Culture of Punjab Province Pakistan
Culture of Punjab Province Pakistan

Culture of Punjab Province Pakistan

Punjab Province is the largest state of Pakistan and is situated on the western side of the country. With an area of 39,735 km2, Punjab has a total population of 1.4 billion people and is considered as the most populous province of the Republic of Pakistan. As per 2001 census Pahari has a diverse and rich culture and is one of the oldest settlements in South Asia, having formed as a settlement between 4500 BCE and 1800 CE. From 900 B.C., during the rule of the Chittorgarians, Pahari becomes the dominant center of trade from Central Asian steppes and Indian subcontinent. The history of Pahari began with Babur in 1547 A.D. under the rule of Sher Shah Suri, the founder of Panipat Empire and then continued under the ruling dynasty of Humayun until 1947 when it became autonomous. At present, the territory covers almost 80% of the entire Punjab province and consists of 21 district councils. These districts include Chandigarh- Sirsa, Ferozepur (Faisalabad), Mansa (Mansabai), Phagwara (Tarn Taran), Larkana, Bathinda, Jalandhar, Barnala, Narowal, Sangrur, Amritsar, Channau and Buner. Further, many smaller cities like Kalimpong (Kapurthala), Tando Muhammad Nagar, Agra, Dhul Khoda and Bhilkhota (Shogran), Umerkot, Chaman (Chaman), and Pathankot respectively also form a part of South Punjab. Moreover, some of the major rivers in Punjab are the Ravi, Pala, Mansehra, Sutlej and Sui. It is estimated that about 12% of India’s population live in Punjab Province and majority of the population are Sikhs followed by Hindus. Other ethnic groups are Gujjars (8.1%), Hindkoos (2.9%) and Sindhis (2.9%). Punjab is home to several temples like Guru Granth Sahib Temple, Holy Trinity Church and Darbhanga temple. Other places where religious festivals are celebrated are Fatehpur Sikri, Dera Baol and Qila Durand House among others. Here, we look at the culture of Punjab province including their traditions, rituals and cuisines.

Culture of Punjab Province Pakistan. The province of Pahari has a long history that dates back thousands years to its inception in the era of Mahmud of Ghazni who ruled Ghazni and it is also known as the land of Sindh, a princely state which was later conquered by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It is said that Mughal empire had built two mosques in the region namely Gokhale Mosque built along Karakoram Highway and the other one constructed at Sargodha. On top of this, he added four mosques called Badshahi mosque, Sufi shrine house of Jahangir, Shuhada tomb of Moghanmara, and Nakhun Sahib complex located in Kallar Syar Khanwala. In addition, several historic monuments, such as Jamia Masjid and Firdausi Mosque have been established in the area over time. There are many different religions in these regions like Sikhism, Islam, Hinduism among others. Sikhs came from India when they first settled in Punjab while Muslims were brought from Egypt, Persian Gulf, Yemen and India by the British.

Situated on the banks of river Sutlej in Balochistan and the northern part of South Asia. This capital city houses an old historical fort-like structure called Bahawalpur Fort complex and it acts as the headquarters of the chief minister for the provincial government of South Punjab. Apart from being the headquarter of the chief minister, Mohali is also known as the ‘City of Lights’ owing to numerous bright lights in the area. Many museums on different topics such as architecture, art, music, film, literature, ancient monuments, Islamic studies, cultural heritage and more. One of the famous archaeological sites situated near the fort complex is “Shigrani Mandir”; here the remains of Hindu temple built in the 16th century during the reign of Emperor Akbar were discovered by Alexander von Humboldt in 1850s. Another place of interest is the Indus Valley Civilization Museum. It was opened in 2002, it had huge potential to serve as a centre of learning in archaeology, archeology and world culture. Other than this one museum, there are other small but good museums across Punjab like Punjab Archaeological Museum, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Archaeological Park National Museum, Punjabi Cultural Centre, Patiala District (P) Museum etc.

Rites and Rituals

Rites and ceremonies are very important in Pahari culture and are practiced even today. Some of them are mentioned below:

Buddhist Meditation

Buddhist meditation is performed to purify the mind and body. It is believed that Buddhist meditations enhance spiritual growth in human beings and bring harmony and peace in the mind. People perform yoga or the practice of physical postures before going for meditation. Those practicing Buddhism believe that through performing Yoga, you will be able to attain self-realization, peace and happiness which can help you to overcome worldly troubles like diseases, conflicts and grief. They also believe that if you give yourself full attention and focus on your breath, meditation will start in your body. Furthermore, they say that after completing 10 or 20 minute of meditation the result of meditation will manifest itself through your thoughts and feelings. Besides this, it is also advised to follow certain rules and do not do any harmful activities during meditation, it is better to let it come naturally. However, people should refrain from doing anything that could harm themselves and their relatives.

Hindu Religious Festivals/Celebrations

Festivals across the state celebrate the auspicious season of Holi, which symbolizes new beginnings and rebirth. Even though no particular festival or occasion is followed by each and every individual, everyone celebrates New Year on Friday first year of the calendar. Moreover, people offer sweets to Goddess Lakshmi and use special clothes such as red colored clothes, black sarees, kurtas and shirts for this purpose. Additionally, for Lord Shiva’s worship people hold namaz or ritual prayers on all occasions – birth, marriage, marriage anniversary, death and also in situations that cause misfortune. Similarly, one should take care to maintain purity in his relationship and avoid sexual relationships, violence and drinking bad beer. Also, people should refrain from fighting on these days. Also, some of the common festivals celebrated in Punjab are Diwali, Eid ul-Fitr and Quaid–e-Azam.

Ritual Music

The most popular type of music in Punjab is folk music and is usually sung for dances, weddings and funeral, and also used as entertainment during celebrations such as Eid and Christmas. Folk songs are mostly listened to in rural areas, villages and towns of Punjab. Music is a major component of everyday life in Punjab. Most women in Punjab wear ‘Kashmeeri’ or khadi kurta, which are made using natural dyes. Women in rural areas sing pajama and dance during marriage whereas men do not pay much attention to the songs. When a wedding is announced for the groom-to-be and bride-to-be, a large number of guests show up. Wedding bands are another common musical accompaniment, and musicians make loud drums and bass instruments to play a romantic song. During the course of the ceremony some local singers accompany a female band or musicians in singing popular traditional melodies. For example, there is always a girl singer accompanying a male musician playing the accordion. Hence, there is a lot of variety in the types of music in Punjab.

Culture And History

The Pahari Kingdom existed from 718 to 547 B.C. During the rule of the Indo-Persian rulers, the region experienced changes due to foreign invasions and trading routes, and the influence of Greek civilization and expansion of agriculture. Eventually, following the conquest of Mauryan emperor Ashoka the region got autonomous and developed into a distinct culture and civilization. Currently, Pahari boasts of three separate nationalities namely Persians, Afghans, and Kashmiris. Each group has their own language, food, dress and customs.
Many temples and monasteries have also been built in Pahari since centuries. Interestingly, at least 18.3% of the population still believes that the relics of Buddha are available within the walls of the Taklam valley.

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