My greetings to all my fellow Indians around the world on the occasion of "Maha Shivratri", wishing you a joyful and prosperous celebration. Har Har Mahadev!
Prior to the release of the Bollywood film, The Kashmir Files, like many others, I was largely unaware of the rich cultural heritage of the Kashmiri Pandits. Despite their significant contributions to art, literature, and cuisine in the Kashmir Valley, their story has been largely forgotten and their struggles have gone unnoticed in recent times. It's unfortunate that media, our childhood, or even our own ignorance may have played a role in this. Nevertheless, with the release of this film, I am determined to learn more and appreciate the unique culture of the Kashmiri Pandits and so does this blog.
#mahashivratri is a significant #hindu festival dedicated to #lordshiva , which is celebrated in various parts of #india and by the Indian diaspora worldwide. In the state of #jammukashmir , especially among the Kashmiri Pandit community, the #festival is known as Herath or #HerathPoshte, and it holds great cultural and religious significance. The celebration involves various rituals and customs, including fasting, offering prayers, and seeking blessings from Lord Shiva for prosperity and well-being.
Kashmiri Pandits have a rich cultural heritage that stretches back centuries. They are the original inhabitants of the Kashmir Valley, and their contributions to the region's art, literature, and cuisine are immeasurable. However, in recent years, many people have forgotten about the Kashmiri Pandits, and their plight has been largely ignored.
Among Kashmiri pandits the grand festival of Mahadev, Maha Shivratri is celebrated as Herath, a phonetic derivation of Har-ratri the night of Hara. Herath is considered a festival of preserving the intrinsic and positive values of Kashmiri culture. One aspect of Kashmiri Pandit culture that is particularly important is Herath Poshte. Herath Poshte is a traditional Kashmiri Pandit feast that is held during the Herath festival or Maha Shivratri. Herath is a festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is celebrated on the first day of the lunar month of Magha.
Herath Poshte is a feast that consists of several traditional Kashmiri dishes, such as Rogan Josh, Yakhni, and Dum Aloo. The dishes are usually prepared by the women of the family and are served to the entire community. The feast is a time for the community to come together, share food, and celebrate their culture. But Herath Poshte is more than just a meal. It is a symbol of the resilience and strength of the Kashmiri Pandit community. Despite facing centuries of persecution and displacement, the Kashmiri Pandits have managed to preserve their culture and traditions.
However, the Kashmiri Pandits' struggle is not over. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the community was forced to flee the Kashmir Valley due to violence and persecution. Many Kashmiri Pandits were killed, and those who survived were forced to leave their homes and their homeland.
Since then, the Kashmiri Pandits have been living in exile, and their voices have been largely ignored. They have been waiting for justice, for the right to return to their homes, and for the world to recognize their struggle.
It is important to remember the Kashmiri Pandits and their culture, and to support their struggle for justice. By celebrating Herath Poshte, we can show our solidarity with the Kashmiri Pandit community and honor their rich cultural heritage.
So, let's take a moment to appreciate the Kashmiri Pandits, their delicious cuisine, and their unwavering spirit. Let's support their struggle for justice and work towards a future where they can return to their homes and their homeland. And let's celebrate Herath Poshte with them, as a symbol of hope and resilience in the face of adversity. Once again, Wishing my fellow Indians across the world a "Happy and Prosperous Maha Shivratri" Har Har Mahadev!