Who Are The Punjabi People?
History & Classics  
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Mostly found in Northern India and Pakistan, Punjabis are one of the largest ethnic groups on the face of the earth.
 

 

Mostly found in Northern India and Pakistan, Punjabis are one of the largest ethnic groups on the face of the earth. They belong to the Indo-Aryan race. They overwhelm other ethnic Indians and Pakistanis by their sheer population of 88 million. About 20 million of that total live in Punjab, India, while 68 million are in Pakistani Punjab. Historically, these two regions were the ancestral homelands of the Punjabi people. As a people, they are industrious, loud, and full of humor. The so-called Punjabi identity is the coming together of many groups of people who lived in the Punjab states of India and Pakistan.
 
Historical Role
 
The Punjab regions gave the Punjab nation their identity and homogeneous culture. The name Punjab itself means, “Land of the Five Rivers” It has its origin from the Persian words panj (five) and ab (river). The two regions developed from ancient agricultural settlements that were the Harappan civilization from the Third Millenium BC onwards. The Ravi River was the prime location where their ancestors settled, and the Afghans, Turks, Huns, Greeks, and Persians are all counted as part of the Punjabi lineage. Over time, they were to come under the rules of the Mogul Empire, the Sikh nation, and Imperial Britain. In 1947, the Punjab region was divided into two, and officially became Indian Punjab and Pakistani Punjab, as predominately Muslim Pakistan sought to free itself from predominately Hindu India.
 
Punjabi Art, Culture, and Cuisine
 
Punjabi culture encompasses its art and crafts, music, cuisine, architecture, and festivals. Art in Punjab society includes mud used to plaster their homes and walls creating a variety of designs similar to wallpaper. Metalwork includes cutlery and household table items. Wooden toys and boxes are also popular handicraft items as well as basketry of glass. Needlework, rug making, footwear, paintings, weaving, and embroidery all add to the variety. Literature and poetry are practiced as art. Dances include the Bhangra and Jumar, which are popular during celebrations. Punjabi cuisine is composed of chicken, bread, rice, yogurt, sweets, and spices. Popular Punjabi dishes are tandoori chicken, pakoras, samosas, naan, mutter paneer, barfi, and gulab jamun.

 
 


 
 


 
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