The northernmost hill state of India, Himachal Pradesh is a wholesome oasis for travelers from across the globe. Consisting of lush green forest cover, rolling green meadows, clear environment, and a very unique culture distinct from the rest of the subcontinent. The local Himachali people consists of people from varied ethnicities, backgrounds, and different tribes. Everyone on this wonderful hill station have their own traditional beliefs, culture, and lifestyle that are well preserved throughout ages and centuries. The external influence like the onset of the modern age and technological advancements have not been able to effect and bring about any sort of changes in their lifestyle.
Here is everything you need to know about this promising land of wonderment and awe that will definitely remain etched in your heart and mind forever:
People and Occupation in Himachal Pradesh
This historical account of Himachali folks goes way back to the Vedic ages. around 90-96% of the total population of Himachal are Hindus with some mix of different communities as well like Buddhists, Brahmins, Kolis, Rathis, etc. the place also serves as a home to the various tribal communities as well like the Kinnars, Gaddis, Gurjars, Lahaulis and many more that cannot even be listed since they stay very deep inside the hills regions and are heavily protected by various government policies. The state language here is officially Hindu however due to the multiethnic nature of the people of this state they also speak in their own languages as well. When comes to occupation the Himachali people are involved largely in agricultural activities along with cattle rearing etc. Along with this a lot of people are emigrating to the nearby towns and cities in search of good jobs in the tertiary sector as well.
Arts And Crafts in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal is famous all over the world for its various handicrafts items like carpets, shawls, paintings, artifacts, etc. these handicrafts items are created out of the locally available raw materials and products which is economical for them on a daily basis. These items like Metalware, woodwork items, and even the worldwide famous Pashmina shawls are popular across the globe for its comfortable and warm feature. The local Dom tribe inhabiting Himachal is famous for manufacturing various bamboo produce like sofa set, chairs, baskets, racks, etc. the Metalware products range anywhere from idols of gods and goddesses to vessels and silver jewelry. weaving, chiseling, carving, and engraving are considered to be some of the most significant parts of the lifestyle of the locals here which comes handy in the creation of these wonderful handicrafts. Other than this, the carpets of Kullu along with pottery items and shawls are a few of the must-buy things during your visit to this incredible state.
Traditional Music and Dance of Himachal Pradesh
The cultural identity and ethnicity of the people of Himachal can be easily figured through their dance, music, and folk songs since one come to know almost everything about the culture and past of a place. People here have different and specific dance and music forms dedicated to different gods, goddesses, and occasions. Every region or villages and even tribes and sub-tribes have their own set of musical and dance forms that define their beliefs and traditions. Some famous dance forms in Himachal are – Losar Shona Chuksam in Kinnaur, Dangi Dance in Chamba, Shunto Dance in Lahaul and Spiti regions, and Chadhgebrikar in Kullu. Although Bollywood and Punjabi music is fast becoming a much-loved genre of music, people here mostly prefer traditional folk music. There is no specific classical music dedicated to Himachal but the people here prefer their own folk music that they have grown up listening to.
Fair and Festivals of Himachal Pradesh
Fairs and festivals make for the most important part in the life of people not just in India but also for the people all over the world. Some festivals are celebrated with grand celebrations and wonderment throughout the subcontinent but there are some festivals that are specific to a particular region and are followed by the tribes and the local residents here. Apart from Holi, Diwali or Christmas there are local festivals and fairs that the Himachalis follow and celebrated with great pomp and show. Some festivals followed here is the famous Kullu Dussehra that takes place in the upper reaches of Kullu, Maha Shivratri Fair in Mandi, Shoolini Mela, and Minjar Fair in Mandi, Lavi Trade Fair in Rampur and many more. Some fairs are so lesser-known that it is followed by various tribes here that they remain nameless. One common factor observed in these local fairs and festivals are the fact that they are dedicated to nature, crops or mark the end or beginning of a season.
Traditional Cuisines of Himachal Pradesh
When it comes to food styles and cuisines of Himachal then it should be noted that it is quite similar to the food and cuisines of the rest of north India. People residing in villages prefer to grow their own food through agriculture or by rearing Cattles. Mostly and readily available are food cuisines like broth, rice, lentils, bread, and assorted vegetables. Most people here prefer non-vegetarian food items when compared with other north Indian states. What bread and red meat are the most preferred cuisines on this incredible hill state which is made in a thick curry with the help of flavorful and aromatic spices? With the increasing commercialization and tourism activities, a lot of food and eateries have established that cater to a different range of tourists and travelers from all over the world. A traditional food that is served on various special occasions and marriage functions is Dham. The ethnic and the most authentic snack being Siddu, Cheele, Babru, etc. noodles, steamed Momos, pizzas, etc are also readily available now.
The unique food, culture, traditions, and beliefs of this state are very distinct and make it different from the rest of the world. If you wish to experience it then you must go there and have a firsthand experience yourself that will truly be helpful towards providing a memorable holiday.