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Punjabis have a rich mythology and folklore that includes folktales, songs, ballads, epics, and romances.
Much of the folk tradition is oral, passed on through the generations by traditional peasant singers, mystics, and wandering gypsies.
In India, Punjabi is the mother tongue of just under 3 percent of the population.
Punjabi was raised to the status of one of India's official languages in 1966.
In spite of their common cultural heritage, Punjabis are now either Indians or Pakistanis by nationality. About 68 million live in the Pakistan Punjab, and just over 20 million live in the Indian state of Punjab.
Punjab Province in Pakistan includes just about all of the Punjab (West Punjab) that was assigned to Pakistan in 1947.
The Jats , who are mainly landowners (zamindars) and cultivators, are the largest caste in the Punjab.
The region is a vast plain, drained by the Indus River and its tributaries.
In the northeast, the plain lies at just under 1,000 feet (about 300 meters) above sea level, but it declines to under 250 feet (75 meters) in elevation along the Indus River in the south.
Punjabi is the name of the language, as well as the people, of the Punjab region.
In Pakistan, Punjabi is written using the Persian-Arabic script, which was introduced to the region during the Muslim conquests. Punjabi is spoken by two-thirds of the population of Pakistan.