Culture encompasses the way of life of a society. It includes the attitude of the people toward others, their behaviour, mannerisms and ways to celebrate different aspects of life. It also includes the ways in which the people express themselves through fine and performing arts.
Uttar Pradesh's greatest gifts to humanity are the two epics, 'Ramayana' and 'Mahabharata'. From the epic age, the territory of Uttar Pradesh was influenced by several fresh streams of culture among which the two most significant being those generated by the teachings of the Buddha and Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankar.
The fountainheads of Brahmanical culture were centered at holy places as Kashi, Ayodhya, Prayag, Mathura and the Himalayan hermitages. Mathura has emerged as a veritable store-house of buried ancient art, both of the Brahmanical and Buddhist varieties and Kashi, which has withstood the ravages of time, of living Hindu art.
Its people belong to many religions and come from distant parts of the country but have had the latitude to recreate their own native cultures. Afghans, Kashmiris, Bengalis, Parsis and Punjabi immigrants settled here. Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists all found the freedom to practise their religions and pass it on to successive generations.
While it is secular, liberal and progressive, at the same time it is deeply rooted in social and religious traditions and taboos.