Dispatches | A Village portrait, Uttar Pradesh, India
Photo documentary of a small village on the outskirts of Varanasi in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The soul of India lives in its villages, declared M. K. Gandhi at the beginning of the 20th century. Historically, villages were the usual form of community for societies that practice subsistence agriculture, and also for some non-agricultural societies. Although many patterns of village life have existed, the typical village was small, consisting of perhaps 5 to 30 families. Homes were situated together for sociability and defense, and land surrounding the living quarters was farmed.
Today's families rooted in a particular village do not easily move to another, and even people who have lived in a city for a generation or two refer to their ancestral village as our village. Indian villagers share use of common village facilities such as grazing grounds, schools, sitting spaces under large shade trees, wells and wastelands.
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