A Slice of Punjabi Culture

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Slice of Punjabi Culture 
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 28  

Six foreigners, who are visiting the region to participate in the 7th International Peace Fest, witnessed the Punjabi culture in a unique way at Sarangpur village here today. Dressed in traditional Indian wedding attire, these foreigners, both men and women, from China, Philippines and Sri Lanka performed wedding ceremony specially arranged for them at the village. Instead of alcohol that overflows in most of the Punjabi weddings these days, guests were served with homemade lassi on the occasion. The festivities, however, were no less than any traditional wedding. Villagers danced to the beats of dhol along with the foreign delegates, who were seen enjoying themselves. “This is the best thing I have ever witnessed. Although, the drum beats are a bit loud, the excitement level is really appreciable. I had never imagined it to be like this. People here are very friendly. The dancing and this milkmade drink (lassi), especially, are new for me,” said A Xing from China. The delegates also went on a round of the village before enjoying traditional food including ‘sarson ka saag’ and ‘makki ki roti’. Angel from Philippines, however, felt the food was a bit heavy to digest, like the ‘lehanga’ she was wearing.  “Although the dress is a bit heavy and the climate is hot, the excitement of these people pumped me up to dance on the drum feats. Back in our country, we wear white dresses during all wedding ceremonies. It is good to see a different culture, and it is an honour to be the part of this event,” she said. Talking about her maiden visit to the City Beautiful, Catholina from China said: “It is my first visit to India, and so far I found it to be the cleanest city. The green belt adds to the city’s beauty, and I look forward to spend some time here with my family,” said Catholina.

One of the craziest experiences I have had during my trip to India was this mock wedding ceremony in the Village of Sarangpur in Chandigarh. One of the organizers of International Youth Peace Festival (IYPF) approached me to join the cultural fashion show as a part of the program. So I had no choice but to join since all my co-delegates weren't around yet. I went with other representatives from China, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. They brought us to another College for the preparation. I was so fascinated with the traditional Punjabi wedding dress, the Mendhi and all parts of being dressed up. The students who did our make up were also very nice.

I was expecting that after the preparations we'd be brought back to the College where all IYPF sessions were held. But to my surprise, they brought us to a village and we were welcomed with a celebration -- villagers waiting, Punjabi music playing and men with colorful kurtas and robes dancing. It was just then that I found out that we are actually about to experience the Punjabi Wedding Ceremony, with me as one of the mock Brides. I was paired with my good Afghan friend Siam.

We also went inside a Sikh Temple. I just decided to observe and excluded myself from the worship session. For the wedding, there are really no words to describe such moment. Of course, every time I travel, all I ever wanted was to be immersed in the culture, and such was just the most perfect way I wanted it to be. 

After the event, I also had time to interact with the villagers. The language barrier was tough since they all couldn't speak in English, but there was a girl that really touched my heart even when I didn't understand a thing from what she was saying. Well, she just kept on running around me, following me wherever I go and eventually whispered "I love you!" to me just before leaving. This is truly an experience I'll never ever forget.

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  1. What an incredible and beautiful experience.... WOW ;-)

  2. Wow, this is awesome! Great experience.


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