Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.
Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India
India is eternal. Though the beginnings of her numerous civilizations go so far back in time that they are lost in the twilight of history, she has the gift of perpetual youth. Her culture is ageless and is as relevant to this present 20th century as it was to the 20th century before Christ. ~~~ Nani Ardeshir Palkhiwala (Indian lawer & philanthropist)
India or Bharat, the fifth largest and the second populated country in the world, is one of the few countries which can boast of an ancient, deep-rooted and diverse culture, which stretches back to 5000 years. In ancient times, India was known as ‘Bharata Varsha’, the country of the legendary king of Puranic times called Bharat, and was supposed to be a part of the island continent called ‘Jambu Dvipa’.
There is an endless diversity in India starting from its physical features to Geologic structure, fauna and flora, demographic structure, races, languages, religions, arts and crafts and customs and traditions. India has been variously described as “the Mini World”, the “epitome of the world” and an “ethnological museum”. The diversity in India is unique. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization and social structure from the very earliest times until the present day.
India ‘s culture has been enriched by successive waves of migration, which were absorbed into the Indian way of life. The successive waves of migration into India started with the Indo-Greeks (2nd Century B.C.), followed by the Kushans (First century A.D.), the incursions from the northwest by Arab, Turkish, Persian and others beginning in the early 8th century A.D. and culminating with the establishment of the Muslim empire by the 13th century, and finally the advent of Europeans — the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English, the Danes and the French. These interactions over the years led to introduction of newer elements in India ’s arts, music, literature and customs and traditions, thus enriching our cultural heritage.
From the very ancient times India not only absorbed the foreign cultures into its composite fold, but it also managed to spread the rich elements of its own unique culture in different parts of the world. It is historically recorded that the Chola rulers had cultural contacts with countries like Ilamandalam ( Sri Lanka ), Sri Vijaya ( Sumatra ), Chavakam (Java), Kamboja ( Cambodia ) andKadaram ( Malay Peninsula ). Evidences of these early Indian contacts are still found in the art and architecture of these countries. The Southeast Asian countries formed a stronghold of Indian culture from the early centuries of the Christian era. The various Southeast Asian languages show strong influence of Sanskrit. Many earlier kingdoms of these countries had adopted Hinduism as their religion, whose influence is perceptible even today.
India presents a picture of unity in diversity to which history provides no parallel. There is complete harmony in India in each of its cultural elements. Religion and philosophy, which forms the bedrock of any civilisation, are evident in India in the form of all major religions in the world — Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism and Judaism.
Each state of India has its own language and set of tribes, festivals, arts and crafts and customs and traditions. While there are the Chenchus tribes in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, Bhils and Gonds in Central India,Dogris, Gujjars and Ladakhis in Jammu and Kashmir and Nagas, Bodos, Mishmis, Gharos and Khasis in the Northeast, there are tribes like the Jarewas, Onges, Andamanis and Sentinelese in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There are some festivals, which are typical of particular states, cities or towns like the Bonnalu of Andhra Pradesh, Pushkar of Rajasthan, Rajrani of Orissa, Teej of Rajasthan and Bogali Bihu of Assam . Each region is also identified with its typical folk and tribal dance forms, like Puli Vesham of Andhra Pradesh, Keli Gopal of Assam , Chhau of Bihar ,Dandia of Gujarat , Bhangra of Punjab and Otthanthulal of Kerala. Similar parallels can also be drawn in the folk drama, theatre and arts and crafts.
Development of Arts and Fine Arts
There was a continuous evolution of drama, music, dance, painting and folk art forms under the different political rules in India that ultimately led to the development of the definite ‘Indian’ element in each of these forms. Thus, within the ambience of Indian culture one can identify ‘Indian Music’, ‘Indian Dance’, ‘Indian Theatre’, ‘Indian Literature’, ‘Indian Fairs and Festivals’ and so on.
