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Patna is blessed with a culture which has continuously evolved during the last 2500 years of recorded history. The population comprises of different sects of people who came here over the centuries and finally settled down. The evolution and spread of religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism has added secular aspect to the city. The people from different regions of state also settled down in the city, bringing along with them culture, craft and language of the region specific, thus making the city as culturally vibrant.
- Patna Population : 1,683,200 ( Male : 8,94,158 Female : 7,89,042 )
- Patna Literacy Rate : 84.71 % ( Male : 87.71 % Female : 81.33 % )
- Patna Sex Ratio : 882 per 1000 males
- Patna Child sex Ratio : 864 per 1000 boys
- Total Child (0-6 years) population : 1,90,496 ( 11.32 % of total population )
The people of the city follows the traditional ways of living, though it is fast changing. The people prefers live in the joint families, though it is also on the declining side now. The society comprises of people of many religions, which is further divided into many castes and sub castes. The growth and the development of the people from upper castes is quite visible compared to that of the lower castes. The majority of the people is follower of Hinduism, followed by Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism and Jainism in that order. The city is secular with no feelings of hatred and people live together peacefully. Despite some religious turbulence in some part of the country in past, the city has remained fairly calm and composed. The accumulation of people from various religions brings favor to the festivals throughout the year. Marriages still happens in the traditional way. The parents decides about the marriage. The marriages bring whole family together and neighbors joyfully join in the marriage ceremonies.
The language of Patna has been evolved as a culmination of various regional language. Though, Hindi is the official language of the State and widely spoken, yet it differ greatly from the pure Hindi (Khadi Hindi) when spoken. The accent also varies. The Hindi that is spoken in the city is influenced by the regional languages like Bhojpuri, Magahi, Braj, Maithili and other local dialects. Besides Bhojpuri, Magahi and Maithili is widely spoken throughout the city. English is widely understood in the city, though not spoken as much.
The food of the city reflects the tradition brought along the history and its quite distinct. The Mughlai and Central Asia food, brought along with the foreign invaders during Medieval India can also be found in the city. Rice forms the staple food, eaten in combination with lentils, vegetables, chapati and pickles. People prefers to eat Samosa-Kachaudi with Jalebis in the breakfast. The famous breakfast item is Litti which is made from flour, gram flour along with several ingredients. It is becoming quite popular in other states also. Chawmins and Golgappas are favorable during evening. The non-vegetarian foods are also easily available. The other popular dishes are Sattu-Paratha, Kheer, Sewai, Keema, Khichdi, Halwa and Curries. The new restaurants offers a variety of foods belonging to different regions of the world.
Patna is also a big market of handicrafts items. The items made in different part of state are brought in Patna for sale. The stone works from Gaya, Bangles from Muzaffarpur, Madhubani paintings from Madhunbani are worth mentioning. On the Northern side of Gandhi Maidan, one can easily find the commodities made from bamboos and wood for sale. Patna Qalam paintings has a rich history and is blend of European and Mughal paintings, having themes based on animals, birds, and scenes from Indian Social and communal life. Patna Museum has a good collection of ancient Patna Qalam paintings. Many forms of regional dances can be seen in the season during festive seasons, though songs from Bollywood and Bhojpuri are also very popular. The craft work which includes Brass work, Zari work, Tikuli work, Kasida etc. are famous in Patna and adjoining areas. Patna City being the oldest part of the city are more famed for these kinds of works.
The city enjoys a good culture and secular environment in the 21st century.