The Indian state of Punjab is located in the north west of India and has a population of around 24 million people. The state hunger index indicates that Punjab has the lowest hunger level throughout India, with less than one quarter of children under five being underweight. Although still worse than countries like Vietnam, this is a dramatic improvement when compared to other states in the country.
Agriculture is currently the largest source of income in the state with Punjab being the largest single provider of wheat throughout India. The area of Punjab is one of the most fertile regions in the world so it is unsurprising that a number of crops grow there. Punjab is often known as ‘India’s bread basket’ due to the rice, wheat, sugar, fruit and vegetables that grow throughout the region.
Although there are not many corporations or large industrial units in Punjab, the state is renowned for its textile industry. 70% of the best quality cotton in India is produced in Punjab and cotton mills are located in many of the large cities. The state of Punjab recently won the ‘best state performance’ award and this can be accredited to its fantastic infrastructure consisting of extensive road, air, rail and river transportation. Other revenue in the country comes from the manufacture of electrical goods, bicycles, fertilizers and tourism.
Punjabi culture is one of the oldest in the world and can be found to date back to ancient times. Due to the large numbers of people from Punjab who are now stationed elsewhere in the world, many people may know some parts of Punjabi culture without even realizing it. Punjabi music is now heard all over the world in its most popular form – Bhangra. The Bhangra dances are also popular in the west due to their high energy and colorfulness. Punjabi dances can range from high energy to more reserved and are often displayed at weddings, festivals and other celebrations.
Another widespread Punjabi culture is the Punjab cuisine. With such an immense range of dishes full of delicious ingredients this has also become popular throughout the world. From tandoors to pakoras, parathas to naans, it is likely many people will have eaten Punjab cuisine without even realizing it.