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Changing expressions of Punjabi Culture


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    The water of five rivers has a deep influence on the lifestyle and culture of Punjabis. It is something unique about this land that distinguishes it from the rest of the world. The sweat in fields of Punjab is like the life support system of its people. The spiritual attitude of our people makes our land more comfortable than any soft and luxurious mattress discovered by scientific innovations. Guru Nanak realized this comfort, while He slept in His fields and a cobra could not resist from shadowing Him. This is why the land of Punjab is divine and we the people of Punjab are sons and daughters of a divine mother. Also, this is why even the animal Cobra of this land is spiritual in his nature.

    The farmer of Punjab brings out the most creative part of Nature in his fields. He nourishes and cares for his crop in the same way as a mother cares for her child. Human race and human soul is unable to derive the level of satisfaction from any materialistic achievements as the farmer of Punjab achieves while working on his crops- his children.

    The diet for human soul is in one’s faith. When we try to satisfy our hungry soul, we develop our relationship with our Guru, we sing the glories and praises of Almighty. This is our mere foolishness today that we are trying to satisfy our souls with western imitation and materialistic advancements. This is only increasing the vacuum in our spirits and the hollowness is getting stretched as we try to fill it with materials, but in fact it is increasing our distance from our soil. In physical terms, this spiritual void has not allowed us to bring about any revolution after the Green Revolution. The energy, which can produce higher level of spiritual enlightenment, higher level of wisdom, and higher thought in the benefit of the entire mankind, is deflected with the materialistic attitude.

    As is expressed by German thinker Goethe in his famous book Faust, "What you inherit from your father, earn it anew before you call it yours." The diligent attitude of Punjab is also prevalent in our culture. But unfortunately, our culture is not getting appreciated anywhere in world for its fragrance or its beauty because the current youth is not re-earning it. According to the current understandings the meaning of culture is restricted to the cacophony telecasted over the television termed as folk songs. The hollow sense of pride being eulogized and appreciation for drinking, in the modern Punjabi music by the so called Punjabi singers is not more than low level of noise that has no lasting spiritual impact but is able to temporarily excite or thrill a person with zero soul consciousness. It is not the food for one’s soul. The human soul is thirsty and is waiting for real life in music.

    Honestly speaking, true art is the one that has a capacity of generating higher feelings in human soul and capable of giving new meaning to culture. As is said by Puran Singh, "Art must agitate our souls. It must churn the blue ocean and, out of it bring a new sun and a new moon for the human race." Looking at the current paucity of culture and its appreciators he further adds, “ Slaves only appreciate microscopic drops on the lotus leaves, the freed men on the other hand play with the sea and the sun and the moon.”

    The imagination of a person is the core of every art. Without any imagination there is no creativity that can ever take place. Man is dead without imagination. It is only the physical body that lives while the soul is dead. The worst impact of current media is that one’s imagination is getting murdered. All that we watch on television is the imagination of a director or a scriptwriter etc, while the audience is just watching and clapping. Almost everybody is unknown of the fact that this fictitious world is killing one’s own capacity to create. We don’t even know that we have become slaves of this culture or these fads and the actors who are making joke of them selves on the stage are actually laughing at our blindness by killing mankind’s creativity.

    "First life. Then, its Expression" says Puran Singh. The expression of life is exhibited in the art with which we live on this earth. It is only the expression that makes a life or reduces it to a mere corpse. There is a difference between living and existing. Most of us exist on this earth, while only few live. The life of a person that is expressed in his daily routine has to be of utmost strength and higher character. A real expression of life is the one that becomes one’s prayer. Pity and purity in routine life is the real living of Punjab. Let us all try to rise back to it.

    -By Amandeep Singh Khalsa - Michgan, USA

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