Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cultural Heritage of Punjab

Punjab has a long history and rich cultural heritage. Approximately, 92.2 percent of Punjabi is spoken in Indian Punjab. The Vedic and the later Epic periods of the Punjab were socially and culturally the most creative.

Let's have a look at the few important aspects of cultural heritage of Punjab-

Cultural Heritage of Punjab

Folk Dances-

Bhangra Dance- Originated in the Western Punjab, Bhangra season starts with the wheat sowing. The dancers move around the 'dhol' drummer in a circle. Colourful clothes that mainly consists of flowing turbans, chadra (covering for the lower body) and long kurtas (shirts) and waistcoats make it a very attractive dance to watch. The Bhangra season concludes with the Baisakhi fair when the wheat is harvested.

Giddha which is the another form of folk dance is performed during family and festive occasions. It has almost the same intensity as Bhangra. In Giddha, women translate bolian-verses into gestures. The movement of the feet is very quick with the high tempo. The embroidered 'duppattas' and heavy jewellery of the people further exaggerate the movements.

Jhumar, originally from Sandalbar (now in Pakistan), has become very much a part of Punjab's folk heritage. This is a graceful dance based on a Jhumar rhythm. Dancers circle around the drummer and sing graceful lyrics as they dance. Jhumar is performed exclusively by men.

Luddi is a male dance of Punjab to celebrate a victory in any field. Only a loose shirt and a loincloth are used as the dress code. Some tie turbans, others tie a Patkas, which resumbles a scarf across the forehead.

Kikli- This is generally popular with the younger girls. The girls form pairs, crossing their arms, hold each other`s hands and whirl around singing folk songs.

Talking about the Punjabi cuisine, the Punjabis cook rice only on special occasions. Rice is eaten with the added flavours of cumin or fried onions with Rajma or Kadhi. In winter rice is cooked with jaggary known as gurwala chawal or with peas called matarwale chawal or as a delicacy called Rao Ki Kheer which, is rice cooked on very slow flame for hours together with sugar cane juice.

Mah ki Dal, Sarson Ka Saag and Makkee Ki Roti, is the major food of Punjab since years. Meat curry like Roghan Josh and stuffed parathas and the main masala in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic, ginger and a lot of tomatoes fried in pure ghee.

Punjab is a blend of many communities and cultures.

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