Himachal Pradesh - People and Lifestyle
Most of the people in Himachal depend on agriculture for livelihood. Many people derive their income from sheep, goats, and other cattle. Ninety percent of the people live in villages and small towns. Villages usually have terraced fields and small two storey houses with sloping roof. The villages are mostly self-contained with a few shops to take care of basic necessities of life. Most villages have a temple, where people congregate for worship. In many parts of the Himachal the village Gods are carried on palanquins to village fairs. On Dussehra the largest congregation of village Gods takes place at Kullu. The folk songs of Himachal Pradesh are full of charm. They are usually based on a religious or a romantic theme. People gather in a circle in village fairs and dance to the tune of these songs. The dancing is usually spontaneous during a village fair and is symbolic of the peace and joy of the people. In general people of Himachal Pradesh are honest, truthful, gentle, and good humored. The beauty of Himachal is enhanced by its inhabitants-mostly farmers- known for their charm, tolerance and honesty. Himachal Pradesh with its strudy hill people is well-known for its centuries old custumes and other garments.
The 'Gujjar' folk have a unique mode of dress, quite different from the usual woollen sarees and gowns worn by the rest of Himachali women. Gujjar men and women alike, wear a cotton shirt known as "Kurta". Delicately embroidered with circular and linear patterns, the 'Kurtas' are in deep colours. Interestingly enough the lines and circles on the Kurta symbolise milk, and the dark background the colour of the buffalo. The Chamba folk are extremely fond of adornment. Head scarves are worn by the women, and these are usually of bright printed cotton and knotted at the back. Bangles and rings made of horse-hair are the typical accessories worn by the Chamba women. Climb blithely over the rocky hill-sides, the people wear sturdy grass shoes, comfortable and warm inside and brightly patterned on the outside.