So, are you a Bohemian at heart?


             Yes you are… if you are a free spirit, a liberated soul, the one who defies the conventional norms of society, the one who lives life in his or her own terms. Yes you are, if you are whimsical, artistic, vibrant, non-materialistic, and unpretentious.

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” – Aldous Huxley

So, is bohemianism all about wearing a maxi dress, a flower crown, or a kaftan and carrying a brown boho fringed bag? No, it is not just that. Sure, these can make you look boho, but bohemianism is so much more. It is a sense of individualism. Bohemianism is a concept that you apply to everyday life. It is a way of life.

What, then, is it that makes this mystical empire of Bohemia unique, and what is the charm of its mental fairyland? It is this: there are no roads in all Bohemia! One must choose and find one’s own path, be one’s own self, live one’s own life” – Gelett Burgess,


A few days back, a small survey was conducted where people were asked what came to their minds when they heard the word ‘bohemian’. These are the few replies that  were received,
Free spirit, quirky, exuberant, beatnik, wild, avant-gardist, vanguard, a la mode, zesty, dreamy, fresh, fearless, effervescent ,hippie, bizarre, crazy, untamed, offbeat, romance, adventure, tribal, abstract, and eccentric.                       
Yes,each one of these words add up to the essence of a ‘bohemian’.Bohemian life rejects materialism, private property, and centers on creativity and communal living. Often associated with the use of drugs and alcohol, bohemians ignore social convention, centering their lives on art

The journey and evolution of bohemianism started in the early 19th century in France, and its evolution till date has been manifold. The Bohemians, as a counterculture, appeared in France after the French Revolution. Deprived of the former system of patronage, where wealthy clients supported the arts, artists were plunged into poverty. Many took up a nomadic life style, lived cheaply, and wore worn out and unfashionable or used clothing. However there is a very interesting history regarding how Bohemians got their name, which dates back to 1500 years ago and has its roots in northwestern India. 

The philosophy of bohemianism has been interpreted in diverse ways over the years. But the essence has remained the same, cherished and celebrated, each in its own way.

Author: OB

Image Courtesy: Pixabay


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published