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Ravi Speaks:-'PHERAN'-A UNIVERSALLY POPULAR KASHMIR’S TRADITIONAL WEAR.

 Ravi Speaks:

UPDATED ON 08.05.2022.

'PHERAN'-A UNIVERSALLY POPULAR KASHMIR TRADITIONAL WEAR

 Meaning and Pronunciation of Pheran:-

Pheran or phiran [pronunciation] is the traditional outfit for both males and females in the Kashmir Valley.  The pheran comprises two gowns, one over the other. The traditional pheran extends to the feet, which was popular up to the late 19th century C.E. However, a relatively modern variation of the pheran extends to below the knees, which is worn with a suthan inside (a loose form of shalwar) similar to the styles worn in Afghanistan. It is optional to wear the suthan with a long pheran as traditionally lower garments are not worn with pherans. The traditional pherans do not have side slits.

CHILD WEARING A PHERAN HOLDING A KANGRI

In summer, the pheran is made of cotton, but in winter, the pheran is made of wool, covering and protecting the body from the cold, especially during the snow. These dresses are used by the residents of the Kashmir valley and Kashmiris residing in Chenab Valley.

ELDERLY WITH A CHILD-BOTH WEARING TRADITIONAL PHERAN

What is Pheran?

The pheran is a loose upper garment loosely gathered at the sleeves which tend to be wide made of either wool or jamewar which is a mixture of wool and cotton, with no side slits. A pheran made of wool is called a 'loch' Female pheran dresses are designed with colorful flower-like designed elements and styles. Male pheran dresses are quite simple without any colorful design.

LADIES WEARING A PHERAN.
LADY WEARING A PHERAN.

The traditional pheran falls to the feet like a gown which was universally worn by the Hindu and Muslim communities into the later 19th century C.E. However, a modern version is knee-length and is worn by Muslim people which is loose and stitched at the front side and on the finishes while Hindu people wear their pherans long, extending down their legs. Ankle-length Pherans are tied at the waist. Intricate embroideries or flower styles are a popular function of a Kashmiri ladies' pheran. The embroideries or flower Styles are made of thin metal threads and this kind of embroidery is known as 'Tille' in the Kashmiri language.

What is Pootz?

The pootz is the same as the pheran but made of a lighter material and is worn beneath the pheran. It is generally used to save the pheran from burns due to kangri. It also provides extra heat during winters, double-layered protection, from the cold winter days.

MALE PHERAN

Pheran-Depiction of Kashmiri-Culture:-

Pheran is part of the Kashmiri culture, fashion, and daily life. Men, women, and children, all wear it. Pheran is a traditional long dress that covers the entire body up to the knees. Women wear colorful pherans with embroideries like aari, sozni, and tilla work.

The pheran, also spelled phiran, is a long robe worn in Kashmir mostly in the winter as protection against the cold. The unisex garment has long been part of Kashmir's traditional wear and is associated with the Kashmiri identity as much as the Kangri and the Kashmiri cuisine.

PHERAN WORN BY THE HERO IN A HINDI FILM

Pheran and Pootz is the term given to the traditional Kashmiri attire worn by  Kashmiri men and women. Pheran(also called Phyaran) is a long coat or cloak made of wool or tweed, worn both by women and men. Pheran & Pootstogether make two sets of cloak or gowns were worn one above the other.

Myths surrounding Kashmiri-Pheran:-

Many myths are surrounding Kashmir Pheran. Some believe that it was Emperor Mughal Akbar who introduced the long garments into the Kashmir Valley, while others believe that Pheran came from a Persian traveler who invented the garments to protect himself from the cold of winter. increase.

There is no consensus as to the origin of the word 'pheran'. However, it seems that the word is a corruption of the Persian word 'perahan' which means shirt. The outfit has been in vogue in Kashmir since before the 15th century.

