Art and Craft
Haryana mainly has a rural economy and Pottery is one of the main occupation. While the potter works on the wheel, he has a helper (usually his son or a relative) mixing clay, while a woman (his wife or a sister) makes intricate designs into the finished vessel or toy. From utensils to toys to decorative pieces, clay forms the most essential ingredient on which the potter literally survives. Seasonal festivals call for the potter to get cracking he has to make hundreds of toys like miniature cows, horses, people, houses and sepoys which are then sold in brightly decorated stalls along dusty lanes.
Embroidery, Weaving and Handlooms
Haryana is quite famous for its woven work, be it shawls, durries, robes or lungis. The Haryana shawl is known as "Phulkari". It is an offshoot of the shawl from Kashmir. It is a spectacular piece of clothing, full of magnificent colors and intricate embroidery. Worn with a tight-fitting choli (blouse) and Ghagra (long skirt), it forms the basic winter wear for the women of Haryana. A deviation from the phulakri is the "bagh" (garden). In this case, the entire cloth is covered with embroidery. The phulkari is made by female members of a house, and takes a long time to make; sometimes even a few years. Traditionally, work on a phulkari commences from the time a daughter is born in the family and is given to her at her wedding. Against a red background, motifs of birds, flowers and human figures are stitched into the cloth. In Haryana, durrie making is concentrated in and around Panipat.
Haryana has a rich tradition of folk music. Even villages have been named after classical ragas. In Dadri tehsil, several villages have names related to well known ragas. These are Nandyam, Sarangpur, Bilawala, Brindabana, Todi, Asaveri, Jaishri, Malakoshna, Hindola, Bhairavi, Gopi Kalyana etc. Similarly in Jind district there are Jai Jai Vanti, Malavi etc.The folk music of Haryana generally falls in to two categories :
The group song that is closely linked with the classical form of singing comes under this category. The themes of such songs are usually mythological. Allah, Jaimalphalla, Barahmas, some Teej songs, Phag and Holi songs belong to this group.
Country side music
This group includes legendary tales, such as Purana-Bhagata, ceremonial songs, seasonal songs, ballads etc. Its music survives in cross-cultural traits of social rapport. In such songs Jai Jai Vanti, Pahari, Bhairavi, Kafi, Jhinjhoti and Bhairav ragas are used. Raga Pilu is also used in some songs sung by the Ahirs, using a scale with twelve semi tones. The main credit for popularizing folk music in Haryana goes to Jogis, Bhats and Saangis. The Jogis use Sarangi as an accompaniment to their songs. They are proficient in using Allah, Jaimal-phatta and other heroic ballads with their rich melodies and resonant-appealing voice.
Better known as sang in Haryana, theatre forms an integral part of the state's culture. Theatre here is usually performed in rural areas, complete with a touch of folklore, music and narration from the sidelines. The word sang is the corrupted form of swang, which literally translated means imitating or diguising. The sang is the rural folk drama which expresses the interplay of love, depicting mythological and modern tales of valour, sacrifice, humour and whatever else comes to mind. With a deep rooted tradition, the sang is based on the open theatre style, i.e., they do it in the open. As in other parts of India, Ramleela and Rasleela are the more popular dramas, both being based on mythology and religion. A number of musical instruments like the ektara, dholak, kharta, sarangi and harmonium put a little flavour into the dialogues. Sangs are also performed at night, and the female characters are often played by men dressed as women. No, this isn't cross dressing; its just tradition. In recent times women have replaced the men, and they have their own sangs in which women play men instead of the other way round.