The affluent culture of Rajasthan is evident through the colorful cities, the splendid fortifications, the vibrant markets and the life style of the people throughout the state. Rightfully called the “Land of the Kings”, Rajasthan is dotted with numerous Forts, Palaces, Havelies, each showcasing the royalty of the long gone days. The geographical feature of the state is one of the major factors responsible for a rare culture. In order to counter the tedious and dry living conditions, the inhabitants come up with varied costumes, festivals and rituals. The people love incorporating colors in their daily lives, from the turbans and saris they wear to the ornaments they use to decorate the camels makes the whole scene look animated. Come in contact with the folk music, dance, crafts and other art forms. Rajasthan will capture and take you to a different dimension altogether.
Ethnicity of Rajasthan:
The Rajputs are predominantly related to the state of Rajasthan, they ruled the area till the 20th century. In later years, they began to merge, mainly with the Mughals. This process began to influence the ethnicity of the state. There are many tribal communities in Rajasthan, the Bhils and the Minas are the original inhabitants of the place. There are other tribal groups like the Sahariyas, Gasuliya Lohars, Sidhis and more who share a number of common traits.
Some famous traditional attires of Rajasthan are made out of cotton hand printed fabrics, tie and dye designs, mirror works, zari works and more. The accessories are silver bangles worn by women on hands and feet, camel skin shoes, and the colorful turban worn by men, which adds to the culture of the place.
Arts and crafts:
The exquisite handworks of Rajasthan are popular all around the globe. The Rajasthani commodities are very distinct because of the details and the usage of colors. The artistic skills are apparent through the detailed work put while creating jewelry, fabrics, embroidered work, leather work, and other crafts. The miniature paintings and the wall paintings that depict stories are carried out for a long time and is still famous. The puppets of Rajasthan are a showpiece for us, but the locals still carry out the puppet show, the wooden dummies are showcased on a miniature stage. The Rajasthani textile is popular for its special color schemes and designs. The tie and dye style, the embroidered, the hand block printed fabrics comes under the Rajasthani crafts. The clothing, textiles are more detailed and beautiful, like the zari, mirror work and the metallic thread embroidery. Other famous crafts are the leather ware, carpets and the pottery fabrications.
Music of Rajasthan:
The folk music of the desert plays an important role in the rural societies. The songs are mesmerizing and compelling, they are integrated in every occasion and festivals. The lyrics, which are more like a poetry is given more importance than the melody. The Rajasthani women sing love songs, about wicked mother in law or about water while Some of the folk songs are dedicated to various deities. The different communities in Rajasthan are in the profession of singing, they are mainly the Dholis, Dhadhis, Fedalis Patars and Kanchari (prostitutes), Nats, Hawais, Rawals and more. There is a diverse collection of musicians, all of them manage to engage you with their songs and their folk music.
Dances of Rajasthan:
The whole surrounding comes alive when the Rjasthani traditional dancers take the center stage. Any festival or flair remains incomplete, without a dance performance. The dance forms are folk in nature, which traces the rural customs and traditions. The enthusiasm of the locals can be seen in their eagerness to retain the dance form, which they religiously follow. The expressions and the brave movements are part of the dance scheme, including the attractive and vibrant costumes add up to the flamboyance of the dance forms. With all the essentials carried out, the dancers perform with passion, alluring the spectators. There are many forms of dance forms in Rajasthan, some of them are: the Kalbelia dance, the ancient dance style, performed by women in the Kalbelia community (snake charmers by profession). The Ghoomar Dance, performed by Rajput woman, gracefully covering her face. Chari Dance, requires much practice and skills, as it is a dance form with pots on the head and lamps on hand. There are more unique dance styles worth discovering.
Musical Instruments of Rajasthan:
The Rajasthani musical instruments are essential in making the folk songs complete and melodious. The instruments are played with such skills that some of them can be played individually as it sounds tuneful enough. One of the cultural attractions for the visitors in Rajasthan are the hypnotic songs and the instruments. The nifty instruments are made locally with a variety of materials like bamboos, clay pots, dried up shells and more. Classification of instruments is done in this manner: Percussion Instruments, they are usually the dhol or drum and the smaller one is called the dholak. The second one is the Wind Instruments, the flute and shehnai come under this segment. These wind instruments are common among the snake charmers and are in many ranges; Algoza, is a double flute, Satara is an assembly of two flutes, they also use trumpets of their own version. Next one is the Stringed Instruments, the most famous string instrument of Rajasthan is the Sarangi, played by using a bow drawn across the strings and placing notes by fingers on the strings. Other known string instruments are the Kamaycha, Ravanhatta, Chautara and more. The last one in the category is the Autophonic Instruments, the bells, knows as Ghanti are commonly used for devotional songs. Ghungroo (ankle bells) mostly worn by the Bhopas around their waist and they make movements to provide rhythm.
Cuisine of Rajasthan:
Due to less rainfall in Rajasthan, the growth of vegetables is limited. However, they emphasize on the growth of pulses. The locals prefer food items that can last for several days and which do not need heating. Rajasthan is famous for the making of what is called the Bikaneri Bhujiya, it is consumed as a snack with beverages. Pure Ghee is the substitute of oil while cooking, and the locals use it in a large amount, the Dal- Bati- Churma is one dish that is known to all. The Rajasthanis are fond of sweets, so they prepare ghevar, mawa and petha. Other famous snacks are the Mirchi Bada and Pyaaj Kachori.