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Vomedh celebrated WANWUN; the pious, compassionate and rich musical heritage and cultural legacy in exile

Vomedh, organized study and Research, Documentation and Training in WANWUN, Folklore of Kashmir approved by the Ministry of Culture , Government of India, New Delhi (BTI Section) under the scheme, (Preservation and Development of Cultural Heritage of Himalaya) for the year 2020 - 21

A scene in progress

Jammu, November 12, 2021: Vomedh is one of the leading theatrical groups in propagating the social cultural heritage of our Union Territory through the medium of short and long full length plays, nukad nataks, musical operas, fancy dress shows, awards winning, National and International short film “Exodus and Exile”, First time ever prestigious Jammu Film Festival, conducts workshops and Nukad Natak on Swatch Bharat Abhiyan, Female Fetus, Beti Padao Beti Bachao, Evils of Dowry system, Go Green,  evils of drug abuse spreading awareness and engaging youth in cultural activities to remain fit in mind and body. During Covid – 19 Pandemic
Vomedh engaged people in all art forms vertically, be it an actor, director, poet, singer, dancer, painter, writer, doctor, Social Worker, Educator, journalist, practically from all walks of life and all age groups shared and entertained people sitting at home in lockdown. Vomedh feels proud and is thankful to the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi, under the scheme Preservation & Development of Cultural Heritage of Himalaya. Laying trust and confidence in our project “Wanwun”, Rich Musical Heritage and Cultural Legacy of Kashmiri Pandits.
Wanwun project was conceived by president, Director Vomedh Rohit Bhat, researched by Bharti Kaul, Rakesh Roshan Bhat and Rohit Bhat.

Senior Journalist and Artist King C Bharati alongwith Senior Choreographer Sunny Mujoo welcoming Dr Ramesh Raina, President AIKS

It took three full months to get it on rails, as it is the oldest form of Kashmiri folk singing. Wanwun is sung on a fixed beat with a spoken word type rhythm. The tune is always the same, depending on which event it is sung. With the passing of time, Kashmiri Pandits in exile, language and rituals are practically at ebb, we need to save
our traditions for which Wanwun is a very important part that needs to be preserved and passed on to our coming generations, who are scattered all over the Globe. For this purpose, Vomedh held many workshops with ladies, school and college going girls to educate them about the importance and relevance of Wanwun.  Music has no language as the saying goes then why should we give up on the music that is unique in nature and has spiritual aspect of invoking the blessings of  deities for the rituals like Yagnopavit and marriage. The importance of “Bhramaji” who is a spiritual guru that every household of Kashmiri Pandit Community had coming home on auspicious occasions giving blessings performing pujas  preaching Vedic mantras lost its essence when people after exodus were struggling for survival, education of siblings and earning livelihood. Bollywood songs took over Wanwun and traditional Kashmiri songs where all family members neighbours friends would join in to enjoy the rituals. Vomedh took workshops systematically. First explaining the meaning of Wanwun, why it starts with ” Henzey” what each function meant as the rituals progressed.

The Audience

Wanwun was held today at KP Sabha, Amphalla, Jammu. Function started with a welcome speech by president, Director Rohit Bhat. He welcomed the Guest of Honour, Dr. Ramesh Raina, President AIKS Guest of Honour,
K. K. Khosa, president KP Sabha, Amphalla and Dr Sudhir Mahajan.

Sh. K. K. Khosa, president KP Sabha, Jammu

Sh K.K.Khosa  was highly appreciative of the Wanwun project that suggested the revival of our traditional culture. He said more such programmes must be done for the promotion of our culture and language. He appreciated the artists on stage. Dr Ramesh Raina and Dr Sudhir Mahajan were also of the same opinion. They said that we must stay connected with our language and Wanwun has to be kept alive. Our culture and traditions must be preserved and the young generation needs orientation and knowledge of rituals so that we don’t lose our identity in the vast cultural diversity of our country. The August audience present enjoyed each cultural item that led to the Wanwun. It is imperative to note that Wanwun has been kept alive till date by the ladies who still form a small group at the auspicious occasions to invoke the blessings of deities. Some scholars have written “Wanwun
Vachan’s” in the form of “Wanwun mala”. Ladies sing and recite from books, cassettes and CD’S at times. But it does not catch the attention of youngsters. They prefer to sing and dance to make merry on marriage occasions on filmi songs and western tunes. It is noteworthy to know that this Vedic form of singing is wholly solely the responsibility of women folk as has been the tradition from times immemorial. As Wanwun is purely a Vedic form, it maintains  the sanctity and purity of sacred rivers Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati. From the inception of rituals like Lagna cheer, Saath Ratun, Livun, Manziraat, Devgun, Maharaza Vatun, Dwar Pooza, Poshpooza , Bidai

Another scene in progress

Reception and many more functions on both sides. Brides side and Bridegroom side, Wanwun is the crowning glory of all events. Bride and groom is worshiped as Shiv and Parvati. The whole atmosphere becomes one with God Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Our workshops saw many students taking interest and singing Wanwun in the same accent after learning the importance of each syllable. Once again, we are thankful to the Ministry of  Culture, Govt of India under the scheme Preservation and Development of Cultural Heritage of Himalaya for laying trust in Vomedh and giving us the opportunity to present and inspire youngsters in observing Wanwun rituals at all functions. It was a wonderful feeling and achievement for us to conduct the workshops for Wanwun and to see the numbers increasing each time. The artists who took part in the Wanwun event are Bharti Kaul, Sunny Mujoo,  King C Bharti, Suman Bhat, Priya Kher, Ajay Waguzari, Daizy, Rajesh Khar and team, Pooja, Kiran,  Manisha, Bhavna, Yasmeen, Miksha, Ravika, Priya, Rubina and Preeti. Sunny Mujoo is the  Choreographer.

Rohit Bhat, Director Vomedh Welcoming Sh KK Khosa

The event concluded with the Bidai of bride for her new life at her in laws place where again she is received with the ritual of Wanwun showering blessings from Vote of thanks was given by Bharti Kaul. She thanked the dignitaries and the audience for sparing their valuable time for the Wanwun event.

Bharati Kaul
Dr Ramesh Raina
Dr Sudhir Mahajan
Group Photo of the Artists

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