Culture of Punjab
Punjab is such a state where you can find a perfect mixture and varieties of traditions and cultures. There are different types of cultural activities that surround Punjab. Rich in cultural heritage Punjab is the state which encloses different cuisine, traditions, cultures and values and antiquity of the people of Punjab. Due to the introspection and interference of the foreigners Punjab has a mixture of many racial backdrops. Different cultures of Punjab has been marked and very well distinguished by different ages like the middle age and modern era.
Different cultures have been classified under these two ages. Another important aspect about the culture of Punjab is that it influences all the Punjabi people across the world. Even if some Punjabis are not staying in Punjab even then they are highly driven by the strong cultural side of Punjab. This article exclusively deals with all sorts of cultural aspects that Punjab is famous for.
People of Punjab
People residing in Punjab
are known as Punjabi people. People residing in Punjab or people following Sikhism as their religion are generally termed as Punjabis. There are different types of Punjabi people. Punjabi Hindus are the people who follow Hinduism as their religion. People belonging to this sect are mainly seen in Indian Punjab mainly in Haryana, Delhi and other parts. Punjabi Muslims are those who follow Islam as their religion and mainly reside in Lahore and Pakistan. Similarly there are other types of people namely Punjabi Sikhs, Punjabi Christians and many more.
Costumes in Punjab
As already mentioned in the previous parts Punjab is a colorful state. Costumes of Punjabi people are made up of vibrant colors with dazzling effects. Churidar Kurta is a common wear for Punjabi women. This dress was a traditional dress for Punjabi women but in the present age this dress form is worn by people of all states. The traditional Punjabi wear for men of Punjab is Kurta along with a Pyjama. Another important costume of Punjabi men is the turbans that are tied in the heads to cover up their skulls. In local language this is called Pagri. Punjabi men tie turban in their heads and this is a common sign for identifying a Punjabi men. Punjabi women wear different accessories including ear rings, toe rings, nose rings, finger rings, anklets and many more. They look gorgeous in this vibrant form of costumes.
Music of Punjab
The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear about the culture of Punjab is the famous music of Punjab. The music in Punjab is different from rest of the world. There is a different essence in the music of Punjab. Whenever you hear Punjabi songs you feel strongly connected to Punjabi culture and their traditions. Since Punjab is divided into East Punjab and West Punjab the music in both the sides of Punjab is also different from each other. Let us find out what are the types of music available in Punjabi culture.
Folk Music of Punjab
This is one of the most popular forms of music. Folk music is common in each and every state in India. Folk music is a medium through which the different traditions and cultures of a particular state is explained. Folk music in Punjab is an ancient and traditional form of music. The main instruments used for Punjabi folk songs are Algoze, Sarangi, Tumbi and many more. The most important part of these folk songs is that there are different songs for different occasions. There are separate songs for festivals, marriage and other important occasions. Behind every folk Punjabi song there exists a special theme having a different meaning.
Although with time the type and pattern of folk music has changed but till now these songs are sung in the same manner as they were used to. There are professionals in this field who earn their livelihood by singing folk songs. They have devoted their entire life singing folk songs. Although folk music is an important part of Punjabi culture yet the singers do not get the amount of respect they deserve. There are different sects of folk singers in Punjab. The different sects of people who sing folk songs are Bazigar People, tumba-algoza genre and Dhadi. Some of the famous Punjabi folk singers are Gurdas Mann, Kanth Kaler, Satwinder Bitti and many more.
Devotional Music of Punjab
Music is a medium through which you can connect with God. This is a strong belief of Indian religion. It s believed that if you want to connect yourself to God then you must learn the art of music.
The songs which are written and sung and dedicated to God are known as devotional music. The same culture persists in Punjab. Through devotional songs Punjabis feel that they are very well connected to God.
Different types of devotional music that Punjabi culture has are mentioned here.
Sufi Music: This is one of the most popular forms of devotional music in Punjab. This genre of song was inherited from the famous Sufi Poems. Different famous Sufi poems have been sung in the form of Sufi songs. Some of the famous Sufi poets whose compositions are sung till date are Rumi, Khwaja Ghulam Farid, Hafiz and many more. Harshdeep Kaur is one of the new yet very successful Sufi singer of Punjab. Qaawali is a famous type of Sufi music. This type of music is common in India and Pakistan.
This is also a common type of devotional music of the Punjabis. The singing of the sacred hymns from the main text book of the Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib is known as Sikh music. Through these music different life stories of Guru Nanak Ji is explained. The local Punjabi people also mention this as kirtan.
This form of music is nearly common in each and every corners of India. This song refers to songs that are sung for Hindu culture and religion. This is mostly known as Bhajans. There are separate Bhajans dedicated to all the Hindu Gods. For a particular God there is a particular Bhajan and so on. This is also popular in Punjabi culture. Bhajans are a common type of devotional Punjabi music.
