Mumbai, previously known as Bombay, is a bustling metropolis and is the fourth most populous city in the world. With the highest GDP in India, Mumbai is every Indian's urban dream. The culture of this metro city is a boisterous blend of cuisines, languages, food, fine arts, cinema and festivals. The city-dwellers, often labeled as the 'Mumbaikars', lead a very fast-paced life and spend a significant time of their lives commuting from one place to another. Apart from being one of the biggest metropolitan cities in the country, Mumbai promises a high-adrenaline, foot-tapping, diverse city life to all inhabitants. Food and the festivals are the most important facets of Mumbai's culture. Every Mumbaikar is passionate about the local street-fare and the lavish celebrations like Ganesh Chathurthi, Diwali, Christmas and Eid. Since the metropolitan is observing modern trends, the caste, creed and color of people take a backseat in this city, and the fun-loving mentality breaks all boundaries. Also known as the 'film city of India', the Bollywood Industry is a thriving multi-million dollar industry whose origins lie in this city. If you want to know more about the culture of Mumbai, read on.
The official language of this beautiful city is Marathi, which also happens to be the mother-tongue of local Maharashtrians. Other languages spoken popularly spoken in Mumbai are Hindi, English, Urdu and the local dialect, 'Bambaiya Hindi'-which reflects the various blends of the diverse languages spoken in the city. Although Mumbai is a melting pot of various dialects and cultures, the major languages fluently spoken here are Marathi, Hindi and English.
Mumbaikars are very passionate about their local cuisines. Since the city is so diverse, a lot of cuisines have been adopted and transformed into mouthwatering dishes that are now considered unique to Mumbai. The metropolis is very famous for its street-fare such as Vada Pav, Chakli, Chivda, Modak, Batata Rassa, Dabeli, Pani Puri, Dahi Puri, Sev Puri and Bhel Puri. Apart from the local street food, South Indian food tweaked to suit the Maharashtrian palate, Maharashtrian food, Mughlai, Malvani, Punjabi, European and even South East Asian cuisines have caught on as popular fares in this lively city.
The people of Mumbai are considered to be a chirpy, tireless lot who are streamlined for a fast paced life in the city. Colloquially known as 'Mumbaikars' or 'Bombayites', the inhabitants of this city are often considered as hard-working, cultural, witty, modern people, who are passionate about their lives and are very approachable.
Mumbai is a city of many faiths. Since the cultural diversity is immense, religious conviction and secularism go hand in hand. There is a mix of religions in Mumbai due to the widespread growth of various communities and migrants. Mostly, people of Mumbai are a concentrated mix of Hindus, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Christians, Jains and Buddhists. Although Mumbaikars tend to get busy
The dwellers of this city are very passionate about music, dance and theater. Traditionally, Marathi 'Koli' songs that originated from the Koli tribes in Maharashtra form a part of the musical heritage of this city. However, since Mumbai is home to the famous Bollywood industry, Bollywood music is the most popular type of music heard, played, sung and even performed. Apart from Bollywood music, traditional Marathi Classical, Hindustani Classical, Indi-pop, Western Classical and English music have grown considerably as popular genres of music in their own spheres.
Dancing is another important facet of Mumbai culture. From Classical Bharatanatyam to Bollywood dancing, Mumbai is the hub for growing dance talent and many individuals even get the opportunity to perform in Bollywood movies, shows and theater performances. Mumbai is also home to a host of theatre enthusiasts and famous theater groups such as the Prabhodankar Thackeray Theater Club, Whistling Woods and the Rang Sharda encourage budding talent and are instrumental in conserving the traditional theater heritage of Mumbai.
The city is incomplete without its dose of colorful festivals. As one of the most populous and the most diverse cities in India, Mumbai is also home to innumerable festivals. Some of the most important festivals are Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Christmas, Eid, Moharram, Navaratri, Maha Shivratri and Durga Puja. The city also hosts an annual 'gay pride parade' in September every year and believe it or not, it is quite a thing here.
Mumbai is imcomplete without cinema. Apart from being labeled a city with an undying spirit, Mumbai is almost always associated with Hindi cinema owing to the fact that Mumbai is the nurturer of Indian cinema. Recently, the Bollywood Industry completed its centenary and that is proof enough of how deeply ingrained are movies and the industry in the life of Mumbai and its inhabitants. From the legendary Shah Rukh Khan to Salman Khan and the Kapoors to the famed musicians of the industry, Bollywood is considered to be an entertainment lifeline of this city and the rest of the country.
A truly secular city, Mumbai is famous and is emblematic of an endless chi and life on the fast lane. People travel from near and far to live in Mumbai for professional, social or political reasons. Whatever the reason may be, the city is home to thousands of inhabitants with different ethnicities, cultures, religions and backgrounds, making it a true melting pot of cultures, vigor and dynamism.