Punjabi Culture

Culture: The word culture has many different meanings. For some it refers to an appreciation of good literature, music, art, and food However, for anthropologists and other behavioral scientists, culture is the full range of learned human behavior patterns. The term was first used in this way by the pioneer English Anthropologist Edward B. Tylor in his book, Primitive Culture, published in 1871. Tylor said that culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.   Of course, it is not limited to men. Women possess and create it as well. Since Tylor’s time, the concept of culture has become the central focus of anthropology. Culture is a powerful human tool for survival, but it is a fragile phenomenon. It is constantly changing and easily lost because it exists only in our minds. Our written languages, governments, buildings, and other man-made things are merely the products of culture. They are not culture in themselves. For this reason, archeologist can not dig up culture directly in their excavations.

The broken pots and other artifacts of ancient people that they uncover are only material remains that reflect cultural patterns they are things that were made and used through cultural knowledge and skills. Pakistani culture: Pakistan has a rich cultural diversity as the society is largely multilingual, multi-ethnic and multicultural. The Pakistani society comprises various diverse cultures and ethnic communities that majorly involve Punjabi, Sindhi, Baloch, Pashtun, Seraiki, Mohair, Kashmiri, Makrani, and the ancient Wakhi and Burusho groups in the north.

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These Pakistani cultures have been greatly influenced by many of the surrounding countries’ cultures, such as the Turkic people, Persian, Arab and other  South Asian ethnic Asian group of the Subcontinent, Central Asia and the Middle East. Pakistan is in general linguistically heterogeneous, and no single language can be said to be common to the whole population. Each of its principal languages has a strong regional focus. The languages claimed as mother tongue include Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Seraiki, Kashmiri, Brahui, Hindko and Potohohari.

Urdu is the national language and one of two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English). Although only about 8% of Pakistanis speak it as their first language, it is spoken as a second and often third language by almost all citizens of Pakistan. Pakistan is a special interest destination as its main attraction includes adventure tourism in the Northern Areas, cultural and archaeological tourism as found at Taxila, Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and Swat, and early Mughal and Muslim heritage of Multan, Lahore, Thatta and Peshawar.

From the mighty Karakorams in the North to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus River in the South, Pakistan remains a land full of adventures and natural beauties having peaceful general masses. The enthusiasm for poetry exists at a regional level as well, with nearly all of Pakistan’s provincial languages continuing the legacy. Poetry is a highly respected art in Pakistan. Since the independence of the country in 1947 and establishment of Urdu as the national language, poetry is mostly written in the Urdu as well as regional languages. The Urdu language has a rich tradition of poetry and Dr.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal is regarded as the National Poet of Pakistan. Apart from Urdu poetry, Pakistani poetry also has blends of other regional languages. Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Seraiki, and Pashto poetry have all incorporated and influenced Pakistani poetry. The variety of Pakistani music ranges from diverse provincial folk music and traditional styles such as Qawwali and Ghazal Gayeki to modern forms fusing traditional and western music, such as the synchronization of Qawwali and western music by the world renowned Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

In addition, Pakistan is home to many famous folk singers such as the late Alam Lohar, who is also well-known in the Indian Punjab. Folk dances are still popular in Pakistan and they vary according to region. The folk dances of Punjab are Bhangra, Luddi and Sammi, while Jhoomar is the folk dance of Seraiki region. Lewa and Chap are the most popular folk dances of Balochistan. The folk dances of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are Attan, Khattak dance and Chitrali dance. While Dhammal and Ho Jamalo are the popular folk dances mostly performed in Sindh. |

Although Western-style clothing is worn in Pakistan, the national dress, shalwar-qameez, is more common in both rural and urban areas. Made of cotton, the shalwar-qameez differs for men and women. Men wear solid, plain colour, and add a coat for formal occasions. For women, the colours are brighter and patterns bolder, with more tailoring common. Women wear a dupatta (scarf) around their heads and sometimes another long scarf around their shoulders. Men only wear shorts for athletic events and women never do. A handshake is the most common greeting, although close friends may embrace if meeting after a long time.