Emperor Akbar’s influence:-

However, after conquering Kashmir on October 6, 1586, there is a general belief that Akbar tamed the brave Kashmir and introduced clothing to engross himself in a lazy lifestyle, Akbar. Bravely offered a friendship to King Yousuf Shah Chak of Kashmir at the time and invited him to Delhi. When the king went to Delhi, he was arrested and taken to Bihar prison, where he died and was buried. After the king left the valley, it was easy for the Mughals to conquer the land and ensure that the Kashmiris maintained their ties to Pheran.

Pheran gives a sense of slowness:-

Whatever the theory, Pheran gives a sense of slowness, and one wants to prolong this sense during these times. Those who like sloths(Sloths are extremely slow-moving mammals found in the rainforest canopies of Central and South America) praised laziness and invented this garment and gave it to the Kashmiris who loved it. In his book The Valley of Kashmir, Sir Walter Lawrence blames Akbar for the invention of this garment. Lawrence served as a settlement committee member of Jammu and Kashmir in 1894.

British missionary and educator Tindale Biscoe describes Kashmir's Pheran in the sun and shade as follows: "Kashmiris do not like the Mughal Empire, the Afghans, or those who follow them, but her love for Pheran is multifaceted. Pheran is part of Kashmir culture and politics.

Pheran is a part of Kashmir Politics:-

It is a big fashion signature for the political as well as the celebrity people of Kashmir. The latest designer Pheran is normally worn by former Chief Ministers-Dr. Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah in all the political activities held especially in the Kashmir Valley. Other political party’s popular people always wear a brand new person to welcome their attendees as well. Dr. Farooq -Abdullah wore pheran at all the gatherings when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to Kashmir in 2016. There were politicians taking pictures of their different styles of Pheran worn by them. The only exceptions were Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. At least I haven't seen their pictures with Pheran in all the old snaps taken.

POLITICAL LEADERS WEARING PHERAN IN KASHMIR.
THE PRIME MINISTER WEARING PHERAN DURING HIS SRINAGAR VISIT.

Kashmiris take a Kangri under their Pheran normally while traveling in Winters: -

The traditional Pheran is long and under the knee. But the modern variations of it are shorter and smarter. Under Pheran, you can place a Kashmiri vessel made of clay containing the burning splinters for keeping the body warm during the intense winters. It is called a “Kangri”. It does not bring about dramatic changes in clothing, so it reflects the historical continuity of Kashmir culture. Today, if a 15th-century man suddenly wakes up in the city of Srinagar, he will undoubtedly recall Pheran of his time.

Pheran is a symbol of fashion in global events: -

Both male and female Kashmiris from different parts of the world post selfies on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and wear beautiful and colorful Pheran. It has become a symbol of fashion in the apparel fashion competitions around the whole globe. That way even in Europe this pheran is very popular since the climate of most of the European countries is just similar to that of the Kashmir valley.

PHERAN IS BEING SHOWN IN A FASHION CATWALK.

PHERAN AS A FASHION SYMBOL.

Pheran is used by terrorists for hiding the weapons and posing threat to the security forces: -

This garment is also a witness to Kashmir's recent turbulent history. In the early 1990s, parents insisted that children, especially teenagers, avoid Pheran when leaving home because of the prosperity of militants under their protection. The militants transported weapons under Pheran. For those who wear Pheran, the Force was delusional. When they saw a man approaching them in Pheran, they noticed and asked him to take it off.

TERRORISTS ALSO USE PHERAN TO HIDE THEIR WEAPONS.
A thorough checking, especially for the men wearing the pheran is still being done by the security forces to check out any weapon hidden under this long and loose garment. People wearing this garment normally can very easily keep the bigger things inside the same and it would not look to be protruding from the outside. Hence, an enormous threat is always there to the security of people, especially from such garments.

Pheran is an integral part of Kashmiri culture: -

In a nutshell, Pheran has long been associated with Kashmiri culture just as Kangri and Kashmiri-cuisine and has been serving as the unisex garment for centuries as the part of Kashmir’s traditional wear. Even in the ancient period according to ‘Hieun-Tsang’, the Kashmiri people dressed in leather doublets and clothes of White linen-which was nothing but the pheran of those times.

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