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Traditional Kashmiri dining finds few takers in COVID-19, social distancing times

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced Kashmiris to temporarily forgo the age-old tradition of dining together at weddings.

Published: 05th October 2020 04:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2020 10:07 AM   |  A+A-

In view of the mandatory norms of social distancing, most people are now using plates in weddings as well as in other social events. (Photo | ENS)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Gone are the days when guests sat in groups of four on a dastarkhwan or cloth sheet to savour wazwan, a multi-course meal, in a trami.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced Kashmiris to temporarily forgo the age-old tradition of dining together at weddings.

The large finely engraved copper plates, tramis, have given way to smaller separate plates.

“My daughter is getting married later this month. I have decided to serve wazwan to the guests in separate and individual plates instead of tramis as a precautionary measure to prevent any guest from falling sick,” says Riyaz Ahmad, a resident of Rainawari area of downtown Srinagar.

Riyaz says his family members and relatives advised him not to insist on tramis for the safety of guests and hosts.

In view of the mandatory norms of social distancing, most people are now using plates in weddings as well as in other social events.

Firdous Ahmad, a resident of uptown Srinagar, says serving wazwan in plates separately to guests is a must nowadays to prevent the spread of Covid- 19.

“It also gives self-confidence to the guests that they face less chances of infection by eating in separate plates. People are now are hesitant to eat in tramis in groups.”

Guests, he says, make excuses not to eat food in tramis and instead demand food be served in separate plates.

But it is just not tramis, says Jalal-ud-Din, a cook.

“Right from disposable water to soap for cleaning hands, everything has to be provided individually to a guest. It has led to increase in expenses in the wedding.”

Another chef Ghulam Rasool said people are very cautious while dining at weddings and other events. “We don’t see the mad rush that used to be there in weddings. It is less noisy and fewer people are invited,” he said.

Given that the pandemic seems not to be ending in the next few months, Rasool feels the age-old tradition will fade away in distant memory.

“The plate system may replace tramis forever,” he rues.



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