This section caters to craft, culture, people, food, tales of a place as I feel no place gives a fulfilling experience without a talk about its people, their traditions, their customs, their lifestyle, their music, their cuisines, habitats and a general way of their life.
I have always felt very intrigued to see the different flavors of life offered by different geographies – If I have to talk about India, as we move from North to South, everything changes and the change is not so random. Everything changes so slowly that you don’t realize the extent of change unless you move far distances. Kashmiris speak Kashmiri while Dogri is spoken as we move slightly south towards Jammu. Dogri is also spoken in Himachal along with some flavour of Punjabi which merges well as we move to Punjab. There are local dialects spoken along borders of states. But at a higher level, if we see as we moved from Kashmir to Punjab, language changed from Kashmiri to Punjabi which are very different. Similar transition happens in food and lifestyles as well. Come to think of it, all this happens in the backdrop without us even realizing that these changes are happening.
India is an amalgamation of cultures and lifestyles of twenty nine states – many of which are way different than the other. Kashmir and Tamil Nadu or Arunachal Pradesh and Punjab – language, customs, traditions, festivals are so different as we scale the length and breadth of India. And why just India? This is a feature across the globe.
Owing to globalization and standardization, everybody is seen in a standard attire of trousers and shirts – kimonos of Japan, sarees and dhotis of India or Gho and Kera of Bhutan all seem to have merged in trousers and shirts. If we go back in history, as to why this change happened over the years? This was done to aid trade, to aid communication, to increase familiarity. But all this had an impact on indigenous way of life. We somewhere lost track of our handicrafts, of our primitive ways of living. Somewhere in the world of industrialization, we lost our rich heritage of our traditions, our handicrafts, our peculiar way of living,our cuisines – pizzas and burgers took over and kichdi and upmas took a back seat.
Through this section, I have made an attempt to revive a love for our culture, our traditions, our history, our ancient artifices, dance forms – if nothing more, I aim to create a repository of these experiences which I can share with my next generation!