The Punjabi People are passionate people wearing their heart on their sleeves and celebrate life with gusto. They are socially innate beings with a calendar full of events to attend and all are generally attended with much enthusiasm. So if you are marrying into the Punjabi Culture here are 10 things you can expect from a foreign brides point of view.
10 Things To Expect
Marrying Into A Punjabi Family
1. You Are Now Related To Every Singh
Once married to a Punjabi you will soon discover relatives you never knew existed. Eventually it will feel like you are related to every Singh & Kaur in India as you visit all your extended family from Amritsar, Bathinda to Delhi. Should you live abroad then be ready to be mentioned to all whom your family speak with as they proudly announce they have relatives in Canada or Australia.
2. Roti Is Your New Staple Diet
A staple of the Punjabi diet is wheat as Punjab is known for its wheat production. Therefore it is no surprise that roti's, a flatbread, are eaten for every meal either as an accompaniment or on their own. There are many varieties of roti such as paratha or poori and can be simple or mixed with other ingredients.
Would You Like A Side Of Roti With That?
3. You Better Know How To Dance
Those jubilant dance numbers in Bollywood Movies is the essence of a Punjabi. If you are a man and don't know the bhangara you better learn fast. There are many social events in the Punjabi culture so there will be many occasions where you will need to whip out those dance moves. For the most part Punjabi's don't need an excuse to dance as any occasion is a reason to dance!
4. There's No Time For Sleep In Wedding Season
In the cooler months of the year commencing around November, is Wedding Season. This is when every bride chooses to wed given the heat in the Summer months is unbearable in Punjab. Invitations will start flooding in and you probably won't know most of the brides or grooms. Personally I like Wedding Season as it means that you get an abundance of free traditional sweets with every invitation.
5. Better Be Accustomed To Being Vegetarian
As most Punjabi's are of the Sikh Faith they cannot consume meat and of those who do they only eat chicken. So you will most likely find yourself soon becoming a vegetarian as you consume the many vegetarian currys that are famous in Punjabi Cuisine such as Dahl - lentils, Saarg - Mustard Leaves or Aloo - Potato's. I have not met a Punjabi household who does not eat these currys at least twice in a week.
6. Time To Party, Party, Party
The Punjabi is an innate social being with many the social event scheduled in their calendar from wedding season to all the religious festivals. There will always be an occasion to celebrate and bring out the party shoes.
7. Adjust Your Tone To Loud If You Want To Be Heard
I personally am still not accustomed to the level of loud that the Punjabi's speak with. When I first arrived I thought everyone was fighting with one another as they candidly threw their hands in the air yelling at one another. Turns out this is just how they speak. So if you want to be heard you will need to match their tone. Just be sure you don't raise it so much that it actually comes across as yelling. There is a fine line!
8. Address Everyone With Gee/Ji
Being Punjabi means that everyone you know is now addressed as such and such ji. This is a sign of respect in their culture. I am referred to as bhabi ji meaning sister in law by my brother and I refer to him as dior ji meaning brother in law. Just be sure to add ji at the end and you can't go wrong.
9. They Talk With Their Hands
Ever noticed just how expressive Punjabi people are when they talk, their hands usually are telling a story at the same time they speak. Even I have started to speak with my hands as it is just so infectious. You can almost speak with your hands alone and they will know what you are saying!
10. They Are Generous
There is no such thing as saving in the Punjabi dictionary unless it is for someone else. They tend to spend their money on others rather than themselves. Such as my parents for instance since joining the family they have attended to all my needs and ensured that I am as comfortable as possible. This is just part of the generosity and openness of the Sikh Faith.
You can read more about why I love my Indian Family here.