Indian music has a very long and unbroken tradition, which is an accumulated heritage of centuries and traces its roots to Vedic days. Bharata’s Natyashastra (4th Century AD) is a great, comprehensive work on the science and technique of Indian drama, dance and music. The advent of Muslim rule in India brought in a changed perspective in the style of Northern Indian music. The traditional Hindu devotional music form of dhruvapad got transformed into the classical dhrupad form of singing under the Muslim rule. The khayal developed as a new form of singing in the 18th century A.D. and became equally popular among Hindus and Muslims. Different ragas began to be introduced from the medieval times. Tansen created many new ragas like Darbari Kanada, Darbari Todi, Miyan Ki Todi, Miya ki Malhar and Miya ki Sarang, which until now, are regarded as the foremost ragas of Northern India . Sultan Hussain Sarki of Jaunpur introduced ragas like Jaunpuri tori and Hussaini Kanada. Amir Khusro is credited with the creation of the Hemant, Prabhat Kali and Hem Behag ragas. A large variety of foreign musical instruments like Harmonium, Sarod, Shehnai, Sitar, Tabla and Violin were introduced in India to supplement the ancient musical instruments like Flute, Nadaswaram, Veena, Gootuvadhyam, Thavil, Mridangam and Plain drum.
India ‘s culture and heritage is so rich and deep-rooted that it may take several days or even years to understand all its dimensions. From the time immemorial India has fascinated many a world traveller like Fahien, Hiuen Tsang, Ibn Batuta, Alberuni, Ferishta, Vasco da Gama, Marco Polo and several others. Albert Einstein once said: “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”
The great German Indologist Max Muller said: “If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow – in some parts a very paradise on earth – I should point to India . If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed the choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solution of some of them, which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant – I should point to India.”
The following quotation of the great American philosopher and writer Will Durant sums up the divine land called India, thus “India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages; she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.”
ANDHRA PRADESH - CULTURE
The Telugu people with a sparkling social structure are a blend of resonant conglomeration of culture and traditions. Having ruled by great Dynasties of the past the people and the state exhibit a mix of rich Nizami tradition and royal heritage. The cultural heritage of the country is contributed a lot by the state and the Telugu people. Being under the rule of various dynasties like the Chalukyas and the Mughals, the culture of the state is beautifully controlled and shaped. The Telugu people are very much influenced by the culture of their roots giving a creative touch of varied civilizations. Its rich culture is discernible in its mellow music, dazzling dances, crispy cuisine, aboriginal arts & and crafts, pious people, religions, and fairs and festivals. The culture has become inseparable from its people for it is adhered by the Telugu people living even in different parts of the country and the world.
The people of Arunachal Pradesh are divided into three cultural groups namely the first group comprising the Buddhists, while people of the second group practice Donyi Poloism (worship the Sun God and the Moon God) and the third group are those who follow Christianity and Hinduism. Music plays a major part of the culture of the people of Arunachal Pradesh adorned with instruments like drums and cymbals. The songs sung are mainly based on fables related to creatures and animals.Pailibos are folk songs which mainly depict the history and mythology. Baryi is another song in which the history, religious lore and mythology is narrated.
The Assamese are noted for their mixed traditional culture because of the assimilation of various ethno-cultural groups in the past including the local elements and the local elements in Sanskritised forms can be seen. However the Assamese culture is greatly influenced by the Kamarupa Kingdom which had been grouped here for nearly 700 years. This was followed by the Ahom dynasty during the 13th century which reigned for more than 600 years. Another milestone in the culture of the Assamese were the Koch Kingdom (15th–16th century AD) of western Assam and Kachari Kingdom (12th–18th century AD) of central and southern Assam. During the 15th century the great Srimanta Sankardeva (Sonkordeu) and his disciples started a religio-cultural movement namely the Vaishanav Movement, which paved way for another dimension to Assamese culture.
