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Punjabi culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures of the world. The scope, history, sophistication and complexity of the culture are vast.The culture of the Punjab encompasses the spoken language, written literature, cuisine, science, technology, military warfare, architecture, traditions, values and history of the Punjabi people native to the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The term ‘Punjabi’ can mean both a person who lives in Punjab and also a speaker of the Punjabi language. This name originates from the Persian language ‘panj’, (five), and ‘ab’, (water). Combined together the word i am the becomes Panjab or Punjab: land of the five rivers. Indus River (the largest river in this five river system), and the five other rivers to the south eventually join Indus or merge into it later in the downstream of the Punjab valley. All the rivers start and flow out of the Himalayas. These other five rivers are Jhelum River, Chenab River, Ravi River, Beas River and Sutlej River.
The culture of Punjab in the Middle Ages was extremely diverse dependent upon an individual’s caste, community, religion and village. An array of cultures can be found historically .The main cultures that arose in the Punjab during the Medieval Age at the beginning of this era was of strong Indo-Aryan dominance.
Due to the large number of Punjabi people distributed throughout the world, especially Pakistan and India, many people are increasingly experiencing the culture and becoming influenced by it. Glimpses of traditional Punjabi culture can be seen in the Western world (e.g. the U.S., the UK, the EU, Canada, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Naturally people influence each other wherever they settle and live. Punjabi culture is evident from Punjabi philosophy, poetry, spirituality, education, artistry, music, cuisine, and architecture.
Similar migrations by or invasions into the Punjab, in the past many centuries, were by the Aryans, Scythians, Greeks or Alexander the Great which reached as far as the Beas River in the Punjab, Mongols Arabs, Persians, Afghans, Turko-Persians (Mughals) and then the Europeans (British) came to Punjab for various economic reasons of their own and its fertile agricultural lands and abundance of water resources in its five large rivers flowing down from the Himalayas through the Punjab valley. These immigrants influenced the people of Punjab and, in turn, were influenced by the then prevailing culture of the Punjab.