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Kashmiri Culture: Ancient culture of Jammu Kashmir

ArticlesKashmiri Culture: Ancient culture of Jammu Kashmir

Forty years ago, the culture of Jammu and Kashmir was radically different, the customs, traditions, dress, and moral standards were completely different from today – if the culture of Kashmiri society of forty years ago is to be defined.

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So we have to call the Kashmiri society of that time a natural and natural cooperative society. During this period, there was a culture of doing everything together – from housebuilding to marriage and other social events.

The trend was an integral part of Kashmir society. During this period, the economic dependence of the people was farming and grain raising, so the people of the neighborhood worked together to sow the land harvest the crops, and clean them to the granary.

A culture of partnership and brotherhood 

In the Jammu Kashmir of that period, the produce of the land was divided into parts. Of it Barbar’ i.e. Barber’ Blacksmith. A year’s labor was also set aside for the Kumar, the potter.

The food of the people was mostly corn and rice. Wheat consumption was very low. Maize consumption was very high throughout the state and every village in the state had pin mills where this maize was ground and every house also had a hand grinding mill.

Which was used in sexual situations to make flour, every house in Jammu and Kashmir of that time had a flour grinding mill and (Okhli) and the women of that era had a special experience in using the mill and Okhli. And she used to be so healthy and strong that she was her example in sacrifice. This is the reason why the women of that era lived longer.

The men were also very hardworking, they spent most of the year in sowing the fields and harvesting the crops, and the winter from September to December was reserved for gathering firewood and building houses, since during this time the productive process of the lands was over. It stopped.

Pure food self-sufficiency  

Cornbread was also cooked in some way. In some areas, this bread was also cooked on a sophisticated tandoor, and its bread was also cooked like chapati.

It was a time when milk was available in abundance in every household, so cornbread was usually eaten with sag lassi ghee and curd. There was no custom of importing food from Pakistan and India.  

And there was no need, if there was a shortage of wheat and rice in an area, then this deficiency was made up from the more fertile areas of Jammu and Kashmir. And were healthy and strong due to eating powerful food. Lived a very contented life –

The culture of landlord and peasant society

Forty years ago the culture was the culture of the complete landlord and peasant society – the public morality was also connected to the land like the crops, all the people built houses together and cultivated the crops together.

And used to harvest crops together. There were moral values ​​in every sphere of life. During this period, women’s occupations were very laborious and tiring, for example, women millers and spinners.

The spinner used to cut grass for the mice and fetch water from very distant places, usually, the time for fetching water was reserved for morning and evening.

But the evenings were also a source of entertainment for the women as these women gathered with their pitchers on the water of the neighborhood and discussed every issue of life. In this way, the entire neighborhood and even the entire village was aware of the conditions of each house. In this way, water fountains also became a source of grief for women.

Memorable wedding ceremonies

Marriages forty years ago were also very different from today’s marriages. These were very prestigious marriages. The special thing about these marriages was that the marriages lasted for one to two months.

In these marriages too, there was a lot of communalism. No matter who the marriage was, all the relatives and the people of the neighborhood and the community used to give their contribution in the form of (Nyadre) Panji.

In all regions of Jammu and Kashmir, there were three to four marriage functions, the first being the engagement function. The second function was the wedding ceremony and the third and smaller ceremony was the mehendi and barat doli.

The feast of food was no less than today’s wedding. The bridegroom and the bride used to walk to the tune of Baje and Shanai to reach the house of their hosts. As a relationship, she used to eat feasts. It lasts for one to two months. Dol and Sarnai lived with the bride and groom.

Colors of ancient rural culture 

What a good time it was, how much love and sincerity there was. Sacrifice for each other was an unparalleled passion. Oh, what a wonderful time it was never to be forgotten. They sit together with everyone and organize parties from morning to evening. The colorful scene of the evening when there were colorful gatherings of women at the water fountains. Ah, those evenings when the melodious sounds of cuckoos and cuckoos heralded the arrival of spring.

Andalib and Koel may still sing songs, but today there is no one to listen to them. Today everyone is lonely despite being in a relationship, very lonely. Today our hearing is unfamiliar with nature’s singing

Native Kashmiri song tradition 

On the occasion of marriage, all over Jammu and Kashmir, women used to organize song and music gatherings. These women’s songs were prayers of praise and happiness for the bride and groom and some of the songs described the cultural background of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sometimes a woman would also sing and often two or three women would combine these songs into music. Instead of the drum and harmonium, an earthen pot would be placed in the middle and it would take over the function of the drum and harmonium.

These songs were not written by any poet but these songs were created by the historical and cultural conditions of Jammu and Kashmir. Rather, it is more correct that these songs were the earth’s voice and its creation.

Every woman of that time must have hummed some kind of song while working – in those days, houses were often dirty. In the marriage house two or three weeks before, the work of plastering the walls and applying white mud was used and also on this occasion, Geet Sangeet gatherings were arranged.

Tragedy and Song of Migration 

After 1947, I have also had the opportunity to listen to the songs and songs of women who migrated from Jammu city and the neighboring areas of Jammu to Pakistan, especially in Gujranwala and Hafizabad, which were a reflection of the background of the separation of the country. There was an opportunity to enjoy and understand the songs.

In these songs, he mentioned the city of Jammu. Akhnoor, Mahendar Poonch, Srinagar, Baramulla, and many other places were mentioned in these songs. In these songs, the words used about Yad-e-Watan, which usually describe the sufficiency of lovers’ emigration and separation, each song is associated with a city, a river, and a special scene in Jammu and Kashmir.

Flowers and fruits are mentioned with this skill. When listening to this song, a person reaches these valleys. In these songs there is pain and love and the beauty of the history and civilization of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Regional and local language Kashmir songs 

The Gujri songs of Jammu and Kashmir and the Pahari songs of Poonch were similar in transposition, but the tone and language of the songs of Muzaffarabad and the Kashmir Valley were different.

Gujri songs in Jammu and Kashmir had a unique style of their own – Gujri songs were strangely sung. Gujri songs were sung by both men and women. The Dogri songs of Jammu also had their beauty Pahari and Dogri are sister languages. whose songs and tone are very similar

We are trying to save these songs from being destroyed so that these songs can be preserved in our folk heritage, but unfortunately, this task is not so easy now.

Because from time immemorial women of Jammu and Kashmir used to sing in weddings and other social events. Geet Sangeet parties have stopped decorating. And everything has changed during that time.

When General Ziaul Haq seized power in Pakistan and hanged Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the prime minister of a democratic government, on the throne. And Zia-ul-Haq’s Islam was enforced throughout Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied territories. At that time, the Muslim Conference was supporting the dictatorship in Jammu and Kashmir, so the leadership of this party destroyed all the national treasures of arts and cultural heritage from Azad Kashmir through a conspiracy.

Zia-ul-Haq’s followers in Azad Kashmir including all over Pakistan choked Geet Sangeet. Of course, the Jihadi culture of that period had an impact on the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, but Azad Kashmir was directly affected by this culture now it cannot be said with certainty that the women of Jammu and Kashmir are keeping these songs alive.

The death of song is the death of society 

Many people may not agree on the relationship between music and psychology. But it is a fact that songs and human psychology are very closely related.

When songs die, the truth is that the society whose songs do not survive because the society ceases to exist. And ‘social stagnation’ means ‘death’ that slowly tears apart societies and individuals from within. They don’t even know how it all happened

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