The culture of Chhattisgarh is a blend of literature, performing arts and crafts which is derived and nourished from daily life and observation of facts of people. Most of their decorative or the design pattern which is used in their art work is from their own religion, mythology, social and political events, nature and folklore. The other traditional crafts of the people include painting, woodcarving, bell metal craft, bamboo ware and tribal jewellery.The people of Chhattisgarh have an in-depth knowledge deeply rooted in areas like sociological and historical movements of the region.
Its literature reflects the regional consciousness and the evolution of an identity distinct from others in Central India. Famous plays like ‘Jarnail Singh’ and ‘Unch Neech’ written by Khub Chand Baghel highlights the social problems and difficulties faced by the lower caste people and the untouchables. When it comes to their art and craft the tribal groups of Bastar are believed to be the earliest who worked with metal where they are specialized in Dhokra casting in bronze and bell metal. These metals are also used to make tribal gods, votive animals, oil lamps, carts and animals. Chhattisgarh having more of forest land, the people are very good in intricate craft work like carved wooden doors, windows, ceilings, lintels, masks and sculptures of tribal cult figures. They use more of teak, shisham, sal and other hardwoods which were abundant in the forests of Chhattisgarh. The tribal people are also noted for their Pithora style of painting which is usually done on occasions like festivals, marriages or other celebrations. In ancient days the paintings were done mainly on the floors and walls of the temples and houses, but now the artists also exhibit their talents on cloth or paper which mainly depicts mythology and religious rituals.
The culture of Haryana dates back to the Vedic times and the people are noted for their rich cultural heritage. The people of Haryana are known for their rich folklore and strictly adhere to their own traditions and customs. The people of Haryana follow meditation, Yoga and chanting of Vedic Mantras which has become an integral part of their life. This way of life of the people of Haryana is age old customs. The culture of the people is extoled by their seasonal and religious festivals. The people are known for their diverse races, cultures and faiths which are blended in the right proportion to become something truly India. Even today they are preserving and follow their old religious and social traditions including fairs and festivals which are celebrated following all the traditional customs.
The dance of the people of Haryana forms the basis of their art and infact it is also most commonly referred by the people as mother of all arts. Apart from dance, the delighting form of arts enjoyed by the people is Saangs, dramas, ballads and songs. They consider dance to be a way of expressing their physical and emotional energy rather just as a part of recreation for they believe that dance is a source of taking away the worries and stress of the performers.
The people of Himachal Pradesh are known for their rich cultural heritage and values. Pahari is the most commonly spoken language by the people, though Hindi is the official language of the state. Pahari is a branch of sanskrit. Apart from Pahari there are other tribal languages spoken in Himachal Pradesh and they are Chambyali, Pangwali, Lahauli, Kinnauri and others. Hinduism is the major religion practiced by the people of Himachal Pradesh and this hilly region being the abode of the Hindu God Shiva and Goddess Parvati, there are lots of temples in this area. Folk music and dances are an integral part of the people of Himachal Pradesh giving way for a rich tradition. Natti is a very famous dance of the people of Kullu which is mainly performed by the men folk with a very colurful attire of short tunics and churidars (tights) and the embroidered Kullu caps.Burah, Birsue and Ghugti are a form of martial dance performed by the people which is performed by the waving of axes and swords. Based on romantic and satirical themes the people of Shimla perform a masked dance. The Bakayang is another famous dance performed by the Kinnauri women fully dressed in their traditional attires with chunky silver jewellery.
The culture of the Kashmiris is based on dance, music, festivals, food habits and literature which predominantly influences the lifestyle of the people. The culture of the Kashmiris is quite varied and rich. The Kashmiris, residents of the snow clad region have an interesting and different pattern of lifestyles for the fact that they have a unique and diverse culture. The Kashmiris having exposed to solidarity during independence have set in a new culture of literature and learning. For a long time in history the valley of Kashmir and the Kashmiris are considered to be detached from the country and also its geographical location paved way for it, for the state is encompassed with alluvial soil, glacial mountains and loft peaks, crystal clear streams, torrents, lofty crags, very broad lakes, pine forest and Chinar groves. But however today the valley of Kashmir is said to be the home of people belonging to various sects and races. The diversity of the state stands steady and highlighted by factors like dance, music, cuisine and festivals. Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh have a multifaceted, multi religious and multi-ethnic culture distinct to the three areas of the state.
