Chhattisgarh, the 'Gateway toCentral India', has an age-old cultural legacy that dates back to the antiquity. The state has a traditional culture and is inhabited by a variety of people. The people of Chhattisgarh are friendly exuberant people who like to live life to the hilt.
The locals are hardworking, diligent and enterprising. They love to fill their lives with color, humor and a good amount of enjoyment.
The people mainly converse in Hindi and Chhattisgarhi and a variety of local dialects. The numerous folklores, folksongs and musical instruments, dramas, ballads and songs, food and drink manifest the state's cultural diversities and are enjoyed by the young and old alike. Mirth and merriment add color to their lives.
The women are hard working and assist the men on the farms. They also love dressing up in vibrantly colored costumes and adorn themselves with ethnic jewelry. The tribal people are very talented and creative and their expertise is manifested in the exquisite traditional handicrafts
Chhattisgarh is one of the most diverse regions in the India as far as ethnicity is concerned. Located in the heartland of the Indian peninsula, the ethnicity of Chhattisgarh is evinced by the numerous tribes.
The largest concentration of these ethnic tribes is found in the Bastar district. More than seventy percent of its populace is tribal in origin. The Gond tribe of Bastar is the most prominent among them. They are famous for their system of marriages and education, which they call Ghotul. It is a complicated system of matrimony. There are several other tribes of Chhattisgarh, namely Korba, Baiga, Bisonhorn Maria, Abhuj Maria, Halbaa, Muria, Dhurvaa, Bhatra etc.
Religion in Chhattisgarh is of prime importance in the life of the people. The state of Chhattisgarh is largely populated by the tribals who follow various religions. The region was mainly influenced by traditional Hindu culture but with the increasing oppression of caste system and social hierarchy, many of them have accepted other forms of religion. A large proportion of them do follow Hindu religion in Chhattisgarh like the Gond tribe and in turn they influence other tribes. A sizeable populations of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists also exists in Chhattisgarh.
The various missionaries working in Chhattisgarh have resulted in the conversion of many people to Christianity. The influence of Jain religion is evident in the several Jain memorials in Aarang, Malhar, Maheshpur and Sirpur. For the Hindus Lord Rama is the most popular figure even toady. Chhattisgarh has undergone many tribal rebellions due to which various alternative religions have gained preference at times. Followers of Satnam Panth, Rae Das Panth, Ramnami Panth and Kabir Panth gained importance and followers, especially among the poors and outcastes because they abhorred caste system and deity worshiping.
Chhattisgarhi and Hindi are the main spoken languages of Chhattisgarh. However, there are about 93 types of languages that are used, out of which 70 are variants belonging to Chhattisgarhi alone. For instance, the dialect of Sadri is understood by and familiar with various tribal groups. In the same way, Halbi is understood by many tribal groups hailing from the southern part of Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarhi can be termed as a sub - variety of Hindi. All the 70 dialects in Chhattisgarhi, basically, span over the three linguistic groups of Austro-Asiatic languages, Dravidian and Indo - European languages, which are mainly in use in India. The most widely used dialects are Surgujia, Kalanga, Sadri Korwa, Binjhwari, Kavardi, Bhulia, Baigani, Khairagarhi and Chhattisgarhi Proper.
Last Updated on: 29th March 2013