(Last Updated on : 12/06/2013)
Gujarati Culture, with its name derived from Gujjar Rashtra, is curbed out due to inter-mixing of diverse ethnic folks. Nearly one-fifth of the state population comprises of tribal and aboriginal communities. Individual ethnical traits of tribal population namely Gujjars, Bhangi, Koli
, Naikda are nicely amalgamated within the Gujarati Culture. Being the land of Mahatma Gandhi
, it also has a history of political upsurge during Indian freedom movement. However, with least number of urban populace, the rural areas of Gujarat and its cultural exuberance are beautifully manifested in its plethora of elements. The nature, with its unique aura, casts a spell in the lives of inhabitants, who thereby nicely incorporated with the conventional religious practices of the Gujarati communities. All these factors are nicely being highlighted in the musical rhythm, dance styles, gaiety festivals, lifestyle and Gujarati Cuisine.
Festivals of Gujarat
The ethnicity of Culture of Gujarat is can be best experienced by the vistas of its festivals. In their celebrations, all the Indian festivals are incorporated, along with some special functions of the region. Navaratri
is an ancient and colourful festival. It accolades the Divine Power or Shakti
, which affirms the entire world, and is personated as the Mother Goddess. Navaratri, Makar Shankranti, Holi
are celebrated with joy and religious fervour through out the country. Among the local festivals, the International Kite Festival
is significant. It is feted at Ahmedabad
on January 14, and occurs along with the festival of Makar Sankranti
. Kutch Mahotsav
is the occasion of touring beautiful places of Kutch peninsula, organised yearly by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat
, Ltd. for all the urban tourists. Bhadra Purnima
is an occasion of worshipping the principal deity of Gujaratis, Goddess Ambaji
, believed to be residing in the holy abode of a village temple in Aravallis. Every year on Purnima or full moon, this Ambaji temple
is transformed into festival ground where myriads of devotees throng the place for worship and also advert to readings of Saptashati.
Several fairs are also organised through out the whole year. Dangs Darbar
, Trinetreshwar Mahadev Fair, Vautha Mela
are worth mentioning. In Shalmaji area of Gujarat region, a famous fair called Kartik Purnima is conducted in November. It continues for about two weeks and highly mobbed by the Gujarati tribes. Various musical instruments of the localities namely Manjira, Bungal, Turi, Pava, Ravan Hattho, Ektaro, and Jantar, etc. assist the musical performances
Music of Gujarat
Gujarati Culture is a fountain of music and dancing styles. Moreover, it is due to the Charans and Gadhavis, a community of folk artists and musicians, that the originality of music has been preserved. Rannade songs, Lullaby, Nupital songs, Festive songs, are the various types of folk songs in Gujarat. Marsias is a special form of singing that is performed at funerals. Apart from these, Gujarati musicians have gifted the country with numerous ragas abiding by the names of Gujarat territories. Ahiri, Lati, Gujari Todi, Bilaval, Sorathi, Khambavati are named complying with their places of origin.
Dance of Gujarat
The most renowned folk dances of Gujarat are Garba
, Garbi, Rasaka, Tippani
-Nritya, Dangi-Nritya etc. Most of these dances have a circle of Mandala as the basic Choreographic pattern. The most famous dance of Gujarat, Garba is deduced from Garbha Deep implying an illuminated lamp inside an earthen pot, full of holes. The females put the vessel with the lamp on their heads, singing and dancing in the musical tunes. Sitting in the centre, the Dholi plays the drum and sets the tempo of the dance.
A group of dancers move in circular pattern to assess steps, marking time by sticks called Dandia, performs Dandia Ras
. The dances are performed along with rhythmical music and singing. It is called Garbi in Saurashtra
in which only men take part. Rasa Dance
is executed with various editions and establishments like Chokdi, Swastik etc. Tippani Dance is executed by the women of Chorwad region of Gujarat. Women labourers engaged in house construction beat the floor for a glossy surface with a long sticks called as Tippan.
Cuisine of Gujarat
is very unique and distinct from the rest of the country, as most people here are mainly vegetarians. Khichdi and Chhaas are the staple foods of Gujarat. Savouring types of vegetables like potatoes, Brinjals, Cabbages, Cauliflowers, etc vary with the seasons; spices are an integral culinary element, the usage of it too undergoes seasonal flickering. Some of the other notable dishes are Dhokla, Kachori, Bhajiya, Chaat, Khaja, Chakri, Malpua, Penda, Barfi, Doodhpak and many others. The dishes are grounded on steamy vegetables and Dals or pulses that are supplemented to a Vaghaar. Namkeens like Cholafali, Ghooghra are prepared by the Gujaratis to savour especially on the occasion of Diwali festivals.
Lifestyle of Gujarat
Culture of Gujarat is typically reflected in the sedentary lifestyle of Gujaratis. The region is historically significant as remnants of Indus Valley civilization
were found in Gujarat. National parks, wildlife sanctuaries, dense forestry glorify the region and also help the tourism industry of the state to grow in leaps and bounds. The conservative nature has debarred the Gujarati populace from enjoying nightlife. Thus pubs, bars and lounges are much less compared to the rest of India. The creativity of Gujarati communities finds expression in its astounding range of embroidery, threading, colouring & publishing techniques, handiworks made from woods, gem and metal of the tribal communities.
Gujarati culture is a conglomeration of the tribal ethnicity, natural bountifulness, and also the heritage of historical backdrop.