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Preface

Punjab, a region in north India, has a long history and rich culture heritage. The region has been invaded and ruled by many different empires and races, including the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Afghans, Mongolians. Around the time of the 15th Century, Guru Nanak Dev Ji Founded the Sikh Religion, which quickly came to prominence in the region, and shortly afterwards, Maharaja Ranjit Singh reform the Punjab into a Secular and Powerfull State. The 19th Century saw the beginning of British Rule, which led to the emergence of several heroic Punjabi freedom fighters. In 1947, at the end of British Rule the Punjab was split between Pakistan and India. Punjab is the Cradle of the Indus Valley Civilization, more than 4000 years Old. Archeological excavations, throughout the state, have reveled evidence of the magnificent cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, that lived and died along the banks of the mighty Indus and its tributaries. The Mahabharata, which narrates the life between the 7th and 5th Centaury B.C, contains rich descriptions of the land and people of Punjab at the time. The location of Punjab was on the outskirts of the great Persians empires. It was often attacked by the Persian rulers. The Persian King Darius the Great was able to occupied some part of Punjab. But he was Persian king Gustasp who completed the occupation of Punjab in 516 B.C Soon, Punjab become the wealthiest of all the Satrapies i.e Provinces of the Persian Kingdom.

Introduction

Many races of people and religions made up the culture 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 the gentle Guru Nank preached his marvelous love for the world. Here it was that his broad heart opened and his arms outstretched to embrace the whole world. The Punjabi sprit of tenacity and toughness sustained the uprooted people. Punjabis attained an eminent place in cultural, aesthetic, and literary work, and revived folk art, songs, dance and drama. All of this created a sense of pride and climate of involvement in the heritage of the Punjab.

Culture of Punjab
Meaning of Culture
Culture is the way of life of a particular society or group of people, including patterns of thought, beliefs, behavior, customs, traditions, rituals, dress, and language, as well as art, music, and literature. Punjabi Culture is one of the oldest cultures in world history. Due to advancement of Science and technology there is rapid change in the culture of Punjab. 

Culture of Punjab
The Punjabi Culture is reflected in its folk dances, folk songs, arts and crafts. Punjab deserves praise for its hospitality and assimilative power. In addition to the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, the numerous ethnic groups that came to Punjab have contributed to the growth of its composite culture. The rich cultural heritage of Punjab gives a clarion call to peace and prosperity. The Punjabis are known the world over for their dash, daring and dynamism. Their innate resilience has helped them overcome one crisis after another. Openness and a readiness for restructuring an individual and collective level have been the essence of Punjabi life- style, the core of Punjabiat.

Folk Dances of Punjab

Luddi is a victory-dance recognizable by the swaying movements of the head. Its costume is a simple loose shirt. The performers place one hand at the back and the other before the face; the body movement is sinuous, snake-like. This is also danced with the drummer in the centre. The fairy dancers of the court of lord Indira are reputed to have taught the technique of Giddha and Sammi to the girls of this earth. The fairy which taught Giddha was known as Giddho while the one who taught Sammi was named as such. This kind of dance form is popular in Sandal Bar which now is in Pakistan. Sammi has not been able to gain popular acceptanceand is breathing its last in the huts of the tribals. Women of Baazigars, Rai Sikhs, Lobanas and Sansi lot tribes dance in this medium. This is also danced in the privacy of women.

This women s dance is also performed like Giddha . The dancers stand in a circle and swing their hands, bringing them up from the sides, right in front up to the chest level and clap: they take their hands down in accordance with a rythem and clap again. Repeating this gesture, they bend forward and clap again, and go round and round in a circle. As the rythem is maintained with the beat of the feet, various kinds of swinging movements are performed with the arms. Most of the gestures are confined to the movement of the arms, clicking and clapping. No instrument is required as an accompaniment to this dance. Rythem is kept up with the beating of the feet and clapping.

