In traditional culture, camels play an essential part in desert states like Rajasthan. But its significance is not limited to camel safaris. There is a lot to grasp from the qualities of this desert animal. Therefore, this article provides in-depth studies on them. Also, their significance in contemporary culture is highlighted in this article.
Camels As The Ship Of The Desert
Camel is the state animal of Rajasthan. For centuries, these resilient species are ruling the deserts as a mode of transportation and goods. In the promotion of the tourism industry in Rajasthan, these animals have contributed significantly. Its multi-functionality during hot summers serves as a source of income for many people residing in Afro-Arab nations.
Described as the ship of the desert because it carries goods to different places in warm parched areas without consuming water for months. Every year in November, Pushkar’s fair for the tourists, where about 2 lac visitors and 50,000 camels participate in the festival. The fairs have been set-up to promote livestock trading. Hence in these fairs, camels dress beautifully and gracefully for further its buying and selling.
Analyzing The Cultural Value
Camels generally are loyal, obedient, and controllable. Moreover, beautiful saddle covers and tasseled bridles accessories are used to accessorize the camels into a vibrant combination of red and green color. It defines elegancy and exquisiteness. Besides it, camel milk is also popular among desert people. As it is rich in nutrition, Saras Diary– Rajasthan Co-operative Dairy is using it in the production of milk ice-cream.
Significance of Camel in Sanskrit literature
In the ancient history of India, Sanskrit literature is the largest contributor. It has played a vital role in promoting the art of meaningful poems and stories in the culture.
In Sanskrit literature, a creature like camels has also played a vital role. In a variety of stories, authors have focused on the ‘animal symbolism‘ in characters. Like human beings, animals also possess traits like intelligence, foolishness, and kindness. Hence, it is used as symbols to describe the emotions and expressions of human beings.
Unfolding the Sanskrit Tales
The Mahabharata, universally called a Kurukshetra war, is one of the major epics of Sanskrit. The author of this legendary ballad has mentioned various animals that symbolize different shades of human beings.
Predominantly in Santiparvan of the Mahabharata, the tales of ‘The lazy Camel’ with its long neck are famous among people. It states how the slothfulness of the Camel invited death onto him.
In this fable, the Camel was taking pride in his long neck, becomes a reason for his destruction. Here camels represent laziness, who calls his own misfortune and exploitation of elegance and kindness. As per his wish, the Camel had long enough neck to keep the head high. However, his laziness overpowered him in stormy weather. He put his head into the cave and gets killed by jackals because of which he lost his life.
Embark into the Modern World of Camels
From children to adults, everyone fascinates with the thought of taking a camel safari in Thar deserts and experiencing such a blissful moment. Hence, novels take you on a journey that not only connects you from the hidden delights of deserts but also state the significance of camels in culture.
To encounter such moments, one can enter into the fascinating world of acclaimed Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. He is known for his notable work ‘The Alchemist‘ that depicts the animals as a mirror reflection of the fragile and dynamic qualities of human beings. Camel is one of the famous ‘animal symbolization’ in The Alchemist, which represents its diverse qualities such as wealth, success, strength, endurance, and safety. Hence, it serves as a source of inspiration for many people who are going through difficult times. It infuses enthusiasm and strength in people.
In the novel, camels plays a vital role in Santiago’s expedition. It described that he acquires an abundance of knowledge in this journey from the desert animal and its driver. Initially, Santiago learns and understands things through books. However, once he started connecting with the animal, he indulged himself in the language of dunes and Camel, which changed his entire perception of life.
Camel by Robert Irwin
In another novel, Camel by Robert Irwin is the first of its kind novel and featured along with experts of art- Leonardo da Vinci.
It deals with the fascinating questions about its influence on diverse cultures, even in such places where camels are not aboriginal. The author had penned down its ancient history following its significance in the contemporary world. The book also states about the miserable conditions of camels herders in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region, the unprecedented increase in the population of feral camels in Australia, and the threatened status of wild Bactrian in Mongolia and China.
Camel as a Symbol in Songs and Movies
Rajasthan is known as one of the hotspots for shooting as its traditional vibes to enchants the audience to experience the Rajasthani culture. Blockbuster movies like Mughal – E- Azam, Paheli, Dor, and Jodhaa Akbar have been shot in this colorful and mesmerizing locations of the state. Just like in movies, its enormous forts have been glorifying the history of Rajasthan, in the same way, the films are incomplete without barren land, and Camel safari. It is a well-known fact that these animals greatly influence the entertainment industry.
From Mughal -E-Azam to Paheli
To give the royal the experience in Mughal-E-Azam, the directors had used about 2000 camels. In another film, Paheli, which beautifully depicted the traditional values culture of the state, has elegantly shown the colorful puppets and camels, which took the audience on the journey of a fantasy world.
After analyzing the facts, it can state that Camels has influenced the culture and literature of society. From literature to novels and films, Camels has left its mark. In Sanskrit literature and as well as modern literature, it depicts the culture in a symbolic form. The different qualities and personalities of people reflected through the image of Camels.
One can see the aura of royalty in the films and grand safaris and festivals. It connects the audience with the traditional values of our culture. Hence, camels are an eminent part of our culture more than that of Rajasthan.