The culture of Punjab has
its own unique fragrance. It is unmatched. The scent of this
fertile land is such in which the warmth of you-are-my-own is
inborn. All communities hold pride in their traditions and the
Punjabis whose open-mindedness has become proverbial also hold
their unique tradition of hospitality high in their estimation
as well as in their values of life. A guest in Punjab is considered
as a representative sent by God.
Hospitality promotes brotherhood and holds a special significance
for bringing people closer; love and kindness flow out of it.
In Punjab they say that the more you love the more it multiplies
and you get back many more times the kindness that you give.
land of Punjab, which is described as the land of Gurus, Pirs
and the warriors, as a matter of faith believes in earning honest
living through hard labour and in sharing the fruits of this
labour with others, without expecting any returns. Hospitality
is a living aspect of Punjabi culture, which is shown even to
the migratory birds that sojourn here.
Punjabis not only profess and practice hospitality in their
own land but also carry it, untainted and virgin, to the lands
where they immigrate. There is no country in the world where
Punjabis have not created waves.
Hospitality binds people together in bonds of love; it increases
circles of friendship and makes the atmosphere aglow with human
warmth. Punjabis have proved this in all corners of the world
in seemingly alien lands and because of these qualities they
have been willingly accepted as useful, responsible citizens
of the world, warm neighbours and good friends.
When the British landed in Punjab as victors they were astonished
to find that every little village and every mohalla in
the larger cities of Punjab had special places to receive and
honour guests, and that the people of this land were irrepressible
extroverts. The District Gazetteers of the time bring forth
Punjab's generous hospitality in bold relief.
Although Punjab has received hospitality as God's gift, on account
of recent disturbances and rising prices it is coming under
strain in the towns and cities. However, in villages it still
reigns supreme. It resides in the soul of rural folk. Reach
a home in the middle of the night, the ladies will happily get
up and cook fresh food for you. You can't pass by certain villages
without enjoying hospitality. You'll be looked after so long
as you stay. You will be warmly sent off, not empty-handed,
but with a gift of whatever is available in the house.
Like all other human traits of the people of Punjab, their hospitality
is also guileless, rare and intense. It is a ubiquitous theme
of Punjabi folklore. When the crow, sitting atop the roof, crows,
or dough when it is being kneaded bubbles, folk songs tell us
that these are auspicious omens that mean a guest is on his
way. There are several other sayings that speak of the pleasures
derived by looking after visitors.
Good habitat, laughter, playfulness and love from the environment
in which hospitality grows. May the culture of this blessed
land of the five rivers perpetuate and ever grow.