India Week's picture

Traditional Indian Sports and Games

It's all well and good learning about the cricket and hockey of India, but you already know what they are right? Well, how about Gilli Danda? Or maybe Pehlwani? No? Well you better read on.

India has a wide range of ancient and traditional sports and past times that are still practiced today. Many of them are played up and down the country every day alongside the newer, more popular sports. Here is a small selection of the most popular:

Kabaddi (above)

Modern Kabaddi is a game that has formed out of various other similar games that have been played in India for centuries. It is still one of the most popular sports in India and is played in villages up across the country day-in day-out.

It doesn't require any equipment, but just two teams of seven members each and an area to play on. The teams take it in turns to send one member of their team- the ‘raider' in to the oppositions half. The raider then has to touch one of the opposition team and run back to his own half whilst holding his breath and chanting ‘kabaddi'. The opposition has to try and stop him returning to his half before he takes a breath. Easy eh?

India Week's picture

Crafted to Care– Indian Palm Crafts

As part of India Week, writer Preena Deepak champions the history, tradition and skill behind Indian palm crafts.  

"Indians' association with naturally occurring products is an ancient one and also the basis of India's enormously varied handicraft industry. Using substances found in their environment, Indians have excelled in creating exquisite products. Right from household utensils to ornaments and finery, Indian crafts have stood out for their uniqueness as they are sourced from nature.

Traditional craft secrets have been passed on from one generation to another and much of what remains today in the Indian craft arena is a result of such knowledge transferred from our ancestors. This is also the reason why certain families have taken up art and craft as their profession.

Palm Crafts in Manapad

Deep in the heart of South India, in the small coastal village of Manapad, reside groups of women who engage in creating craft using palm leaves. Though the community living in the village relies on fishing for their livelihood, women here have made a mark for themselves by trading in artistic utilities made with dried palm leaves.

India Week's picture

Dance in Indian Tradition and the 21st Century

There is a strong history of dance in Indian tradition. For centuries dancing has played an important role in celebrations and religious festivals in India. However, it wasn't until the twentieth century and the advent of cinema that it was shown to the world. 

A Tradition of Dance

It was the Indian film industry and ‘Bollywood' which suddenly put dance on the big screen. Song and dance are both absolutely integral to Indian cinema (far more so than anywhere else in the world) and this is shown off on a global scale, with Bollywood now the largest film producers in the world. Over 1,000 feature films are produced every year with an ever-increasing international appeal from Asian audiences residing in the UK and US.

Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is the birthplace of Indian film and much of the present day mass marketing of Hindi language films still comes out of this entertainment hub. Over the years Mumbai has produced larger than life stars such as Amitabh Bachchan and Shilpa Shetty.

It was these stars roles in Indian musical films that made them the celebrities they are today. The melodrama of the script is interwoven with song and dance that usually consists of romantic love songs and complex dance routines.

Syndicate content