As we know, there are different kinds of seasons in a year and each is called by different names and in Kashmiri, these seasons are beautifully called Soonth, Bahar, Harud and Wande. This Wande is further called by other beautiful names like Chillai Kalan.
This season is considered the most severe part of Kashmir’s winter season, which results in snowfall, frosted water bodies and dense fog too, which undoubtedly causes hardships to people here.
We use different electronic gadgets to counter the bone-chilling chill, yet the most important gadget that helps in maximum to counter this is the earthen firepot called Kangri or Kanger. It is the only portable ‘gadget’ that gives a feel of warmth amidst unprecedented cold.
It has acquired a greater significance in not only Kashmiri culture but in the lives of people living or working here. Besides, it is used to perform a marriage ritual: To ward off evil of both bride and groom.
Its exhibition in various countries has also contributed to making it a prominent part of Kashmir’s heritage.
Even when the digital revolution embraced each aspect of our lives, Kashmiris still use Kangri as the feeling of warmth from it is incomparable to any other heating gadget. But there are occasions when we feel Kangri has lost its relevance, which is, however, unfounded in the case of rural settings.
It, therefore, is the duty of every individual to safeguard one’s cultural heritage, which obviously gives us a unique identity, and undoubtedly our Kangri is our cultural identity.