Celebrate India’s Republic Day With Great Punjabi Fervor!

India's Republic Day

Did you also grow up on a steady diet of Bollywood movies? Or listening to your parents blasting “Yeh desh hai veer jawaanon ka…” (this is the country of brave soldiers/ brave youth) in Late Mohammad Rafi’s robust Punjabi voice the entire day on January 26th – India’s Republic Day? I’m sure this would have been followed by a non-stop loop of patriotic songs.

Oh yeah, we all have the same set of parents, and grew up in the same family! India is a diverse country, but, my friends, my cousins, my neighbors, my colleagues across the country, and my extended family scattered all across the globe – we all live the same experience on Indian Republic Day. It matters not whether you are a Punjabi living in India or a part of the global Punjabi diaspora!

However, the best part about celebrating Republic Day as a national holiday is that it links us to the motherland, no matter how far we are. And our Punjabi language is a gift that connects us to our heritage. So, let’s find out some more interesting details about Indian Republic Day celebrations!

Traditional Punjabi Practices To Celebrate Republic Day

India’s Republic Day, celebrated annually on January 26, holds deep significance for the country’s 1.4 billion citizens. Marking the adoption of the Indian constitution on January 26, 1950, this national holiday honors the establishment of India as a sovereign republic.

The vibrant celebrations centered in the national capital, New Delhi, showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and military might. The day starts early in the morning with an homage to martyred soldiers and moves on to a scintillating show of the country’s might in science, technology, defense, and social development. The most anticipated aspect is the grand parade performed by contingents from the Indian army, air force, navy, coast guard, and various other paramilitary forces.

But for Punjabis, Republic Day is not just about celebrating India, but also showing pride in the vibrant Punjabi culture. There are many traditions and customs associated with how Punjabi families mark this national holiday. Here are some of the key ways the community celebrates across India and abroad.

Boys holding the flag of India

Watch Parades And Hoist The National Flag

A flag hoisting ceremony is one of the most symbolic Republic Day customs for Indians everywhere. Families across the country wake up early to watch live the Republic Day parade and flag hoisting by the President of the country. Citizens, too, hoist the tricolor (orange, white, and green) outside homes or places of gathering. Elders share stories of what Republic Day was like in their childhoods.

Wear Patriotic Colors And Traditional Clothes

Punjabis dress in saffron, white and green clothing, or India-themed accessories. Traditional Punjabi clothes like salwar kameez, kurta pajamas, anarkalis, and churidar sets dominate Republic Day ensembles. Elders may wear antique jewelry handed down through generations. The idea behind donning outfits in the flag’s colors is to represent courage and sacrifice, growth, purity, and integrity.

Perform Bhangra And Giddha

No Punjabi celebration is complete without music, dance, and lively beats of the dhol (drum)! Performances of traditional dances like Bhangra energize Republic Day crowds. The rhythmic folk dance reminds Punjabis of their community’s strength and joyful spirit. Women also dance in groups to the poetic dance of Giddha.

Some popular patriotic songs that always find a spot on every Punjabi’s RD playlist are Punjabi singer Daler Mehendi’s Range de basanti, and Mera rang de basanti chola – two heart-thumping, foot-tapping evergreen hits.

India's Republic Day  - Men with traditional clothing in India

Prepare Special Foods

Food is central to every Indian festival, and Republic Day is no exception for Punjabis. Families cook a feast of traditional dishes to enjoy together. Popular options include dal makhani, sarson da saag, aloo gobi, stuffed kulchas, tandoori chicken, shami kebabs, biryani, and lassi. Sweets like laddoo, jalebi, gulab jamun, and ras malai are must-haves.

Share Sweets And Stories

Exchanging sweets or mithai is customary on auspicious occasions like Republic Day. Families gift each other treats like laddoo, barfi, halwa, and kheer. As the generations socialize, elders reminisce about Republic Day memories in India or their early immigrant experiences. They pass down cultural knowledge and language.

By taking part in these long-held traditions, Punjabis everywhere infuse Republic Day with community spirit, cultural pride, and connection to roots.

Useful Vocabulary For Republic Day

Republic Day is the perfect opportunity to grow your Punjabi vocabulary and brush up on patriotic terms.

