Importance of Culture in a Continental/Sub-Continental Region (India)

Describe and explain the importance of culture in defining regions in a continental/sub-continental region you have studied. (30 marks)

2008 Q5C





  • India is a subcontinental region with a population of 1.3 Billion. 
  • The country gained independence from Britain in 1947.
  • India possesses a cultural diversity due to the migration of Indo-European people, British colonialism and the spread of Islam through trading routes.


  • 18 official languages (up to 1650 minor languages).
  • Official language = Hindi and 41% of pop. speak this.
  • English is largely spoken by the educated. 
  • Language is considered a strong expression of culture, so India’s diversity when it comes to languages has caused cultural conflict.


  • Most popular religion = Hinduism (introduces by migrants from Africa/Asia).
  • Hinduism is based on a caste system (this is a layered society whereby the wealthy are placed at the top layer and poor are placed on the bottom layer. One cannot move between social layers).
  • Some other religions include Buddhism (est. 6th Century and most live in South and North-East regions), Islam (est. 10th Century and most live in Northern regions) and Christianity (est. during British colonialism has few members).
  • In 1947, post independence, the Indian sub-content split on religious grounds. 
  • Two separate states were established: India (Hindu) and Pakistan (Islamic). 
  • A political boundary (like the one in Ireland) was difficult to establish. 
  • Many people attached to minority religions were left in both countries. 
  • This political/religious split led to violence and ultimately influenced the migration of up to 14 million people. 


When has the Culture of a Region Last Come Up in the Leaving Cert?


  • 2010 Q4C
  • 2008 Q5C
  • 2007 Q5C
  • 2006 Q5C


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