The pinnacle of the power for any local Punjabi population came in the later part of the 18th century when Sikh Empire was established by Ranjit Singh who conquered almost whole of Kashmir along with modern day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and annexed it into greater Punjab region. The coalescence of the various tribes, castes and the inhabitants of the Punjab into a broader common “Punjabi” identity initiated from the onset of the 18th century. Prior to that the sense and perception of a common “Punjabi” ethno-cultural identity and community did not exist, even though the majority of the various communities of the Punjab had long shared linguistic, cultural and racial commonalities.
Traditionally, Punjabi identity is primarily linguistic, geographical and cultural. Its identity is independent of race, color, creed or religion, and refers to those for whom the Punjabi language(s) is the first language or recognizable language and those who reside in the Punjab region and associate with its population. Integration and assimilation are important parts of Punjabi culture, since Punjabi identity is not based on tribal connections or race. More or less all Punjabis share the same cultural background.
If you are not a Punjabi yourself, then get ready for a boatload of surprises. Getting married to a Punjabi? You will spend the rest of your life with, arguably, the happiest people on earth but with a few side effects. Just don’t bother to change them, because nothing done in the past has worked. Enjoy the ride and get used to these 16 things:
1. Everyone, almost everyone around you will talk loudly; get used to it. Even if you are standing just inches away from people at home, they will still shout out to you, as if you were standing a few blocks away from them.
2. Almost every day, there is going to be some sort of drama. The smallest things will trigger emotional outbursts. It may involve — you have been warned — crying and cursing, too. Just hold your ground, count till 100 if you are scared or bored and let it pass. Punjabis get back to their good-natured selves very soon.
3. Don’t forget to use the standard prefix “Ji” else you will be insulting everyone if you don’t do that. No matter what you call your mom and dad, when married into a Punjabi family, mummy becomes ‘mummy ji’, Daddy become ‘daddy Ji’, your sister-in-law becomes ‘Parjhai ji’ , and so on.
4. A Punjabi family is not big, it’s huge, and you’ve got to keep it like that. Relatives are going to be there in every part of the country, and the world. You will have to please them, whether they come from Bhatinda, Ludhiana, Chandigarh or Canada.
5. Kanneda ( Canada) and Amreeka ( America) are sacred places. Anyone who stays there is an important NRI relative. They are addressed as Kanneda wali bua ji, Kanneda wale Chacha Ji, Kanneda wale Phofa ji, and you must give them special attention, care and time.
6. Breakfast means Paranthas. And if the temperature outside is soaring, there’s Lassi too. Once married into a Punjabi family, forget about dieting. Firstly, they don’t like thin and lean people, and, secondly, they won’t let you go on a diet come what may. Don’t worry about variety. There’s aloo, gobhi, muli, daal, even egg ka parantha, which will always be served with a large dollop of butter and a glass of Lassi.
7. Don’t even think about saying “I don’t know how to dance”. It’s the biggest offence to not be able to dance if you’re in a Punjabi family. They don’t expect you to be professional or poised, as far as you can shake your legs a bit (wildly).
8. Forget about saving, only think about giving. Punjabis are the most generous people. Being generous runs in the blood of Punjabis.
9. Sometimes they show off a bit, but it’s all in good faith. Latest jewellery, big cars, big house, lavish weddings, huge meals; they are going to show off in every aspect of life, wherever it is possible to do so.
10. Don’t mind, but most Punjabis can’t converse without abusing.
11. Be ready for the family hug at every occasion. No matter if it’s a birthday party, anniversary or wedding, it remains incomplete without a BIG family hug.
12. Nothing will ever compare to the warmth and love of Beeji. Anything small or big, beeji (grandma) will always take your side and lend you unconditional support through thick and thin.
13. B is always for butter chicken.
14. All the despairs will be drowned in alcohol. Ask for as much as you want.
15. You cannot wear plain clothes; it is below the prestige of the family. And if you do, this is what you should expect from your mother-in-law.
16. And lastly, to qualify as a Punjabi bahu (daughter in law), you must know how to make perfectly round chapattis.If not, nothing else can compensate it! Self Confidence at its Peak!
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