Punjabi songs are becoming popular day by day. Apart from devotional and folk music a huge part of Punjabi music lies within popular music of Punjab. This popular music includes different types of songs sung in Punjabi language. These types of songs are becoming famous with days. Punjabi songs are used in movies and daily soaps nowadays. There are also different type and genres of these popular music and some of them are mentioned. Punjabi Pop song is a different genre of music. This type of music has been in use since 10 years or so. Before that this type of music was not common. The Punjabi music industry is slowly moving under the roof of Punjabi Pop songs. There are different singers who sing Punjabi songs and have made a huge change in the Punjabi culture.
Classical Music of Punjab
This is also a huge part of Punjabi music culture. Classical music is popular in nearly every state. They are generally separated in different types of classical music through some gharanas. In Punjabi culture there are two types of classical music. The two gharanas are Patiala Gharana and Sham Chaurasia Gharana.
Dance of Punjab
Through different postures and expressions when you explain the state of your mind then this form is known as dance. Dance is a common cultural attribute in nearly every state. There are special forms of dance that distinguishes each state from the other. Punjab has different forms of dance. For each particular occasion they have different form of dance.
Punjabi dances are a mixture of high energy along with tremendous gestures. There are different positions and styles for men and women. Some of the important Punjabi dance forms are mentioned in this segment.
This dance form of Punjab is a traditional tribal dance
form. Sammi is mainly performed by females. The tribal community of Punjab performs this dance form. It is believed that this dance form was
performed by Princess Sammi in order to express her grief over her
separation and hence the name of the dance form is Sammi. Dancers wear
bright colored skirts called lehengas and kurtas. Sammi dancers start
their performance by standing in a circle and then slowly moving their
You must have heard about Bhangra. This is one of the most popular type of Punjabi dance. This dance is originated from some of the folk dances. This dance was conducted by Punjabis during their harvest season. There are special music numbers that are chosen for performing Bhangra dances. Along with separate music numbers there are separate costumes for Bhangra dances. In Punjab, there are trained bhangra dancers.
These dancers are specialists in performing bhangra. Bhangra dance is performed in all festivals and occasions. There are different dance moves for male and female. One of the most colorful dances of Punjab is bhangra.
This type of dance form originated from Sandalbar area of Punjab. The name Jhumar comes from the word Jhum/Jhoom which means swaying. The main style of this dance form is slowly swaying one’s hands and body in the rhythm of the music. This dance form is especially performed in weddings. During weddings the three generation of a family- father, son and grandson performs this dance. Exclusive styled for male dancer Jhumar is a gorgeous form of Punjabi dance.
This is also a famous form of folk dance in Punjab exclusively for women. A wide variety of songs along with clapping is used as the main rhythm for this dance. This dance form is popular among young girls and is performed in pairs. The main attraction of this dance is that the dancers need to focus on their act.
There is a lot of balancing required during the act. It is a beautiful piece of dance form of Punjab.
This is a special type of dance form where swords as a dance prop. This is more of a sport than a dance form. The only thing that makes it look like a dance form is the movement of the swords along with the rhythm of music. This type of dance form is exclusively designed for male dancers. There is a special training that male dancers must undergo in order to perform this dace form.
Drama & Theatre in Punjab
Drama is a popular culture of Punjab. Punjabi people perform different types of drama on stage.
Punjab is rich is its own culture and hence drama is a huge part of that culture.
There are different drama clubs and theater groups that train people in Punjabi dramas. These dramas are performed on stage in several occasions.
There are different acting school is Punjab where you can get trained as an actor.
If you have any interest in drama and theater then Punjab offers you with several classes which you can join.
Some of the famous drama and theater institutes and groups are mentioned here.
This is Punjabi theatre group that is based in Amritsar
. This group came into existence since 1991 when the famous Punjabi director Kewal Dhaliwal along with NSD and few students formed it. The main aim of this group was to promote social awareness among local people. Apart from promoting social awareness this group also started performing traditional dramas. This group performs in the annual theater festival that is organized by NSD each year. Throughout the year this theater group produces several dramas that they perform round the year.
This theater group came into existence since 1975 under the guidance of Shri Yog Raj Sedha. Apart from performing Punjabi plays this group also played different non Punjabi plays on stage. So far this group has produced 20 long plays, participated and organized 8 drama festivals, some theater workshops and seminars. Some of the enthusiastic members of the group perform outside Punjab if they are invited for any shows. You can join this group anytime you want to if you are an interested and dedicated follower of drama.
