Regionalism in the Virtual Era
Cultural Identity of Kashmiri Muslims as Represented in Popular Music
The symbolic concept of kashmiriyat, dated back to 16th century, generally covers most of the aspects of Kashmiri Muslims’ culture perceived as traditional. However, in the modern era of globalization and rapid growth of the media, particularly the Internet, the world is changing really fast, together with local cultures and identities. The budding influence of social media on the culture of participation, opens a new field for artistic activity. It is especially the younger generation, prone to rebel against the existing reality, who make use of those aims to express oneself. One of the most alluring means to do so is music. It stimulates people’s awareness and tends to unite people beyond boundaries by its universal language. Thanks to its emotional potential, popular music recently gathered its momentum among Kashmiri Muslims as well. The paper presents the examples of two young Kashmiri musicians, MC Kash and Ali Saffudin, as the carriers of Kashmiri Muslim cultural identity. Pointing out the traditional symbols, how they are being reinterpreted and mixed with the elements of current reality and Western culture, I will try to show some aspects of this identity, focusing on the place of regionalism in it.
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