March 7, 2016

1130, 1189, 2358 INDIA (Rajasthan) - Rajasthani people

2358 Rajasthan: 1. Pushkar lake; 2. Traditionally dressed Rajasthani men
 at Pushkar fair; 3. Camels for trade! 4. The busy Pushkar fair.

Posted on 07.07.2014, and 17.08.2014, 07.03.2016
Located on the western side of India, at the border with Pakistan, between Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab, and comprising most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert, Rajasthan (which means "Land of Kings" or "Land of Kingdoms") is India's largest state by area. It has a mainly Rajasthani population of approximately 68,621,012, made up mainly of Hindus, who account for 88.8% of the population. Although history of Rajasthan goes back as far as Indus Valley Civilization, the foundation of Rajasthani community took shape with the rise of Western Middle Kingdoms such as Western Kshatrapas (35-405 BC).

1130 Rajasthan - Traditionally dressed woman

They were successors to the Indo-Scythians who invaded the area of Ujjain and established the Saka era, marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps kingdom. With time their social structures got stronger reorganizations giving birth to several martial sub-ethnic groups. Some claim that Romani people originated in parts of the Rajasthan and Gujarat. Indian origin was suggested on linguistic grounds as early as 200 years ago. The roma ultimately derives from a form ḍōmba ("man living by singing and music"), attested in Classical Sanskrit.

1130 A Rajasthani little girl

Rajasthanis form ethno-linguistic group that is distinct in its language, history, cultural and religious practices, social structure, literature, and art. However, there are many different castes and communities, with diversified traditions of their own. Major sub ethnic groups are Ahirs, Jats, Gurjars, Rajputs, Rajput Mali, Meenas, Bhils, Kalvi, Garasia, Kanjar, etc. The garments are loose and flowing clothes and are generally cut out to cover up most of the body, to prevent sunburns. The textiles are mainly soft cottons during the summer, and wool for winter. The women wear either Sarees (a drape wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, baring the midriff) or Ghaghra Cholis (skirt) and Kanchli (top).

Sarees may be either cotton or silk and are generally embroidered. Colored stones, tinsels and silken threads are used to create beautiful floral patterns and traditional motifs. Ghaghras for daily use and Lehengas for more formal occasions are the norm, especially in the rural area. These are matched with blouses such as Kanchli or Kunchuki or Choli depending on the blouse length. The skirts are tied tightly around the waist and have a flaring width at their base. The Ghaghras are generally short extending up to the calf, while the Lehengas are longer and reach up to the ankles. The more formal occasions and prosperous households dictate increased width and more number of folds or pleats in the skirts.

These Ghagras and Lehengas are also embroidered and decorated much in the same style as sarees are. Rajasthan is also famous for its amazing ornaments. From ancient times, Rajasthani people have been wearing jewelry of various metals and materials. Traditionally, women wore Gems-studded gold and silver ornaments. Historically, silver or gold ornaments were used for interior decoration stitched on curtains, seat cushions, handy-crafts, etc. Wealthy Rajasthanis used Gems-studded gold and silver on swords, shields, knives, pistols, cannon, doors, thrones, etc., which reflects the importance of ornaments in lives of Rajasthanis.

Traditionally men wear Dhotis (a rectangular piece of unstitched cloth, usually around 4.5m long, wrapped around the waist and the legs and knotted at the waist), Kurta (an upper garment, with regional variations of form), Angarkha (an upper garment which overlap and are tied to the left or right shoulder), and Pagri, Paggar or Safa (kind of turban headgear). The way Pagri is worn comprises a unique significance, as it is a symbol of the region and caste from where the individual belongs. Pagris can be found in different colors, shapes and sizes. More than 1000 types of Pagris are worn by men in Rajasthan. Traditional Chudidar payjama (puckered trousers) frequently replaces dhoti in different regions.

About the stamps
On the postcard 1130
The first stamp, depicting B R Ambedkar (2.00 INR), is part of the definitive set Builders of Modern India, about which I wrote here.

The second stamp is part of a commemorative series, Postal Heritage Buildings, issued on May 13,2010, comprising of 6 stamps with the same face value (5 INR):
• Shimla G.P.O
• Udagamandalam H.P.O
• Nagpur G.P.O
• Cooch Behar H.P.O - It's on the postcard 1130
• Lucknow G.P.O
• Delhi G.P.O

The last stamp is part of the series Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers, issued on December 19, 2009, comprising of two stamps with the same face value (5 INR):
• polar bear
• penguins - It's on the postcard 1130

On the postcard 1189
The stamp is one of the two which form the series International Year of Biodiversity, issued on June 5, 2010.

On the postcard 2358
The stamps are part of the series Wild Flowers, about which I wrote here.

References
Rajasthan - Wikipedia
Rajasthani people - Wikipedia
Rajasthan Dresses - Maps of India
Traditional Costumes of Rajasthan for Men and Women - Indian Traditional Clothing 

Sender 1130: Neil Banerjee (direct swap)
Sent from Mumbai (Maharashtra / India), on 26.06.2014
Sender 1189: Harsha
Sent from Bangalore (Karnataka / India), on 03.08.2014
Photo: V.B Anand
Sender 2358: Kamran
Sent from ??? (Rajasthan / India), on 07.08.2014

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