Culture in Jhunjhunu
Jhunjhunu, located in the north east corner of Rajasthan has been exposed to different cultures since times immemorial. Consequently, it has developed a unique culture of its own. This article tries to throw light on its different aspects.
Language Spoken in JhunjhunuAlthough Hindi is the official language of Rajasthan, people in Jhunjhunu often speak in different Rajasthani dialects. Among them, Shekhawati is the most commonly spoken language in this town. Although it has been established that the dialect is a branch of Indo Aryan languages very little work has been done on it. Like most other Indian languages, it follows a subject-object-verb pattern. However, the high tone and super segmental level of the language differentiate it from other Rajasthani languages.
Another dialect that can be commonly heard in this town is Marwari. A large community of Marwai merchants had settled in Jhunjhunu since the days of Thakur Sardul Singh and they still speak in this language, especially among themselves. Besides, Mawati, Ahirwati and Bagri are three other Rajasthani languages often heard in Jhunjhunu. However, if you do not know any of them, there is nothing to worry. As we have already pointed out, Hindi is the official language of the state and most people can communicate in that. Because of the influx of foreign tourists English is also understood by most.
Religion in Jhunjunu
Majority of the people in Jhunjhunu follow Hinduism. Different temples dedicated to different deities have been built at different period. A sizeable portion of the population also follows Jainism. The Jain Temple at Dada Bari is visited by many people every day.
Islam is also a major religion here. We do not exactly know, but it may happen that the religion was introduced when Quaimkhani Sultan Mahammed Khan seized the town by defeating the last Chouhan King in 1450. There are number of mosques and dargahs in this town. Among them, the Dargha of Kamuriddin Shah is very popular.
Costume in JhunjhunuIt is a fact that in Jhunjhunu few people wear their traditional costumes in their everyday life. In public places one can see men and women wearing convenient pan Indian dresses. Women mostly wear sarees while men are mostly seen in trousers and shirts. During the festivals however, one can see women wearing their traditional ghaghra, choli and odhni while men are seen in their pajama or dhoti, pagri and angarkha. Even if they do not wear the pajama or dhoti they are sure to sport the pagri.
Rajasthani attire, especially those of Jhunjhunu, is always brightly colored. The women also wear heavy jewelry studded with gems. Experts are of the opinion that because the surrounding is so bleak, people add color to their lives by opting for colorful dresses. Even today, women living in rural belt can be seen wearing traditional ghgara choli.
Music in JhunjhunuAs in everywhere else, modern Hindi songs are very popular in Jhunjhunu. This especially so among the youngsters. However, traditional folk music is equally popular here. These songs generally depict heroic deeds of long ago. Love stories too are another common subject of these songs. Religious and devotional songs too are very popular here.
Dances in Jhunjhunu
There are different types of folk dances prevalent in Rajasthan. As in rest of the state, these dance forms are equally popular in Jhunjhunu. Among them, Ghoomar was developed by the Bhils while Kalbelia was developed by a nomadic tribe of the same name. This tribe was expert in catching snake and they earned their living by selling snake venom. The Kalbelia dance portrays the impact of the socio economic changes on the life of these snake charmers. Babhai, Tera Tali, Chirami are some other folk dances that had been adapted by modern dancers of this region.
Apart from these folk dances, other forms of dances are equally popular in Jhunjhunu. Western dances too have great demand here. Following are some of the institutions, which offer dance lessons in Jhunjhunu:
A Just Dance Academy
Pin Code: 333001
Phone No: 99290-77354 (Director of the Academy)
Pin Code: 333001
Phone No: 96607-02096
Opposite J B Saha Girls’ Cllage
Pin code: 333001
Phone No: 97824-54317, 97851-32379
Art and Craft in Jhunjhunu
Jhunjhunu is famous for its tradition of art and craft. More significantly, such an artistic temperament has found expression in different ways. Frescos and murals in the havelis across Jhunjhunu speak highly of the artistic capabilities of the artisans here. Because of them, the area is now called Open Air Art Gallery of Rajasthan.
Other than that, artisans here produce beautiful Tie and Dye work, Lac work, Leather work etc. Specimens of such art forms are available in Phootla market in Jhunjhunu. Items made out of stone, clay, silver, gold, brass etc are also made by the artisans here.
Fairs and Festivals in Jhunjhunu
Teej, gangaur, dusserah, diwali and holy are some of the pan Rajasthani festivals celebrated in Jhunjhunu. Among the two festivals unique to Jhunjhunu are Rani Sati Fair and Sekhawati Festival. While the former is a religious festival the latter is a secular festival organized by the state government.
Among them, Rani Sati fair is held twice a year; once in Magh Krishna Navami and then in Bhado Amabashya. The Sekhawati Festival on the other hand is usually held on 10th and 11th February. This festival allows the tourists to have a glimpse into the rural life of Rajasthan. Camel and jeep safaris, farm visits, cultural programs, fireworks etc are the hallmarks of this festival. However, to allow a wider glimpse into the Sekhawati heritage, such festivals are also organized in Nawalgarh, Sikar and Churu.