Uttarakhand Society



Uttarakhand society implies the lifestyle and the customs and traditions of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand society is an extension of the cultural pattern of Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand society is a heterogeneous mixture of the various ethnic groups from the Kumaon and Garhwal regions. Most of the people belonging to the Uttarakhand society are heterodox Hindus and Buddhists; while we also come across a number of Sikhs, who have migrated from West Punjab and settled in Uttarakhand since 1947.

The languages spoken by the people of Uttarakhand are basically Hindi, Garhwali and Kumaoni.

Some of the ethnic groups and sub-groups comprising the Uttarakhand society are:

  • Jaunsari:
    • Koltas
    • Khasa, etc.
  • Bhotia:
    • Jadhas
    • Marchas
    • Tolchas, and
    • Shaukas.
  • Garhwali
    • Kumaoni
    • Buksha
    • Tharu
    • Raji, etc.
A deep analysis of the Uttarakhand society reveals that the native people of Uttarakhand had an agrarian-pastoral way of life, and they earned their living by cultivating the hilly tract.


Besides the ethnicity, another aspect of the Uttarakhand society is its fairs and festivals. Some of the major fairs and festivals of Uttarakhand are:
  • Khatarua
  • Bat Savitri
  • Ganga Dusshera or Dasar
  • Janopunyu
  • Jauliji and Thal Fairs
  • The Uttarayani Fair
  • The Nandadevi Fair
  • Syalde Bikhauti
  • The Somnath (Masi) Fair
  • The Devidhura Fair
  • The Jageshwar Fair
  • The Punyagiri Fair
  • The Haatkalika Fair, etc.
Further, Uttarakhand society is also marked for its folk dance and folk music, viz.:
  • Chounphula
  • Jhumeila
  • Garhwali Folk Music
  • Langvir Nritya
  • Barada Nati
  • Chhopati
  • Mangal
  • Puja Folk Songs
  • Basanti
  • Pandav Nritya, etc.
Moreover, Uttarakhand is not untouched by modernism. Media, newspapers and the modern ways of education is a real evidence in the context.

Therefore, we can see that the Uttarakhand society is dynamic: it is progressing everyday with the progressing world.

Ethnicity of Uttarakhand


  • Jaunsari - This group of people have a distinctive style of dress and unique cultural practices. Jaunsari society, being a collection of smaller tribes, is caste stratified with the indigenous Koltas and Khasas. In fact, the Jaunsari society is known to be one of the few polyandrous societies in the world.

  • Bhotia - The Bhotias traditionally lived in the high Himalayas, and are divided into many sub-groups, namely the Jadhs, the Marchas and the Shaukas. These three groups have different cultures; yet they share a common Tibetan-like physical appearance.
  • Buksha - Buksha are the inhabitants of the Terai region of Uttarakhand, and they claim descent from the Rajputs. The culture of the Buksha reflects a typical Hindu society.
  • Tharu - The Tharus are a tribals from the eastern zone of Terai. They are related to the Tibetan tribes. The Tharu culture celebrates large families living under one roof. A typical feature of Tharu culture is that their society is a matriarchal society.
  • Raji - Raji are known as Vanrawats, and they inhabit the forests around Ascot. The Rajis boast of a different culture with women as the head of their society.


Religion in Uttarakhand



Uttarakhand population is mainly comprised of Hindus thereby making Hinduism the most important religion. Hinduism is the largely widespread religion in Uttarakhand with around 72.12 lakh followers. Most of the Hindus can be traced in the inner Garhwals.

Another religion at Uttarakhand which has many followers is the Islam. You can trace large number of Muslims in Uttarakhand. Islam religion at Uttarakhand has 10.12 lakh followers which in comparison to Hindus is a small number but still is the second highest religion in Uttarakhand to be followed.

After Islam, Sikhism is the dominating religion in Uttarakhand with 2.12 lakh Sikhs adding to the population. Uttarakhand has many gurudwaras where the Sikhs offer prayers. Most of the Sikhs are situated in the Terrai region.

Sikhism is followed by Christianity as this religion at Uttarakhand has 27 thousand followers. Christians are very low in number at Uttarakhand as the place was not the dwellings of Britishers and hence Christianity could not spread much of its root into this state.

Uttarakhand's close proximity to Laddakh and other Himalayan areas has led down the way for Buddhism to spread its wing across the state. This religion of people at Uttarakhand has 13 thousand followers.
Next to Buddhism is Jainism, which has nine thousand followers. This religion of people in Uttarakhand in which they worship Lord Mahavira does not find too much fan following in the Himalayan state.



Last Updated on 4 March 2013



     


     

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