Continuing from the previous post, the other things that come to mind about that period:
- It was considered an insult to the other party if you asked for a contract to be put in writing, or counted your change or money after receiving it from someone. "Zubaan" was so important that anything that could mean not trusting the person was taken as an insult. Till date, my grandparents do not count their change as they leave the counter.
- At least in Sikh homes, the "gaddi" passed from the husband to the wife, not to the son. Perhaps only in some families... i am not so sure of this one, but all my grandparents were adamant about this.
- Though alcohol was a common vice, the use of tobacco was frowned upon big time. In my house, even paan and supaari are forbidden.
- Khuaaon jawaaiaan vangoo, te koho kasaiyaan vangoo: (Feed them like they are your sons in law, and make them work like a bull) Everyone, including women and children, were expected to participate in the tough physical labour, irrespective of the size of their land holding. If you cannot go to the field, you can always thresh grain in the courtyard, milk the cows and prepare their hay for them...
- Daughters did not do any of the following: Wash dishes, sweep, touch anyone's feet. Daughters were exempt. Sons, on the other hand, were expected to twist their back into a "pairi pauna" at every sighting of an elder.. :-) What's more, on some auspicious days, all the male relatives were supposed to touch their daughters' feet.
- "Dheeyaan sabdiyaan saanjhiyaan" : Your son is your son, but a daughter is everyone's daughter. Everyone was expected to protect the daughter. At a girl's wedding, everyone from the village was expected to contribute. A daughter's wedding was the village's wedding.
- Eve teasing was not allowed: I know this sounds incredible in this day and age, but the average Punjabi was angered a lot by a man trying to "insult" a dhee-behan (daughter or sister). It was considered perfectly ok to physically hurt boys who were indulging in eve teasing, to drag them to their house and to make their parents apologise for making such ill mannered boys. There was a huge sense of community based protection of girls. This crime came right next to lying, which was the most heinous crime.
- Wealth, in general, was not to be "showed off". If anything, it must be concealed. The motive was simple - one did not want to be conspicuous to the thieves through obvious consumption. My family on both sides, would get gold jewelry made and then, once a patila (a sort of cooking vessel) was filled, it would be buried under the floor. Having kachcha floors helped a lot. They were instructed to wear simple clothes, and the houses were not made elaborate either. Sounds very "un" punjabi? To me, all the showing off feels the same way.. :-)
Will wait for a lot more comments.. Please keep them coming..