Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Nov. 12 : On the verge of losing their culture and heritage due to migration over the years, a group of Pandit community youngsters are making renewed efforts to revive their traditions by providing a platform to children born in Jammu and other parts of the country to connect with their roots.
A local non-government organisation recently held a competition in Jammu which saw an overwhelming response from the Kashmiri Pandit community in the state as well as from those who are settled outside.
'Kashir Kalakar', a talent hunt started a few months ago, is aimed at connecting the new generation of Pandit community with the roots of Kashmir.
The participants hailed the concept and underlined the need for more such programmes. "I didn't know how to speak Kashmiri properly before, but I've learnt a lot more after participating in this programme.
More such programmes should be organised as they give an opportunity to the Kashmiri students to progress and it also gives an opportunity to put our culture on display," said Kartik, a participant .
"My daughter has also participated in this programme for which we came all the way from New Delhi so as to give her a moral boost.
When she started singing in Kashmiri then she got more interested in learning the language. She can now speak it quite fluently. Such programmes definitely give the youth a moral boost and will aid in boosting their interest in the culture, traditions and values of Jammu and Kashmir which have been deteriorating.
Such programmes also help in reviving the Kashmiri language and I hope more of these are organized," said Sunil Koul, the parent of a participant.
The programme included singing, dancing and acting competitions for different age categories. Nearly 100 Kashmiri youth from Delhi, Haryana and other parts of the country participated in the event.
"Kashmiri culture is centuries old and has its own unique identity which makes it famous across the world.
Programmes like these help put our traditional culture on display through which younger generation can learn a lot about the history of their community," said Rajesh Koul, a resident of Jammu.
"Even though Kashmiris are usually in touch with their culture, there are some families that have settled outside the state and country.
This has eventually led to them going away from their culture and traditions. I think this is a very good step by this organization to promote their talent and to showcase the culture and heritage of Jammu and Kashmir.
This programme will definitely help in reviving the traditions and legacy of our state," said Kavinder Gupta, Speaker the of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly "This event is an attempt to bridge the gap that has come between the youth and our culture.
We want to instill a sense of competition and pride in the youth because reading about a culture and actually living it are completely different experiences.
We want the new generation to actively be a part of the culture and to also give them a chance to compete so that they can reach a higher stage through their talents," said an organiser.
The show provided a platform to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to put their best talent on display while getting an opportunity to learn more about their culture and language.