The people of Kashmir are believed to be the descendants of the immigrants from India proper. As Buddhism spread here, people from far and wide came for research and study. People of Kashmir experience a culture that is an amalgamation of a number of other cultures they came in contact with. Roman, Greek and Persian civilizations have influenced the culture of Kashmiri people to quite an extent. Kashmiri population is a blend of people belonging to distinct races with different looks, dresses, food habits, customs, traditions, rituals, etc. Have a look at the people and main ethnic groups in Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pandits are amongst the original inhabitants of the valley.
They used to dominate the region of Kashmir, at one point of time.
However, acute terrorism in the Kashmir valley forced them to migrate to
other places in the country. Today, their population has been reduced to
minority in Kashmir.
Approximately ninety percent of the population of Kashmir consists of
Kashmiri Muslims. Muslims belonging to both the Shia sect and the Sunni
sect reside in the valley. They are considered to be quite skillful in
arts and crafts. Their other occupations include agriculture, sheep
rearing, cattle rearing and other cottage industries.
Gujjars are considered to be the Rajasthani Rajputs, who converted to
Muslim faith. They belong to the hilly area of Kashmir and are generally
herdsmen by occupation. Tall and well built, Gujjars have notably Jewish
Kashmiri women love to dress up with a lot of ornaments. Almost every
body part, be it the head, ears, neck, arms or ankles, is adorned with
jewelry. A typical ornament of a married Kashmiri Pandit woman is
Dejharoo. It is a pair of gold pendants, which hangs on a silk thread or
gold chain and passes through holes in the ears pieced at the top end of
the lobes. The Muslim women are quite fond of wearing a bunch of
earrings. The typical dress of a Kashmiris man is Pheran, a long loose
gown hanging down below the knees. The men wear a skullcap, a
close-fitting shalwar (Muslims) or churidar pyjama (Pandits) and lace
less shoes called gurgabi. In case of Kashmiri women, the Pheran is
either knee-length (Muslim) or touching the feet (Hindu). The Pheran is
tied at the waist with folded material called lhungi.