Arts & Culture
The Gujaratis have a natural talent for singing and dancing. They have songs and dances for every occasion and festival that is celebrated throughout the year. Gujarat has successfully preserved its rich tradition of song, dance and drama. Most of the art traditions trace back their origin to the ancient period of Lord Krishna. The most popular amongst these are the Ras and Garba. Other popular forms of folk dances in Gujarat are Tippani Nritya, Siddi dance, Padhar Nritya, Dangi Nritya and other local tribal dances. Folk drama in Gujarat is known as Bhavai.
Gujarat experiences an aesthetic experience where the work of art results with the formal interest and commemorative interest making way together. Completely appealing and valuable, works of art in Gujarat differ widely in the proportions of its patterns to the element of painting, sculpture or any other – blend with beauty and usefulness. Arts present something to our sense – perceptions as they make way to articulate lifestyles. Gujarat stands unique with its verbal or nonverbal arts – a mixed combination with aesthetic appeal. It is famous for its dyeing, printing, bead and mirror work apart from traditional Bandhinis and Patolas which has a hand woven art for the traditional wear.
The arts and crafts have a rich cultural past and linked to the present modernity look. One can find diverse variety of Embroidery with inheriting talent with a distinctive style of needlework and traditional arts. Wood carving, stone work, jewellery etc. are the other areas that make Gujarat, a classic hub of traditional arts and crafts. In paintings, Oil, glass painting, kalamkari art form and Pethora, the tribal ritual paintings leave intrincate frescos and the finesse with which the form comes alive colours.
Gujarat is a flourishing state with cultural diversity. It is vibrant with its true colours of rich heritage and cultural traditions. Dating back to history with the Harappan civilization, the state becomes a confluence of many religions – Hinduism, Islam, Jainism and Buddhism. The Gujarati culture blends in arts, beliefs, customs, traditions, institutions, inventions, language, technology and values. Gujarat is influenced with enculturation; a culture shared with members of the society and passed on from one generation to the next. Enculturation has unified people with common sense experience and influence that lead to knowledge and appreciation of cultural traditions and lifestyles. The aspect of joining hands to greet or bow down comes through age influences as offering reverence. Social systems of learning, religious practices and forms of artistic expressions have led way to more balanced lifestyles in Gujarat. People of Gujarat are found to be sharing cultural traits and patterns with other regions and also extend beyond national boundaries towards International culture.
As Gujarat stands as ‘Heart of India’, Multiculturalism is traced in Gujarat. Shared cultural background making people feel to home ground and more comfortable with other people feel from their own culture. Culture shock unlike other countries is therefore, a missing point which makes people more confident and energetic as they stand for a challenge in global scenario. Originally known as Gurjars, Gujaratis are influenced by the waves from the past that inherit values of arts, culture and traditions. Gujarat has a strong cultural influence of socio-economic-political history. It has a special significance in Indian Political History as it is a birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and the main influence to the people of Gujarat with his system of non-violence movement. Festivals and fairs, arts and crafts, folk dances, music, cuisine and lifestyles from a major cultural background of the people who belong to Gujarat. The customs and beliefs make the culture more homely and truly blended with values and moral characteristics.
Though the local language spoken is ‘Gujarati’ – it remains a mother tongue for people of Gujarat and is widely spoken all over the world wherever a Gujarati exist. Surti, charotari, kathiawari, and kutchi languages are among the many others languages like Marathi, Sindhi, and Punjabi etc. are spoken in Gujarat regions.
For costumes, several outfits are worn by the people of Gujarat as per the living in rural or urban areas. Generally, men wear trousers and shirts or t-shirts and younger women wear normal western outfits like skirts, dresses, jean, etc. Older women usually wear saris or salwarkamiz. In rural parts, people are found to wear dhotis and kurtas or bandis. Even traditional outfits like chaniacholi by women and kedia dress is worn by men in rural areas or duringcultural festivals.
Majority of the Gujaratis are Vegetarian. A traditional ‘Gujarati Thali’ consisting of dal, roti, rice and vegetables apart from salads, farsan and sweet dish followed by chhas, from the morning meal. Evening food consist of ‘bhakri-shak’ or khichdikadhi. Mainly, the diet of the people of Gujarat consists of cereals, pulse, green vegetables, fruits, milk, ghee, butter-milk, etc. A variety of dishes are prepared by Gujarati women who also add spice to kitchen with eatreries from other regions like the South Indian food, Continental, Chinese cuisines, etc.