The culture of Jammu and Kashmir is a comprehensive mingling of customs and practices of its three distinct regions, Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. Apart from its demographical variations, specific cultural diversions of its elements are what make the culture of Jammu and Kashmir remarkable. Music, dance, cuisine, lifestyle, festivals all these only highlight the diversities prevalent in these provinces. Unity is restored when a common thread of cultural tradition binds them together thus making it a part of Jammu and Kashmir as a whole. Culture of Jammu and Kashmir is therefore an interesting reflection of color, zest, harmony and concord which makes Jammu and Kashmir to stand apart with its distinct features of age old tradition and deep ethnicity.
The culture of Jammu and Kashmir has a plenteous tradition of folk music. Rabab is popular folk music of Kashmir. Musical instruments include nagara, dukra and sitar. Hafiz Nagma is grounded on the classical music of Kashmir- the Sofiyiana Kalam. The danseuse is called `Hafiza`. The salient instrument employed in Hafiz Nagma is called Santoor. It is the famous musical instrument of one hundred strings beat with sticks. Songs of Habab Khatun too are composed depicting the sadness of the famous Kashmiri princess of the same name. She was sad as she had been separated from her beloved husband Yousuf king. The uniqueness of Bakhan songs of the region is that it is hummed without the aid of any musical instrument . These songs are composed in the form of poems. The beat is unpredictable and is influenced by intonation in musical note. Hand movements of the musicians suggest various `note` fluctuations. In Dogra Pahari area of Jammu valley Geetru is performed at the time of festivals like rural weddings and other social festivals . It mingles both dance and singing formats. Both the sexes take part in this performing art format, which continues throughout day and night.
The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.
WazwanCuisine is a salient element, which denotes the typical culture of Jammu and Kashmir . The traditional green tea with spices and almond known as Kawa, is consumed during poise winters of Kashmir. Rice constitutes the staple food of Kashmir. Thanks to the contribution of skilled cooks from Smarkhand, a mouthwatering banquet called Wazwan has been popularized in Kashmir. It includes thirty-six meal made from mutton and these are really very tasty. All the Kashmiris love non-vegetarian meals especially those prepared from meat and lamb. However, polao is a common dish for Kashmiri veggies. These are namely meat balls and red gravy ( Rista), Minced lamb patties( Shami kabab), Lamb koftas ( Kashmiri Gustaba), spicy lamb steaks( Pasande kabob). Also spices, curd and condiments are common ingredients of Kashmiri cuisine. Mustard oil is used as cooking medium. The odour of costly kesar or saffron increases the craving of locales for classy foods. However, different religious communities of Kashmir maintained unique style of cooking meal. Muslims desist asafetida (hing) and curds and Kashmiri Pandits abstain from using onions and garlic in their meals. Phirni is a sweet delicacy of Jammu and Kashmir.