Snowfall brings hope in Kangri weavers

Irfan Rashid

Srinagar, Jan 29: With fresh snowfall in Valley on Thursday, a new wave of happiness flashed the Kangri weavers of Kashmir when they were seen to make great business in the whole valley.

Every year hundreds of Kangri weavers are waiting for the Snow in winter to earn their livelihood for the rest of the year but this season they had to wait almost till the end of Chillai kalaan.

“We have hopes associated with the winter snowfall that not only locals but even tourists will buy them and that money will suffice for whole year,” said Mohd Yusuf, Kangri weaver of Charari Sharief.

These Kangri weavers every year get credit from the banks and are hopeful to make that with high sales of kangris.

“I had burrowed Rs 50000 from J&K Bank to bring Kaanea and in this season I did not earn more than Rs 15000,” said Ali Mohd, adding “Now I have some hope.”

The sales of Kangri go on steep with snow every year.

“Till now no one gave us more than Rs 100 for a kangri but now I can sell them for Rs 150,” said Ab Salam, from Bandipore.

Many tourists, who visit Kashmir, also take with them a piece of Kangri with them outside the state and even country.

When asked one foreign tourist about kangri; “I guess a kangri is earthenware filled with glowing embers and encased in pretty handmade wicker baskets and is carried as a personal warmer in winter Kashmir,” replied Mr. Stephen Arnold, hailing from London, on a family vacation to Kashmir.

One Historian Shahnaz Mir says Kangri is synonymous with winter. “For us winter means Kangri. When temperatures dip to sub zero, we fill our Kangris with burning charcoal and use it inside our phirens,” says Shahnaz, who lives in Charari Sharief. “The thing I like about Kangri is its portability. You can take it anywhere”.

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