CULTURE IS THE ART OF LIVINGThe people of Madhya Pradesh belong to a blend of various religions, castes and communities which reflects the true cultural heritage of the country. The state is domiciled by people belonging to different religions Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The people of Madhya Pradesh belong to rich ethnic groups. There are references in Vedas and epics like Ramayana about the people of Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh is known for its tribal origins namely the Gonds, Bhils and Oraons among which the Gonds were the major dominating group and they belong to the ruling clan. The culture of Madhya pradesh can be best expressed as comprising the following :
ORIGIN AND ETHNICITYOne of the reasons for the coming up of the state may be even due to the siliting of the rivers in South India. History says that the early inhaThe Bhils were the warrior tribes who were concentrated more on the western part of the state and the eastern part being occupied by the Oraons tribes. Kols, Bhilalas, Murias and Korkens contribute to the other minority of the tribes in the state. The unique cultural relationship is proved by the peaceful living and mutual co-operation which has kept the people of the state unified. Add to it, the numerous tribal populaces scattered around its regions and the cultural vibrancy of the place stands out amongst all the states in India.The ethnic value of the people of Madhya Pradesh is contributed by the dominating tribal population who live apart from mainstream India. The state was initially ruled by the Gonds tribe who are seen in the jungles, south of Jabalpur. On the west live the Bhils, while the Oraons inhabit the eastern part of the state. The name of the tribal group Bhils is derived from a Dravidian word for bow, which is the hallmark of the tribe. Though there was lot of influence of urbanization during the 20th century, these tribal people were not much affected by the modernization. Apart from these tribal people, the state has housed a number of people belonging to different ethnicity settled in different parts of Madhya Pradesh.
CULTUREMadhya Pradesh is noted for its rich cultural heritage where the essence of all the Indian culture is encapsulated. The culture of these people is very colorful and has varied dimensions which are the outcome of different customs and traditions and arts and crafts followed by different blends of people. The people of Madhya Pradesh are said to follow the highest flavors of culture and tradition. Apart from the predominating tribal population, the culture of the people is noted for its harmonious blend of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Muslims and Sikhs. The lifestyle of the people is very much influenced by the Socio-cultural activities of the tribal people and thereby giving a rich tradition to the people and to the place. The spirit of the people is exhibited by the different cultural activities. Music and the folk songs have contributed a lot towards the distinctive culture of the state. The most famous music of the people is the Relo folk song belonging to the Sing Maria and Muria tribes and it is usually sung by the tribal children. There is some ritual song which is usually sung at the time of departing from the dear ones and these are popularly known as Leha song, very common in the Jagdalpur region of Madhya Pradesh. Dhankul songs and Chait Parah are even popular in the state. Flute and harmonium are used majorly by the musicians. Dance plays a prominent role among the tribal population like Lota and Phag. At the time of wedding a special dance known as Gaur is performed by the people. The people are also known for their stilt dance. Thus apart from the cultural aspects various other socio- political factors are also performed by dances. Another notable feature adding to the culture of the people is their art work which is of unique charm and also proves how hardworking the craftsman are.
CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONSThe customs and traditions of the people of Madhya Pradesh vary to a great extent from the people of other states.Ghotul is a custom followed by the young boys and girls of the Muria tribe. This custom is mainly followed by the unmarried boys and girls where they all gather in a particular place after sunset. This place has a group of huts where various activities like teaching of moral values, good conduct and discipline takes place. Here education is taught in the form of fun and play way method. This custom of Ghotul has helped the people of Muria tribe to be shaped into a morally good personality. However most commonly the people of Madhya Pradesh follow the traditional customs similar to that of the Hindu rituals whether it matters for marriage, birth or death. Every year there is a fair cum festival known as Bhagoriya conducted, in which people are allowed to choose their spouse. After choosing their spouse and if both the boy and girl are willing to get married then they elope from the house and when they come back, they are accepted as husband and wife.
COSTUMESDhoti forms the traditional costume of the men folk of Madhya Pradesh. The headgear or the turban popularly known as Safa is a distinct feature of the men. Safa or the head cloth is generally prevalent in the eastern regions and the Paga or the turban is preferred by the people living in the western parts of the state. In addition the men's attire is also constituted by a white or black jacket called Bandi or Mirzai usually worn by men living in Bundelkhand and Malwa. The myriad colours of this traditional costume of the men of Madhya Pradesh, gives the men a radiant and dignified appearance. Tribal men are usually seen in a langot when they are at work but during any public appearance or on occasions they are seen with short-sized Dhotis. Lehenga and Choli along with an additional strip of cloth called Orni or Lugra which is worn around the head and shoulders forms the most common attire of the womenfolk of Madhya Pradesh. But sariis also common among the ladies due to modernization. The women folk also adorn themselves with traditional ornaments. Some of the favorite and traditional colors among the women of Madhya Pradesh are red and black. Madhya Pradesh is famous for the Bandhani cloth.
Wheat, jowar and maize form the most staple food of the people of Madhya pradesh.Vegetables and protein rich lentils like arhar dhal are a must in their daily meal. Wheat cakes popularly known as bafla are a traditional food of the people where they dip it in ghee and eat with peppery lentil broth. The people of Madhya Pradesh have sweet tooth which is very clearly reflected in their food habits. Popular sweet delicacies are Jalebi, Kusli and Cashew Burfi. Because of the abundance of milk in this state, there are lots of dairy- based sweets which are included in the cuisine of Madhya Pradesh. A meal is not full for them without desserts and traditional mithais. Heavy meals are also accompanied by fruits like mangoes, watermelons, custard apples, bananas, papayas and guavas. The people living in the wetter south and east prefer rice and fish. The people of Bhopal are generally known for their spicy dishes made of meat and fish like rogan josh, korma, keema, biryani pilaf and kababs.
Agriculture and Cattle farming are the main occupations of the people of Madhya Pradesh. The major source of income for the people comes from the rearing of livestock. Apart from the main agricultural practices livestock farming is also a subsidiary occupation. Though dairy farming is carried out, the production of milk is not sufficient. Some of the other commercial crops grown are cotton, sugarcane and some oil seeds like sesame. The people cultivate jowar (sorghum), rice, wheat and some varieties of coarse millets.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIESSharad Yadav -Politician.
Shankar Dayal Sharma -Formar President of India, politician.
Baiju Bawara -Musician.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee -former PM of India.
Lata Mangeshkar -singer.