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Ganga–Jamuni Tehzeeb (Hindustani for Ganges–Yamuna Culture), also spelled as Ganga-Jamni Tehzeeb or just Hindustani Tehzeeb, is the composite high culture of the central plains of northern India, especially the doab region of Ganges and Yamuna rivers, that is a syncretic fusion of Hindu cultural elements with Muslim cultural elements. The composite Ganga-Jamuni culture emerged due to the interaction between Hindus and Muslims in the history of South Asia.
The tehzeeb (culture) includes a particular style of speech, literature, recreation, costume, manners, worldview, art, architecture and cuisine which more or less pervades the Hindustan region of the plains, Northern South Asia as a whole and the old city of Hyderabad in South India. Ganga Jamuni culture manifests itself as adherents of different religions in India celebrating each other's festivals, as well as communal harmony in India.
Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, is a poetic Awadhi phrase for the distinctive and syncretic Hindu-Muslim culture, is reflected in the fused spiritual connotations, forms, symbols, aesthetics, crafts and weaves, for example, Kashmiri Muslim carpet makers feature Durga in their patterns, Muslim sculptors making idols of Durga, and Hindu craftsmen create the Muharram tazia.
Ganga-Jamuni is a Hindi term that means, literally, "mixed," "composite," "alloy". The term additionally references the Ganga and Jamuna rivers, that merge to form one entity, just as two cultures come "together to form a seamless single culture that draws richly from both traditional Hindu and Islamic influences", creating "a vibrant, multidimensional, peerless and syncretic culture." Tehzeeb is an Urdu term (from Arabic: تہذيب tahẕīb) meaning civilization, culture, politeness, or progress/development.
Nawabs of Awadh were fore-runners of this culture.  The region of Awadh in the state of Uttar Pradesh is usually considered to be the center of this culture. Allahabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Faizabad-Ayodhya, and Varanasi (Benares) are a few of the many centers of this culture. In Lucknow, one prominent example of this culture is that not only Shias but also Sunni Muslims and Hindus participate, both historically and today, in the mourning and religious customs during the Islamic month of Muharram. The Hindu festival of Basant and Persian tradition of Nowruz were also patronized by the Shia rulers of Awadh.
Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana in south-central part of the India, is also a big example of communal harmony where the local Telugu Hindus and Hyderabadi Muslims live with peace and brotherhood, where Hindu temples serve the dry dates fruits to mosques for Iftar Muslim festival.
With the Turko-Afghan conquests over the Indo-Gangetic plains in medieval India, Delhi and its surrounding plains along the river Yamuna became the political and cultural capital of these Persianate dynasties. Delhi came to prominence because of its strategic location, the west of which was the fertile but open Indus plains and east of which began the populous Gangetic plains. The local language of Delhi arose into Hindavi or Hindustani, the eventual sociolect of the descendants of the conquerors, the nobility, the courtiers, and hence the cultured. The official language of these empires was Classical Persian and the usual mother tongue of these upper echelons was an Indian language albeit with heavy Persian influence, hence Hindavi or Hindi was the word used which still implies Indian in Persian. The Turkic word Urdu was instead derisively connotated as the speech of the camps and troops. As the empire enlarged, Persianised Khariboli, popularly known as Hindavi and Hindustani, became the basis for the lingua franca different Indo-Aryan speakers on the plains and beyond used to communicate. Among the many Hindustani varieties that arose, Deccani being the major one, a form of Khariboli that migrated from the banks of Delhi and mixed with Marathi, Telugu and Kannada in the Deccan. It was only during the British Raj in India that Persianised Hindi or Hindustani came to be specifically called Urdu as was later standardized.
The literary tradition in Hindustani began in the North with the acceptance of Deccani Hindi as a medium of literary exchange in the South. The first Deccani author was Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudaraz Muhammad Hasan. Bahamani Sultanate were the pioneers, writers such as Bande Nawaz, Shah Miranji and Shah Buran. Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah of Golconda, Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II of Bijapur, and Wali Mohammad Wali were important writers in Deccani. Influenced by this, Urdu Prose and Poetry, as is now called also began in the Hindustan region, chief writers being, Ghalib, Khaliq, Zamir, Aatish, Nasikh, Zauq, Momin and Shefta. Malik Muhammad Jayasi's Padmavat in Awadhi and the Works of Kabir Das. An age of tremendous integration between the Hindu and the Islamic elements in the Arts with the advent of many Muslim Bhakti poets like Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana who was a minister to Mughal emperor Akbar and was also a great devotee of Krishna. The Nirgun School of Bhakti Poetry was also tremendously secular in nature and its propounders like Kabir and Guru Nanak had a large number of followers irrespective of caste or religion.
