Bhopal, the capital city of the state of Madhya Pradesh is predominantly inhabited by almost equal number of Hindu and Muslim population who give great importance to their exclusive Bhopali culture and their refined mannerism. The Bhopal City is particularly renowned for its tradition of Parda, Zarda, Garda and Namarda!!
Parda is the veil or curtain that is worn by women folk to cover their faces from the outsiders. Zarda, also known as ‘Khaini’ is a chewable tobacco product that is believed to be a brilliant intoxicating and mood enhancing material. Garda is the loose dirt also locally called ‘dhool’ that is specifically used to blow around in summer. The term ‘Namarda’ refers to eunuchs who form an integral part of the Bhopali Culture. Any celebration is considered incomplete without them. These eunuchs roam around the city explicitly at the time of festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Eid etc and they also approach the houses celebrating jubilant events such as wedding, child birth, etc for collecting donations.
Bhopal also boasts of its classic culture of ‘Paan’ eating. Paan is a peculiar Indian preparation of betel leaf wherein the leaf is garnished with different seasonings like kattha, chuna, supari, coconut, dry fruits, gulkand, etc. The Bhopalites take Paan Making as an ethnic art, the perfection of which can be witnessed in the streets of Bhopal where you will get different varieties of Paan.
Hindi is the official language of Bhopal; however, a unique dialect of Hindi popularly referred to as ‘Bhopali’ is widely spoken in different parts of the Bhopal City. This multi cultural civic sheltering the population of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds portrays an exceptional communal harmony delineating the true apotheosis of unity in diversity. All the religious festivals including Holi, Ganesh Puja, Durga Puja, Vijayadashmi, Diwali, Eid, Christmas, etc are celebrated here with identical zest and enthusiasm. Apart from these traditional festivals, the Bhopal city is also noted for its distinct cultural carnivals such as Ijitma, National Drama Festival, Lokrang, Dharupad Samaroh, Bharat Bhavan Summer Festival, etc.
Theatre, Music, Poetry, Shairi and Art also enjoy an inseparable status in the Bhopali Culture. The Bharat Bhavan of Bhopal is the thriving center of theatre, music, performing and other contemporary arts and other cultural activities where various cultural events such as music concerts, film shows, plays, readings, exhibitions, multi-art festivals, seminars, workshops, and so on are organized all round the year.
The gastronomy of Bhopal is marked with delectable culinary items viz. Indian Chaat, Dabeli, Jalebi, Ras Malai, Paya Soup, Bafla Dal, Paneer Rezala, Spicy Achar Gost, Bhopali Murgh Rezala, Kebabs, Chicken Biryani, Goat Biryani, Murgh Hara Masala Rice, Chicken Tikka, Rogan Josh, Murgh Nizami, Keemas, Bhopali Gosht Korma, Sulfi, Sugarcane Juice, Buttermilk, Bhopali Paan, etc.