Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The second-largest country by population with over one billion people, India is heir to vast empires with deep history, and birthed four of the world's major religions. Its position at the nexus of ancient trade routes and long association with the British Empire have influenced its cosmopolitan, multiethnic, and multilingual culture. The official national sport is field hockey, and older generations still follow the national teams with deep emotional investment. Soccer is increasingly popular in some regions, and tennis is a popular sport to play in the cities where there is less room for a cricket pitch. Squash and bowling are urban sports among those who can afford to join the clubs that own the indoor courts or pay the fees for the lanes—space in India's cities is at a premium. Table tennis, which can be played in many homes, is both popular and egalitarian. Indoor volleyball is very popular ...