The culture of Kashmir is a blend of multiple customs which came from Northern region of India, northern Pakistan and the Chinese territory of Aksai Chin. The erstwhile state enjoys the presence of diverse religion and that’s the reason why Kashmir is famous for its culture heritage which amalgamates Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist people who make Kashmir more beautiful and their diverse culture has brought many changes in the living styles. There are many cultures in our Kashmir each and every culture is praised by Kashmiri people and non-locals as well. The dining culture which is known as Kashmiri ‘Wazwan’ is the hot topic that everyone wants to talk about. This Wazwan came into Kashmir from Central Asian and Persian culture. The Valley of Kashmir which is so called the Paradise on Earth is primarily surrounded by sky kissing and snow clad mountains, deep green forests, and pristine waterfalls which makes the people of all walks of life to fall in love with this place.
VALLEY OF SAINTS
Kashmir is known by the Valley of Saints and Sufis as there are numerous of them whose teachings are preached by many even the young lot of Kashmir. These Saints have leaded the people of Kashmir towards the right path of peace and prosperity by inviting them to Islam. In that course they have embraced immense hardships but there patience and sacrifice has made them to overcome those hardships.
KASHMIRI FOOD AND CUISINE.
Our Valley has some luscious cuisine which includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Among non-vegetarian the popular dishes are Kebab, Roganjosh, Yakhni, and Tabak Maaz etc. Whileas some of vegetarian dishes include Haakh, Rajma, Zarda, Tursh, Shree Pulao, Nadir Yakhin etc. all these dishes are prepared with fresh vegetables which are mostly grown in Kashmir. In desserts we serve Sevian, Phirnmi, Gajar ka Halwa, etc.
The colorful and attractive costumes that every Kashmiri wears including Jewellery is very traditional. Women attire their costumes with some cultural jewellery like nose ring, bangles, earrings, necklace and loose Shalwar Kamiz according to their comfort. Whereas men dress themselves in Kurta Pyjama, shalwars, gurabi and skull caps. Most common winter costumes of Kashmir is “Pheran’. It is a kind of overcoat with warm fabric as women used to wear Pheran which is bit different than that of males as the Pheran worn by Women have embroidery works and sometimes it have Tilla work which is same like an embroidery but a special type of thread is used in the work.
Kashmir is popular place for its beauty and unique handicrafts. The Pashmina shawl is famous worldwide for its quality and fabric which attracts visitors and tourists to buy these kind of stuff during their stay in Kashmir. Almost every woman love to wear Pashmina shawl which symbolizes royalty. Other handicrafts made in Kashmir includes hand woven carpets, woolen rugs, basketry, paper machie, groundnut wood carving, and silverware.
DANCE AND MUSIC
Kashmir has its own style of music and dance which is simply fabulous. Every festival consists of dance and music which is a big attraction not only for tourists but for locals as well. The dancers wear colorful costumes, facemasks, robes and do ceremonial dance which is locally called as “Roaf”. Meanwhile Kashmiri people love folk music that is Rabaab, Wanwun and Ghazals.
FESTIVALS IN KASHMIR.
Kashmiri people enjoy festival with joy and enthusiasm. J&K is a home to rich culture heritage. Some of popular festivals are Baisakhi, Lohri, Diwali, Eid_ul_fitr and Zuha, Hemis, Sindhu darshan, domoche etc. a large no. of people usually gather maintaining the communal harmony while participating in different festivals. Most of the festivals are celebrated here with utmost zeal and zest between the people irrespective of religious differences.
Author: Nighat Bashir
8th Std Student Based In Srinagar