The culture of Kashmir is a blend of multiple customs which come from North India, Pakistan and Tibet. The state enjoys presence of amalgamation of religions and that is why Kashmir has a rich cultural heritage. People from diverse religions like Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Muslims have stayed in harmony for more than a thousand years and have adopted their own culture called ‘Kashmiriyat’.
The majority of population is involved in agriculture where the popular cultivated items include rice, wheat, cotton seed, and radish. The climatic conditions of Kashmir help in cultivation of fruits like mulberry, grapes, plums, apples, cherries etc. Also, a significant percentage of Kashmiri population is employed in exports of handicrafts, shawls and rugs.
Kashmir has some mouth-watering cuisines. The Kashmiri Wazwan, Yakhni and MethiKeema are some of the mouth-watering cuisines. The Kashmiri Kahwah is a traditional Kashmiri drink made from eight prominent spices, is famous worldwide.
As there are a lot of people from different religions living together in harmony in the valley, therefore a large number of festivals are also celebrated with full joy and enthusiasm. Their cultural heritage is easily reflected in the festivities. Some of the popular festivals are Baisakhi, Lohri, Eid-ul-Fitr and Tulip festival. The traditional dance, paintings and handicraft shops are an integral part of these festivals to highlight the Kashmiri culture.
Kashmir is also a popular place for its beautiful and unique handicraft. The Pashmina shawl is famous worldwide for its quality and fabric. The design and embroidery work on the shawl is breath-taking. Kashmir is also famous for hand knitted carpets and woolen rugs having floral designs. Basketry, papier-Mache, carved wooden furniture made of walnut wood and silverware is one of the best handicrafts, which are famous worldwide.
Kashmir has its own style of dance and music that is simple and fabulous. Almost all the festivals and fair consist of dance and music. One of the popular dance forms is the Mask dance that is performed during the Hemis Festival. The other major dance forms are Chakri, Ladishah and Rauf dance. Rou, Dogri and Wuegi-Nachun are some popular folk dances. Kashmiri people love music and tap their feet on the most famous Rabab music. The common instruments played in the music are Sitar, Dukra and Nagara.
The Kashmiri culture has evolved over the years and accommodated people from diverse cultures to ensure harmony in the society. The culture has been influenced by people from different religious faith. The Kashmiri art, lifestyle has also been influenced in a positive way.
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