Culture of Andaman and Nicobar Islands



Andaman and Nicobar culture show a mix of the indigenous cultures of the Negroid and the Mongoloid settlers of the island, as well as a more mainstream culture brought down by the descendants of the early settlers in the island from the Indian mainland.
The migrants also contributed to the culture of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The greatest feature of Andaman and Nicobar Islands culture is the peaceful coexistence of these two strains of cultural lives.

Cultural Patters of the Indigenous Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar

The most distinguishing aspect of Andaman and Nicobar culture are the culture of the indigenous people of the islands. Andaman and Nicobar islanders can be divided into two major groups. The inhabitants of the Andamans are of Negroid origin and migrated from Africa thousands of years ago, way back in the later Paleolithic age. The main ethnic groups are:
  • Andamanese
  • Onge
  • Jarawa
  • Sentinalese
The inhabitants of Nicobar are equally old, if nor older. They are however of a Mongoloid origin. The main groups of Nicobar tribes are the Nicobari (Nicobarese) and Shompen. All these tribes have continued with their indigenous culture at Andaman and Nicobar islands, and still continue to do so. The relative isolation of these tribes have helped to preserve these streams of Andaman and Nicobar culture.

The Colonial and Post - Colonial influences

The Andaman and the Nicobar islands was a popular place as a penal deportation. The infamous Cellular Jail added to its notoriety. Many freedom fighters from all parts of India were either jailed or deported to Andaman. Their descendants formed a separate identity group distinct from the aborigines in Andaman and Nicobar. Their ranks were soon swelled with the migrants from Bangladesh, Burma and other neighboring countries in the years following the end of the colonial rule. They have largely added to the culture in Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Clothing in Andaman and the Nicobar islands

Every region of India displays its own culture along with their language, religion and clothing styles. According to the Indian culture, both the men and women are expected to dress up in a civilized manner. But surprisingly enough, there still exists an isolated culture in India where people hardly care for covering their body with any clothes. Whereas modern dressing styles and ultra modern attires are ruling the multiplex markets and shopping malls in the cities of India and other parts of the world, the peasants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are still far away from the touch of modernity. There is no such specific attire in Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Till date there are many people from Andaman and Nicobar Islands who do not wear any dress. This is mainly due to their detachment from the civilized world. The Sentinelese people still move naked in the islands.

The semi civilized Shompens only use clothes below their waist line. It is only the people of the Car Nicobar Islands who have become much modernized. Thus they wear some modern clothes and has left wearing their traditional dresses of those made of coconut leaves. The Jarawas make beautiful items with shell and barks of tree to wear them as necklace, waist and arm bands. Clothing in Andaman and Nicobar islands have come up only recently.

Newspapers

Andaman and Nicobar Islands news channels at present times means a lot for the people of that island as it keeps updating the people with not only the local news but also the news around the world. With the advent of printing press, small newspaper houses have come into existence who have started publishing newspapers in Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Andaman publishes 27 magazines which comes in different languages like English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, etc. Andaman Herald and The Daily Telegrams are the newspapers published in English and the one and only Hindi Paper is the A$N Dweep Samachar.Newspapers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands also has some other small printing presses who publishes some less popular monthlies, fortnightlies and weeklies. But major problems with these newspapers in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are that journalism has not yet got that much of popularity to inspire the journalists and other such organizations to come into this profession. Another thing is Andaman and Nicobar Newspapers themselves have failed to cater the local people.

The Newspapers of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have to be more informative regarding the policies taken by the Government so that they can attract the local people in a large number. An important thing is that the people of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are mainly Tamil and English speaking; so more and more newspapers have to brought out in these languages in order to increase the percentage of readers. At present total 25 printing presses are there and some of them are having offset printing set ups. Other raw materials like spare parts of the machines, ink, paper are imported from Chennai and Kolkata.



Last Updated on: 2nd April 2013

     


     

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