Jammu & Kashmir has a varied and rich culture that includes dance, music, festivals, food habits, literature and the other qualities that encompasses the lifestyle and the culture residing on the grounds of Jammu & Kashmir.
The distinct and the diverse culture enroll many different habits and the lifestyles of Kashmiris residing in the snow clad region.During Independence, solidarity and isolation, the people residing here engaged themselves in a new culture of literature and learning. The Valleys of Kashmir is totally encompassed with the most amazing place and vast region covered with the alluvial soil, glacial mountains and loft, crystal clear streams, torrents, lofty crags, very broad lakes, pine forest and Chinar groves. For a long time, Kashmir was considered as a detached region and the history of Kashmir can be studied in the Chronicles of courts and the kings. In recent days, Kashmir is the home town for the people of various sects and races. The dance, music, cuisine, festivals are the features that portrays the diversity of the state.
Kashmiri Costumes :
Kashmiris Dresses are generally long and loose. It’s a gown buttoning in the neck region and droop towards the ankles. They are designed according to the season of Kashmir. In winter it is designed with the help of wool and in summer especially with the help of cotton. The dress that is worn by men are quite different from the dress worn by women, they are known as Phiram. Pyjama, is generally worn along with Phiran under it and are used by average people. There is a skull cap, shawl and a white chaddar on head carried as a tradition of Kashmirians. Men on the other side have the turban as symbol of affluence and responsibility.
Kashmiri Cuisine :
Rice is the staple food of the people residing in Kashmir. They have an intake of abundance of vegetables. The favorite dishes amongst the Kashmirians are Karam Sag and Hak. In the urban region, people consume lots of meat but in the villages, mutton is occasionally prepared in and around the festive season. Even though they belong to the cold country they have less intake of intoxicating drinks. There is a special tree known as green tea blended with the powder of spices and the almond popular as Kawa is devour during the period of winter. There is a delicious blanket popularly known as Wazwan very well known in the region of Kashmir. It includes 36 various kinds of dishes made up from mutton and are actually mouth watering that no one can resist.. Few of the dishes are Shahi Kabab, Rista, Kashmiri Gustaba and the Pasande Kabab. Many of the Kashmiris are non veg lovers and enjoy the meal especially that includes lamb and meat.
Music and Dance :
Sufiana Kalam is the music well famous in the region of Kashmir that includes the Kashmiri Language. Yet now, it is not possible to guess the origin of the Sufiana Sangeet as it has its origin from the blend of Iranian and Indian music. It has one of the most amazing instruments that have 100 strings and it beats with sticks. There are many other instruments that lies in the grounds of Kashmir popular one’s are Dukra, Nagara and Sitar. Many Mukams or the Ragas are found in the Persian form i.e Mukam, Nawa, Duga and Singha. In the similar manner, even the Persians has many form Talas as that of Kashmirians that includes Sol ha, Neamdor chapandoz etc. Beside these music forms,Sufiana Music, Rouff and the Chakri are well known forms of Kashmiri music.
The dance form that is very famous in the valleys of Kashmir is popularly known as Dhumal . The men that belong to the Wattal region are specialists in performing this kind of dance. There are special provinces that are arranged in theatres that creates the blend of intermingled music, dance and marriages. It is now a ritual and a part of celebration in marriages that is to be carried while departing from the groom`s residence along with the couple. Gossips, fun and the different incidence that are engaged in the nuptial nights are arranged with the jubilance and amusement. Surma, is another dance form of the Kashmirians that is sung by the people for a newly married lady whose groom has deceased in the war.
Festivals of Kashmir :
The people here are very enthusiastic and are fun loving. They are very fond of the festivals and celebrate them with true peace and harmony. The masked dance done by the people from Ladakh enthralls all the visitors coming from India and from the entire world. The people of Kashmir not only celebrate the festivals that have been celebrated in India but also there are few festivals that are celebrated with the typical traditional view and the localities are observing it in very high esteem and in joy and style. In the region of Uttar Behni, The festival of Chaitra Chaudash is famous. It is celebrated in the month of March or in April.The festival has got its name from the Hindi Language that symbolizes the flow of river from the river Devak towards the northern region. One of the famous festival or fair that is celebrated here is the Bahu Mela in the premises of the Kali Temple of Jammu’s Bahu Fort. There are also the festivals like Lohri and Baisakhi which are celebrated grandly.
Literature of Kashmir :
Kashmir has very well preserved the literature of India. Bilhana and the Kalhana are known for the ancient work it has. The former writer has written Rajataragini which depicts not only Kashmir’s side of history but also the history that contains entire India. Bilhana’s Vikramankadava Charita has the history of South India. Koka and the charaka had studied about the sex and the medical respectively. Anandavardhana, Vamana, Nammata, Kuntala, Ruyaka, Abhinavagupta are noted for the literature criticism.
Kashmiri Language :
The language of the people in Kashmir includes the Indo - Aryan language which is because of the antiquity present in the past during the Vedic period.
Arts and Crafts :
They have very beautiful treasure of arts and crafts of Jammu & Kashmir. Silk Carpets, Woven Carpets, Wollen Shawls, Rugs, Kurtas and Pottery are the most beautifully embroidered. There are beautifully designed traditional boats that are made from the wood and are popularly known as Shikaras.
People of Jammu & Kashmir :
The people residing in Jammu & Kashmir are very fun loving and simple. The people here comprises from the various different backgrounds that decorated the land of Kashmir with the vibrant and the colorful distinct and diverse features. It is one of the important place for the devotees of the Tantryan Buddhism. Now, it is the only place in the entire world that has the Tantrayan as the important aspect in the life of the people. The rich heritage and the culture that is found from the Dogras, a race of the people is still reflected in the arts of the people.
Kashmiri is the language spoken here. They are very fond of it and had very well preserved it in their literature and also in the form of oral arts. Dogri is the language of Dogras. The life of the people here is very simple and religious in Jammu & Kashmir.