We all can see and foresee the vanishing of our Kashmiri language and culture. We all have been brought up in an imported language and way of life. Our parents wished for our fluency in English and Urdu languages. They gave no importance to our own culture. As we grew up, many other barriers kept us away from our culture. We all are willingly or unwillingly part of western culture, which has become unavoidable for all of us. Let us think what will happen to our culture after a decade. It may have been completely wiped out.
We have become so dependent and interested in other cultures that we have forgotten our own uniqueness and creations. This is not only about Kashmiri culture, but about all those cultures that are getting undermined by western culture. The main element of a culture is its language. We all have reduced the use of Kashmiri in our daily lives. Language represents a culture; if the language is progressing, then the culture is prospering. In developed countries knowledge and research is in their own language. American culture is so well developed because it gathers people from all over the world and then trains them in the English language. All the research and development then gets done in favour of America. Similarly, China is developing its own social media, every kind of technology platform in the Chinese language, and that is why it is doing so well. All the countries that are developed today have drawn from their own culture, like Japan did after World War II by building a base in terms of research and technology. They promoted their language and they have achieved a lot with their language. We, meanwhile, are helpless.
This conservation and promotion of language is the way not only to maintain a culture but also to export it. We all have to make the effort to find out ways that can promote our culture. It is time not to remain helpless but to do something. I think it is up to all of us to build our nation and make its way clear. We have to prosper by ourselves not only in terms of professional skill but also in terms of financial aptitude. Everything is in our hands and we have to ensure that our next generation is able to find its place in the world on its own terms. Let us build our educational system correctly and introduce our culture efficiently in our teaching. I would like to quote the genius Steve Jobs who said, “Your time is limited, so do not waste it living in someone else’s culture”.
Understand and love your culture deeply, because that is your identity.