Punjabi culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures in world history, and also one of the most vibrant. The Indian state of Punjab exhibits a unique cultural landscape, which thrives in both traditional values and utilitarian aspects. There is artistry in every aspect of life in Punjab and an aura of embellishment dominates the place. The opulent culture of this northwestern state of India is apparent in its metal work, embroidery, wall paintings, jewelry, mud wall paintings, architecture, folk songs and dances. The culture of the state is wide in scope, encompassing a rich history and a pulsating social life. The century-old Punjab culture is renowned for its tolerance, progressiveness and logical approach to life as well.
The culture of Punjab underwent significant phases of evolution that may be broadly divided into three categories. Ancient Punjab had a rich baked-brick urban architecture. The people at that time were highly fascinated with large number of artifacts, games, such as dice, which were later excavated by archaeologists. During the Middle Age, there were number of foreign invasions in the state. Greek, Persian, Mongol and Afghan invasions had considerable influence on the cultural landscape of the state. Besides, the birth and growth of Sikhism during this period, giving a new dimension to the Punjabi culture. Today, Punjabi people are widely distributed all over the world. As a result, the traditional culture has been strengthened and expanded to the western world as well, especially US, UK and Canada.
Punjabi is the official and the local language of Punjab. People also communicate in several other languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Gurmukhi and English.
Bhattianj, Shahpuri, Pahari, Kangri, Hindko, Pothowari, Majhi, Thali, Thalochri, Chakwali, Ghebi, Malwai, Doabi and Rachnavi are the different dialects of Punjabi.
Majority of the people can speak in Punjabi as well as Hindi. So, if you are visiting Punjab for the first time, communicating with the local people will not be a difficult thing.
Traditional dresses worn in Punjab
The Punjabi traditional clothing is very diverse and for various occasions various clothing is chosen. It includes Shalwar Kameez, Kurta, Achkan and Dhoti in men while in women there is wide range of clothing but mainly it comprises Shalwar Kameez, Patiala salwar, Punjabi suit, Churidars with Dupatta with traditional Paranda Ghari worn on the hair.Shalwar Kameez and Sherwani are for formal occasions and office work while Dhoti is mostly wore by people who are involved in farming throughout Punjab.Punjabi Jutti and Tillay wali Jutti is a very famous footwear for both men and women in Punjab. In men Pagri (turban) is also worn as a traditional cap in many occasions. Dupatta with embroidery of different styles with Matthay da Tikka is also very famous in Punjabi culture.
Punjabi weddings are based on traditions and are conducted with strong reflection of the Punjabi culture followed by several pre-wedding customs and rituals (dholki,mayun,ubtan etc.)Punjabi weddings are very loud, energetic, full of music,colors, fancy-dresses, food and dancing. Punjabi weddings have many customs and ceremonies that have evolved since traditional times. In cities the wedding are celebrated following a blend of modern and traditional customs and the ceremony generally lasts for 3days, Mehndi, Barat (Nikkah+Ruksati) and Walima, followed by Chauti (bringing the bride back to her parents’ home the next day).
Arts and Crafts
Punjab is rich in its craft and art. The land’s richness can be analyzed from the handicraft of the state.The punjabi people talent is reflected in those things which are even not so noticeable. Their artistry is highly praised throughout the globe.Also women from villages and small towns are a part of these contributions.
The main crafts are basketry, pottery, which are famous for their modern and traditional designs all over the world.Bone work, textile, cloth woven on handlooms with stunning prints is embroidered in the rural-areas and the weavers produce colorful cloths like cotton,silk,metal work along with truck art and other wood works etc.Phulkari which is a complex task is very famous and mostly, girls from villages do this elaborate job.
Punjab has a very rich tradition of dances, particularly the folk ones. The exuberance and vitality of its people are vigorously displayed in their folk dances. These dances are full of expressions, gestures, vocal remarks, subtleties of motion and unrestricted freedom.Bhangra and Giddha is most popular dance of punjab.