One of the best examples of syncretic faith is captured in one of Kabir's doha (verse), "some chant Allah, some chant Ram, Kabir is a worshiper of true love and hence reveres both."[failed verification]
|कोई जपे रहीम रहीम
कोई जपे है राम
दास कबीर है प्रेम पुजारी
दोनों को परनाम
|کوئی جپے رحیم رحیم
کوئی جپے ہے رام
داس کبیر ہے پریم پجاری
دونوں کو پرنام
|Koi jape rahim rahim
Koi jape hai ram
Das Kabir hai prem pujari
Dono ko parnaam
|Some chant O Merciful [Allah]
Some chant Ram
Kabir is a worshiper of true love
And reveres them both
Main article: Mughal clothing
Awadh has a special place in the etiquette of this culture along with Delhi and Hyderabad; in fact Lucknowi Urdu still retains the polished and polite language of Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. Delhi Sultanate, Bahamani Sultanate, Deccan Sultanates, Mughal Empire, Nawabs of Awadh, Bhopal, Carnatic and the Nizams of Hyderabad were forerunners of this tehzeeb. The greeting Aadaab from the Arabic word آداب, meaning respect and politeness, is a hand gesture and expression used in the Indian subcontinent for greeting, especially between Muslims and non-Muslims. It is associated with the Ganga-Jamuni culture because it originated out of a necessity for a more non-religious greeting from the Arabic Assalamu Alaikum and Sanskrit Namaste.
Sherwani, Jama, Topi, Kurta, Dupatta, Salwar, Kameez, Shawl, Pajama and Socks are few of the major attire still present in India.
Main articles: Indo-Persian culture, Kathak, and Mehfil
Main articles: Mughlai cuisine, Awadhi cuisine, and Hyderabadi cuisine
Main articles: Indo-Islamic architecture, Mughal architecture, and Mughal painting
The culture (tehzeeb) that has evolved in the Great Plains is called Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. The idea of the two rivers joining to form one great entity, Ganga, symbolises how two disparate cultures coming together to form a seamless single culture that draws richly from both traditional Hindu and Islamic influences. The result is a vibrant, multidimensional, peerless and syncretic culture. People from different religions share elements and ideologies to bring together all aspects of life to prosper, making society a bouquet of many hues and fragrances. The leitmotif of this culture is pluralism.
Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb compares the Hindu-Muslim harmony and friendship to the holy confluence of India's major rivers - the Ganga and Yamuna. It assumes a peaceful merging of Hindu and Muslim culture and lifestyle in Banaras as expressed in their friendships, joint festivities and interdependence. As such, the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb reminds people of the incomparable unison they share across religious communities. This in turn sets a parameter for the people to uphold the religious peace. The metaphor is especially popular in the intellectual discourse as it coincided well with the Nehruvian rhetoric of a composite culture.
The composite culture of northern India, known as the Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb was a product of the interaction between Hindu society and Islam.
During their political rule, over a period of about 1000 years, both Hindus and Muslims lived together, shared each other's culture and gave rise to the emergence of a new type of Hindu-Muslim culture (Ganga-Jamuni Tahzib).
... the ganga-jamuni tehzeeb (composite culture) regarded both religious communities as two eyes of a beautiful bride and their long history witnessed 'give-and-take', at many levels ...
Sometimes this trend brings a new culture of integration. It is evident in Indian Hindu-Muslim culture popularly known as Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb, manifesting the values and belief systems of the two.
... the continuing joint Muslim and Hindu participation in public festivals, relating it to "Ganga-Jamun Tahzeeb," the attitude of refined hospitality and harmonious relations that historically characterized this region ...
"Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb" is a poetic Awadhi phrase that implies the distinct and syncretic fusion of Hindu-Muslim culture and it is primarily the ethics of central plains in North India.
गंगाजमुनी (p. 1190) गंगाजमुनी— वि० [हिं० गंगा + जमुना] १. मिलाजुला । संकर । दो- रंगा । २. सोने चाँदी, पीतल ताँबे आदि दो धातुओं का बना हुआ । सुनहले रूपहले तारों का बना हुआ । जिसपर सोने चाँदी दोनों का काम हो । ३. काला उजला । स्याह सफेद । अबलक ; 2) गंगाजमुनी (p. 1190) गंगाजमुनी २— संज्ञा स्त्री० १. कान का एक गहना । २. वह दाल जिसमें अरहर और उर्द की दाल मिली हो । केवटी दाल । ३. जरतारी का ऐसा काम जिसमें सुनहले और रुपहले दोनों रंग के तार हों । ४. अफीम मिली हुई भाँग । अफीम से युक्त भाँग की सरदाई (बनारस)
... developed in Awadh as a genre of composite creativity. ... of multiple Indian cultural traditions and provided glimpses of the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb of north India with Lucknow as its centre ...
Originating from a North Indian Islamicate high culture, "adaab" as a form of greeting was imbued with a certain class hierarchy. It was a familiar greeting even in many elite non-Muslim households in North India.