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Culture Of Rajasthan

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Rajasthan is culturally rich and artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. There is rich and varied folk culture from villages which are often depicted as a symbol of state. Highly cultivated classical music and dance with its own distinct style is part of the cultural tradition of rajasthan. The music has songs that depict day to day relationships and chores, often focused around fetching water from wells and ponds.

Rajasthani cooking was influenced by both the war-like lifestyle of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred. The scarcities of water and fresh green vegetables have all had their effect on the cooking. It is known for its snakes like “Bikaneri bhujia”. Other famous dishes include “bajre ki roti” (millet bread) and “lahsun ki chutney” (hot garlic paste), mawa kachori, mirchi bada, Pyaaj kachori and ghevar from jodhpur, alwar ka mawa (milk cake), malpuas from pushkar and rasgullas from Bikaner. Originating from the Marwar region of the state is the state concept Marwari Bhojnalaya, or vegetarian restaurants, today found in many parts of india, which offer vegetarian food of the Marwari people.

 

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“Dal-baati- churma” is very popular in rajasthan. The traditional way to serve it is to first coarsely mash the baati then pour pure ghee on the top of it. It is served with daal (lentils) and spicy garlic chutney. Also served with besan (gram flour) ki kadi. It is commly served at all festivities, including religious occasions, wedding ceremony and birthday parties in rajasthan. ”Daal-baati-churma” , is a combination of three different food items- Daal (lentils), baati and churma (sweet). It is typical Rajasthani dish.

The ghoomar dance from jodhpur Marwar and kaalbeliya dance of jaisalmer have gained international recognition. Folk dance is a large part of Rajasthani culture. Kathputli, Bhopa, Chang, Teratali, ghindr, kachchhighori and tejaji are example of traditional Rajasthani culture. Folk songs are commonly ballads which relate heroic deeds and love stories; and religious or devotional songs known as Bhajans and banis which are often accompanied by musical instruments like dholak, sitar and sarangi are also sung.

Rajasthan is also known for its traditional and colourful art. The block prints, tie and die prints, bagaru prints, sanganer prints and zari embroidery are major export products from rajasthan. Handicrafts items like wooden furniture and crafts, carpets and blue pottery are commonly found here. Shopping reflects the colourful culture, Rajasthani clothes have lots of mirror work and embroidery. A Rajasthani traditional dress for females comprises an ankle length skirt and a short top, also known as a lehenga and chaniya choli. A piece of cloth is used to cover the head, both the protection from heat and maintenance of modesty. Rajasthani dresses are usually designed in bright colours like blue, yellow and orange.

The main religious festivals are Deepawali, Holi, Gangaur, Teej, Gogaji, Shri devnarayan jayanti, Makar sankranti, and Janmashtami, as the main religion of Hinduism. Rajasthan’s desert festivals are held once a year during winter. Dressed in costumes, the people of desert dance and ballads. There are fairs with snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels play a role in these festivals.

The phenomenon of spirit possession has been documented in modern rajasthan. Some of the spirits that are claimed to possess rajasthanis are seen as good as beneficial while others are seen as malevolent. The good spirits include murdered royalty, the underworld god Bhaironji, and muslim saints. Bad spirits include perpetual debtors who died in debt, stillborn infants, deceased widows, and foreign tourists. The possessed individual is referred to as a ghorala ( “mount”). Possession, even if it is by a benign spirit, is regarded as undesirable, as it entails loss of self control and violent emotional outbursts.  

 

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