People are standing against the State in South India to object the “imposition”of Hindi in their states and they definitely have a point!
We ask Jammu about their point view, if at all we have any! It took 56 years and immense hard work to get recognition for Dogri in 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution and yet there is such lack of enthusiasm for our language and culture among us!
Dogri and Dogra culture is vanishing faster than we assume. Youth these days likes to act cool and use Punjabi. Punjabi movies and songs are themselves altering Dogri vocabulary.
Schools, especially within the Jammu division and its periphery, are hell bent on making kids speak English and on occasions, Hindi too. Time is short and we have to take a call. Here is what we can do to save our mother tongue and our culture:
Speak Dogri with your kids:
Kids will eventually learn Hindi and English in school or society. Teaching them Dogri is a challenge. Speak Dogri with kids as they grow.
Attend cultural gatherings:
Attend cultural gatherings like Navratra festival, Jammu Mahotsav and other cultural programmes to educate yourself and children about our virasat. And if possible, try to talk to those artists. They are treasure troves of knowledge and information about our culture. Make video clips of their performances so that their art and knowledge could be shared further. Read also: Things that prove that Jammu is not Kashmir
Apart from libraries and internet, there are hundreds of books catching dust in Jammu and Kashmir Fine Arts Society book shop in Abhinav theatre. These books are treasure of Dogra heritage and literature. You can build a library at home with these not-so-expensive books.
Try to get elders’ advice before any event or function in your family. Try to incorporate traditions and customs in your events. As our lives are becoming busier, our marriages and other functions are getting briefer. Majority of our traditions will be forgotten within a generation if we continue to do so. Also, there are some cultural singers and dancers in and around Jammu. If you can afford, please invite them to add value to your occasion.
Try to visit your grandparents, historical places, Dogra art museums etc. Be inquisitive; keep a diary; make videos, vlogs etc. and spread every precious bit of information that you can gather about Dogra heritage. Watch Video : Awesome aerial view of Jammu City
Make a mark on tourists:
Dogras are one of the most hospitable people you’d find and yet hardly anybody from outside the state knows the fact! There is such hullabaloo about Kashmiriyat, a romantic term, whose meaning is a mystery for many! But what about Duggar khaatirdari, Duggar dildari- Dogriyat?Lakhs of tourists and pilgrims, many who are originally headed for Kashmir, land here in Jammu. How often do we make an attempt to show them our traditions and culture? It is our responsibility, especially, of those who are in hotel, hospitality and travel business to make a memorable impact on them. Our courtesy and hospitality and a serious effort to promote Duggar culture can surely take us a long way in promoting our heritage.
Be an ambassador of Duggar:
Many of our Dogras are studying and working outside Jammu. Make sure to share your culture with people; dispel doubts about our state and tell people how Duggar culture is unique. Make sure to educate people about the differences between Dogra and Kashmiri cultures so that nobody mistakes you for a Kashmiri.
Take Dogri as a subject at school:
While Dogri is being taught at very few schools, it is soon expected to be taught in more schools as such is an order by the State Goverment. Although 2 or 3 years’ education in Dogri isn’t enough to familiarise one with vast amount of Dogri literature, yet it is enough to make curious students fall in love with the sweet language.
Jammu is home to multitude of cultures and languages. People from all over the state and outsiders too have settled in Jammu. After Kashmiri Pandits settled in Jammu, people started speaking Hindi more frequently to accommodate, who could have easily been a non-Dogra. This definitely is a sign of hospitality but it has gone too far! Dogras must understand that Dogri is the language of Jammu and our refusal to converse in Dogri will lead to its demise. There is no harm in speaking Dogri first, even with a stranger. So, make sure that you strike conversation with anybody in Dogri, even a stranger! If the stranger is not conversant in Dogri, be quick to switch over to Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, English etc. as suitable.
Know your own culture:
Take time and find roots of Dogra virasat. Do get together with your leaders, friends and relatives and discuss your culture with them and spread the word. Duggar study circles could be set up in colleges and universities of the region.
Create and participate in cultural events:
It’s important to have a group focused on cultural integration. Don’t shy away from participating in local cultural events. Our apathy leads to failure of many such cultural events thus discouraging the governments and organisations.
Watch Video : 5 Popular Temples of Jammu City
Protect our heritage:
Avoid scribbling and littering anywhere- be a tourist spot or anywhere. Show sensitivity towards our cities and villages. Set an example for people all over the country to see. Being a part of the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ initiative. Spreading awareness around about these monuments and their importance.
Culture doesn’t need protection! Culture needs practice:
Practise every bit of tradition from Dogra culture that appeals you. Taking on new practices and continuing with old ones will be our ultimate contribution in passing on our collective legacy to future generations.
Traditional Dogra cuisine has it’s own definitive style and distinctive taste and aroma; being cooked in desi ghee with our own desi spices. Invite your friends and relatives and treat them with babbroo, dahi wale chatpate aaloo, madra and rice, khatta meat, timbru di chutney and much more!
Well, all the mentioned steps are not necessarily a concrete method, yet this is the best an individual can do.
Do share this post and spread the word to save our heritage!