The term Maharashtra means a vast country. Indeed, Maharashtra is a vast nation of diverse cultures and people. The diversity is visible in the costumes, cuisines, arts and craft, music and dance, and so many more aspects of the state. The diversity of culture and tradition depends upon the variations in the physical features of the state. People of Maharashtra respect their culture in a great way and this is seen in their appearance, their behaviors and their daily living. Let us explore the miscellany of the people and culture of Maharashtra in a keener manner.
With varying land forms, physical features, accent of language and people, the costume culture of the state also varies from place to place and time to time. Most men in the Maharashtrian villages will be seen in dhotis – old styled pantaloons, kurtas – long shirt like outfit, and phetas – turbans or caps. Women all over Maharashtra are seen in sarees and blouses. The traditional Maharashtrian sarees are worn in dhoti style by women. In cities, however, the western culture has taken more of a grip which can be seen among men wearing jeans, trousers, shirts, tees and full suits, while women wear jeans, tops, skirts, salwar suits, and modern styled sarees. To describe the attires of a typical Maharashtrian couple – a man with a kurta, a dhoti and an archetypal Maharashtrian topi (cap); and a woman with a typical Maharashtrian style saree from Paithan or Narayan Peth, lightly ornamented jewelry and a pallu over her head. Colors are very important in the dressing culture of Maharashtra, and all Maharashtrians appear in brightly colored costumes. The feet dress up in simple yet stylish, in their own way, Kolhapuri chappals.
Food, for the Maharashtrian people, is not just something to fill the appetite. They consider food, or anna, as Lord Brahma – creator of the universe. People of this state believe that they would only be worth eating food if it is first served to their God, in the form of thanksgiving. And only then will it be a real source of energy. Thus, at every meal, they first offer the first few bites of their dishes to their Gods and then begin to feed themselves. The cuisine culture in Maharashtra varies from place to place, and yet you can find all the food in Maharashtra to have commonness in the flavor. While the Konkani and Varadi cuisines would kill the hunt for spice and a tinge of coconut in the flavor, the foods from other parts of the state are milder in taste and will satiate people with sensitive taste buds. The best part of the Maharashtrian cuisines is the desserts. They have countless recipes for desserts in store. And they have a new recipe for every new occasion. Right from the Tilguds on MakarSankranti in January to the Besan Laddus and Karanjees on Diwali by the end of the year – the Maharashtrian kitchens are never short of ingredients to prepare desserts.
The Art Culture
Living, in itself, is an art. You cannot differentiate various activities of a day into arts and non- arts. Every thing is an art and by this art I mean performing an activity in a way better than the best. Well, the Maharashtrian art culture talks about a different kind of art, which pertains to the creativity and its exposure. There are artistry and crafts, dance and music to define the art among the people and culture of Maharashtra. The various fort and palace landmarks of the state are live icons of Maharashtrian art and culture. Various dance forms and the variety in music, enhance the joy of any celebration and, in fact, make life a great celebration itself. The famous dance form Povada displays the lifetime achievements of great Maharashtrian ruler Shivaji Maharaj.
Maharashtra is a state never done with its culture and art. People of Maharashtra are vey warm and welcoming to any one and every one who arrives to them as a visitor. They follow the Indian tradition of ‘Guest is the God’. The people and culture of Maharashtra state are a very enriching experience to have and be with. You are recommended to visit Maharashtra, taste its cuisines, dress up in the typical attires for one day and celebrate with music and dance, for at least once a life time. Not done so, the loss is yours. The beauty of indigenous Maharashtra solely lies in its people and culture.