Slowly, but unmistakably
Our valley is undergoing a paradigm shift; it is changing noiselessly.
SOCIETY BY UZMA MANZOOR
If only we mull things over the signs depicting an imperceptible revolution turn visible. The embossed illustration is our changing culture. If we think of Kashmiris who don’t live in this valley anymore and visit it only once in a blue moon like any other foreigner (it cannot be really presumed whether it is out of choice or out of helplessness) or of the ones who return back to the valley after spending decades in foreign lands, it is revealed that they apparently bring along dissimilar cultures, and eventually these dissimilar foreign cultures are incorporated in our own native culture; changing our society from mono-cultural to a potpourri of foreign cultures.
It is an inevitable shift and every facet of our life elucidates this; whether it is our modified diet habits, our woolly dressing sense, our feigned and borrowed vernacular languages and accents or our brainwashed philosophies. Without generalising and going into details let us focus on few aspects like the way our women have perfectly adopted the style of dressing that is originally not ours but trickles from other Islamic and non Islamic cultures of the world. Talk about our food culture, it is unquestionably undergoing a shift. We opt buffet weddings nowadays. Ironically speaking who wants to share a plate with three more people anymore! We hear people asking for unheard of things at a grocery store like sausages, marshmallows, tuna, idli-dosa mix and what not and surprisingly the grocer has them all. He ought to keep them all, his customer is subject to a revolution and so is he.
We can count the number of agents driving a paradigm shift anywhere on this earth like books, web technology, media, innovations and climate but there is one major agent responsible for evoking a change in our valley and that is undoubtedly travel and enormous exposure associated with it. We travel to foreign lands, spend a span of time there and come back with a changed mental outlook and brainwashed philosophies. Moreover, if we look around we find ourselves breathing in a society that is a mere concoction of uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbours and friends who do not live permanently in this valley anymore. Some of them have befriended the cacti of Middle East to the disappointment of pines and conifers of Pahalgam, some have taken wedding vows with The Alps abandoning poor Himalayas, some have synchronised their heartbeats with Big Ben ditching our own Ghanta Ghar (though it doesn’t tick anymore) while some prefer taking a dip in the waters of Niagara Falls to veteran Dal Lake. If only all of them knew how much do they contribute to the ongoing latent revolution in the valley.
Every kind of revolution has its pros and cons and the one taking place in our valley has got its too. It is secretly catalysing newness in our culture and society but at the same time it loses its essence as it sometimes manoeuvres at the cost of a couple of precious things we own and inherit. We do not want to give up our ‘nun-chai’ addiction for anything nor do we want our ‘kashir zabaan’ to become as extinct as dodo. We do not want to dismiss from our minds the omnipresent ‘kangiri’ and that charred smell of red hot coal burning inside it, reminiscent of thousands of winters which it has passed in our laps. We surely do not want to make the ‘quraab phiran’ a passe; it has imparted a royal charm to our women for centuries and has made them look like no less than queens.
If the change wins us accolades we are for it but if it wins us the following: assimilators, acculturated, knockoffs and wannabes ,we are not really sure if we want it to come to the forefront ever , it is better off behind the veil in such a case.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 11 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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