India is a democracy (and the most populous of the world), after having been part of the British Empire for close to two centuries. It has quickly developed into a major economical force, especially in the IT sector, resulting in many companies outsourcing call centers etc. into India. India consists of 28 states and 7 union territories, which in turn are further divided into districts.
The official language of India is Hindi, spoken by roughly 40% of the country, while each state has the power to declare its own official language, resulting in a total of 22 official languages in India, with lots of other local languages and dialects.
India has six different climatic zones, ranging from the glaciers in the Himalayas to tropical climates (which you can find in most parts of the country) and even the Thar Desert in the northwest of the country.
As diverse as the languages of India are, as widespread is the cuisine, which is very localized. Staples in the Indian cuisine are pulses (which is the family of lentils, beans etc), rice and a large array of different spices, such as different kinds of curry, whole or powdered chilli pepper, mustard seed, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, ginger, coriander and garlic as well as garam masala, a powder that typically includes five or more dried spices, especially cardamom, cinnamon, and clove. Since the cow is a sacred animal in Hindu religion, there is not a lot of beef to be found, but chicken and lamb are popular choice.
Please visit the various blogs who link their posts with crafts, recipes and more about India.
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