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Culture and Language

Language

The most commonly spoken language in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu is Gujarati. Apart from Gujrati which is largely spoken in all three districts under the union territory of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Hindi and English are also well understood and spoken by locals and are also the official languages here.Regional dialects such as Bhili and Bhilodi are also spoken in the region, and being near to the Maharashtra region, Marathi is other language that is also spoken widely in the Dadra region of the Union Territory.

Culture

The majority of the population in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu is Hindu, followed by Christians and Muslims.The beautiful landscape of Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu are recognized by scenic beaches, ancient forts, temples and churches that remind people of the glorious past and rich culture of the Union Territories. The culture here is multi-faced heritage, with an enchanting fusion of tribal, urban, European, and Indian culture that is an experience to behold.So, the customs, rituals and traditions of this territory’s’ residents are mainly Indian with some traces of the Portuguese traditions and habits (due to the Portuguese reign in the 1500-1600s), which makes it even more beautiful and unique in many ways.

The union territory is home to many different tribes, among which, the most important and the known ones are: Kokna, Warli, Koli, Dhodia, Kathodi, Siddi, Naika and Dublas. All these tribes have their own traditions, beliefs, and practices which are a lot diverse from each other and from other distinct tribes and cultures as well .

Dance and Music

The locals of Damn, Diu, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli take immense pride in their age-old, beautiful and colorful culture and are hospitable and humble enough to happily share it with people who would like take a dive into it. Dance, music, art, and folklore are a big part of people’s lives here and the performances during tribal festivals and fairs are a must-see.Dances and music are also performed on special occasion such as marriage functions, after harvesting, and special performances when someone dies. While Dadra & Nagar Haveli district is famous for TarphaNach and Mask dances, Daman & Diu districts are known for their Portuguese folk dances such as Mando dance, Verdigao dance and Vira dance – these are a colorful and unique presentation with themes based on festivity, eating, singing and drinking. Garba dance of Gujarat is performed during Navratri festival, by men and women wearing colorful and sparkly clothes enhanced by attractive jewelry, while the Machhi dance is widely popular among the fishermen community. .

Festivals and Celebrations

The region celebrates festivals starting from Makarsankranti in the beginning of the year till Christmas at the end. Some significant festivals are Makarsankranti, Holi, Diwali, Rakshabandhan, Dussehra, Eid, Christmas, along with Nariyal Poornima to mark the initiation of fishing season and Gangaji Fair near Somnath Mahadev Temple every year.Apart from the tribal communities and people of Hindu religion, other religious festivals are also celebrated here with enthusiasm, which add to the diversified beauty of these places. .

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