The vibrant culture of Jahrkhand is highly influenced both by the tribal and the non-tribal community people for apart from these tribal communities there are also non-tribal communities and followers of different religion like Buddhism and Jainism. Jharkhand locally known as Vananchal is noted for its rich mineral and forest resources. Being a newly carved state from the southern region of Bihar, the state has witnessed transmigration of various people from West Bengal and Bihar, retaining their individual cultural traits intact. This blend of various tribal cultures has made the culture of Jharkhand for the better. Some of the other features which add up to the culture of the people are their music, festivals, handicrafts, dance, cuisine and life style. The people of Jharkhand celebrate different festivals with the same enthusiasm like people in any other part of the country. Some of the major festivals which are celebrated with great fun and pomp are Sarhul, Karma, Sohrai, Badna, Tusu, Id, Christmas, Holi, Dussehra, etc. Chhath Puja is reckoned as one of the most important festivals of Jharkhand which is celebrated twice year, namely in the month of March and November. Some of the important tribal festivals are Karma, Sohrai and Sarhul. On the day of the Karma festival the devotees fast for about 24 hours and tribal dances and music are performed around a sal tree which is placed in an open ground. The Sohari festival is celebrated during Diwali and it is one of the long awaited festival of the Jharkhand people.
Karnataka noted for its varied religious traditions along with their renowned history has helped the state and the people in achieving a rich cultural heritage for the state. Though Kannadiagas have Karnataka as their home town, the state is also the place for Tuluvas, Kodavas and Konkanis. Karnataka also accommodates minority of Tibetan Buddhists and tribes like the Soligas, Yeravas, Todas and Siddhis.There are mentions about this region in the period of the great epic Ramayana as Kishkindha. Based on literary factors the region of Mysore is called as Mahisha Mandala after a demon named Mahishasura.The neoteric or the contemporary theatre culture in Karnataka is still resonant with people like Ninasam, Ranga Shankara, Rangayana and Prabhat Kalavidaru continuing to build on the foundations laid by Gubbi Veeranna, T. P. Kailasam, B. V. Karanth, K V Subbanna, Prasanna and others. In the cultural history of India one can strongly say that the Haridasa devotional movement has brought a great change. It then nearly took six centuries to give the culture a proper shape by several saints and mystics. The culture change by spiritual influences also includes art and philosophy which was more concentrated in the state of Karnataka.
Madhya 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.
The distinct mix of various cultures has shaped the people of Maharashtra into a land of prosperity and spirituality. Though the state is developed to a great extent in the field of modernization, the people maintain their culture by following their traditional practices. The state was being initially the land of the great warriors who have left behind grandeur, high spirits, exuberance and might. All these features add to the rich culture and heritage to the Marathis. The Maharashtrians are known for their special dance forms which accompanies most festivals of the state. The Sholapur district in Maharashtra is noted for its Dhangari Gaja dance where the people adorn themselves with dhoti, angarakha and pheta and colorful handkerchiefs. The people of Maharashtra perform a special type of dance known as Lavani in any gatherings like social, political and religious. Many social functions never miss the Povadas dance which mainly depicts the history of the Maratha ruler, Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Manipuris takes the pride of a rich cultural heritage. The people of Manipur strongly adhere to their customs and religious belief and are very superstitious. The Manipuris are peace loving with lot of creativity and very artistic in nature which is exhibited in their handloom and handicrafts. The people of Manipur celebrate lot of fairs and festivals which is always accompanied by vibrant dances and music. Though the people of Manipur are divided into a number of colorful sects of people like Meitei, Naga, Kuki, Meitei Pangal, etc, they still in harmony with their own unique culture and traditions. Each one strictly adhere to their customs and faith and still respect people and their beliefs from other communities or religious sects. The social structure of the people of Manipur is mainly built by their religion. Manipur being predominantly occupied by the tribal people, they have a strong belief in supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe and thus their customs is molded out of superstitions.
