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olden days, the profession of the people decided their caste. This system has
now been broken. Today, individuals have the freedom to opt for any profession
irrespective of caste. The profession based caste system has now been
transformed into birth-based caste system. People of various castes and
sub-castes reside in Rajasthan.
The Marwadis are sturdy, cheerful and
simple folks relatively untouched by the fast pace of modern times making
Marwad (Rajasthan) one of the safest destinations anywhere in the world.
Colourful and Ornamental
also one of the most colourful. To offset the barren, colourless landscape and
the monotony of its cloudless sky, the people of Marwad (Rajasthan) show a distinct
preference for bright costumes. From the simple village folk or tribal to the
Rajas and Ranis, the preferred colours are bright red, dazzling yellow, lively
green or brilliant orange, highlighted by a lavish use of sparkling gold and
silver zari or gota.
Tribal and nomadic women are known for their love
for silver jewellery (although men too sport ear studs and earrings). The
ornaments follow age-old designs typical of a particular tribe. In daily use the
ladies wear normal ornaments of neck, hand, nose and ear but on special
occasions and social functions. Women wear all the ornaments of different parts
of the body to look beautiful and attractive. For its exquisite designs and
delicacy of art Marwadi (Rajasthan) Jewellry is a rage not only for ladies of India but
also for women of foreign countries.
In India, the
turban is popularly known as a pagdi (Safa). There are different variations of the
turban, depending on the religion and region. In fact, in Marwad Rajasthan, it is said
that the turban style changes with every 15km you travel. And Rajput turbans are
different from Sikh turbans, which are in turn different from the classical Arab
turbans. Then, there are the royal turbans from different parts of India, and
the rural turban which is often just a towel wound round the head. India is a
land of diversities. And it is all the more pronounced in Rajasthan. An old
local saying sums it up -
"The dialect, cuisine, water and turbans in
Rajasthan change every 12 miles."
In fact there are about 1,000 different
styles and types of turbans in Rajasthan, each denoting the class, caste and
region of the wearer.Turbans come in all shapes, sizes and colours; and there
are specific turbans for specific occasions as well.
A lineage of beautiful women
Marwadi women have been renowned for their grace and beauty.
Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, was so smitten by the beauty of the
legendary Maharani Padmini Devi that he waged a war -in vain -
for her hand. In her heydays, the present day Rajmata of Jaipur, Maharani
Gayatri Devi, was considered by Vogue to be amongst the Ten Most Beautiful Women
in the World. And her charm hasn't diminished one bit till
Marwaris - the Jewls of
The term Marwadi literally refers
to someone who hails from or is an inhabitant of Marwad - the erstwhile Jodhpur
state. This term gained currency initially in Bengal, where the traders from
Shekhawati and other parts of Rajasthan established their business empires.
Distinct in their dress, customs and language, the traders and merchants of
Rajasthan came to be known as Marwaris. Rajasthan's greatest contribution to the
country's economy has been in the field of Human Resources. The term Marwadi is
a misnomer. Literally speaking, it signifies a person from the Marwar(Jodhpur)
region of Rajasthan, although the majority of Rajasthan's businessmen are from
the Shekhavati belt. However, colloquially it has come to denote emigrant
businessmen from the vicinity of Rajasthan.
Traditionally, traders par
excellence, they migrated from their home state way back in the 16th century and
established trading outposts as far away as Assam - the eastern corner of India.
With their ingrained thrift and perseverance (in those days, people had to walk
miles and miles over scorching sands for a pot of water!) and business acumen,
they soon converted these small businesses into industrial empires. Today, the
marwaris dominate India's business and economy. As an American sociologist put
it, "more than half the assets in the modern sector of the Indian economy are
controlled by the trading castes originating in the northern half of