Here are some must-know Punjabi words and phrases to help you celebrate the occasion more authentically:

Republic Dayਗਣਤੰਤਰ ਦਿਵਸGaṇatatara divasa
Secularਧਰਮ ਨਿਰਪੱਖDharama nirapakha
Secularismਧਰਮ ਨਿਰਪੱਖਤਾDharama nirapakhatā
Democraticਲੋਕਤੰਤਰੀ/ ਜਮਹੂਰੀLōkatatarī/ Jamahūrī
Indian National Flag/ TricolorਤਿਰੰਗਾTiragā
To wave the flagਝੰਡਾ ਲਹਿਰਾਉਣਾJhaḍā lahirā’uṇā
National Festival/ National Holidayਰਾਸ਼ਟਰੀ ਤਿਉਹਾਰRāśaṭarī ti’uhāra
Paradeਜਲੂਸ/ ਪਰੇਡJalūsa/ Parēḍa
Traditional parade drumsਨਗਾਡਾNagāḍā
Festive FairਮੇਲਾMēlā

Common Punjabi Greetings And Phrases For Republic Day

Learn these vocabulary words and listen to native speakers to pick up proper Punjabi pronunciation. Use them when attending local Republic Day events or celebrations with family. You’ll impress relatives with your expanding language skills!

Hello (formal greeting)ਸਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲSata srī akāla
Happy Republic Dayਗਣਤੰਤਰ ਦਿਵਸ ਮੁਬਾਰਕGaṇatatara divasa mubāraka
Republic Day greetings!ਗਣਤੰਤਰ ਦਿਵਸ ਦੀਆਂ ਸ਼ੁਭਕਾਮਨਾਵਾਂGaṇatatara divasa dī’āṁ śubhakāmanāvāṁ
Victory to Indiaਜੈ ਹਿੰਦJai hida
Long live Indiaਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਜ਼ਿੰਦਾਬਾਦHidusatāna zidābāda
My India is greatਮੇਰਾ ਭਾਰਤ ਮਹਾਨMērā bhārata mahāna

Tips For Non-Native Speakers Celebrating With Punjabi Family

Republic Day celebrations are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the Punjabi language. Here are 5 tips to help you learn from your interactions with Punjabi relatives and friends:

1. Ask Elders To Teach You Vocabulary

You can request your family elders or grandparents to teach you common Republic Day phrases like Jai Hind! Have them write the words down phonetically so that you can pronounce them perfectly.

Indian flag with the note of India's Republic Day

2. Learn The Names Of Traditional Foods and Clothes

Ask what each dish on the feast menu is called and how to say you enjoy it. Moreover, point to family members’ outfits and ask what each item is called. Learn the names of fabrics, cuts, and accessories.

3. Explore Punjabi Songs With Patriotic Fervor

Music is a huge part of Indian culture, and Punjab is known for its traditional folk music and dances. Learn some foot-tapping Punjabi songs laden with patriotic fervor, and try to understand the lyrics and the emotions they evoke. You can ask for help from your Punjabi family and friends in this activity.

4. Learn Cultural Terms

Ask what customs like hoisting the flag are called. Learn the names of Punjabi freedom fighters and important independence movement leaders. This way, you’ll be more deeply connected to your roots. Learn about Shaheed Sardar Bhagat Singh – the epitome of Punjabi bravado – who laid down his life for his motherland at the young age of 23!

India's Republic Day

5. Request A Language Lesson

You can ask your elders if, after the flag ceremony and feast, they could hold a mini-language session. Make it a fun family affair! Have them teach you simple Punjabi greetings, introductions, and phrases to use. Jot down what you learn phonetically.

What more? You could complement the session by downloading the Ling app, which comes with a nifty AI chatbot to practice conversing on the fly!

Over To You

Immerse yourself in that mishmash of vocabulary, food, music, and chatter. Laugh off the mistakes – it’s all part of the journey, my friend. This Republic Day, embrace your family’s mother tongue with an open heart. Let this shared heritage connect you deeper to your roots.

Oh, and here’s a handy Punjabi phrase for you: Gaṇatāntara divasa dī’āṁ śubhakāmanāvāṁ! It means “Happy Republic Day!”

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