Madhya Pradesh is the Heart of India. This is not only because of its location on the landmass but because of its incredible diversity, rich heritage, and thriving culture that continues to thrill travellers from all over the world. From the moment you set foot into the state, you will be greeted with indigenous tribes and customs that have been practiced in these parts since ancient times.
Did you know that the ancient tribal communities occupy around 1/3rd part of the entire state? This goes on to show the incredibly diverse range of life that has been thriving there since ages. It in fact ranks among the top for being home to the most number of tribal communities. Due to this reason, the culture, heritage, and traditions of MP are extremely colorful and varied.
Let’s take a look at this wonderful age-old culture of Madhya Pradesh:
Arts and Crafts of Madhya Pradesh
One of the most recurring themes that you will encounter in Madhya Pradesh is the combination of tribal art with other modern illustrations. There is no dearth of arts and crafts you can find in MP. Apart from the temples and tourist sightseeing places, tourists and travellers will be baffled to see the varied, colorful, and unique arts and crafts here. The artistic brilliance here is so unique that you will have a tough time in deciding what to take from here. The art works mainly include bamboo and cane carvings. Folk paintings, jute works, iron craftworks, terracotta figurines, and many more! You will literally be spoiled for choices. For the ladies who love to drape in sarees, this place offers impeccable Chanderi silk sarees that are not produced anywhere else in the world.
Culture in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh encapsulates the spirit of the entire Indian nation in one and gives a tiny glimpse into what India truly is. The various blends of people who live here have absorbed into their culture and traditions. Apart from the tribal communities that live here, as mentioned already, people from varied backgrounds like Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jains, and sikhs thrive in complete harmony as well. Music and dance forms have hugely impacted the idea of culture and traditions in this place. As a part of the culture the musical identities are divided all over the region. For example, Leha songs are extremely popular in the Jabalpur region of MP, Dhakul and Chait Parah are two other popular folk songs that depict life and times in MP. When it comes to dance culture, just like music, they are specified to certain regions.
Customs and Traditions in Madhya Pradesh
The customs and traditions in MP are not specified to one belief; it varies quite a bit from the rest of the states in India. The tribal communities also have their own set of traditions and customs that varies greatly from the rest of India. For example, Ghotul is a tradition that is followed by the young, unmarried boys and girls of the muria tribe. According to this tradition, all the boys and girls gather together in a common meeting ground and learn about moral values, good conduct, and discipline. It is not taught in a traditional manner. Rather it is taught in a fun and games style. That’s about the tribes of MP. However, people living in big cities and towns who follow their religion perform marriage ceremonies or any other festival according to their own traditions without any problem.
Cuisines in Madhya Pradesh
The food in India is absolutely delicious no matter where you decide to go and explore. Just like the rest of Indian states, MP also has numerous types of cuisines and even desserts. The staples here are wheat, Jowar, and maize. Arhar dal or some other type of dal is also a major part of a normal everyday meal in the regular households here. Cashew Barfi, Jalebi, and Kulfi are a couple of most popular desserts or sweet dishes people normally prefer gorging on. Traditional meals also contain some fresh seasonal fruit or another like custard apple, watermelon, papaya, and mango among others. In the southern end of the state due to the presence of wetlands, people prefer gorging on fish and seafood as well. Pilaf and kebabs are also specialties in these parts.
Religion and Language in Madhya Pradesh
The people of Madhya Pradesh represent the pleasant amalgamation of various cultures and belief systems becoming one. Every step of the way you will be greeted with one unique culture or the other including Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam, and Buddhism among others. The people living in the Narmada valley are believed to be of Aryan race and along with the Hindus they are two of the most important religions in India.
Hindi is the main population of MP along with other primary languages like Bundelkhand, Chhattisgarhi, and Malvi. These languages are spoken all over the state and draw somewhat a similar root dialect. Urdu, Marathi, Sindhi, and Gujarati are a couple of other common languages spoken here.
Traditional Dresses of Madhya Pradesh
Every state has their unique and one of a kind foods, desserts and culture. In the same way, the traditional dresses of MP are also unique for men and women. Dhoti and Safa are two of the most common traditional elements in the clothing style of local men here. In fact, they are more than just a clothing piece, they are in fact a sign of pride and honor. Traditional men in the Bundelkhand region also wear a black or white jacket as well.
The traditional clothing for women here is Lehenga and Choli. Odhni, which is a type of a headscarf for women but is also an essential part of their clothing. Women can be seen wearing black and red-colored clothes as well. Bandhani is a type of Saree that has gained worldwide popularity. Colorful patterns and designs are mostly dyed in using different methods. Women here also wear Chanderi and Maheshwari style of Saree which even the tourists cannot stop themselves from buying.