Meghalaya Culture & Tradition. The communities of Meghalaya include Khasis, Garo, and Jaintia. Also said that people from these communities. Came to Meghalaya from South East Asia. The people of Meghalaya are very much known for their cheerful nature and adaptability. Each community has its customs and cultural traditions. The Khasis (of Mon-Khmer ancestry), the Garos (of Tibeto-Burman origin). Along the Jaintias said to be from South East Asia. The common trait binding all three communities is its matrilineal system. In this, the family linage is taken from the mother’s side.
While many people from the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo communities have converted to Christianity. We can see many churches, temples, mosques, gurudwaras, and monasteries in Meghalaya.
This region is rich in tribal culture and folk tradition. Dance and drink along with the sound of buffalo horns, flutes. And mridangas forms an integral part of the social ceremonies and religious ceremonies. Marriage relationships are outside their clan. Meghalaya Culture & Tradition.
English is spoken and thus it is the official language of the state. The other main languages of the state include Khasi and Garo. Many other languages are also used in Meghalaya. For example, Panar, Tiwa, Baite, Nepali language is used in almost all parts of Meghalaya state.
Most of the people in the cities use the English language and people in rural areas use different languages. Meghalaya Culture & Tradition.
Meghalaya has three main tribes Khasi, Jaintias, and Garos. The traditional dress of each tribe is peculiar. A skirt used by women is called Jympien. It is either a cotton or endi type. Over which an apron (Kyrshah) is suspended from the left shoulder and loops down to the legs. For outdoor use, a Jainsem is suspended from over both shoulders. And looping down below the knee. Jainsem is a modification of the Indian saree, that covers the entire body and can be of cotton or silk. Meghalaya Culture & Tradition.
A headcover is Tapmoh the upper ends of which keeps the head enfolds. The two ends fastened behind the neck. From the neck, it loops below the cover of the upper part of the body. A mantle is draped from over the shoulders. The two ends begin tightened at the chest. It covers the lower end of the tapmoh and hangs down beneath the kyrshah. It is a loose sort of shirting. The dress varies from place to place.
The men of Meghalaya usually wear dhoti kind of apparel. It is mostly unstitched and they pull on a jacket along with headgear or turban. Men’s dress is a sleeveless coat worn until the close of the last century. Cotton cloth of thick texture having a fringe below. A waist girdle of cotton was worn beneath. Over the sleeveless coat Jymphong, a wrapper was suspended. Jymphong is traditionally worn but only limited to festivals. In daily life, you don’t see men sporting Jymphong. Later on, a dhoti was replaced for the waist girdle. A triangular car and a wooden headgear were worn. Ordinary men wear mostly cotton clothes. While Syiems and other dignitaries prefer silk patterns. Jeans and Jackets are common in daily wear. Meghalaya Culture & Tradition.
The main food of the residents here is rice, dried fish, and meat. It also can be called “Non-vegetarian’s” paradise. These people are very fond of them, is their delicacy. People of Meghalaya eat wild animals like deer, bison, wild pigs, fish, prawns, crabs, eels, and dry fish. They rear domestic animals like goats, pigs, fowls, and ducks only to feast on them. They take cooked, dries, and smoked meat and fish. Beef is popular in Meghalaya, you will find shops selling the red meat in every corner of Shillong city. Arum plant and bamboo shoots are the daily items in the family menu. There is a variety of edible mushrooms and tuberous roots eaten. Meghalaya Culture & Tradition.
Fair and Festivals
‘Pamblang-Nongkrem‘ of Meghalaya is a major religious festival of specialties. It is celebrated for five days. Also known as ‘Nongkrem‘. Celebrated in a village called ‘Smit’. Situated about 11 km from Shillong. Shad Suk Minseem is an important festival of specialties. This festival is celebrated every year in Shillong in the second week of April. ‘Bisinikhalam Jaintia‘ is an important festival for tribals. It is celebrated in the month of July in Jowai town of Jaintia Hills. The Garo tribes celebrate a festival called ‘Wangala‘ in October- November. In honor of a deity named Saljong ( Sun God ). This festival is celebrated for about a week. Meghalaya Culture & Tradition.
Dance and Music
Meghalaya is the home of famous music and dance forms of North East India. The dance is associated with their festivals or seasons and hence enjoyed round the year. The dances are social, religious, agricultural, funeral, and recreational. The land resounds the sound of perfect tempo, beautiful songs, and traditional instruments. The dances of Meghalaya are mostly held under the open sky. Meghalaya Culture & Tradition.
Art and Crafts
There are several crafts found in Meghalaya. The significant ones are cane and bamboo work, artistic weaving, and wood carving. Wood-crafts are not transacted for trade. They are age-old motifs of artistic, decorative, and ceremonial value.
The people of Meghalaya consisting of three ancient hill communities – the Garos, Khasis, and the Jaintias. They have a special skill in crafting and making traditional bamboo and cane products. Most of the tribes are engaged in different types of handicraft making. That includes bamboo and cane products. Meghalaya Culture & Tradition.
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