There are many definitions of culture that have been written over time. Although the definitions vary, there are some core elements that are visible in these definitions. Culture can be described from Edward Tyler in Norton’s Cultural Geography as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morale, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by people as a member of society” (Norton 2000, 11, 16-17). Even though this definition was written in 1870, the elements it describes are the roots for many definitions that we perceive to be true. The Punjabi culture will be the focus of this research paper. Elements that will be studied include various artifacts, sociofacts and the Punjabi culture in Canada.
Punjabi culture originated in the northern state of India known as Punjab, referencing ‘Punj’ meaning five and ‘aab’ meaning water, and was derived for this region because of its five rivers. It’s located in the north-western part of India; and since 1947 Punjab has been split at the India – Pakistan border, making a province of Punjab in Pakistan as well as a state of Punjab in India. The paper will focus on the Indian state of Punjab. Punjab is 50,362 square kilometers. The capitol is Cha
51 million, with 70 living in rural Punjab. Almost all of a person"tms relatives will live in the same village, or in one nearby, for this reason a marriage of two people of the same village or last name is frowned upon. This can be seen as there are many Gurdwaras, religious temples, within these three communities. Generations of Punjabi"tms which are born or grow up abroad are divided when it comes to the knowledge of their culture. This can be seen in the festival of Baisakhi, which is both a religious festival as well as a celebration of reaping the crops grown in the year. (Brake 1996) Family ties and bonds are highly valued; elders are shown the utmost respect. Less and less first generation of Canadian born Punjabi"tms know about Sikhism. Joint families are common; it isn"tmt unusual to see brothers and their wives living together in the same household. There are religious camps held during March break, the summer, and winter break so that we can learn about our religion. There are talks of another Gurdwara to be opened in the Springdale suburb. Sikhism is based on the principles of Guru Nanak, the founder of the religion; and is deeply embedded in the roots of Punjabi culture. I found them to be educational; they were taught in both Punjabi and English, a way that all of us could understand. We know enough to get the broad picture of what the song is about, but not verse for verse.