Being a Punjabi its my privilege to write about my culture and share its glance with you!! If I start talking it will never come to an end!!
Punjab,located in the north west of india,is one of the smallest and the most prosperous states of india.The five river Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum gave it its name ‘punj-ab’ or the ‘land of five waters’.These five rivers divide the state into three refions: Majha, Doaba and Malwa.Punjab is primarily an agricultural state and enjoys the natural benefits of fertile soils and abundant wates.As a civilization,it is one of the most ancient in the world with a distinguished culture.Punjabis, who are of various religious backgrounds, such as Judiasm, Buddhism, and Christianity, are in majority either Sikh, Muslim, or Hindu. The Punjab is a cradle of great philosophical and spiritual aspirations. Major scriptures of Hinduism, such as the Rig Veda, Ramayana, and Bhagavad Gita were conceived in this land. In addition, in the 15th century Guru Nanak founded Sikhism. About 200 years later, the Sikhs were communialized through a movement called the Khalsa.
The region has been invaded and ruled by many different empires and races, including the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Afghans, and Mongols.Many races of people and religions made up the cultural heritage of the Punjab. Punjab is the land where spiritual aspirations arose. This heroic land bore numerous invasions, and after all its suffering, did not entirely lose its glory and its strength. Here it was that the gentle Nanak preached his marvelous love for the world. Here it was that his broad heart opened and his arms outstretched to embrace the whole world.Punjabis attained an eminent place in cultural, aesthetic, and literary work, and revived folk art, song, dance and drama. All of this has created a sense of pride and climate of involvement in the heritage of the Punjab.
Punjabi Culture is one of the oldest in world history, dating from ancient antiquity to the modern era.The culture of Punjab has its own unique fragrance. It is unmatched. The scent of this fertile land is such in which the warmth of you-are-my-own is inborn. All communities hold pride in their traditions and the Punjabis whose open-mindedness has become proverbial also hold their unique tradition of hospitality high in their estimation as well as in their values of life. A guest in Punjab is considered as a representative sent by God.Punjab has a distinguished tradition of art and craft, which its people have maintained in spite of the passage of time. For years, craftsmen in Punjab have been producing colorful papier mache utensils, intricate needle work, wicker fans and winnows, handmade leather juttis.
Weaving of the vegetable fibers to make wicker articles for daily use is still preserved in the living tradition of Punjab. Osier bast, a straw commonly known as Sarkanda, is interwoven with bast, reeds, rushes and corn husks to make baskets.
Punjab’s proverbially beautiful women create a wealth of forms on Baghs, Phulkaris, rummals, scarfs etc using needle work.
Phulkari, meaning flower work, is a spectacular style of embroidery peculiar to Punjab. Considered auspicious, Phulkaris add a touch of colour and richness to almost every ceremony. Using a deep coloured cotton cloth as base, women embroider an impression of floral magnificence with contrasting silk threads.
There is a famous quotes “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” by Marilyn Monroe
In case of Punjabi ladies its goes for Jutties(the footwear). My mother crazily love her Jutti collection. she don’t let touch them..well i can understand!!! no worries!!
Handmade of leather with extensive hand-embroidery in gold and silver thread, the plainer and less fancy styles are used for daily wear, whereas the jutti made from fine, colorful leather, beads, exquisite threads, and fancy decorations are worn at special occasions
Juttis that feature the end curling over the toe, colorful beads, fine threads, and fancy decorations are worn at traditional and formal events like weddings. Both men and women wear juttis – the men’s with a sharp extended tip.
Punjab has also been traditionally famous for its hand crafted wood work. Artistic beds with comfortable back rests fitted with mirrors with carved colorful legs.
MUD WALL PAINTINGS
Mud walls of the rural houses in Punjab are painted on festive occasions like Dushera, Karva chauth (the day when women observe a fast for the well being of their husbands), Holi, Diwali etc. Walls are plastered with mud and women draw ferns, plants and other fascinating motifs to invoke the blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and plenty.
BHANGRA & GIDHA: PUNJAB FOLK DANCE
Originally, Punjabis performed Bhangra to celebrate the success of the harvest. Now people perform Bhangra at wedding parties, receptions, birthdays, competitions, and other happy occasions.
On the day of Baisakhi, April 13, many farmers, engineers, teachers, shop owners, and other sorts of people perform Bhangra. In the villages, with large drums, called dhols, people circle round and round leaping and laughing. Persons of all types of social classes perform Bhangra together. Even the elders occationally join the young to celebrate and dance Bhangra.
Giddha is Punjab’s most famous folkal dance for women. In Giddha, the women enact verses called bolis, folk poetry, and dance.
The subject matter of these bolis include everything from arguments with the father-in-law to political affairs.
The dance rhythm is set by the dhols and the distinctive hand claps of the dancers. These days, people associate Giddha with Bhangra.
ROYAL PUNJABI WEDDINGS
I have talked a lot about Punjabi culture. now let me tell you about the Big-Fat punjabi wedding.Punjabis are large hearted people who love splendor and grandeur. They are also keen on festivals and celebrations. This nature of Punjabi’s also reflects in their marriage celebrations… till now i have attended lots and lots of Punjabi weddings.The best part is these wedding are know for their loud, opulent and flamboyant weddings but over the past few years that big fat Punjabi wedding seems to be breaking new grounds and trends. You much have seen a glance of Punjabi weddings in the movies like like Bend it like Bekham ,Bride and Prejudice and Monsoon Wedding…
there are like a gazillion ceremonies in a Punjabi Wedding like Roka (when bride and groom first time meet), sagun (engagement), sangeet, jago, cocktail, mehndi and then the final wedding day.
THE FINAL WEDDING DAY
I tried to capture each and every color of Punjab.The colors-shallars, the fresh smell-shell of Punjabi soil, the pulsating beat-sheat, the long gutt-shutt, the colorful paranda, phulkari, Good habitat, laughter, playfulness and love from the environment in which hospitality grows. May the culture of this blessed land of the five rivers perpetuate and ever grow.