Festivals of Punjab

Punjab is a state of season and festivals. Even in month of Baisakhi celebrated like that in the month of Savan. Teejs are celebrated in the Punjab. The month of Sawan is extremely waited by the people and also by the young girls. The real life of Punjabi people is seen in the festival. According to an idiom of Punjab thee are 30 days in a month and 32 festivals. There are much festivals are celebrated in Punjab like Raksha Bandhan, Puranmashi, Sangrandh, Basant Panchami, Baisakhi, Dussehra, Diwali, Ram Naumi, Karva Chouth and Teej are the main festivals. Punjabi culture is soul of Punjabi. It shows the life of Punjabi. Punjabi culture is famous in all the world. Now it is the month of Sawan in these days. In this month the Teej is celebrated. The celebration of this festival is started from the third day of the Sawan. The month of Sawan is very important, we prepare Kheer Poorae, Gulgale, Karah and Pakoras in this month. In this month the young girls celebrated teej together and dance on cultural songs. One of the fmoaus one is Sase Teri Mahen Marh Jaye, Mere Veer Nu Sukhi Khand Payee.

Art and Craft in Punjab

Take as simple a thing as mud for example. Plastering the walls with mud and drawing ferns, plants, several other fascinating motifs has been a way of life of the woman of Punjab. Weaving of Durries (cotton bed or floor spreads) in myriad motifes and designs especially by young girls in the villages has been a long tradition in Punjab. These are also woven in stripes, cheek boards, squares, motifs of birds, animals and even plants as a part of dowry. Needle work of Punjab is unique, it has beautiful names because of its associations with beautiful aspects of life and the beautiful designs which the dextrous fingers of Punjab-s proverbially beautiful women create have such a wealth of forms and motifs that they defy enumeration. Some of these are called Baghs, literally a garden, Phulkaris, literally flower work, rummals, scarfs. The patterns of needle work done on the bed spreads, chunnis, dupattas (these are head covers) and shirts and Salvars, are still different. Needle work on phulkaris is done on a deep coloured cotton cloth with striking silk threads. The threads is pierced upwards from underneath the cloth into free-hand motifs, while in the Baghs and Rummals such cloth is worked on the top side only. These were traditionally used for wear but now are exported as wall hangings and sewn as jackets etc. Punjabi hands fans like the Japenese are almost typical and their leaves are made in much the same way as phulkaris etc.

A Typical Punjabi Personality

The typical Punjabi is an extrovert, a sociable fellow who likes to eat well, dress well. Even if hes in a tight spot he would like to twirl his moustache and say Chardi kala (on the up and up) to those who ask how hes getting on. He learns quickly and assimilates new cultures without difficulty; family honour is sacrosanct to him, but in other matters he tends to be liberal minded. It is a matter of pride to be up to date. His enterprise and capacity to work hard are legendary and his deepest ambition is to be his own boss

Traditional Dresses of Punjab

A generation ago, the turban was the crown33ing glory of all Punjabis whether Muslim, Hindu or Sikh. Muslims and Hindus have given up their turbans, but it remains, literally, an article of faith for Sikh men whose religion forbids them to cut their hair. The kurta, a long straight-cut, loose shirt teamed with pyjamas, the loose baggy salwar or a kind of sarong called a loongi or tehmat makes up the traditional dress for men. Winter sees the rustic Punjabi in colourful sweaters that wives and mothers are so skilled in making. A blanket finishes his ensemble. When the urban, educated Punjabi steps out to work he will be in shirt and pant or a suitsartorially indistinguishable from his counterparts in Tokyo or Toronto. Back home in the evening, he is likely to be found in more traditional dress. The traditional Punjabi shoes, called juttis retain their popularity with both rural and urban men; they are both elegant and comfortable. Patiala and Muktsar are famous for juttis. It is impossible to tell by dress whether a Punjabi woman is a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian they all dress in salwar topped by a kameez (a garment that can be fitted like a dress loose like the kurta) and accented by a rectangular scarf about 2.5 metres long called the chunni or duppatta.Shes fond of her sweaters, but she is passionately proud of her collection of woollen shawls. These can be breathtaking. The women of Punjab are responsible for the states most famous item of handicraft the phulkari. .