Punjabi Theatre Academy
This academy that deals with Punjabi dramas and theater is into existence since decades. This academy is one of the oldest theater groups n Punjab. They have produced several dramas under the banner of their academy. Some of the famous plays produced and performed by this academy are Bebe Vilayat Wich, Massacre Amritsar 1919, Meri Woti Dey Nakrey and many more.
Through their productions different aspects of Punjab can be witnessed. The main themes that they chose in order to produce different plays are based on current occurring of Punjab and the rest of the world. They have produced several plays marking the demolition of women in the society. They have also produced different dramas showing child abuse and other social cause.
National Theater Festival
The center department of culture along with two of the most leading theater groups Manch Rangmanch and Virsa Vihar organize this festival each year in Patiala. All the theater groups of Punjab are invited and they present the best act of their group. This festival continues for several days. The auditorium in Punjab is overcrowded during this festival. If you want to join this festival then you must get your tickets are booked. Live theater attracts the audience of Punjab and hence this festival is thoroughly enjoyed in Punjab.
Auditoriums of Punjab
In this section of the article some of the famous auditoriums of Punjab are mentioned.
- Rajiv Gandhi Auditorium: Located in National Highway 71, Talwandi Bhangerian Moga, Punjab this auditorium is one of the largest and ancient auditoriums of Punjab.
- Harpar Singh Auditorium: This is located in Patiala Road, Military cantonment Sangrur, Punjab.
- Airawat Auditorium: This auditorium is located in Upper Mall Road, New Lal Bagh Patiala,in Punjab.
Art and Craft in Punjab
Punjab is popular for its art and craft. Punjabi people are highly qualified in each art form and they practice several art forms. The neatness seen in their works depicts their enthusiasm and dedication towards art and crafts. The art and craft of Punjab is very famous all over the world. Some of the art forms famous in Punjab are mentioned here.
Paintings in Punjab
Punjabi paintings are a common form of arts in Punjab. Punjabi paintings are colorful and widely used as an item for decorating walls.
This is a special form of art which is popular in Punjab. This type of painting is done using archival inks. The special effect created by using this ink in the painting is highly appreciated. Kanwar Singh is a famous Punjabi painter who excels in Fine Arts.
This is another famous form of art practiced in Punjab. People of Punjab involve them in drawing different religious stories related to Sikhs. The Sikhs explain the religious stories of their religion through this form of art and hence it is commonly practiced in Punjab.
Handicrafts of Punjab
Mud works and metal works are the two most important and famous handicraft examples of Punjab. Metallic utensils and produced by skilful Punjabis. The handicrafts are also very famous and some of the major handicrafts are mentioned here.
This is one of the major handicraft items that is popular in Punjab. Several baskets are woven in hands and then they are transported for sale. Mainly women are involved in this form of handicraft.
This is a form of handicraft in which rugs are beaten into thin sheets and carpets are produced out of them. These carpets are famous and popularly used for household purpose.
Handmade toys are made in Punjab with the base material as mud. Several colors and materials are used in order to produce beautifully decorated dolls. These toys are popular among the kids of Punjab.
Punjabi Juttis are very popular all over the world. This is a form of traditional shoes that is mainly worn with ethnic clothes.
Different types and forms of Juttis are available in Punjab.
This is the most creative form of handicraft of the state. Mud works include productions of different objects with the help of mud. These objects are used for home decor mainly.
This is a special hair accessory for the women of Punjab. Women of Punjab tie these parandas in their hair along with their plates.
These are made up of different designs and colors.
This is a different form of handicraft in which flowers are drawn on different dresses. Flowers are drawn on dresses like shawls, handkerchiefs and many more.
The embroidery and weaving in Punjab is a famous handicraft. Different items are used for this purpose which makes it even more attractive. Different pearls, beads and other items are used for this purpose.
Wooden work is another common form of handicraft in Punjab. The carpenters are skillful enough to create different beautiful wooden works.
In Punjab people generally wear handmade ornaments. These ornaments are produced with different skills. Types of ornaments that are famous in Punjab is Sir Mang which a string made up of gems and is worn by the bride in her forehead on her wedding day.
Bala is also worn by different Punjabi ladies in their wrist and made of different materials. The wedding Choora is also a proud part of traditional ornaments of Punjab.
Art Galleries in Punjab
There are many art galleries in Punjab which shows the interest of Punjabis in arts and crafts. Some of the famous art galleries are mentioned in this section of article.
Dashmesh Art Gallery
This is one of the oldest art galleries of Punjab. Located in Ludhiana Punjab Dashmesh Art Gallery was founded by Dr.Balbir Singh in the year 1967. This art gallery portrays different oil paintings and fine arts. These contemporary paintings are preserved in this gallery. There are different exhibitions that go around the year in this gallery. Different artists participate in this exhibitions and people from all over Punjab visits this gallery to see the paintings in the exhibitions.
