Culture and Heritage of Punjab
The culture of Punjab has its own unique fragrance. It is unmatched. The scent of this fertile land is such in which the warmth of you-are-my-own is inborn. All communities hold pride in their traditions and the Punjabis whose open-mindedness has become proverbial also hold their unique tradition of hospitality high in their estimation as well as in their values of life. A guest in Punjab is considered as a representative sent by God.
Hospitality promotes brotherhood and holds a special significance for bringing people closer; love and kindness flow out of it. In Punjab they say that the more you love the more it multiplies and you get back many more times the kindness that you give.
The land of Punjab, which is described as the land of Gurus, Pirs and the warriors, as a matter of faith believes in earning honest living through hard labour and in sharing the fruits of this labour with others, without expecting any returns. Hospitality is a living aspect of Punjabi culture, which is shown even to the migratory birds that sojourn here.
Punjabis not only profess and practice hospitality in their own land but also carry it, untainted and virgin, to the lands where they immigrate. There is no country in the world where Punjabis have not created waves.
Hospitality binds people together in bonds of love; it increases circles of friendship and makes the atmosphere aglow with human warmth. Punjabis have proved this in all corners of the world in seemingly alien lands and because of these qualities they have been willingly accepted as useful, responsible citizens of the world, warm neighbours and good friends.
When the British landed in Punjab as victors they were astonished to find that every little village and every mohalla in the larger cities of Punjab had special places to receive and honour guests, and that the people of this land were irrepressible extroverts. The District Gazetteers of the time bring forth Punjab's generous hospitality in bold relief.
Although Punjab has received hospitality as God's gift, on account of recent disturbances and rising prices it is coming under strain in the towns and cities. However, in villages it still reigns supreme. It resides in the soul of rural folk. Reach a home in the middle of the night, the ladies will happily get up and cook fresh food for you. You can't pass by certain villages without enjoying hospitality. You'll be looked after so long as you stay. You will be warmly sent off, not empty-handed, but with a gift of whatever is available in the house.
Like all other human traits of the people of Punjab, their hospitality is also guileless, rare and intense. It is a ubiquitous theme of Punjabi folklore. When the crow, sitting atop the roof, crows, or dough when it is being kneaded bubbles, folk songs tell us that these are auspicious omens that mean a guest is on his way. There are several other sayings that speak of the pleasures derived by looking after visitors.
Good habitat, laughter, playfulness and love from the environment in which hospitality grows. May the culture of this blessed land of the five rivers perpetuate and ever grow.