Music of Punjab

A glimpse into the lives and culture of the people of Punjab can be got through the folk idiom of Punjab. There is a great repertoire of music, right from the time of birth to death, of love and separation of dance and rejoicement, of marriage and fulfilment. For the process of washing and cleaning the grain, of making new clothes, and household items, songs are sung by the woman in the family as they work through the night, that the -dhol- is not used as the menfolk who are sleeping should not have their sleep disturbed. And then the numerous songs associated with the wedding. In the girls side -Suhag- is sung, and in the boy;s side, songs while he mounts the mare, -Sehraand -Ghodi- are sung. When the two sides meet -Sithaniyan- are exchanged. A kind of raunchy humour which makes it easier for both the the parties to show off their wit and repartee and also provides an opportunity to get to know each other. Being a frontier state war played an important part in the lives of the people of Punjab. There was also a tradition of wrestlers living in every village, and while they practised at the -Akhara- a music grew around their practice called -akhara singing-. The drum plays a very important part in the folk music of Punjab. There are songs which are specific to death. Called -Siapah-, there are different kinds of -siapah-. Special to individuals, the song of mourning deal with the loss of a brother, sister, mother, father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and are sung in a particular format. As in the rest of the country Sikh religion is deeply connected with music. In fact a glossary of music and Ragas are given at the end of the Guru Granth Sahib, the tradition starting with Mardana, who accompanied Guru Nanak on his travels who sang the bani of Guru Nanak with an ektaara and the rhubarb. Classical ragas are used in the shabad kirtan, gayaki of Punjab. The sixth Guru Hargobind gave patrongae to sect of singers who sang only martial songs. Called Dhadis, they sing at shrines and festivals, ballads, vars, and about the heroic feats of the Sikhs. Along with the Dhad the dhadi also uses a sarangi, as a musical accompaniment.

Traditional Sports of Punjab

Generally, three types of sport competitions are held during rural fairs and festivals including the purely rural games like wrestling, Kabbadi, weight-lifting, etc. The modern sports like hockey, football, volleyball, cycling, handball, etc. are also organised during village festivals. Apart from these, the performing sports like acrobatics, passing tractor over the rib-ease, twisting an iron-rod by placing it on Adam`s apple, cracking a big stone by placing it on the chest, etc. are held as well. The most frequently played sports in the villages of Punjab include Various traditional rural sports also play a major part in celebration of festivals in the villages of Punjab. running, jumping, archery, fencing and riding competitions, gymnastic and acrobatic displays, hockey, Tirinjen, Kikli, Gheeta Pathar, Khidu, Kokla Chhapaki, Chicho Chich Ganerian, Lukan Miti (Hide & Seek), Guli Danda, Kidi Kada or Stapoo, Ghaggar Phissi, Rasa Kashi (Tug of War), Martial Art, Kite Flying (Patang Bazi), etc.

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Punjabi Cuisine

Punjabis have the reputation of being the greatest producers of good food and being the still greater consumers of it. One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes. Home cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly, with restaurant style using large amounts of clarified butter, known locally as desi ghee, with liberal amounts of butter and cream with home cooked concentrating on mainly upon wheat masalas (spice) flavorings. Though wheat varieties form their staple food, Punjabis do cook rice on special occasions. During winter a delicacy, Kheer is cooked using rice. Rice is cooked for a long time in sugar cane juice. Within the state itself, there are different preferences. People in the area of Amritsar prefer stuffed parathas and milk products. In fact, the area is well known for quality of its milk products. There are certain dishes, which are exclusive to Punjab, such as Mah Di Dal and Saron Da Saag (Sarson Ka Saag). The food is tailor-made for the Punjabi lifestyle in which most of the rural folk burn up a lot of calories while working in the fields. The main masala in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic and ginger. Tandoori food is a Punjabi speciality especially for non-veg dishe

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Conclusion
Punjabis have the reputation of being the greatest producers of good food and being the still greater consumers of it. One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes. Home cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly, with restaurant style using large amounts of clarified butter, known locally as desi ghee, with liberal amounts of butter and cream with home cooked concentrating on mainly upon wheat masalas (spice) flavorings. Though wheat varieties form their staple food, Punjabis do cook rice on special occasions. During winter a delicacy, Kheer is cooked using rice. Rice is cooked for a long time in sugar cane juice.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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