Apart from cultivation of crops and domestication of animals, the rural settlements perform other functions. It’s religious place—mosque, temple, gurdwara or church—with one or two shops is a centre of religious and social activities. The village panchayats (in India) and village councils in other countries perform some administrative and judicial functions.
In the socialist countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Poland, North Korea and China, the village councils decide where and when certain crops should be sown, irrigated or harvested. In the rural settlements where fishermen live, the main activity is fishing. The fishing villages are sited on rivers, lakes and sea coasts, and the people look to the water rather than to the land to get their livelihood. Although the main occupation of these villages is fishing, but this may be combined with some agricultural activity There are numerous rural settlements in the forest areas in which the dominant economic activity is gathering of forest products and lumbering. Such villages are generally small in size and may be found in the Taiga region, forest areas of the sub-Himalayan region and hilly tracts like North-East India. In the forests where lumbering is on a large scale and timber industry has developed, urban rather than rural settlements are more usual.
The fishing, mining or lumbering villages are like agricultural settlements in which there are a few shops and some small-scale administrative functions, but they differ from towns, as do all villages, in the relatively narrow range of their activities and their lack of commercial and industrial development.