Cultural Symbols || Rituals || Social Culture || Personal Culture



The people of Punjab with diversity in nature are the descendants of the Aryan tribes who came to India from the northwest as well as the pre-Aryan population, probably Dravidians who had a highly developed civilization. The surviving of this civilization is found at Rupnagar in the state of Punjab. The social structure of Punjabi which is noted for its diversity in culture is been built by the various groups or the jatis like the invaders which include Greeks, Parthians, Kushans, and Hephthalites. The culture of Punjab can be best expressed as comprising the following :

The Islam force which invaded the state forced several communities like the Jat peasant caste and the Rajput class of landowners to follow the religion and faith of Islam which was more of a deliberate conversion under the influence of the Sufi saints. However the majority of the population of Punjab is the Sikhs which had its origin from the teachings of Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. Though today there is a small amount of Muslims, Christians and Jain population in the state, Hindus make up the largest minority. The most common language spoken by the people is Punjabi which is also the official language of the state. Apart from the Punjabi's the other ethnic groups belonging to this area is the Shahmukhi,Gurmukhi, Devnagri originating from the region between Pakistan and India. The Punjabi's residing in the East and the West are known as Biradari and these subgroups include Jats, Rajputs, Khatris, Dalits, Gujjar, Syed, Brahmins and many more.

The culture of the people of Punjab is supposed to be one of the oldest and richest cultures of the world which has a very great history and complexity. The culture of the Punjabi's is widely spread throughout the country for the Punjabi's have settled across the globe. The culture of the Punjabi's shows its diversity and rich cultural heritage which includes different fields like Philosophy, poetry, spirituality, education, artistry, music, cuisine, science, technology, military warfare, architecture, traditions, values and history. The culture of the Punjabi's is known for their uniqueness and is very famous. There is a clannishness and high spirits which is exhibited in the lifestyle of the Punjabi people. People, Culture, Festivals of Punjab collectively form a vivacious base of enlightening social verve. While the people of Punjab are known for their strong determination, the culture of the state presents a multi-hued heritage of ancient civilizations.

Blood relationships or the family plays a major role in the customs and traditions of the people of Punjab. Each member of the family has got certain duties or responsibility assigned to them which includes day-to-day life, birth and marriage ceremonies, funerals and other social occasions and they will have to follow it strictly. They mostly live in joint family system. Very rarely a member of the family may live in an adjoining village. But still when it comes to any social or festive occasions, like the initiation and marriage ceremonies or funerals, etc in which they will not miss out their participation. At the time of girls' wedding a traditional red ivory bangle commonly known as choora is supposed to come as a gift from the maternal uncle and as a custom he has to put the bangles on her forearm. Similarly the maternal grandparents also have to send some gifts to the bride which includes a set of clothes, some jewellery and other household objects. The custom of exchange of gifts is a very traditional practice among the Punjabi's for they believe this helps to maintain a well knit relationship among friends and family members in the society. This is also a means of patching up with that relationship which has been broken for some reasons. Any social function like the first haircutting, or an initiation ceremony or birth or wedding, it is a more common custom among the relatives to give something in cash or in kind according to his social standing or nearness of relation.

The most common clothing of Punjabi women is the salwar kameez which is worn along with bright colored duppattas. The salwar kameez comprises of a top piece and and the pants or the bottom piece. The dupatta is a must traditional wear and it comes in vibrant colours which are fully designed with intricate works. This colorful cloth is worn around their necks. The women can also be seen wearing shawls adorned with the beautiful Phulkari embroidery. The puggs or the turbans are a must among the Punjabi men or the Sikhs. The men folk generally dress up with loose pants or slacks with a collared shirt or t-shirt. However their traditional costume is the kurta and the pyjama. Traditional Punjabi shoes, called Juttis, are extremely popular with men in both the rural and urban areas.

Punjabi cuisine
- Punjab being a land of abundant milk, its related products is an essential part of their everyday or routine cooking. Curd and buttermilk is a must in every Punjabi meal. Punjabi's prefer more of wheat products and only on special occasions they prefer rice. Rice is never eaten plain for its always seasoned and flavored with cumin and fried onions and accompanied with Rajma or the red beans. Though they don't eat too much of sauces or marinades but prefer some spices adding lot of ghee to their food. During the months of winter they prefer eating rice with peas or jaggery called as matarwale chawal or delicacies like Rao Ki Kheer. Paraunthas and milk sweets, Mah ki Dal, Sarson Da Saag and Makki Di Roti, meat curry like Roghan Josh are very common among the Punjabi's. A Punjabi's breakfast generally comprises of stuffed Parathas with vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, radish, cottage cheese, onion or peas and a glass of buttermilk, arson Ka Saag and Makki Ki Roti with mint and onion chutney are the common dishes for lunch. Mah Ki Dal, Bhunna Gosht, Tandoori Roti and Dahi Raita are preferably eaten at dinner time.

The main occupation of the Punjabi's is agriculture and its related field. Having a base of agrarian economy they don't have much of industrial output but have small-sized industrial units which are based on agriculture like food products, beverages, cotton, wood and paper industries.

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