It is not appropriate for a man to shake hands with a woman. A title and last name are used when addressing someone. Visiting between friends and relatives is a very important social custom and occurs as often as possible. Hospitality is important and guests are made to feel welcome. In small groups, each person is greeted individually. Personal rapport is important. The family is the centre of social life and support. Although increased modernisation has brought many women into public life, the male continues to reign as head of the home.

It is common for the extended family, a father and mother, their sons, and the son’s family to live together in the same household. The presiding male of the family has significant influence over the lives of all family members, although women are increasingly taking on active decision making roles. The elderly are highly respected. Pakistani cuisine is as diverse as its people. Pakistani diet, whereas vegetables and beans are as important. The mainstay of the Pakistani diet is chapati or roti. Pakistani food is generally hot and spicy.

Rice is part of most meals and desserts. Tea is the most popular drink. Meat plays a much more dominant role in Pakistani food, compared to other South Asian cuisines. Of all the meats, the most popular are mutton, and chicken. Beef is also eaten, and is particularly sought after as the meat of choice for Kabab dishes. Punjabi culture: Punjabi Culture is the culture of the Punjab region. It is one of the oldest in world history, dating from ancient antiquity to the modern era. The Punjabi culture is the culture of the Punjabi people who are now distributed hroughout the world. The scope, history, sophistication and complexity of the culture are vast. Some of the main areas include Punjabi Philosophy, poetry, spirituality, education, artistry, music, cuisine, science, technology, military warfare, architecture, traditions, values and history. Due to the large number of Punjabi People distributed throughout the world, especially Pakistan and India, many people are increasingly experiencing the culture and becoming influenced by it. Traditional Punjabi culture is being strengthened and expanded in the Western world. the scope is huge, ranging from Punjabi Philosophy, poetry, spirituality, education, artistry, music, cuisine, architecture etc. People of different languages, cultures, customs and races came to Punjab for various reasons. These immigrants influenced and were influenced by Punjabi culture. Punjabi Literature Punjabi literature refers to literary works written in the Punjabi language particularly by peoples from the historical Punjab region. The Punjabi language is written in several different scripts, of which the Shahmukhi, the Gurmukhi scripts are the most commonly used.

The early punjabi literature whereabouts can be seen in the sufi poetry of Fariduddin Ganjshakar. After which Punjabi Sufi poetry developed under Shah Hussain Sultan Bahu ,Shah Sharaf, Ali Haider, Saleh muhammad safoori  and Bulleh Shah . In contrast to Persian poets, who had preferred the ghazal for poetic expression, Punjabi Sufi poets tended to compose in the Kafi. Punjabi Poetry is renowned for its deep meaning, beautiful, exciting and hopeful use of words. The large number of Punjabi poetry works are being translated worldwide in many languages.

The Punjabi language is also famous for its rich literature of qisse, most of the which are about love, passion, betrayal, sacrifice, social values and a common man’s revolt against a larger system. In the Punjabi tradition, friendship, loyalty, love are given utmost importance and most of the stories in the qisse are based on such elements. Waris Shah’s qissa of ‘Heer Ranjha’ is among the most famous Qisse of all times which is one of the four popular tragic romances of Punjab. The other three are Mirza Sahiba, Sassi Punnun and Sohni Mahiwal The most popular writer/poet to have written

Punjabi Sufi Qisse was Bulleh Shah. He is frequently quoted by young and old alike with same respect and on matters of both love and God. Punjabi Architecture Punjabi architecture is the feast for eyes. Punjab is bestowed with worth seeing architecture all around. The oldest examples of architecture sculpture and painting in the Punjab belong to the Harappa civilization. The breathtaking architecture include: * Badshahi Mosque is a famous landmark and a major tourist attraction. Badshai masjid was built by sixth mughal emperor Aurengzeb in 1671 and completed in 1673.

