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Punjabi People

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PEOPLE

The swarms of nomads and conquering armies poured into Punjab in the past had made it the meeting ground of different people and races into a heterogeneous racial element. The ancient Aryans who were later called Dasyus were pushed towards the South by the Indo - Aryans who were fair complexioned, tall and sharp in features. But a small section remained in Punjab with whom in course of time the Persians, the Greeks, the Parathians, the Scynthians, the Kushans, the Huns, the Turks, the Mongols and Afghans made inroads and stayed back, adjusted with the indigenous population contributing to their culture.

The Sikh Jats are primarily agriculturalists of the majority population of Punjab. One group believes that these sturdy and industrious people belong to the Zatho of Strabo and Jatu of Ptolemy and perhaps entered Punjab from their home land of Oxus towards 2nd cent. B C, while others hold that they belong to the Rajput race. The Khatris and Aroras are the trading class of people and belong to the direct line of Kshatriyas of the Aryan race. The Brahmins and the Vaishas who are divided into several sub-castes are also seen in Punjab. The Sainis and Kambohs are agricultural tribes. While the Sainis origin from the Rajputs, the Kambohs came from the Kamboj Desh of Afghanistan during the period of Mahabharat to fight in the side of the Kauravas and settled in India. The nomadic tribes of Punjab are Sansis, Pakhi-waras, the Bawris, the Bazigars and are aboriginal in their origin.

The pattern of settlement in Punjabi village is mostly uniform and unique. Each village or Patti claims descent from a common ancestor and in every village one clan dominates.

The Jats are sub-divided into various clans like Sindhus and Sidhu Brars. From Sindhu clan sprang up the great families like Phulkians of Patiala, Nabha, Jind, Brars of Faridkot, the Bhullers. Principal Jab clans of Majha are Dhillon, Randhawa, chahil, Sindhu. The Sindhus and Gills who are Raghubansi branch of Suryabanshi Rajputs while have settled in Amritsar and Jullunder region, the Randhawas, Bains, Saudhus, Gills are found in the Doab districts.

The Khatris have branched of to Dhai ghares, the Charzatis, the Punjzatis, the Chhezatis, the Sarins, the Bahris, and the Khakhrains. The Bedis and Sodhis belong to Bunjali tribe and are seen in Dera Baba Nanak and Hoshiarpur respectively. Sainis have settled in Jullunder, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Rupar while the Kambohs in Patiala, Kapurthala, Amritsar and Ferozepur respectively. The Sanses being a nomadic tribe hardly settle at one place but they are mostly seen in the areas of Ludhiana, Amritsar and Gurdaspur.

Rural village is the unit of social - economic structure of Punjab. Predominantly being an agriculture based state, every village though independent and self-sufficient is closely knit and inter-dependent. Thus, "Punjab Society is not a mosaic made up of separate and self-sufficient village fragments. It is more like a carpet in which each part, although unified and indetifiable in itself, is inextricably woven into the fabric."

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