By Rishav Gupta
Dogras are the natives of Jammu region. While staying off the radar of main stream cultures, dogras are known for their valour and street smartness, at least to those who know about them. Following are few things every dogra would associate with;
Mera Jammu: You can send a dogra anywhere or even export him abroad, he may see all the glory the world has to offer, but he’d compare everything to Jammu and would always want to come running back to the beautiful hills. Yes, homesickness prevails but all for the right reasons.
Sarkari Naukari/Apna kam: Private Jobs are not much less than a play time for freshers and recently graduated youth in their parents’ opinion. Their life purpose is supposed to be either getting a ‘sarkaari naukari’(government job) or try a hand in business; a guy with a govt. job is more susceptible to have a list of ‘rishte’(wedding offers) than the otherwise.
‘Khand mithe’ log dogre: As the famous song goes “Mithadi e dogre di boli, te khand mithe log dogre’ translates to sweet is dogra’s tongue and sugar sweet are they; dogras can speak an impeccable Urdu, have a flawless flow at Punjabi and all that with a sweet dogri accent.
‘Chal gyi aa’: There are only two days every dogra boy knows kites are flown on i.e. Raksha Bandhan and Janamashtami. What? Rest of India flies on Independence day or Makar Sakaranti? Doesn’t make any sense, does it? The terraces are crowded with howls of ‘Chal gyi aa’ whenever one succeeds in a ‘pecha’ (kite battle).
Food , Food, Food!: Well who doesn’t identify with food? But it is a God’s treat when it comes to dogri cuisine. Rajma chawal with piping hot desi ghee, kalari melting inside a bun, khatta meat and many such ‘mouthgasmic’ delicacies enrich the authentic dogri cuisine and keep dogras happy.
Kud-Patnitop: An almost 4 hour drive from Jammu city through the beautiful hills, every dogra would have visited the famous hill station of ‘Patnitop’ on a picnic and had amazing Kud ‘pateesa’ at least once in his life.
Beautiful, little festivities: Tamdeh, bacch-duah and many more festivals are there only known and practiced in dogra culture. As beautiful ritually they are, they have deep and interesting stories connected to them. Go explore and you’d find more.