This project is funded by the Religion and Society programme, jointly sponsored by the Economic Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) U.K. This project involves international collaboration and an interdisciplinary approach spanning sociology, anthropology and religious studies, driven by the generation of new empirical data which, it is intended, will lead to new theoretical innovations in the field. The themes under investigation in this project come under the ‘Identity, Community, Welfare and Prosperity’ section of the programme in terms of its interest in the ‘moral and cultural sources on which people draw to develop spiritual identities’ as well as the ‘texts, spaces, rituals and object’ theme in terms of its exploration of ‘sacred spaces’
The project is funded for two years and entails fieldwork in the region of Punjab which spans the border between India and Pakistan. The project outline charts out the central premise of the project in how it aims to address the common practices that exist across spiritual sites in Indian and Pakistan Punjab. We are using a methodology which is interdisciplinary in approach and which attempts to answer a number of different questions through the use of various tools and methods. The selected sites which we are focusing upon in the fieldwork each have their own specific location, context and backdrop which will contribute to our understanding of spiritual practices in different shrines, gurdwaras, dargahs, deras and other types of sites. Despite the border which was erected in 1947 which severed the region in two and despite the increasing pressures upon religious identities to conform to certain mandates and conventions whether Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or other, religious and spiritual practices continue to illustrate the resilience of the ‘popular’ in contemporary Punjab in a way which often challenges the rigidity of these boundaries of separateness. It is our intention to explore the supposition that caste and gender inform and mediate ways in which people participate in, construct and practice religious identities, with women and dalit/lower caste communities presenting a particularly interesting vantage point to this question.
Dresses reflects the shared rich culture which both East and West Punjab have. Culture of East and West Punjab is never complete without its dresses and food. Shadi de Kapre or bridal wear is the clothing worn by a bride during wedding ceremony. Traditionally Punjabi brides use to wear red colour dress during the wedding ceremony but mostly colour depends on the religion and culture of the wedding participants. Traditional Anarkali are referred to be formal dresses of the old times of mughals.