The culture of the Bengalis gives a special identity to the state with various unique features of heritage in its music, cinema and specially its literature. The Bengalis boast of one of the richest and vibrant culture in India which is a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. The people of Bengal have contributed a lot towards the creation of such a magnificent atmosphere. The Bengalis were not only pioneers in reformation movements but also the people of Bengal were the first to experience the cosmopolitan culture in the country. Some of the important constituents of the culture of the Bengalis are its music, Bengali cinema, Bengali literature and of course the Bengali cuisine. The sanctity of Hooghly, the beauty of Eastern Himalayas, the diversity of Sunderbans and the freshness of the Tea Gardens, all blend together to constitute what we call the unique culture of West Bengal. Bengal is the birth place of several social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Vidyasagar, great saint Ram Krishna Paramahamsa and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The Bengalis are said to have inherited a rich genetic features from their earlier generations which is proved by the popular saying ‘What Bengal thinks today, Rest of India will think tomorrow’.
The culture of the people of Uttarakhand is kept in check or enriched by features like its music and dance, festivals, cuisine, arts and crafts and much more. A new dimension is given to the culture of Uttarakhand where the people here are bestowed with Land of Gods, natural diversity and the element of the Himalaya’s unparalleled with its natural beauty and sanctity. Thus there are so many geo -social factors which influences the culture of the people of Uttarakhand. The religious bonds between the people is held tight by features like music, dance and arts and thus the people are in turn deep -rooted in their religion with awe inspiring Himalayas. The people of Uttarakhand never miss out on any celebration of festivals for they take the slightest possible opportunity to celebrate all the festivals of India with great enthusiasm.
Some of the national festivals celebrated by them include Holi, Diwali, Navratri, Christmas and Durgotsav. The people here generally get very excited about festivals and they take an active participation in it by fasting, joining the festival processions, cooking food, etc. Some of the festivals pertaining to the people of Uttarakhand during which their distinct customs and traditions are followed includes Basant Panchami, Bhitauli, Harela, Phooldei, Batsavitri, Ganga Dusshera, Dikar Puja, Olgi or Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Ghuian Ekadashi and Ghughutia. At the time of monsoon and on the first day of the month of `Shravana` a Kumaoni festival known as Harela is celebrated with great pomp and religious fervor. The love between a brother and a sister is shared by exchanging of gifts between them on the festival of Bhitauli and this is celebrated in the month of Chaitra.
The culture of the people of Uttar Pradesh is very much fascinating and captivating. The people are known for their rich cultural heritage where they adhere to their traditional customs and practices. Apart from its natural gifts the people have nurtured a rich heritage of cultural elements. The people of Uttar Pradesh take the pride of bestowing the two great epics in Indian history namely Mahabharata and Ramayan.The culture of Uttar Pradesh, thus, has rightly imbibed this trend and manifested it in its various features. It is highly essential to mention about the fairs and festivals celebrated by the people which gives a glory to the culture of the people. Apart from the national festivals like Holi, Diwali and Makar Sankranti which are celebrated with great fervor the people also fete on many regional festivals and fairs like Taj Mahaotsav which attracts people from all over the globe. This festival recalls the inheritance of the Mughal era by displaying the fine marble replica toys of the Taj, Mughal jewelry, ‘zari’ clothing and much more. The festival of Kumbhmela is celebrated with following of religious practices and traditional customs. During the months of October- November the Ganga festival is celebrated on the banks of the river Ganga and the same is worshipped. The other major celebrations of festivals and fairs include Lucknow festival and Bateshwar fair. Most of the festivals here are accompanied by events like kite flying, chariot race, and pigeon flying which are memories of the Hindustan Nawabs and is an integral part of the festival.
