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Much of the folk tradition is oral, passed on through the generations by traditional peasant singers, mystics, and wandering gypsies.

Many folk tales are sung to the accompaniment of music.

Culturally, the Punjab extends beyond this area to include parts of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, the foothills of the Himalayas, and the northern fringes of the Thar (Great Indian) Desert in Rajasthan.

At times in the past, the Punjab and its population have enjoyed a special political identity as well as a cultural identity.During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries , the region was administered as a province of the Mogul Empire.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.In India, Punjabi is the mother tongue of just under 3 percent of the population.However, in the redrawing of political boundaries in 1947, the Punjab was divided between India and Pakistan.

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.

Punjabis derive their name from a geographical, historical, and cultural region located in the northwest of the Indian sub-continent.

Punjab comes from the Persian words panj (five) and ab (river) and means "Land of the Five Rivers." It was the name used for the lands to the east of the Indus River that are drained by its five tributaries (the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej).

After then, Persians, Greeks, Huns, Turks, and Afghans were among the many peoples that entered the Indian subcontinent through the northwestern passes and left their mark on the region.

Punjabis, who are basically of Aryan, or Indo-European ancestry, are the modern descendants of the mixture of peoples that passed through the region.

The Punjab has a subtropical climate, with hot summers and cool winters. Rainfall varies from about 49 inches (125 centimeters) in the hills in the northeast to no more than 8 inches (20 centimeters) in the dry southwest. However, weather systems from the northwest bring valuable amounts of rain in the winter.