Culture and Festivals, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman and Nicobar come under the islands of India. Andaman and Nicobar Island is one of the seven union territories of our country. It was established in the year 1956. Port Blair is the capital city of the island. We could find that almost all major languages are being used in this place. English and Hindi are the official languages of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Some of the major spoken languages in Andaman and Nicobar Island include Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Nicobarese. We could find people from different ethnic groups and religion live in Andaman and Nicobar Island without causing any hindrances to peace and harmony.

The indigenous people of these islands can be classified into two, that is, one of Negroid origin and the other of Mongoloid origin. The people of Negroid origin can be mainly seen in Andaman. They might have migrated from Africa during the Paleolithic era. The major ethnic groups of Andaman are Jerawa, Andamanese, Sentinalese and Onge. Similarly we could find the people of mongoloid origin in the Nicobar region. The Shompen and the Nicobari are the two main ethnic groups found in Nicobar.

These indigenous groups of Andaman and Nicobar islands are isolated from the other people which helped in preserving the true culture of these islands. Some of these tribal people don’t even bother to get dressed up and they move naked. The Sentinalese is one group which doesn’t use any clothing.

The migrants from different parts of Indian mainland brought their art, music, literature and festivals along with them, now the people of this island celebrates different festivals like Island tourism festival, Beach festival, Music festival or monsoon festival, World tourism day celebration, and Food festival.

Island tourism festival

This yearly traditional event is conducted for the promotion of tourism and it also becomes an entertainment for the people of the island. Port Blair is the major venue for the festival and some programs are also conducted at other places like wandoor, wimberlygunj, rangat, Havelock, duglipur etc. the festival which continues for 10 days will be inaugurated on the 5th January by the honorable lieutenant governor at ITF ground, Port Blair. The main attraction of the festival is the exhibition showing progresses made by the island administration in various spheres and transaction of general produce, floating restaurant, food stalls etc. another eye catching feature of this program is that various artists from different zones that is the east, north, south and west will be invited and they will be performing their artistic skills. In order to cheer up the crowd the official language department also organizes the HasyaKavisammelan.

Beach festival

This one is a newly emerged festival which had been conducted to satisfy the needs of beach lovers. In this festival various sports items are conducted, these include beach volley ball, kabaddi, tug of war etc. There is no fixed venue for the festival; it may vary from year to year. Many food stalls and various other entertainments are also arranged.

Music festival or Monsoon festival

The music festival is conducted during the months of May – June. This compriseof music programs and food kiosks etc.

Food festival

The people of Andaman and Nicobar islands celebrate the world tourism day, on September 27. Coinciding with this celebration a food festival is also conducted by the respective department which would last for four days. The venue for this food festival is the ITF ground, Port Blair, where ethnic foods of Andaman and Nicobar islands will be presented for sale.

Despite of all those diversities in the religion, language, and ethnicity, they live as one and together they participate in all these fiestas.