As in any other Metro city, Delhi’s population too comprises people from different states, backgrounds, religions and languages. Since Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are the neighbouring states, one can spot a lot of influence of these states on the language and lifestyle of people of Delhi. Those who live in Delhi are referred to as ‘Delhi-ites’. A common trait that is observed among Delhi-ites is that while they happily embrace different customs and traditions, they are aware of their own culture and are particular about it. Delhi is a harmonious place where people from different religions, speaking different languages and following various customs live together in peace, giving the phrase ‘Unity in Diversity’ its true meaning. Since Delhi is a modern city that offers plenty of employment and business opportunities, there is also quite an influx of people from other states in search of livelihood, mostly from northern states.
Diversity in Culture
Delhi has a mixed population, that is, there are people from different states, who speak different languages and follow different religions. Hence if you see across Delhi, you will find diverse culture but there is unity and harmony in the people. It can especially be seen during festivals. Holi does not remain a festival of north Indians but everyone joins in the fun, so are festivals like Id, Christmas, Guru Parab, Diwali and Buddha Purnima where everyone celebrates with each other. This open-heartedness and broad attitude is why Delhi is known as ‘Dilwalon ki Delhi’. Delhi-ites have a fun attitude towards life, they love to enjoy and live happily with others.
Though development and modernism have made Delhi one of the most progressive and industrialized cities in India, migration of people from other states have made the city over populated and congested. Increasing vehicular and industrial pollution is another concern. Most of the land space has been occupied by industries and realty. Statistics indicate that the population of Delhi has increased at least by 40 per cent in the last ten years and today, the population of Delhi is around 14 million, with 60 per cent of it being migrant population. Since Delhi has reached a saturation point in terms of development, the neighbouring areas have taken it up and are seeing rampant development. Areas such Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad are today thriving business centres, benefiting from their proximity to Delhi.
Lifestyle of Delhi People
Today, there are hardly few who can claim to be originally from Delhi as in 1947, when the country was reeling from the pains of Partition, many who managed to flee from Pakistan landed up in Delhi, changing the demographics of Delhi overnight. It is the Hindu Punjabis who came here are referred to as the real Delhi-ites. Though today, the population of Delhi is a mixed one as migration from other states, especially from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and many more northern states and even from south has given rise to a diverse culture.
In fact, before independence, Old Delhi was populated by Muslims but many of them chose to leave for Pakistan during Partition and Hindus occupied their place and even Muslims from other parts of India came to settle here. Today, Old Delhi is a predominantly a Muslim majority area, but most of them must have been here just 50 years ago. This is one of the reasons why perhaps the old Havelis or mansions aren’t that well maintained or looked after. They are no longer occupied by the original owners and the present residents perhaps do not have any emotional attachment or sense of pride towards these buildings.
The New Delhi is just the opposite of the calm Old Delhi. If the latter prefers to stay in the shadows of the rich ancient culture, the former is the outgoing one. People lead a modern lifestyle and are more into a materialistic world and not too keen to delve on the bygone days. They work hard at their workplaces in the days while evenings are for fun and strolls at malls and coffee houses for shopping and family time. It is not as if they have foregone their culture altogether, but sure it is mixed with a taste for modern fashion, luxury brands, parties and so on. Live life to the fullest, seems to be the mantra of the New Delhi!
Even amidst contrasts, Delhi is still like any other cosmopolitan city where multiple religions, faiths and beliefs have learnt to co-exist with each other in peace and harmony. It is not these religious differences that make Delhi a place of varied culture, one can also find various beliefs from not just India but across the world find a place of value here. Delhi is indeed a place of heart, culture, tradition and modernism, all at one place. That is also the uniqueness of Delhi.
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