Updated: Jul 6
Mithila, the oldest, the most pious, and the most vibrant region to have ever existed, was an empire that did not center around valiant feats of arms but around courts engrossed in the luxurious enjoyment of literature learning.
"Maithili", the purest and the most ancient language to have relevance to date in India, was made in this region.
Mithila culture is famous for its dance, headgear (Paag), festivals, Madhubani Paintings, cuisine, and most importantly, the life that Buddha and Mahavir spent here as both Mahavir and Buddha have lived and discoursed in Mithila.
Originating in the Mithila, Madhubani painting is said to date back to the time of the Ramayana (Hindu epic).
Its brushstrokes are both precise and aggressive.
These vibrant paintings are suitable for a variety of occasions and festivities.
The art not only depicts the social structure but also the cultural identity of the land with its depictions of themes of religion, love, and fertility.
Mithila art form is not linked to any governmental or geographical entity.
Instead, it commemorates our indigenous folklore as a living cultural medium. The ability of the art form to incorporate social ideals and cultural existence alongside decoration and ingenuity has always made it distinctive.
In a patriarchal society, it serves as a voice for rural women. In present times, whole families are involved in this art, not just the ladies of the house.
Another unique thing about Mithila’s culture is its dance forms.
Jhijhiya is one such form of dance that is performed at the time of Dussehra, in dedication to Durga Bhairavi, the goddess of victory.
Another folk dance form popular in this region is Domkach. Popularly known as Nagpuri dance, this is a must for wedding ceremonies. It is representative of sabala or group strength. Generally performed by a group of women, their strength is considered to bestrong enough to fight back thieves and snitches.
Mithila's identity includes maachh, Makhan, and paan. The most popular meal in Mithila is fish, which is served as the main course on any occasion.
It is traditional to eat boiled rice for lunch and roti for dinner and breakfast.
The vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine cultures coexist.
People from Mithilanchal appreciate both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods, and the cuisine of the region is distinct in its own right.
Ghughani, Sattu, Litti-Chokha, Kadhu Bar, Makhana Kheer, Tilkor Tarua, Mithila. Dahi – Chuda are some of the delicacies of the region.The most renowned and frequent meals of Mithilanachal are Maus (mutton/chicken/squails curry), Machchak Jhor (fish curry), to name a few.
Paan is a must-have snack dish for all occasions.
Because there is no course-by-course meal practice, there is no well-defined gastronomic practice. As a result, people value all types of preparations equally and delight in savoring each delicacy to the utmost.
With its vast diversity, the Mithila area hosts several festivities.
Several traditions call for celebrations in addition to festivals.
In Mithila, the Mundan ritual is a particularly popular practice.
The first time a child's hair is shaved is celebrated with a bhoj (a party) and (often expensive) celebrations.
The Maithili people value their marriage rituals, which are unique to the region.
Barsait, Chautrthi, Madhushravni, Kojagara, and Dwiragman are the four days of marriage rites (the first homecoming of the bride).
Alongside these, Jude Sheetal (Maithili New Year), Naag Panchami, Kojagra, Bhaatri Dwitiya, Chhath Puja, etc. are also celebrated with zeal and vivacity.
The fascinating thing about any culture or art form is that it transcends borders and has the ability to enchant individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their origin, caste, or religion, via its pure creative brilliance and artistry.
Mithila is one such region brimming with creativity and rich in its traditions and art forms that continues to fascinate us throughout decades.
It is our duty to revive the traditions and cultures of our home country and keep the spirits and traditions of our ancestors alive.
author: Rishika Kumari
editor: Diya Mondal