The state of Tripura is dominated by the Bengalis and so the prevalent culture is also Bengali. The people of Tripura re noted for a rich cultural heritage with a blend of music, fine arts, performing arts, and handicrafts. The culture as a whole is a blend of various ethno-linguistic groups such as, Tripuris, Jamatia, Reang, Noatia, Koloi, Murasing, Chakma, Halam, Garo, Kuki, Lushai, Mogh, Munda, Oraon, Santhal, and Uchoi. Apart from the tribal community the culture of the Bengali people is widely practiced by the people of Tripura for even the tribal people living in urban areas are slowly getting influenced by the Bengali culture and traditions. The Tripura kings were great patron of Bengali culture, especially literature and Bengali language was the language of the court. The Bengali literature, music and cuisine are also taken up by the people of Tripura. The culture of the people of Tripura is not complete without the music and dance of the tribal people of the state. All the social and religious gatherings like weddings and other festivals are accompanied by music and dance pertaining to their own tribal community. Some of the main musical instruments used by the people are sarinda, chongpreng, and sumui.The people belonging to the Tripuri and Jamatia tribal community perform goria dance during the Goria puja and Jhum dance in the harvest season. Some of the other tribal dances performed by the people are lebang dance, mamita dance, and mosak sulmani dance.The hojagiri dance performed by young girls balancing on earthen pitchers is very famous pertaining to the Reang community. During the Bizhu festival the Chakmas perform the Bizhu dance. Other tribal dances of the Reang community are wangala dance of the Garo people, hai-hak dance of the Halam branch of Kuki people, sangrai dance and owa dance of the Mog tribe and others.
Religion plays a harmonious role in the people of Tamil Nadu. But however the religion is not of a uniform or single pattern for they preach both the ritualistic and supplicatory aspects of the same. Their rituals are related to animism and the other forms of deity worship. There are tree worship, stone worship, animal worship and the worship of stars and planets. Hinduism forms the major religion followed in the state followed by Islam, Christianity and Jainism.
In their chiseled splendor and symmetrical form, the bronzes of Tamil Nadu testify the grandeur of an art form that reached the peak of perfection a thousand years ago. The people of Tamil Nadu are known for spinning and weaving which is the most important and widely practiced craft. The textile products are known for their beauty and fineness, especially the silk and cotton fabrics.
The people of Sikkim have a rich cultural heritage with a homogenous blend of different religion, customs and traditions of different communities of people living. Apart from the traditional Sikkimese language and the tribal languages the people of Sikkim also speak other languages like Hindi and English. They are generally characterized as warm and friendly in nature for even in spite of different communities occupying the state they still live in peace and harmony. Even small festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. There are social or religious gatherings or celebrations which cannot miss out the music and dance of the people of Sikkim.
The mask dance is very famous here and is performed by the monks in the temple during religious festivals. The monks cover themselves with gaily-painted masks, ceremonial swords and sparkling jewels where they dance according to the sound of resounding drums, trumpeting horns and religious chanting. The earliest inhabitants of the state namely the Lepchas are predominantly Buddhist and Christians, but however before the introduction of these two religions they believed in the bone faith or mune faith based on the spirits, good and bad for they prayed to the spirits associated with nature like mountains, rivers and forests. Their settlements are quite small for each hut in a village is made of bamboo and is raised about five feet above the ground on stilts. There are just a couple of rooms with only small minimum essential requirements of life.
The Rajasthani’s own the pride of not only enriching the culture of Rajasthan but also the entire culture of India. The people of Rajasthan are known for their culture which is nearly 5000 years old and which is a blend of tradition and history with the present contemporary lifestyle. There are lot of customs and traditions followed by the diverse population of the state and it adds to the embellishment of the culture of the people. The cultural heritage of the Rajasthani’s are influenced by various features like its folk music and dances, different languages and dialects, the majestic forts, palaces, mansions and divinely holy places of religious worship, its multihued fairs and festivals and its cuisine. Not only the people but also the commercial markets give a picture of the vibrant culture of the Rajasthani’s. Various products of the people of Rajasthan which can reflect the culture of the state are tie and die textiles, intricately carved wooden furniture with alluring motifs, block print textiles, lavish Bandhej saris and kurtis, zari and embroidered saris, luxurious and royal hand knotted carpets and durries, astonishing blue pottery, captivating mojaris and jutis, and so on.
