Although we have been staying in Shela for the past 3 months now, our exposure to the Gujarati culture has been minimal. The only exposure we have to Ahmedabad is through the Malls and rides to and from the malls. Inspite of this there are a few things that do stand out. 1. Ahmedabad now has Jaguar, Audi showrooms which till now were limited to the popular metros 2. The roads are wide and clean which a lot of metros and the rest of India does not have yet 3. Although it is not an IT hub, the Gujarat plains region has a lot of IT firms especially Surat and Ahmedabad 4. The number of start-ups and the variety in the kind of start-ups in this region is tremendous. We have met a business man who sells delicious cup-cakes. Our friend owns a store that sells speciality, arty products ranging from clothes to pendrives etc.. 5. A lot of locals we have interacted with are not native Gujaratis. There are a lot of people from North India who have made Gujarat their home. The businessmen we met are not natives of this state. 6. The Murals on the roads, the thriving theatre culture shows us that art is booming across this region There is a lot about this region that we learnt recently, a lot of things that changed our perception. We saw a lot of basis to the fact that Gujarat and specifically the Gujarat plains is a sought after region for investment and travel today. There is more to the Gujaratis then business
The People and the Life
Gujarat plains consisting of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Dang and Bharuch lies in South Gujarat and has some influence of the Maharastrian culture as well. A lot of people travel from Surat and Ahmedabad to Mumbai almost everyday especially for business. Gujaratis follow a family structure and practices similar to the North Indians. Ideally they marry within their caste, but outside one’s gothra. The girl shifts to the husband’s side of the family. Marriages are arranged. The traditional Gujarati households are quite well-off and the woman in the family don’t always work. However, lower caste women work in fields or do labour to support in the family income. Although the joint family system is prevalent, due to various reasons such as better opportunities, extended relatives stay in different parts of Gujarat plains especially Ahmedabad and Surat, outside Gujarat plains and also cities like Mumbai, Bangalore etc…Like the family systems across India, planning plays a key role the lives of people from the plains, with functions and family get togethers planned in advance to ensure that extended families are a part of it as well. Family businesses are common and families play a huge role in the successes of such businesses In the Gujarat plains like the other regions in Gujarat a few common relations and their names are as follows: Bhai:- Brother/Male Cousin- added after a person’s name – Suresh Bhai Ben :- Sister/Female Cousin – Sangeeta Ben
For a great aunt/uncle. grandmother/grandfather, great is called ‘mota’ ‘POL’ i.e. the traditional houses of Ahmedabad were designed to house joint families i.e. for many individuals living under one roof- not for the individualistic nuclear families . Pols are houses grouped together like the Chawl system of Mumbai,Maharashtra. They are characterised by narrow streets with houses on either sides of the street.
They were built as a way for people to be together and protect each other. The access was through gates. There is only one main entrance but a lot of secret pathways in an out of the pol. It was akin to a fort which protected its residents. Surat, being near the sea has been home to people from varied nationalities, cultures and backgrounds for a long time now. The urban pockets of the Gujarat plains a region is engaged in business activities however the rural areas are engaged in agricultural activities. Surat has the lowest female to make placement ratio i.e.834/10000 Economic...