People

People of Himachal Pradesh are warm and friendly by nature. Tourists would not face any problem in interacting with people or roadside vendors. However, tribal people are very firm when it comes to their caste and class status. Himachali women are very hard working, apart from their daily house hold activities; they also render a helping hand in fields. Agriculture being the prominent occupation in this area, people own farmlands and also have cattle. The people of this region are simple and easily trustable. This makes them masters in hospitality.

The people of this state are ardent lovers of fairs and festivals. They show great enthusiasm and togetherness in organizing and participating in these festivals. Majority of their fairs and festivals are part of their seasonal changes and harvest period.

They believe in their ancient traditions and the beliefs of which their forefathers are an integral part of their tradition. Some of their beliefs are very primitive and it cannot be easily understood and correlated. The Himachali people are music lovers; a child birth, marriage, festivals, fair and any types of happy gathering is an excellent occasion for song, dance and music. The instances of theft are very less and crime rate is very low in these villages, this is the reason why majority of people in these villages do not lock their houses. The belief in next birth, good or bad deeds etc are instigated since childhood in them, which makes them God fearing. Hence, they do not indulge in any atrocities and crime.

Dressing Style of the People

Himachal Pradesh is a state with a lot of diversity in many aspects. It is located in the northern part of our country and is a part of the great Himalayan Ranges. The state experiences extreme winter during winter seasons and summer remains more or less very pleasant. The dress of this people is influenced by these weather conditions. Cold winter season demands people to wear extreme warm clothes like jackets, sweaters and pull over. The diverse climate provides variety of clothing options for the people.

General Attire of the People of Himachal Pradesh

The presence of a rich cultural and ethnic diversity have influenced their attire, fashion, costumes and style statement of the people of this region. However, general traditional attire for a male is Kurta, dhoti and turban. Females of this state wear long Churidars.

Their general dressing is also governed by the clan to which these people belong. There are basically two main ethnic clans in this state: the Rajputs and the native Brahmins. The attires worn by these people are discussed in details below.

Attire Worn by the Rajputs of Himachal Pradesh

The Rajputs are the ancient warriors and their dressing aptly describes them. The Rajput men wears tight Churidar Pajamas, a long coat made of silk and a big turban on their head which is usually deeply starched and dyed with bright colors. The traditional shoes worn by men are made of Yak leather and it is has pointed edges. Their overcoats are specially knitted from soft and delicate silk. During those ancient days they used to have a lining of golden threads. These men used to grow thick, long moustaches which were considered as a symbol of dignity in ancient times. However, this has been discontinued by many. During ancient days, the women of Rajput clan used to wear a big gown from head to toe to follow the Purdah system. This practice has been discontinued since long by these women due to a rise in their literacy levels. They now prefer to wear salwar kameez with lots of bangles in both hands, jewelery on forehead, ear, nose, neck and ankles. The women also wear traditional dress called the Ghaghra choli which contains extensive embroidery and designs on important occasions.

Attire Worn by the Brahmin Community in Himachal Pradesh

The Brahmins distinguish from others mainly by their dressing style. The traditional Brahmin’s attire is a set of dhoti-kurta, a coat, a waistcoat and a turban. They usually wear a towel around their shoulder which is made up of cotton. They also have with them a Panchnag (A book on predictions of the astrological year). The attire of the Brahmin women is no different from the Rajput women as both wear attires like salwar kameez, Ghaghra choli and adore themselves with variety of jewels in different body parts.

Influence of Western Attire in The State

The dressing sense, cloth selection has undergone a remarkable transformation from generation to generation in the state. The western attires have vastly influenced the clothing in Himachal region. The traditional clothes are now worn only by people of remote villages and hilly terrains. The modifications to their traditional dresses have given rise to modern clothes manufactured in textile industries. The present fashion trend involves wearing of headscarves and shoes made of grass.

Himachal Pradesh is popular worldwide for its Pashmina shawl. This is a unique shawl which is made using the hair of Pashmina goat. It is exported to various parts of the world and is liked worldwide for its authentic designs and textures. The light-weight shawl is extremely useful during the winter season as it provides warmth.

Religion in Himachal Pradesh

The state is dominated by Hindus who account for 95.77% of the total population as per the 1981 census. All other communities are in minority. The second largest religion in this state is Islam, who account for 1.63% of their total population. Concentration of Muslims is in the areas of Chamba, Kangra and Sirmur. The next in list is the Buddhists, who constitute above 1% of their total population. They live in the trans-Himalayan areas of Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur and Kullu. Numerous Buddhist monasteries can be found in the McLeodganj region near Dharamshala.  The Sikhs are also found in this state and they account for population of over 1.2%. They are found in the isolated places of Kangra, Shimla, Mandi and Sirmur districts. The least population is that of Christians who are found in the Shimla district and account for a mere 0.1% of the total population.  

Primary Occupation of the People of Himachal

The primary occupation of the people of this state is Agriculture. They grow different types of cereals. Agriculture is also dominated by people who are into fruit cultivation in orchards. Agriculture is the main source of employment and income in this state. It is the major contributor to state domestic product which is approximately 45%. Apart from agriculture people also involve in mat weaving, sewing woolen caps and shawls etc.

Social Life of People of Himachal

The people of Himachal Pradesh are basically simple and down to earth people. They always believe in remaining well connected with their community. They share the bond of togetherness, brother hood and lead a friendly life. They are firm believer of the strength in togetherness. They prefer to lead a simple and peaceful life.

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