Anil Chandra Banerjee, a professor of history, has said that
In them we have a combination of the traditional characteristics of the Brahmin and the Kshatriyas. Like the Brahmins, they adopted literary pursuits and accepted gifts.Like the Rajput, they worshipped Shakti, drank liquor, took meat and engaged in military activities. They stood at the chief portal on occasions of marriage to demand gifts from the bridegrooms, they also stood at the gate to receive the first blow of the sword.
Food and drink
Their eating and drinking habits resemble those of the Rajputs. Charans used to enjoy consumption of opium and drinking of liquor, practices which are also popular among the Rajputs of this region. Charans do not eat the flesh of cows and hold those who do in utter disregard. Cows are respected like mothers. A husband and wife will not drink milk from the same cow, or milk soiled by their counter part. Drinking milk from one mother (cow) symbolises that those who do so should be considered as siblings. Before Indian independence in 1947, a sacrifice of a male buffalo constituted a major part of the celebration of Navratri. Such celebrations quite often used to be presided over by Charan woman.
Contributions to Indian literature
A whole genre of literature is known as Charan literature. The Dingal language and literature exist largely due to this caste. Zaverchand Meghani divides Charani sahitya (literature) into thirteen subgenres:
- Songs in praise of gods and goddesses (stavan)
- Songs in praise of heroes, saints and patrons (birdavalo)
- Descriptions of war (varanno)
- Rebukes of wavering great kings and men who use their power for evil (upalambho)
- Mockery of a standing treachery of heroism (thekadi)
- Love stories
- Laments for dead warriors, patrons and friends (marasiya or vilap kavya)
- Praise of natural beauty, seasonal beauty and festivals
- Descriptions of weapons
- Songs in praise of lions, horses, camels, and buffalo
- Sayings about didactic and practical cleverness
- Ancient epics
- Songs describing the anguish of people in times of famine and adversity
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- Kamphorst, Janet (2008). In Praise of Death: History and Poetry in Medieval Marwar. Leiden University Press. ISBN 978-90-8728-044-4.