Punjab - Punjab, the chief wheat producing area of the country, is the overland entry point into India. The state is also known for its production of sports and hosiery goods. The holiest shrine for the Sikhs is the Golden Temple in Amritsar, so called because the dome is covered with gold leaf.
Home of the fiercly proud and independent sikhs, the state of Punjab is steeped in histroy and culture of India.
For centuries, the sikh warriors have provided the fighting force for armies of the great kings of India, British Raj and now the people of United India.Through sheer hard work, the men and women of Punjab have turned this into one the greenest states in India. Universally famous for their deligence, they have done much to contribute to the welfare of India.
Culture of Punjab: 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": many an émigré Punjabi have started life in a strange land driving a cab or working in a café and gone on to buy out the owner within a couple of years.
Dances of Punjab:
Bhangra: Bhangra celebrates the harvest and is associated with the festival of Baisakhi (April 13) when the sight of tall heaps of golden wheat fill the farmers heart with joy. To the accompaniment of large drums called dhols, he and his fellow villagers circle round and round in a leaping, laughing caper. Its a dance that cuts across all divisions of class and education. At marriages, parties, or celebrations of any sort, it is quite common for men to break out in Bhangra. There are few sights more cheering than that of a dignified elder in three-piece suit getting up to join the young fellows for a moment of bhangra revelry.
Gidda: Women have a different but no less exuberant dance called gidda. The dancers enact verses called bolis, which represent folk poetry at its best. The subject matter of these bolis is wide ranging indeed everything from arguments with the sister-in-law to political affairs figure in these lively songs. Aside from the drums, the rhythm of this dance is set by the distinctive hand-claps of the dancers.
Jhumar: This dance has originally come from Sandalbar (now in Pakistan), but is now very much a part of Punjab folk heritage. It is a dance of graceful gait, based on specific Jhumar rhythm. Dancers circle around the drummer, and keep up a soft, sibilant chorus as they dance.
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