Since times immemorial, livelihood practices in different parts of India have flourished depending on the culture, resource and sustainability of the idea. As industrialization has crept in at an alarming degree, the nascent and raw parts of India have managed to preserve these interesting livelihood practices as they are closely interlinked with the identity and longevity.
Few of the interesting livelihood practices in India which would immediately impress you are as follows:
- Coal Mining in Odisha: Though ecological and socio-economic factors have started changing the context of mineral extraction in India, the intricate art of coal mining still continues to be prevalent in Odisha. In fact, this tradition had also witnessed the conflict between British rule and India during the pre-Independence time. Over the period of time, government has now started proper employment strategies to infuse the local coal-miners in a systematic manner.
- Handicrafts in Rajasthan: Starting from silver jewelry to handmade paper, production of semi-precious stones or marble handicrafts, Rajasthan has also preserved the cultural tradition of artisanship. Though, the typical local traditions have still not been tapped by commercial business models, these livelihood practices have been sustained generation after generation. Most of these practices are interlinked with festivals, marriages, child birth, in short a form of celebration.
- Fishing in Assam: Now commonly becoming an adventurous attraction for Assam tourism, this livelihood practice started decades back for subsistence. Few of the locally found fishes in Assam include Puthi, Rohu, Goroi, Kawai and Kurhi. In fact, it’s quite interesting to watch the different kinds of fishing nets that are used for fishing, like the Borjal (Drag net), Tongijal (Dip net), Fasijal (Gill net), Khewali jaal (Cast net) and Dheki Jal (Lift net).
- Madhubani Painting in Bihar: These paintings are done through match-sticks, nibs, fingers and twigs. Also created as a form of celebration, these paintings often depict the closeness of man with nature and how intricately both are intertwined with each other. Very elaborate and exotic, these paintings were basically started by the rural women in Mithila, Bihar and today they have become one of identities of the state. The bright colors and geometric patterns of these paintings are very enamoring.
- Sculpture making in Uttar Pradesh: Right from the very Indus Valley Civilization, bronze sculpture making has been an integral part of Indian history. Over the past years, bronze and wooden sculpture making in Uttar Pradesh has gained massive momentum, becoming the mode of subsistence for the villagers. These sculptures often drawn from the religious and mythological epics of India have intricate patterns, unique designing and irresistible amount of history in them. Varying in sizes, they symbolize the diversity of culture, religion and history emanating from Uttar Pradesh in a very elegant manner.
Fortunately, as time passes by, these interesting livelihood practices in India are getting recognized. Each of these traditions does have unique ways of storytelling, bringing the past and the future together by touching the contours of the present. Along with being a form of sustainable and subsistence, these livelihood journeys are also reflecting the very soul of India and its diversity, depending on the region they originate from.
By- Shubhda Chaudhary