Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Kashmiri Identity..

I am currently writing a chapter on Kashmiri identity and what makes one Kashmiri..

Is it the surname? (In which case everyone whose mothers are not Kashmiri dont count)
Is it the appearance? (In which case fair skin, brown hair, light eyes and a Long nose is typified)
Is it the location? (Does one have to live in Srinagar, or the valley. So everyone in Jammu is out)
Is it the language? (Does that include people who speak, or understand only, or all those who dont get it at all as well, we all know Kashmiri is a dying language)
Is it the culture? (Of celebrating Navreh, Shivratri etc)
Or is it the traditions? (Of religous and daily significance)

I think it might be a mix of all the above and one way or the other people fit in. A lot more people meet a lot many criteria. Should we include the fact that people that contribute back to their own community are those who really are from the community?

How important is identity to us? Is it important to preserve it and keep the 'purity' within the community. Or is it important to pass on what we know and cherish on to the next generation?

What is our stand on who we are and where we belong? Are we a 'we' at all? With so much movement and migration, mingling and marriages - a lot has changed. Is it all good? What holds us together as a community, if at all?

Does is matter as long as we are happy?

Questions many!!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

probably our identities are not essential for our survival, but then we obviously want to be more than a mere surviving human.Our culture is nothing but the way of life our ancestors followed necessiated by the geographical and climatic conditions...(otherwise its probably hard to find a non vegetarian brahmin community). We still continue to follow these traditions and rituals partly because some give us pleasure(eg. roghanjosh, kabarghah, pun, gaad bhaaat etc) and partly becoz they help us connect to our roots and make us distinct in a highly diversified country .... either way its justified

mar00ned said...

As Mr Gump would have said : Kashmiri is as kashmiri does ;-)

Morpheus said...

my question exactly...what does a kashmiri do to be a kashmiri...read newspapers,drink tea, talk a lot and sleep even more?