The State of punjab in western India is one of the most fertile regions of the earth. The cities have rich culture of self dependence, self reliance and hard work. The culture of the Punjab comprises many elements including music such as bhangra, an extensive religious and non-religious dance tradition, a long history of poetry in the Punjabi language, a significant film industry which dates back to before Partition, a vast range of cuisine which has become widely popular abroad, and a number of seasonal and harvest festivals such as Lohri, Basant, Baisakhi and Teej, all of which are celebrated in addition to the religious festivals of India. Punjabi wedding traditions and ceremonies are a strong reflection of Punjabi culture. Marriage ceremonies are known for their rich rituals, songs, dances, food and dresses, which have evolved over many centuries.
The Punjabi language, written in the Gurmukhi script, is the only official and most commonly used language in the state. The language is now popular across India and the wider world due to large scale migration of Punjabis and the rich Punjabi music. Punjabi has always been an integral part of Indian Bollywood cinema. Punjabi is also the most spoken language in Pakistan and is the provincial language of Punjab (Pakistan), the second largest and the most populous province of Pakistan. It is also the second official language in the Indian states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the National capital of Delhi.
Apart from India and Pakistan, Punjabi is the second most spoken language in England and fourth most spoken language in Canada according to official census. Among the world languages, Punjabi is the 11th most spoken language in the world. The major dialects of Punjabi spoken in Punjab are Majhi, Malwi, Pwadhi and Doabi. Other languages common in Punjab are English, Hindi, Urdu (mainly in Malerkotla) and Bihari languages.
Sikhism is the predominant faith in Punjab. More than 60% of the people in the state are Sikhs, while the remaining population mostly follow a dual religious traditions, believing in Sikhism along with their major faith. The holiest of Sikh shrines, the Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (Golden Temple), is in the city of Amritsar. The Sri Akal Takht Sahib which resides within the Golden temple complex is the temporal seat of Sikhs. Hinduism has a large following in Punjab and is the second most practiced faith in Punjab. Hinduism has a large following in Punjab and is the second most practiced faith in Punjab. A large segment of Punjabis who are now categorized as Hindus or who identify themselves as Punjabi Hindus, continue to live out heterogeneous religious practice that includes spiritual kinship with Sikhism. Punjabi Hindus go to Hindu temples for worship. In addition to that, they also believe in Sikh Gurus and liberal Sufi saints. It is also very common for Hindus to worship at the Gurudwara. Other religions like Islam(1.5%) and Christianity(1.2%) are also followed by few people in the state,beside Buddhism(0.2%) and Jainism(0.2%).
Punjab has a distinguished tradition of art and craft, which its people have maintained in spite of the passage of time. For years, craftsmen in Punjab have been producing colourful papier mache utensils, intricate needle work, wicker fans and winnows, handmade leather juttis.
Listed below are some of the popular arts/crafts of Punjab: