icons and images among Hindus are observable in their temples. Hindus believe in many gods. They worship a particular God for a specific need.
It makes the religion complicated and vibrant that translates to modern Indian culture. You will see that a lot of belief systems in the Indian culture are similar to Hinduism practices. As a religion and way of life, Hinduism is not different from the lives of many Indians.
Thus, some would confuse the religion with an influential Indian culture. Plenty of people might mistakenly refer to the people of India as Hindus.
As we have discussed, the Hindu is a separate entity. They compose the majority of the Indian population. However, Indians must not entirely be Hindus. Other minority groups in India enjoy a culture different from Hindus.
They have an additional set of beliefs distinct from Hinduism. They also deserve much recognition and respect like the Hindus.
Which is the oldest culture of India?
Indian civilization is one of the oldest in the world. It began with the birth of a thriving society in the Indus Valley region. We can say that the culture of people who lived in the Indus Valley is one of the world’s oldest.
The Vedic civilization is the oldest culture of India. The term Vedic came from the earliest literature known in India. The culture flourished along the Saraswati river. The people who composed the Vedic culture were Aryans and Dravidians.
During this period, the Vedic culture progressed, where they established a civilized community. People living then had agriculture, pastoral economy, and religious movements. It started the two oldest great religions, including Buddhism and Jainism.
Hinduism is also heavily influenced by the Vedic culture. We can say that the Vedic period established the fundamentals of modern-day India.
India is a vast country filled with plenty of people. The people encompassing the subcontinent also formed cultures and systems distinct from the others.
However, as a national identity and a great determiner among other nationalities, people living in India are Indians. It is a term referring to people in the subcontinent regardless of ethnicity and religious affiliation. The world recognized them as Indians, and when outside the borders, they identified themselves as Indians.