Jhansi, once an integral part of Bundelkhand, retains many of the traditions and customs of the Bundelas. However, there are also Mughal, and Maratha influences on the culture of the people of Jhansi as both dynasties played vital roles in the city’s history. Folk dances that are an essential part of the lives of the locals, also correctly depict their culture. The Badhai dance is popularly performed at weddings and sometimes even at childbirth. The Akai dance form is inspired by martial arts and dancers use bamboo sticks while playing it. The Norta dance depicts the battle between good and evil where the former always prevails. The Rai dance form is said to be inspired by the movement of a mustard seed in a saucer. The Jawara dance is performed to mark a good harvest. The Diwali dance is performed by boys dressed as cowherds, a fortnight before Diwali, to express their devotion to Lord Krishna. Jhansi lays a lot of emphasis to dance and music, and the locals participate with zeal and fervor, breaking into a dance at every occasion.
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