To learn about the national symbols of a country is to catch a unique glimpse into the history, culture and priorities of that country’s people.
The design of India’s flag was adopted in July 1947. It is horizontally oriented and is made up of three main bands of colour – deep saffron (or orange) at the top, white in the middle and a dark bottle green at the bottom. In the white section, a blue wheel with 24 spokes is situated. This wheel represents the chakra. There are various laws associated with the use and display of the national flag (as in all other countries in the world). In general, though, there are no laws against the general public, educational institutions or private organisations displaying the flag.
The National Bird of India is the exquisite Indian Peacock. This incredible creature is known for its piercing colours of iridescent blues and greens (typical only of the males) as well as for the fanning of its sizeable tail feathers, which ordinarily drag behind them in a beautiful ‘train’. Its scientific name is Pavo cristatus.
The National Anthem is the song written by Rabindra Nath Tagore, who was a well-known poet. It is called “Jana Gana Mana”. The entire anthem takes only about 52 seconds to sing. Interestingly, despite this very short playing time, there is a 20-second version that is sung on less formal occasions.
In English, the anthem translates to:
Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.
The occasions on which the full versions or the short version will be played have been indicated at the appropriate places in these instructions.
The full anthem has to be played for certain events, as stipulated in official Indian legislation. Some of these events include Military events, parades, formal State functions and in the presence of the country’s President. The audience is required to stand to attention when the anthem is being sung, unless they are watching it on television or listening to it on the radio.
The National Animal of India is the Tiger, known for its graceful power and elegant prowess. The Royal Bengal Tiger is the official Tiger species of this country and can be found in almost all areas of India. To preserve this endangered species, there are almost 30 tiger sanctuaries.