Kashmiri Life in Winter

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Kashmiri Life in Winter is Different

Kashmiri life in winter is not the same as it is in other seasons. You will see a significant change in people’s daily lives. Though everyone likes the beautiful view of snowfall in winter, it’s not welcome if it comes earlier than usual.  The snow falling on trees and terraces of houses in Kashmir villages and valleys looks beautiful and attracts the winter tourists. How Kashmiri life bears the brunt of this weather?  To get an idea about this, we need to have a closer look at life in winter.  

Staying inside

The days when people used to stay inside their mud houses during winter have gone. People would keep enough supplies of food,  spices, firewood, and fodder for animals to keep themselves alive in long winters. Nowadays, life is different in Kashmir. It doesn’t stop with the arrival of winter or chilly season that has got so many nicknames in Kashmiri language and culture.

snowfield

Winter excitement is there

Winter excitement about its chilly nature is still there. People in Kashmir region, still feel the excitement of the first snow and greet each other with good wishes for the winter season. There are very few places left where people still think of typical and culturally significant winter preparations for making snow boots, carpets made of grass, carpets and floorings.

Kashmiri life’s winter laziness 

Kashmiri life’s laziness and inertia associated with winter’s evenings is still there , though life doesn’t stop now. Modern electric fireplaces in rural and urban Kashmir are still a luxury that people simply can’t afford. There are many reasons including the government’s failure to introduce such a much-needed home appliance in Kashmiri life.

Winter Wonderland in Kashmir

Winter wonderland in Kashmir is it’s capital city Srinagar. Yet, there are many other small towns and villages that will leave you mesmerized. They are surrounded by mountains, trees, and flowers. Typically, people continue to share long hours of chatting and sitting together inside their warm houses. In Kashmir’s winter wonderland, people continue to use electric heaters, wood fuel burners, coal burners, traditional Samavars, fireplaces and various other kinds of housewarming equipment. 

Struggle around life continues

Despite a great change in modern day lifestyle in Kashmir,  struggle around life continues.  There is not a significant change in the duration of available time for people to use in winter. Hundreds of years ago, Kashmiris had same amount of time in winter to spend as they have now. The winter solstice always appears at its designated time of the year. Winter solstice is the day of the year that has the least daylight hours and it usually occurs on between 21st and 23rd of December. 

Early snow is not welcome

This year, snow in Kashmir came unannounced and at a time when people were not ready to welcome it. They did not have enough supplies for winter. A video of a Kashmir fruit grower moaning over wastage of his fruit went viral. The apple farmer from Kashmir was seen sobbing uncontrollably as he desperately tried to retrieve his produce from under heaps of snow.

Why snow is important for Kashmiris

Snow is an important part of Kashmiri life. It’s a decorative part of Kashmiri life but also has a very crucial role in the irrigation system. The water from melting snow gets stored as an underground resource which has its great importance. It’s important in both touristic and agricultural point of view. However, it’s timely occurrence is very beneficial for either of the said sectors in Kashmir.

landscape photography of mountains covered in snow

School life in winter

School life in Kashmir is hard hit as movement on the icy road becomes hazardous. The schools are not equipped with heating facilities. And there is an ever-increasing trend of exams after exams in school. The exams in cold weather make children’s lives uncomfortable and hard. The snow comes with its problems and hardships to residents. Yet, life becomes attractable to locals in Kashmir, though not mesmerizing as it is for tourists.  

nature photography of river near trees