Sindh Culture Day Special: An Introduction to Sindh, Sindhi Culture
Sindh Culture Day (Ekta Day) is celebrated every year on the first Sunday of December across Sindh (Pakistan) to highlight the centuries old, rich cultural heritage of the province, especially it’s traditional topi (cap) and ajrak.
Today on Sindh Culture Day, we introduce you to Sindh and Sindhi Culture.
The word “Sindh” is derived from its life stream, the river Indus, known to the people by the name of “Sindhu”. The roots of Sindhi culture and civilization are believed to trace back to one of the world’s oldest civilization, the Indus Valley Civilization.
The word Ajrak is derived from an Arabic word “azrak” which means ‘blue’. Ajrak is a block-printed cloth with deep crimson red and indigo blue background, bearing symmetrical patterns with interspersed unprinted sparkling white motifs, mostly stars. Source
Ajrak is an important Sindhi cultural symbol. The Ajrak is traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization (one of the earliest world civilizations) as archaeological remains of a male, priest-like statue wore a shawl resembling Ajrak symbolism has been found.
The ajrak is an integral part of Sindhi culture and traditional. They are presented as Ajrak are presented a mark of respect and hospitality to guests and people of high esteem.
2. Sindhi Topi
The Sindhi Cap or Sindhi Topi is a circular/cylindrical except for a portion cut out in the front to expose the forehead. Intricate geometrical designs are embroidered on the hat, and very often small pieces of mirror are sewed into it also. In Sindhi culture, the Sindhi cap is often given as a gift or as a sign of respect, along with the ajrak. Source
3. Sindhi Biryani
The Sindhi Biryani is one of the famous dishes of Pakistan. It is among the most famous and loved Biryanis. The Sindhi Biryani uses over twenty spices and is one of the most flavorful biryanis.
4. Sindhi Language
Sindhi is an Indo-Aryan language. The vocabulary of Sindhi comprises of words from Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian and Prakrit.
Sindhi is one of the oldest languages of the sub-continent, with a rich and extensive folklore and literature. It is one of the major languages of Pakistan, spoken mainly in the province of Sindh. It is the third most spoken language in Pakistan.
Sindhi is now written in Arabic Naskh Script, formally adopted by the British in 1853. Sindhi is also written in Devanagari script in some parts in India. Before the adoption of the present script, Sindhi was written in a number of different but cognate scripts derived from Devanagari. Read more at http://www.sindhishaan.com/article/language/lang_04_04.html
5. Sindh is the land of Communal Harmony
Sindh is the land of great Sufi saints that included Abduallh Shah Gahzi (R.A), Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (R.A), Jhule Lal or Lal Shahbaz Qalandar or Lal Sai and Sachal Sarmast who preached about peace and communal harmony.
The Sindhi Culture is an integration of Hinduism and Islam. It is regarded to be more of a Sufi culture. This can be noted in their folklore, songs, poetry, lifestyle, customs and traditions.
Here we list some more interesting articles and information source from India and Pakistan to help you explore more about Sindhi Culture:
Jhulelal or Zinda Pir: Of river saints, fish and flows of the Indus http://scroll.in/article/801677/jhulelal-or-zinda-pir-of-river-saints-fish-and-flows-of-the-indus
Jhulelal.com – Online Sindhi Community http://www.jhulelal.com/index.html
- Sindhi Shaan http://www.sindhishaan.com/article/language/lang_04_04.html
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