Saturday, November 10, 2018




My mother has told me something like this…
“ We Kashmiri Pandits had a social custom called Dodh . Though Dodh in Kashmiri means milk , In that particular custom , it meant Yogurt. Ladies were shy in joint families . Orthodox ways were prevalent in Kashmiri society . Many things were not discussed openly. So whenever a daughter in law was pregnant , it was a real problem for her to declare it openly in her inlaw’s house. Even if the husband felt that during pregnancy , his wife needed a little special care , little attention , some rest and comfort from tiring routine work , he did not dare to convey it directly to his mother or father. The daughter in law conveyed this good news to her mother in her parental home . The mother passed on the news to her husband or the father of the pregnant woman . The father took no time in arranging two big pots full of curd which he sent to his married daughter’s house . One pot was meant for her father in law and the other for her mother in law .The good news and the message was thus conveyed . The purpose of this custom has died down with the passage of time though we continue to send huge quantity of yogurt to our daughters in marriage and other rituals especially on the birthday of her husband .”

About this tradition, Padamshri Pran Kishore Kaul has told me this:-

"It was known as Dwod dyuen. I remember when my Bhabi was expecting her first baby, she had visited her parent's house and must have given the good news to her mother. I This news was conveyed to our family. An auspicious day was fixed mutually for my Bhabi's return. On that day, a feast was arranged for our relatives and close friends. At the auspicious hour, my Bhabi arrived accompanied by her brother and a couple of carriers following with big pots of curd and Naabadnots ( sugar pots) . The year must have been 1938. I fully remember that my Bhabi was in a white traditional burqa. It was to hide her identity and hide the lady's embarrassment as she had to cover some distance on foot.Burqa was used by our ladies too. An Afghan legacy perhaps."

( Avtar Mota )
If you read Vedas , you repeatedly come across a food called Madhuparka . It is a mixture of curd and honey. During Vedic period Madhuparka was offered to honoured guest, bridegroom , saints , VIP visitors to the family and the King. Offering Madhuparka or sweet curd was a symbol of love and affection. Since Kashmiri Pandits practice some Vedic rituals in one form or the other , this could be the reason why they continue to send yogurt and sugar candy to their loved ones on birthdays, marriage functions and other rituals .

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