It is the second largest masjid in Pakistan and fifth largest in the world. * Taxila is a town and an important archaeological site in the District of the Punjab province in Pakistan. The site includes buildings, fortifications, settlements, showing architectural influence. * The Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, is famous for its extensive faience tile work. It has been described as ‘a mole on the cheek of Lahore’. It was built in seven years, starting around 1634–1635 AD, during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. Rohtas Fort is a historical garrison fort built by king Farid Khan, located near the city of Jhelum in Pakistan. This fort is about 4 km in circumference and the first example of the successful amalgamation of Pashtun and Hindu architecture in the Indian Subcontinent. * The Khewra Salt Mine is located in Khewra, north of Pind Dadan Khan, an administrative subdivision of Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan. It is Pakistan’s largest and oldest salt mine and the world’s second largest. It is a major tourist attraction. Punjab arts and craft

Punjab has a rich tradition of arts and crafts. The richness of the land is reflected in its handicraft. The people of Punjab lay much importance on their artistry and the minute details of their work. The artistic creations of Punjab are acclaimed all over the world. The skilled and dexterous artisans of the state produce a variety of handicrafts and even the rural women have a major contribution in the production of these fascinating art works. Mud work Mud work is a famous rural practice in Punjab, prevalent from the ancient times.

It is a trend in Punjab to mud-plaster the walls of the house and then, create motifs and designs on the mudded walls. Metal work Metalwork is also very popular in Punjab. Utensils made of metals are used in households, as also for religious purposes. Basketry work Thin straws of glass are used for basketry works, which is another Punjabi craft that is immensely popular. Mats, rugs, carpets, curtains and hand fans are woven using these straws. Embroidery Embroidery is another extensively followed work of art, known in the state by various local names.

Phulkari, an intricate needle work, is extremely popular and is mainly taken up by village girls. Juttis of Punjab Punjabi juttis represent the traditional footwear of Punjab, which is known worldwide for its exquisite design and intricate pattern. Punjab festivals Punjab is well known for its festivals which include: Urs The fairs held at the shrines of Sufi saints are called urs. They generally mark the death anniversary of the saint. On these occasions devotees assemble in large numbers and pay homage to the memory of the saint.

Soul inspiring music is played and devotees dance in The most important urs are: urs of Data Ganj Buksh at Lahore, urs of Hazrat Sultan Bahu at Jhang, urs of Hazrat Shah Jewna at Jhang, urs of Hazrat Mian Mir at Lahore, urs of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar at Pakpattan, urs of Hazrat Bahaudin Zakria at Multan, urs of Sakhi Sarwar Sultan at Dera Ghazi Khan, urs of Shah Hussain at Lahore, urs of Hazrat Bulleh Shah at Kasur, urs of Hazrat Imam Bari (Bari Shah Latif) at Rawalpindi-Islamabad and urs of Shah Inayar Qadri (the murrshad of Bulleh Shah) in Lahore.

A big fair/mela is organized at Jandiala Sher Khan in district Sheikhupura on the Mausoleum of Syed Waris Shah who is the most loved Sufi poet of Punjab due to his claasic work known as Heer Ranjha. The shrine of Heer Ranjha in Jhang has been one of the most visited shrines in Punjabecstasy. The music on these occasions is essentially folk and appealing. It forms a part of the folk music through mystic messages. Industrial and commercial fairs Exhibitions and Annual Horse Shows in all Districts and National Horse and Cattle Show at Lahore are held with the official patronage.