Rang Art Gallery
This is yet another famous art gallery of Punjab. Different paintings of different artists are portrayed here. Several competitions and exhibitions take place in this gallery throughout the year and participants from all across v participate in these.
Fairs and Festivals in Punjab
Punjab is a colorful state. Punjab participates in almost every festival that take place in the entire country. There is a not a single festival that is missed in Punjab. Apart from all these festivals Punjab has some festivals that are exclusively celebrated in Punjabi style. Punjabi festivals are so colorful that you will a different enthusiasm while participating in any of these festivals. All the festivals in Punjab is celebrated in pomp and grandeur. Festivals of all religions are celebrated in Punjab.
There are different fairs that take place throughout the year in Punjab. Some of these fairs are organized during the festivals while others are organized in different time of the year. The people of Punjab welcome all the religions by enthusiastically participating in their respective festivals. Some of the famous festivals and fairs of Punjab are mentioned here.
Although this festival is not a part of Punjabi religion yet Punjab celebrates Diwali. Since the time when Guru Hargobind was released from his captivation in Amritsar Diwali is celebrated by the Punjabis. In the present day Diwali is celebrated just as any other state celebrates Diwali. Every house is decorated with lights and colors. Fire crackers are an important part of this celebration.
This festival is celebrated as the harvest festival by the Punjabi community in different parts of Punjab. During the months of April this festival is celebrated. Farmers have cash in their hands and hence they are in a full mood and spirit of celebration. The main reason behind celebrating this festival is that farmers want to thank their Sikh Guru for the harvest of the season.
They wake up early in the morning and after taking a bath in the river they go to the gurdwara in order to thank their God. Later in the evening they celebrate this festival with different dance and songs performed by the farmer’s family.
This festival takes place on first day of the lunar month which generally falls in the month of March. This festival is celebrated just as Hindus celebrate Holi. Hola is the male version of the female word Holi. A procession is organized where Punjabis take part in participating in the different forms of dance and song. They celebrate this festival with different colors. The main reason behind celebrating this festival is the victory of good over evil power and this celebration is done with bright colors.
This is a typical festival of the Sikhs. During this festival the Sikhs pay homage to their Gurus and the martyrs who have lost their lives in order to save the Punjabis. This festival lasts for three consecutive days. Devotes sing hymns from the sacred text book of the Sikhs. Apart from hymns different kathas of the religious gurus are read which a huge part of the celebration is.
This is celebrated in the 13th day of the month of January just a day prior to Makar Sakranti. The main reason behind celebrating this festival by the Punjabis is to celebrate fertility. There is a huge bonfire which is arranged and people gather around this and throw sweets, puffed rice into the flames.
Along with this they sing different Punjabi songs and exchange greetings with families, friends and closed ones.
This festival is celebrated just after the winter months. In order to welcome spring season this festival is celebrated. People welcome the season of spring with bright yellow colors and mustards. They also involve in different songs and dance forms. This festival takes place every year in the months of March and April and is celebrated throughout Punjab.
The Chhapaar Mela
This mela or fair is celebrated in the months of September in the Village of Chhapaar in Ludhiana district. This mela is organized in order to pay homage to the Lord of the snakes Guga-the Zahir Pir. It is believed that during this fair the poison of the snake is neutralized and women without any children are blessed with offspring. This is a popular mela and barren women from all over the state visits this fair.
This fair takes place in Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab. The fair is organized in the memory of Zorawar Singh and fateh Singh the two sons of Guru Gobind Singh who was buried alive in a wall. Religious processions take place during this mela. Millions of people participate in this mela from different parts of the world.
Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX)
This is an international trade fair organized by the Government of Punjab. This trade fair takes place each year in the months of December and continues for four days. In 2014 this trade fair was organized from 4th to 8th December. The trade fair deals with the following sections such as consumer goods, real estate and commercial companies, international trade, travel, handicrafts and many more. Different business organizations take part in this trade fair each year.
Each year auto exhibition is organized in Punjab during the months of February and March. Different auto mobile companies, engineering mechanics and other automation technology people take part in this exhibition. It would be perfect place to find out about any new automobiles that is launched in the industry. People also purchase different tractors and cars from this exhibition. You can directly talk to the company people in this exhibition. For the year 2015, this auto exhibition has been organized during 13th to 16th February at Glada Ground in Ludhiana district of Punjab.
Every year a book fair is organized by Chandigarh administration in Chandigarh. This book fair lasts for six days. Authors from all over the country are invited in this book fair. Different languages are supported in this fair. Books from all these languages are made available in this fair. This fair takes place in the months of November and book lovers of Chandigarh wait for this fair eagerly.
The cultural heritage of Punjab is described in this article. We hope that after going through this article you will understand the essential points about the culture of Punjab and how rich Punjab is culturally.