If you have ever heard about India, chances are you have heard lots about Punjab. Easily one of the most famous states of India for its vibrant culture and industrious people, Punjab is one of the leading states of the country. Nature’s bounty has made this land the food bowl of India, and the hard working people have made a name for themselves throughout the world.
Other than the green revolution, another thing very famous about Punjab is its extremely vibrant culture. Infectious Punjabi music forms with its rhythmic beat form an essential part of practically every movie that is churned out by the famous Indian film industry, Bollywood. While Punjabis are the butt of many jokes, their ability to turn odds on their head is well respected.
When it comes to Punjabi home décor, there are two distinct trends that emerge – the rural and the urban.
The first being the village or the rural trend, in which the décor is pretty simple. Simple furniture such as beds woven from jute husk and seating on the ground is popular. The kitchen is generally separated from the main house. When food is served the men folk eat first and the women eat later.
The villages of Punjab produce some popular home décor items as well. One being the famous Phulkari, that is a very colorful embroidery using thick cotton thread and made into bed spreads, duvet covers et all. Sometimes traditional phulkari embroidery is also used in part to design smaller pieces such as decorative cushion covers, tea-cozy, table covers and mats. This form of embroidery can be generally picked up in emporiums showcasing Punjabi culture, culture fairs or even online shops.
Another famous produce is the cotton ‘Durrie’. The durrie is basically a simple mat made of course cotton and is usually used as a floor rug. Very often it is also used as bedding, or under mattresses to avoid slipping of the bed clothes. The navy blue color being most popular, colors such as red, green, gray, brown are all available. The durrie is long lasting, versatile in its use and very practical.
Steel utensils are preferred for use in rural Punjab. Expect large sized steel glasses that hold nearly a full liter of ‘lassi’ or butter milk, the preferred summer drink of rural Punjab. Even water and milk is offered in these huge glasses and guests are generally expected to finish the whole thing!
Outside a lot of Punjabi village homes you would find colorful ceramic tiles decorating the entrance or the main arch. This is again in line with the inherent nature of the Punjabis to try and show off their wealth to the world.
An interesting thing you may well notice about rural Punjabi homes is shaped water tanks. Thus you would find a large sized concrete bird perched on top of one house, a horse on another, numerous footballs, even aeroplanes and statues of wrestlers! I would again link this to the basic Punjabi trait of seeking attention and displaying wealth.
In my next article we shall delve some more into the home décor patterns of urban Punjab. See you soon!