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We can use this word for many things, Kashmiri culture, Kashmiri Pashmina, Kashmiri Wazwan, etc, because Kashmir Valley is a well-known place for so many things around the world, and for a brief introduction and list of what Kashmir is famous for, you can check out our other post here.
Kashmir is famous for so many things, but the word of the day is ‘KASHMIRI’(yeah me too!! Want to talk about Kashmiri Wazwan here, but sadly), today we will talk about two “Major Kashmiri” elements – KASHMIRI PEOPLE and KASHMIRI LANGUAGE.
Well known for their hospitality, a Dardic Ethnic group, natives of the Kashmir valley, often called Kashmiris or Kashmiri people, are also known as Koshurs. Gujjars, Dogras, Paharis, Baltis, and Ladakhis are some other ethnic groups. As the word, KASHMIR was particularly employed for the Kashmir valley only in the past but in present times it denotes a much larger area, so the ethnic Kashmiris are predominantly located in the valley rather than the other area of the region, some smaller populations can be found in other regions like the CHENAB VALLEY as well as the NEELAM DISTRICT and LEEPA VALLEY.
The major population of Kashmir is of MUSLIMS and a small population of the HINDU community is known as the KASHMIRI PANDITS. The Muslims living in the valley are ethnical of the same stream as the Kashmiri Pandits and are called KASHMIRI MUSLIMS.
The region of Ladakh is home to Tibetan people, who speaks Balti and Ladakhi.
This brief intro leads us to our next main topic –
Spoken by around 7 million Kashmiris, the Kashmiri language is a part of the Indo-Aryan languages’ Dardic Subgroup.
Most Kashmiri language speakers, use English or Urdu as their second language.
The Kashmiri language can be written in three orthographical systems – the Perso-Arabic script, the Devanagari script, and the Sharada script, after the 8th century A.D. the language was written in Sharada script(traditionally), nowadays the Perso-Arabic and Devanagari scripts are in use, informally the Roman script is also used sometimes (especially online).
As an Indo-Aryan language, especially in earlier times, Kashmiri was highly influenced by the Sanskrit, With the arrival of Islamic/Muslim rulers in India, the Kashmiri Language started acquiring many words from Persian, and in modern times Kashmiri has an impact on Hindustani and Punjabi languages on it too. Kashmiri still has and uses some features of the Old Indo-Aryan Language that have been lost in the other modern Indo-Aryan languages.
The notable dialects for Kashmiri are – Poguli, Rambani, and Kishtwari, with Kishtwari or Kashtwari as a highly distinctive and conservative dialect.
Kashmiri language and dialects reflect the history of the region with the mixed vocabulary of Dardic, Punjabi, Sanskrit, and Persian elements.
And if you have any thoughts or ideas about learning the Kashmiri language, do let us know in the comment section, and for any other information/query about THE KASHMIR VALLEY, visit our other articles also at thekashmirvalley.com and do not forget to pour your hearts out in the comment section, any thought/comment/suggestion/advice is always welcomed.
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Written by Muba Noor
Feature Image Photographer : Umer Qadir