PEOPLE AND LANGUAGE
India is one of the oldest civilistations in the world. It is more that 4500 year old. People from many different backgrounds live there. In 1500 BC, the population was divided into a hierarchy of groups, or castes, according to profession. Castes gave some people special rights. Others, like the slaves and the "untouchables", were outside the caste system. The untouchable did the worst jobs. They cleaned the streets and collected rubbish.
The Shudras (servents and farm workers) were the lowest caste. They worked for other people and didn´t own land. They formed the majority of the population.
Above the Shundras were the Vaishyas (merchants). They owned farms or business.
Next came the Krshatriyas (kings and warriors). They were a minority. A woman could be a Kshatriya, but she couldn´t be a warrior.
The highest, and most powerful, caste was the Brahmins (priests and leaders). Only Brahim men were educated and could teach in schools. This was actually the smallest group.
Today, India has got the second largest population in the world, whit 1.13 billion citizens. Most Indians speak English, but there are 18 official languages spoken in India.
by Burlington Books - Copyright - Sue Kendell. Rewritten by G. D. 4rB