KPs Determined To Preserve Their Cultural History

Jammu- Kashmiri Pandits have witnessed a significant decline in their cultural practices and traditions since their displacement from the Valley in 1990, but community members are now focused on preserving their rich past glory.

The community, living in migrant camps in Jammu, takes the help of special occasions to reach out to the younger generation and educate it about its culture and history.

Mata Baderkali Ashtapan Trust organised a special function on Friday on Zang Trai’, an auspicious occasion on the third day of the Kashmiri Hindus’ new year, Navreh’.

Many programmes, depicting the cultural history of Kashmiri Pandits, were held during the day.

“People living in Jammu have come here to celebrate Zang Trai, a special ritual connected with Shaktism in Kashmir. It was the first major effort by Mata Baderkali Ashtapan to not only promote this special tradition but also educate the young generation about it,” cultural activist Kiran Raina told PTI.

Asserting that over 30 years of terrorism and living outside Kashmir has caused changes in their culture, she said Friday’s event was a beautiful scene for the elder generation to refresh their memories and the younger generation to educate themselves about “pheran” (closed gown), “tarang” (special headgear), “pooch”, “sheehlaat”, “zooj” and “loong” (other traditional dresses of Kashmiri Pandits).

Prominent spiritual guru Dr Shiv Prasad Raina, while addressing a session, spoke about the significant role played by women in maintaining the cultural ethos and centuries-old traditions of the community.

Former legislator Surinder Ambardar said, “KPs are fighting hard to survive in this battle while in exile and to preserve and promote traditions and educate the younger generation. It is a difficult time, but the community is doing its bit to carry forward these traditions.”

Prominent social worker Pammi Ambardar gave a detailed spiritual and social genesis of Zang Trai.

She said Zang Trai is the day of goddess Chandraghanta’.

“The day was celebrated as a women’s day by Kashmiri Pandits and perhaps the unique function in the world. Women scholars, academicians, writers, scientists should be honoured on this day,” she said.

Speaking on the occasion, president of Mata Baderkali Ashtapan Trust Dileep Pandita highlighted the changes in the socio-culture ethos of the community and stressed to make the youth conservant with age-old traditions and customs.

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