Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Gujarati Culture

Getting into the culture…

Gujarati- as a  common man is much beyond “thepla and khakra” . Gujarat is a state where every day is celebrated as a festival. It is a unique blend of culture: trade with tradition and enterprise with entertainment . From the food they eat to the ‘chaniya- cholis’ and ‘kediyas’ that they wear, from the ‘torans’ hanging on their doorways to the ‘hindolas’ (crafted swings) in practically every Gujarati home, everything reflects vibrant colors.

Their world begins with food and they love eating to their heart’s content. The meal of any Gujarati is incomplete without “aathela marcha” (fresh chilli pickle) and “pappayya nu sambharo” (pickled pappayas). For them a sweet dish and a glass of ‘chaas’, also called ‘Kutchi beer’ or buttermilk is a must. You go to any part of Gujarat, be it the Rann of Kutch or the flourishing Kathiyawad, every single chapati is dipped in ghee. The junk food of Gujarat is also delectable . The colourful ‘dabeli’ dashed with the ‘teekhi and meethi’ (spicy and sweet) chutneys could any day beat the American hamburger. One can also never miss the colourful and exotic ‘golas’ which are sold across Gujarat. Traditional Gujarati food is like a literal blast of flavours in one’s mouth.

Gujaratis love to integrate with their society. Even those who like being all sophisticated and professional during the day time, come out during late evenings to socialise with their near and dear ones. From the young to the old , no one wants to stay back at home in the evenings. Most of the uncles and auntys come together to gossip while the kids are busy playing with each other.

The zest and the mirth with which even an ordinary Gujarati celebrates festivals is spell bounding . The smallest of the huts is decorated with rangolis and diyas on Diwali. Bhari (a sweetmeat) is shared amongst friends and families during the kite festival (Uttarayana) of Gujarat. Navratri, the festival of dance is known all across India. People dance through the night in their traditional costumes with the blessings of Ma Ambe who is said to be the “Kul Devi” of Gujarat. Gujaratis have a special tradition of lighting a lamp in in an earthern pot called “garba” for all the nine days of the festival. These garbas are considred to be a symbolof the goddess Amba and therefore, every family prefers to decorate it on their own. Another very important festival is the Gujarati New Year which is generally celebrated on the very next day of diwali. The delectable “Undhiyu” and ‘Shrikhand‘ are prepared in every Gujarati house as a ritual on this day. People also adorn themselves with new clothes and visit the houses of their friends and families to wish them “Saal Mubarak” (Happy New Year).

A Gujarati is a very fun loving person who tries to find joy in the small things of life. They are also peace loving and keep away from controversies and conflicts. All in all:

“Jya jya vase Gujarati,

tya tya vase sarekal Gujarat”

which means be it Wembley in the U.K.or Hubli in South India, wherever a Gujarati goes, he takes a piece of Gujarat along with him and establishes his own culture there.

patch work quilts from kutch Not all Guajarati’s are the “Patel’s” and the “Shahs” backpacking to the West in order to earn the big Buck. The simple Gujarati is all about vibrance, colors, dance and living life they feel best. Through all adversities, they have formed a big part of our business community (Reliance brothers) and have also fought bravely when the call of the country came with. Funnily, what will never change is the accent of the food that comes out of our manifesto. East to west, North to South, every Gujarati is warm and welcoming with a multitude of colors and handicrafts. The way they wear their clothes helps them to adjust in adverse environment and climatic conditions. Wherever you go, you will always be welcomed with a smile, food to eat, water to drink and warmth to carry home.

That’s what a Gujarati is like, that’s what a Gujarati is about.

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