Punjab is the second largest province of Pakistan. The rich culture of the land dates back centuries before it was officially recognized as part of the country. After independence, the epitome of life in Punjab revolved around reviving the lost traditions of the area. Writers, performers, singers, dancers, and artists from every field have worked together and contributed to the growth of Punjabi culture and traditions.
A Language of Love
The Punjabi language is very similar to the official Urdu language of Pakistan. In specific areas, however, the dialect may differ slightly. The language dates back to the Indo-Aryan time and has not seen much change since its inception. Commonly, Punjabi is known as the language of love because of the popular folk tales like Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiban, and Sassi Punnuh. They give an insight into the culture and the ways of the Punjabi people. Famous Punjabi poets include Bulleh Shah, Baba Guru Nanak, and Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar.
Jubilant Music and Dances
An expression of joy- music and dancing in Punjab is very energetic. The most famous art form in dancing is the Bhangra. Over the years, the traditional Bhangra has evolved by mixing mainstream dance moves with it. Other dance forms include Sammi Dhamal, Dankara Julli, and Ludhi. No Punjabi wedding and festival is complete without large crowds gathering around to show off their dancing talents and singing skills.
Both men and women wear bright colored dresses in Punjab. For women, the Ghagra is a traditional piece of clothing. They accessorize it with a paranda, duppata, khusa, kola puri chappal, or tillay wali jutti. For men, the Tehmat and Kurta are very popular. They add a pagri and khusa to complete their conventional look. Phulkari is the local embroidery done on clothes. It has gained wide popularity in all of Pakistan.
The people of Punjab are lively humans who love to have fun. They are known for their hospitality and their big hearts. Different clans, tribes, and communities live together and support each other in everyday joys and sorrows. If you are traveling in Punjab and get lost on your way, just ask a Punjabi for directions and they will make sure you reach your destination safely.
Lahore, the hub of Punjab, is perhaps the most renowned city in Pakistan for its rich cuisines. The food makes use of high quantities of ghee, spices, and meat. Exclusive dishes include Makai ki rotti, Saron Da Saag, Choley, Haleem, and Baryani. Punjabis are also fond of sweet cuisines. Zarda, Gulab-Jamuns, and Kheer are served to celebrate festivities. Lassi is a drink served in the summers to beat the heat. You can now find these special Punjabi dishes all over the world.
Colors of Punjab displayed at Lok Virsa. Image Source: The Express Tribune