(Last Updated on : 28-12-2015)
The eastern region is one of the richest regions in India as far as cultural activities are concerned. This region comprises the states like West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, etc. and one can find the region's cultural diversity in the villages. Various forms of folk music and dance are also an integral part of village life in east India. While agriculture is the principal occupation in most of the villages in east India and people are also engaged in other traditional and non-traditional occupations as well.
Cuisine plays an important role in village life in east India. The East Indian villagers are fond of various kinds of food items and some of these food items have earned popularity all over the country as well. People in the villages of east India love to eat both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items. However, fish, rice and sweets are the three most popular food items in the villages of east India. These items are most popular in the villages of West Bengal and Orissa and in Bihar and Jharkhand; the people love to eat various seasonal vegetables that grow in abundance there. However, a great mix of seeds named 'Paanch Phoran,' is used for tempering foods frequently in all the villages of West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand. The mix consists of aniseed, mustard, fenugreek seed, cumin seed and black cumin seed. The most popular food items that have become inseparable part of village life in east India include Machcher Jhol (fish curry), Doi Machch (Sea Food), Poda Pitha, Chhena Jilabi, Bihari Litti, Thekua (Dessert), Kala-Chana Ghoomni, Sattu, etc. The rich histories and geographic heterogeneity of the villages in east India has made the cuisine of this region a unique one.
People in the villages of east India wear different types of dresses in their daily life. One of the most important aspects of village life in east India, dresses reflects the cultural variety and richness of the region. The males in the villages usually wear lungi, dhoti, kurta, shirt, etc. in their daily life. They wear the traditional dresses like Sherwani and the modern western outfits during the festivals. On the other hand, the women mostly wear sari made of cotton in their daily life. However, they wear special types of sarees like Baluchari, Jamdani, Taant, Bomkai, Sambalpuri, etc. during the festive occasions.
The principal occupation in the villages of east India is agriculture. Agriculture has always played a major role in the village life of east India, as a majority of the population depends on agriculture to earn their livelihoods. The villagers remain engaged in cultivating a variety of crops throughout the year. The major crops include rice, wheat, jute, oil seeds, pulses, coconut, tea, cotton, mustard, maize, potato, soybean, etc. Apart from agriculture, the villagers are also engaged in the other occupations like cottage industry, brick industry, various medium, small and large scale industries, etc. The villagers are engaged in the traditional occupations like barberry, shop keeping, priest, etc. Tourism is also one of the major sources of income for people living in the villages of east India.
The educational scenario in the villages is quite impressive and the East Indian states have some of the highest rural literacy rates in the country. There are many governmental schools established in most of the villages in east India to provide primary and secondary education to the young children. The children can also get education through the non-governmental and private schools.
The rich cultural diversity is one of the most notable features of village life in east India. The villages in east India have a rich tradition and the people celebrate diverse fairs and festivals throughout the year. Though different states have different types of festivals, there are a few common ones that are celebrated in all villages of east India. These festivals include Diwali, Holi, Ratha Yatra, etc. The major festivals celebrated in the villages of West Bengal include Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Poush Mela, Vasanta Utsav, Jhoolan, etc. On the other hand, people in the villages of Orissa celebrate the festivals like Puri Beach Festival, Konark Dance Festival, Chandan Yatra, etc. with much pomp and gaiety. The festivals have always been an integral part of village life in east India and almost all of them are of colourful nature.
Village life in east India is one of the most colourful and culturally rich village lives among all villages in India. The great cultural diversity, the wonderful cuisine, the bright costumes and the agricultural development in the villages of east India are remarkable. Especially, the wonderfully celebrated festivals in the villages of east India attract several tourists from all over the country.