Portal:Punjab

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The Punjab (پنجاب (Shahmukhi); ਪੰਜਾਬ (Gurumukhi)), also spelled Panjab, is a geographical and cultural region in the northern part of South Asia, comprising areas of eastern Pakistan and northern India. Not being a political unit, the extent of the region is the subject of debate and focuses on historical events to determine its boundaries.

There are two main definitions of the Punjab region: the 1947 definition and the older 1799-1849 definition. The third definition incorporates both the 1947 and the older definitions but also includes northern Rajasthan on a linguistic basis and ancient river movements.

1947 definition

Using the 1947 definition, the Punjab region borders Kashmir to the north, Sindh and Rajasthan to the south, the Pashtun region and Balochistan to the west, and the Hindi belt to the east. Accordingly, the Punjab region is very diverse and stretches from the hills of the Kangra Valley to the plains and to the Cholistan Desert.

1799-1849 definition

Using the Sikh Empire definition, the Punjab region covers a large territory and can be divided into five natural areas:

  • the eastern mountainous region including Jammu Division and Azad Kashmir;
  • the trans-Indus region including Peshawar;
  • the central plain with its five rivers;
  • the north-western region, separated from the central plain by the Salt Range between the Jhelum and the Indus rivers;
  • the semi-desert to the south of the Sutlej river.

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The Punjabis (Punjabi: پنجابی, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ), also Panjabis or Punjabi people, are an ethnic group native to or associated with the Punjab, who speak the Punjabi language. 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 CE. 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.

Historically, the Punjabi people were a heterogeneous group and were subdivided into a number of clans called biradari (literally meaning "brotherhood") or tribes, with each person bound to a clan. However, Punjabi identity also included those who did not belong to any of the historical tribes. With the passage of time tribal structures are coming to an end and are being replaced with a more cohesive and holistic society, as community building and group cohesiveness form the new pillars of Punjabi society.

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Portrait of Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708), was the 10th Sikh Guru, a spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed as the leader of the Sikhs at age nine, becoming the last of the living Sikh Gurus. His four sons died during his lifetime in Muslim-Sikh wars – two in battle, two executed by the Mughal government.

Among his notable contributions to Sikhism are founding the Sikh warrior community called Khalsa in 1699 and introducing the Five Ks, the five articles of faith that Khalsa Sikhs wear at all times. Guru Gobind Singh also continued the formalisation of the religion, wrote important Sikh texts, and enshrined the scripture the Guru Granth Sahib as Sikhism's eternal Guru.

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AzesIIFineCoin.jpg


A coin of the Scythian king Azes.

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There is a Shahmukhi پنجابی version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

There is a Gurmukhi ਪੰਜਾਬੀ version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


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