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Culture & Lifestyle

Gujarat is a flourishing state with cultural diversity. It is vibrant with its true colors of rich heritage and cultural traditions. Dating back to history with the Harappan civilization, the state becomes a confluence of many religions – Hinduism, Islam, Jainism and Buddhism. The Gujarati culture blends in arts, beliefs, customs, traditions, institutions, inventions, language, technology and values.

Gujarat is influenced with enculturation; a culture shared with members of the society and passed on from one generation to the next. Enculturation has unified people with common sense experience and influence that lead to knowledge and appreciation of cultural traditions and lifestyles. The aspect of joining hands to greet or bow down comes through age influences as offering reverence.


Social systems of learning, religious practices and forms of artistic expressions have led way to more balanced lifestyles in Gujarat. People of Gujarat are found to be sharing cultural traits and patterns with other regions and also extend beyond national boundaries towards International culture.


As Gujarat stands as ‘Heart of India’, Multiculturalism is traced in Gujarat. Shared cultural background making people feel to home ground and more comfortable with other people from their own culture. Culture shock unlike other countries is therefore, a missing point which makes people more confident and energetic as they stand for a challenge in global scenario.


Originally known as Gurjars, Gujaratis are influenced by the waves from the past that inherit values of arts, culture and traditions. Gujarat has a strong cultural influence of socio-economic-political history. It has a special significance in Indian Political History as it is a birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and the main influence to the people of Gujarat with his system of non violence movement.


Festivals and fairs, arts and crafts, folk dances, music, cuisine and lifestyles form a major cultural background of the people who belong to Gujarat. The customs and beliefs make the culture more homely and truly blended with values and moral characteristics.


Language
Though the local language spoken is ‘Gujarati’ – it remains a mother tongue for people of Gujarat and is widely spoken all over the world wherever a Gujarati exist. Surti, charotari, kathiawai and kutchi languages are among the many others languages like Marathi, Sindhi, Punjabi etc. are spoken in Gujarat regions.

Costumes
For costumes, several outfits are worn by the people of Gujarat as per the living in rural or urban areas. Generally, men wear trousers and shirts or t-shirts and younger women wear normal western outfits like skirts, dresses, jeans, etc. Older women usually wear saris or salwar kamiz. In rural parts, people are found to wear dhotis and kurtas or bandis. Even traditional outfits like chania choli by women and kedia dress is worn by men in rural areas or during cultural festivals.

Food
Majority of the Gujaratis are Vegetarian. A traditional ‘Gujarati Thali’ consisting of dal (lentils), roti, rice and vegetables apart from salads, farsan and sweet dish followed by chaas, forms the morning meal. Evening food consist of ‘bhakri-shak’ or khichdi kadhi. Mainly, the diet of the people of Gujarat consists of cereals, pulses, green vegetables, fruits, milk, ghee, butter-milk, etc. A variety of Cuisine sub-ordinates like pickles, chutney, papad, yoghurt, etc serve as fillings on main menu. A variety of dishes are prepared by Gujarati women who also add spice to kitchen with eateries from other regions like the South Indian food, Continental, Chinese cuisines, etc.

Homes
Gujarati urban living offer sophisticated living lifestyles. Well ventilated, furnished, glazed tiled or marbled homes and flats are found in Gujarat. Modern living with landscape gardening and fountains is the new flavor home stay in big cities of the state. Rural living is flourishing with development. However, the traditional hut dwellings and wooden houses still exist with a rich heritage feel and ethnic living. Wood carved houses with the ‘Chabutras’ for bird feeding are the beauty of many traditional homes in Gujarat.

Work Culture
Majority of the Gujarati thrive as Business persons. However, Gujarat is a leading Industrial State that ranks its commercial capital and textile city Ahmedabad as 7th in India. It possesses highest number of operating airports, the Gujarat cities are connected worldwide. Many business opportunities see way to development with the Vibrant Gujarat in various sectors as:

Faith and Beliefs
Gujarat has major multicultural religious faith system with the inception of all-embracing religious faith ranging from caste to caste. The major religions followed are Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Groups like Bohras and Moresalaam garasias, Kutchis who had been converted to Islam still have eqaunimous way of life of a typical Gujarati. Sunni Muslims are second largest group ,followed By Jains,Parsis of Iranian descent of south Gujarat and Christians. People of Gujarat are god fearing, friendly and good natured. They live in harmony and respect each other’s faith and beliefs. Gujaratis are often found to mingle and enjoy all religious festivals with no caste or creed differences.

Jya jya vase gujarati, tya tya vase Gujarat
(Meaning: Wherever in the world Gujaratis live, there exists a Gujarat)

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