Gujarat - Culture

Culture

Main article: Culture of Gujarat Further information: Culture of Gujarat, Music of Gujarat, and Gujarati people

Gujarat is home to Gujarati people. Notable populations of Marathi people and Marwaris currently reside in Gujarat. It is also the home of Mahatma Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel, who preached the unity between all religions and became a worldwide figure for peaceful struggle against tyranny.

Cuisine
Main article: Gujarati cuisine

Gujarati food is primarily vegetarian. It is believed to be one of the healthiest cuisines in India. It has been portrayed in eminent Bollywood films, including the 2009 feature film 3 Idiots. The typical Gujarati thali consists of rotli or bhakri, dal or kadhi, rice and sabzi. Indian pickle and chhundo are used as condiments. North Gujarat, Kathiawad, Kachchh, and Surti Gujarati, the four major regions of Gujarat all bring their own styles to Gujarati food. Many Gujarati dishes are distinctively sweet, salty, and spicy at the same time. In Saurashtra region, chass (buttermilk) is believed to be a must-have in their daily food.

Cinema
Main article: Gujarati cinema

The Gujarati film industry is one the largest regional film industries in India. The first ever Gujarati film, Narsinh Mehta, was produced in 1932. Bhavni Bhavai is one of most acclaimed Gujarati films, having won National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration and National Film Award for Best Art Direction. Many famous actors have worked in Gujarati film industry, such as Sanjeev Kumar, Bindu, Asha Parekh, Kiran Kumar, Prashant Trivedi, Arvind Trivedi, Aruna Irani, Mallika Sarabhai, Asrani, Naresh Kanodia, Sneh Lata, Paresh Rawal, Neeraj Vora, Dilip Joshi, Ayesha Jhulka, and Himesh Reshammiya.

Music

Gujarati folk music, known as Sugam Sangeet, is a hereditary profession of the Gadhvi and Charan communities. The omnipresent instruments in Gujarati folk music include wind instruments, such as turi, bungal, and pava, string instruments, such as the ravan hattho, rktaro, and jantar and percussion instruments, such as the manjira and zanz pot drum.

Festivals

The folk traditions of Gujarat include bhavai and rass-garba. Bhavai is a folk theatre; it is partly entertainment and partly ritual, and is dedicated to Amba. The rass-garba is a folk dance done as a celebration of Navratri by Gujarati people. The folk costume of this dance is chaniya choli for women and kedia for men. Different styles and steps of garba include dodhiyu, simple five, simple seven, popatiyu, trikoniya (hand movement which forms an imagery triangle), lehree, tran taali, butterfly, hudo, two claps and many more. Makar Sankranti is a festival where people of Gujarat fly kites. In Gujarat, from December through to Makar Sankranti, people start enjoying kite flying. Undhiyu, a special dish made of various vegetables, is a must-have of Gujarati people on Makar Sankranti. Surat is especially well known for the strong string which is made by applying glass powder on the row thread to provide it a cutting edge. Apart from Navratri and Uttarayana, Diwali, Holi, Tazia and others are also celebrated.

Diffusion of culture

Gujaratis spread to many places outside of Gujarat with the success of the Maratha Dynasty (as the dynasty was spread over much of India.) Even today, Saurashtrians who migrated during the Maratha Dynasty's time can be found in Tamil Nadu.

The progenitor of the Sinhala language is believed to be Prince Vijaya, son of King Simhabahu who ruled Simhapura (modern-day Sihor near Bhavnagar.) Prince Vijaya was banished by his father for his lawlessness and set forth with a band of adventurers. This tradition was followed by other Gujaratis. For example, in the Ajanta Frescoes, a Gujarati prince is shown entering Sri Lanka.

Many Indians had migrated to Indonesia, some of them being Gujaratis. King Aji Saka, who is said to have come to Java in Indonesia in year 1 of the Saka calendar, is believed by some to be a king of Gujarat. The first Indian settlements in Java Island of Indonesia are believed to have been established with the coming of Prince Dhruvavijaya of Gujarat, with 5000 traders. Some stories propose a Brahmin named Tritresta was the first to bring Gujarati migrants with him to Java, so some scholars equate him with Aji Saka. A Gujarati ship has been depicted in a sculpture at Borabudur, Java.

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