National Horse and Cattle Show at Lahore is the biggest festival where sports, exhibitions, and livestock competitions are held. It not only encourages and patronizes agricultural products and livestock through the exhibitions of agricultural products and cattle but is also a colourful documentary on the rich cultural heritage of the Province with its strong rural roots. Other festivals In addition to the religious festivals, Punjabis may celebrate seasonal and harvest festivals, which include Lohri, Basant,Baisakhi and Teej. Punjabi Cuisine:

Punjabi cuisine has an immense range of dishes and has become world-leader in the field; so much so that many entrepreneurs that have invested in the sector have built large fortunes due to popularity of Punjabi cuisine throughout the world. ”Sarso ka sag” and “Maki ki roti” are examples of well known dishes. Punjabi cuisine can be non-vegetarian or completely vegetarian. Home cooked and Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly, with restaurant style using large amount of ghee, clarified butter, with home cooking concentrating on mainly upon preparations with whole wheat, rice and other ingredients flavored with masala.

Within the Punjab region, there are different preferences. People in the area of Lahore prefer stuffed parathas and milk products. In fact, the area is well known for quality of its milk products. The main masala in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic and ginger. Tandoori food is a Punjabi specialty for non-vegetarian dishes. Tandoor, Naan, Pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer are also derived from Punjab. Punjabi Music: Bhangra is of the many Punjabi art forms that is increasingly being listened to in the west and is becoming a mainstream favorite.

Punjabi music is being used by western musicians, in many ways, such as mixing it with other compositions to produce award-winning music. In addition, Punjabi Classical music is increasingly becoming popular in the west. Punjabi music has a diverse style of music, ranging from folk and Sufi to classical, notably the Patiala Gharana. Folk music of Punjab is the traditional music of Punjab produced using the traditional instruments like Tumbi, Algoze, Dhadd, Sarangi, Chimta and more. Sufi music includes the singing of Sufi poetry in several genres.

Some of the poets whose compositions are often sung include Baba Farid, Bulleh Shah, Shah Husain, Waris Shah and Mian Muhammad Bakhsh. Classical music includes Patiala Gharana and Sham Chaurasia Gharana. Punjabi Dances: Owing to the long history of the Punjabi culture there is a large number of dances, normally performed at times of celebration, including harvests, festivals and wedding. The particular background of the dances can be non-religious and religious. The overall style can range from the high energy “Bhangra” men’s dance to the more reserved “Jhumar”, the “Gidha” women’s dance.

Punjabi dances are an array of folk and religious dances of the Punjabi people indigenous to the Punjabi religion, straddling the border of India and Pakistan. At times of celebration everyone is encouraged to dance. Married Punjabi couples usually dance together. The husband dances in the style of male Punjabi dances, frequently with arms raised and the wife dances in the style of female Punjabi dances. Common Punjabi Folk Dances for “Females”: * Sammi * Giddha * Jaago * Kikli * Luddi Common Punjabi Dances for “Males”: * Bhangra * Jhumar * Gatka * Jalli * Dhamal * Dankara Khatka (Sword Dance) Punjabi Clothes: Basically Punjabi dress is simple and easy to use. One can see a variety in the dresses. The people of Punjab wear according to their traditions. Different dresses are used in rural and urban areas. The Punjabi dresses fulfill the requirements of climate and religion. Turban or a cap is a part of Punjabi dress. The male members of the rural society wear Dhoti, Kurta and Turban. The female members like to wear Shalwar, Kurta and Dupatta both in rural and urban areas. Shalwar, shirt, coat and pant are used in the urban areas by the men. The “Western” dress has greatly influenced the urban areas.

The dress is prepared to fulfill the requirements of “pardah”. Special dress is prepared f or the bride at the time of her marriage. Punjabi wedding Traditions: Punjabi wedding traditions and ceremonies are traditionally conducted in Punjabi and are a strong reflection of Punjabi culture. While the actual religious marriage ceremony among Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains may be conducted in Arabic, Punjabi, Sanskrit, by the Qazi, Pundit, Granthi or Priest, there are commonalities in ritual, song, dance, food, dress. The Punjabi wedding has many rituals and ceremonies that have evolved since traditional times.

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