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Sufi music festival held in Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar , Sun, 19 Jun 2011 ANI

Srinagar, June 19(ANI): A two-day Sufi music festival was held in Jammu and Kashmir to save the traditional form of music and prevent it from dying out.


The festival, which concluded on Saturday, was held at the Sher-e-Kashmir Convocation Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar and provided a variety of Sufi folk and light music for the audience.


During the festival, a group of young girls performed a sufiyana item for the first time.


Talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the festival, Shubeena Akhtar, a Sufi musician, said: "We are the first lot who sing Sufi songs. Earlier women did not sing Sufi songs. Only the male community that included our elders and mentors were allowed to sing Sufi songs. This is for the first time we women are singing Sufi songs so that this kind of music is kept alive."


"We are keeping this trend of Sufi music as we want other girls to join our group and perform so that this form of music is alive forever," she added.


Syed Zeeshan Fazil, Deputy Director of Doordarshan Srinagar, who was the co-organizer of the festival, underscored the need to involve young people in Sufi singing to carry the tradition forward.


"It is very important to include today's youth in Sufi music singing, as they are the backbone of a nation. It is a very good thing if youth, both boys and girls, here participate in it and help in developing a new thinking," Fazil said.


Sufism is the backbone of Kashmiri culture, but due to the nearly two-decade unrest in the valley, sufiyana music has been badly affected. Now, with the situation improving in the valley, a number of sponsor groups are coming forward to organize such festivals.


Sufiana poetry is primarily vocal and choral music. An ensemble of four to seven musicians perform it and all musicians sing together except the main singer who sings the main lines of the song.


Poetry associated with sufiana singing is in two languages, Persian and Kashmiri.


The favourite poems are those of the great Sufi mystics of Persia and Kashmir, such as Jallauddin Rumi, Jami, Omar Khayam and Amir Khusro. (ANI)


Read More: Jammu | Persia

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