Saturday, March 9th, 2013 - Carlson

Chennai or Madras is the capital of Tamil Nadu is often considered the entrance to the south of India. The culture of the south is prominent here and differs distinctly to that of any other city in India.

The South Indian Culture foundations are based on the idea of unity and the celebration of beauty and motherhood. Being a modern city with a diverse population, the people of Chennai live in harmony with people of all backgrounds, confirming that the varied culture exists but not at the cost of peace and tranquility. Traditional and conventional ways continue in certain aspects of their way of life. Music, dance and other art forms showcase these traditions and exemplifies the basis of their culture.

Music

Considered the biggest music event in India and one of the largest cultural events in the world, Music Season is held every December in Chennai. This is a 5 week showcase of traditional music from the southern region. There are performances of traditional Carnatic music by hundreds of musicians in and around the city. This time of year is also the Tamil season of Marghazi and is a festive time in Madras. Tamil people are an indigenous group around this area and much of the southern culture is influenced by these natives. The music has been described as soul-stirring and sensational, making December a great time to visit. Make sure bookings are made early for hotels in Madras as this is a busy time of year.

Dance

The Bharatanatyam is the official dance of Tamil Nadu and Chennai is known of this classical Indian dance. This dance is the celebration of the eternal universe through the expression of beauty of the body. A theme of these dances is 'Angikam bhuvanam yasya' meaning the body is your world as well as 'Natyapurusha', the embodiment of life and creation.

Cuisine

In Chennai, rice is a staple at every meal and fish is an integral component of the coastal southern Indian meals. Serving food is considered a pious deed in the south so dining is often an unforgettable experience. Madras is also famous for their distinct filter coffee. After the coffee is prepared it is then poured from one container to another in rapid succession to make a perfect frothy cup of filter coffee and is often in a Dabarah set.

Religion

Chennai is a cauldron of various religions. Respect is given to all religions even from the non-followers. Hindu, Muslims, Christians to Janise, this city welcomes all. These people live in harmony, displaying a breathing example of perfect confluence of traditional beliefs and modernity.

The south is a place of distinct culture and Chennai is the best place to see it.

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Chennai, South India, culture

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