Art and Culture of PurniaPurnia is one of the largest districts in the north eastern part of Bihar. Purnia is an important military outpost and this location advantage has been its key strength since the times of the early Mauryan period. The dynasties and rulers who ruled over the region have left a vast and indelible heritage, which is still preserved in the art and culture of Purnia which is an amalgamation of various cultures and lifestyles.
Culture of Purnia
Purnia being a part of the mainstream India, it also includes most of the lifestyle and cultural aspects of other Indian cities. While it is similar to other Indian cities, it also has some unique aspects, which differentiate the culture of Purnia from the rest.
Languages in PurniaHindi is the official language of the state of Bihar and hence of the district of Purnia too. Bihar in ancient times was an important seat of learning and many classical Indian languages find its roots in the region. Some of the languages are spoken to this day and have a unique literary and cultural heritage. Maithili is an important language spoken in the district and also a classical language with an immense collection of literature, which is considered one of the finest works in any Indian language. The other important languages spoken in the region are Santhali, Surjapuri, Polia, Angika etc. Most of these languages are a derived version of Hindi and Maithili. Because of the proximity to West Bengal and the spilling of Bengali population into the city, there is also a rise in the language of Bengali, which is also becoming an important language in the region.
Dance and Music of Purnia
Music and dance forms an important part of every important occasion in Purnia. The songs take inspiration from local folk tales and also from everyday lives. The Phagua songs, which are popularly sung during Holi, are songs of celebration, which have come down the ages. Social dances like jhumarnach, manjhi, jhijhia, bamar nach etc are highly popular in this region and is enjoyed by people of all age groups and gender. Musical instruments like Dhol, Mridang, Manjira, Shahnai, Jhanz, Sarangi are used to add touch to various songs and dances. The influx of western lifestyles is decimating these dance forms and hence they are mostly known only within the family and are almost a dying art form.
Paintings in PurniaPurnia during the ancient times was also an important seat of learning. The Manjusha art or the Angika art form was an important style in this region. The miniature style of painting was propagated during the Mughal period, which was the high watermark of the traditional Indian style of painting. Numerous influences since then have greatly affected the painting style making it one of the most important art forms in the region. The painters usually derived inspiration from the daily lives of the people and the royal durbar and these paintings are today very much in demand the world over for their intricate style and detailing.
Religions in PurniaOver the period of time, there have been various influences on Purnia which has led to the settlement of a diverse population in the region. While Hindus form the dominant religious group, the city also has a healthy population of Muslims and Christians. Once of the most important religious group in the city are the Buddhists who were once the original inhabitants of the regions during the rule of the Magadh and the Mauryan empire.
Traditional Attire of PurniaThe traditional attire of men in the region is the dhoti and kurta or the kurta and pajama. This is still worn in the hinterlands while in the cities there is a distinct change to western attire of shirt and trousers. Women traditionally prefer the saree and event today this is the most common attire though it is getting fast replaced by the salwar kurta due to the ease of use and convenience.
Festivals in PurniaPurnia being a Hindu dominated region celebrates all the important religious festivals of Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, durga Puja etc. Apart from this, some of the festivals are unique to the region and are still practiced religiously. The most important festival in the region is the Chhath Puja which is celebrated a week after Diwali. It is said that Karna of Mahabharat who was the king of the Anga land where Purnia currently is located started the Chhath Puja.
The celebrations start at the crack of dawn and the womenfolk indulge in religious worship and Ganga bath along with fasting and praying for the well being of their dear ones. The other important festivals, which are celebrated here, are Teej and Chitragupta Puja. Bihula Bishari Puja is also another important puja in this region.
Cuisines of PurniaThe main food of Purnia comprises of rice, lentils and flat bread made of wheat. Vegetables and pulses form an integral part of the cuisines and most of the dishes use a liberal amount of mustard oil. Litti-choka is one of the cult dishes of the state and also of the region of Purnia, where litti is made of chickpea flour and chokha is a delectable combination of potatoes and brinjals. Though vegetarian fare is popular in the region, there is also a strong non-vegetarian culture with many dishes finding pride of place in the cuisine here. Lamb and red meats are the main meats of choice since the region is mostly landlocked. Sweets and desserts form an important part of every meal and some of the most loved sweetmeats of the region are kala jamun, tilkut, murabba, khaja etc. For More Click Here
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