Art and Culture of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The most unique aspect of Andaman and Nicobar culture are the culture of the aboriginal people of the islands. All these tribes have continued with their indigenous culture at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and still carry on to do so. The relative isolation of these tribes has helped to safeguard these streams of Andaman and Nicobar culture.
There are different beautiful Museums, Academic and Cultural Bodies of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The pictures and things of some freedom fighters were confined here. Forest Museum, Fisheries Museums, Anthropological Museum, Khadi Gramodyog Emporium and Cottage Industries Emporiums are such institutes which hold the rich cultural heritage. People hailing from different parts of the country have set up different socio-cultural and educational bodies, mostly in Port Blair like Bangale Sudhar Sabha, Punjabi Parishad, Rashtra Bhasha Parishad and so on are such bodies.
The Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese, Shompens, Andamanese and the Nicobarese could not be expected even to understand the fine arts and architecture of the islands. In the name of architecture, they had simple dome-shaped thatched huts built on bamboo or in the other wooden poles. About the paintings and sculpturethey have not even heard. Some buildings on the pattern of the contemporary concepts of architecture have come to be built only in Port Blair. Some of the immigrants from the mainland are the specialists of ancient music or medieval theatre and colorful dance styles yet their simple appreciation may not cultivate these arts here. Among the tribal-aboriginal groups only the Onges have been found to be fond of body painting and dancing.
Women generally play the role of painters. In a wedding ceremony the bride and groom are supposed to paint each other. They dance in a musical style. In the other form of dance they stand at one place with legs apart and allow only the upper part of the torso to pass through certain movements. The upper torso swings to and fro, left and right in a way the water waves move creating ripples. This dance performance is also accompanied by certain songs. These people do not play upon any musical instruments. For providing entertainment, especially in the urban settlement of Port Blair and on the island, Cinema houses have been built, where Hindi, English, Bengali, Tamil, Teluguand Malayalam movies are exhibited. In Port Blair there are three cinema houses while there is only one in the Car Nicobar Island. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a unique culture, which is a blend of harmony of different religions, languages and ethnic groups. There are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs in the Island. Inter-religion and inter-regional marriages are common. The first church was opened at Katchalwas on 8th January 1962. Now there are many big beautiful churches as well as Hindu temples present on the island. However, influences of Christianity have affected indigenous traditions, worship systems and belief.
Festivals of Andaman and the Nicobar islands
The Island Tourism Festival is celebrated every year from the month of December to January. It is a fortnight long festival. Water sports as the Nicobari Hodi race are organized. Other attractions are Magic show, Puppet show, Floating restaurant, Baby show and Dog show.
Attire of Andaman and the Nicobar islands
Clothing in Andaman and Nicobar islands has come up only recently. Till date there are many people from Andaman and Nicobar Islands who do not wear any clothes. This is generally due to their lack of involvement with the civilized world. The Sentinelese people still move naked and the semi civilized Shompens only use clothes below their waist line. It is only the people of the Car Nicobar Islands who have become much modernized. The Jarawas make beautiful items with shell and barks of tree to wear them as necklace, waist and arm bands.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands news channels means a lot for the people as it keeps updating them with not only the local news but also the news around the world. With the advent of printing press, small newspaper houses have come into existence that have started publishing newspapers in Andaman and Nicobar islands. Andaman publishes 27 magazines which comes in different languages like English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, etc. ‘Andaman Herald’ and ‘The Daily Telegrams’ are the newspapers published in English and the one and only Hindi Paper is the ‘Dweep Samachar’. The major problems with these newspapers are that journalism has not yet got that much of popularity to inspire the journalists and other such organizations to come into this profession.