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.
The people of Odisha being ruled by various rulers, their culture along with arts and crafts has also emerged accordingly. It is the language and the culture of the Aryans seen in Odisha. These people who made their entry from the north eastern state can be defined as those very primitive nor can you term them to have a decent cultural background. Thus the present style of the living of the people of Odisha is a result of the racial and cultural amalgamation. Also the geography of the state contributes to its culture for the state stands as a coastal corridor between the northern and southern India and having a blend of the races and cultures of the Aryans and the Dravidians. Though the people and the state are slowly getting urbanized, still certain primitive traditions and values are kept alive in its original or ancient form for the major portion of the state is largely in its rural form. The people of Odisha are known for their rich cultural heritage and have an amalgamation of the Jagannath cult, the Vaishnav cult and Buddhism and Sivayat cult. Odia apart from being the oldest language of the state is also the most commonly spoken and the official language of the state where at least 85% of the total population speak this language. There is also other tribal languages spoken by the different group of tribal people.
The culture and the social structure of the Nagas vary from one tribal community to another. There was a lot of inter- village quarrels happening in earlier days for choosing the sites for the village and was very much influenced by considerations of defensive strategy. The houses were usually built on the top of the hills enclosed with stone walls and heavy wooden gates with deep ditches dug around the wall. The dance of the Naga’s is an example for the proof of the vibrant and dynamic cultural traditions of the north eastern state of India. The folk dances of the Naga’s accompanied with excellent folk songs and native musical instruments clearly indicate the rich cultural heritage of the people of Nagaland. The dance of the Naga’s is mainly dominated by the male members of the community who are fully dressed in traditional costumes and they usually dance in groups more preferably in closed circles. Each tribal community has their unique style of dance form. Some of the famous dances of the people of Nagaland are Zeliang dance, Cock dance, Fly dance, Cricket dance and Bear dance. An integral part of social and cultural lifestyle of the native population of Nagaland, the unique dancing styles of the state are performed with proper props of dao, shield or spear. The folk music of the Naga’s again shows diversity in their melodious traditional rhythm depending on the various communities of the tribal people. The music composed is mainly based on features like religious beliefs, romance or bravery.
A.L. Basham, The Wonder That was India, ISBN 0-330-43909-X, Picador London
- Auboyer, Jeannine (2002). Daily Life in Ancient India, from 200 BC to 700 AD. (originally published in French in 1961), Phoenix Press, London ISBN 1-84212-591-5
- Bajpai, Shiva (2011). The History of India – From Ancient to Modern Times, (Himalayan Academy Publications (Hawaii, USA), ISBN 978-1-934145-38-8)
- Dalmia, Vasudha and Rashmi Sadana (editors), The Cambridge Companion to Modern Indian Culture, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-51625-9
- Grihault, Nicki. Culture Smart! India: A Quick Guide to Customs and Etiquette. ISBN 1-85733-305-5.
- Henderson, Carol E. (2002). Culture and Customs of India. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-30513-7.
- Kapila Vatsyayan (1977). Classical Indian dance in literature and the arts. Sangeet Natak Akademi. OCLC 233639306., Table of Contents
- Natalia Lidova (1994). Drama and Ritual of Early Hinduism. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-1234-5.
- Nilakanta Sastri, A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-560686-8
- Patra, Avinash (2012), The Spiritual Life and Culture of India, Oxford University Press, England.
- Sharma, Ram Sharan (2005), India’s Ancient Past, (Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-568785-9).
- Tarla Mehta (1995). Sanskrit Play Production in Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-1057-0.
- Williams, Drid (2004). “In the Shadow of Hollywood Orientalism: Authentic East Indian Dancing” (PDF). Visual Anthropology. Routledge. 17 (1): 69–98. doi:10.1080/08949460490274013.