India is a country that has enormous appeal to many people, myself included. Part of the appeal is the amazing diversity in geography, culture and climate. It is second only to Africa in linguistic, genetic and cultural diversity.
It is the second most populous country in the world with over 1.18 billion people (2010) and is projected to be the world’s most populous country by 2025. India is a historically ancient country, but demographically very young – 50% of the population is below the age of 25 and more than 65% is below 35.
On the UNDP Human Development Index India ranks 134 of the 182 countries in the world and is classified as a medium HDI country. Within India the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the south and Punjab in the north usually have the highest HDI and the north-eastern states of Assam and Bihar the lowest. India has slipped relative to other countries in the region – it ranked 128 and 126 in the preceding two years. But in real terms it’s HDI value has improved. The infant mortality rate is still high at 30.15 deaths per 1000 love births. Interesting but not surprising given the attitudes to female children the infant death rate for females is 34.6 per 1000 compared to 25.17 per 1000 for males.
The colour and richness of the culture is evident in the more than 2000 ethnic groups with 1652 languages and dialects spoken. The religious mix includes, in descending order, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains.
While India has a quickly growing affluent middle class, 22% of the population live under the poverty line.
The myriad of craft traditions in India depends on social, economic and regional factors and handicraft owes much to the rich craft traditions of the past. The first references to Indian handicrafts go back almost 5000 years to the Indus Valley Civilisation. India’s craft traditions have withstood numerous foreign invasions and still continue to flourish, grow and change to meet the needs of the time while maintaining the traditional essence.
Much of India’s handicraft is of practical origin and has continued to flourish due to its utilitarian nature and popularity in domestic and foreign markets. Most craft has revolved around religious beliefs, local needs of the people and the special needs of upper class and royalty. It is distinguished by great aesthetics with intricate designs and patterns.
The following are our eco ethical enterprise partners in India. Please click on the name to view more information about the enterprise and the products that they produce.
There are products from India in the following categories.
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