Connecting Dogras worldwide

Mohd Yaseen
It was an unusually bright evening for a very cold day in London. A group of young
Dogras were ideating sipping cappuccinos and lattes at a  fine coffee shop at Leicester
square, among many there  was one bright idea which  came from a very emotional
place – to create a platform to  connect back to the roots,  give it back to the community
which defines us, identifies us.  With Dogra at heart  originated International Dogra
Society (IDS).

International Dogra Society embarked on this journey 5 months ago, with the clear vision of connecting Dogra’s around the globe, and celebrating rich Dogra culture and lifestyle. The founding team felt very strongly about the vision or the core of the society, as it was something driven from their experiences of living outside their hometown and limited exposure to our rich culture, language, and lifestyle while growing up. In the millennial terminology, the team says and aims to promote “Dogra is the new cool”. As a community, over the past few decades, they have overlooked the necessity of keeping in touch with the Dogra traditions and passing them on to the young generations. The young generation seems distant and ignorant of many things of our Dogra lifestyle which should have come naturally or organically to them.
But the silver lining in all this is the realization of this vacuum, the acceptance of cultural void which mongers over our heads like the big ozone hole. IDS decided to do their bit with their ideas, strengths, and resources to contribute to this noble cause. Like family heirlooms, these traditions are to be passed on to generations and with the required determination and gusto IDS team is confident to ignite this spark and bring the change.
Jammu based folks in London made it a point to take Dogri Language to new heights in which they have made tremendous efforts to showcase their language in the universe especially European countries. Earnest efforts are being made to promote the language with the support of Indian Nationals in United Kingdom. Sticking to its vision the society has connected Dogra’s from across the globe, from UK, US, Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, UAE, India etc., using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Since its origin IDS has launched multiple events and campaigns both on the ground and online. In this short time, IDS has concluded multiple events successfully, these events include fundraising event in London in which they raised money for the challenged children of Jammu, grand Lohri celebration which was attended by 250+ people in London, Dogri community Malati and represented Dogra’s at several events in UK House of commons, Indian High Commission and other community events. In addition to these events, IDS is running multiple campaigns on social media aimed at celebrating Dogra’s and the rich Dogra culture. While coming up with the group campaigns Team IDS went to the basics of Dogra culture and Dogra lifestyle, the food, songs, folklore, history, language, our beautiful picturesque places, and designed the campaigns under these themes. With all these campaigns which are listed below, IDS social media handles have gained good traction with 24000+ followers on Facebook, and the posts have reached almost 1 million people in the last 28 days. In words of one of the followers the amount of activity Team IDS has created, it feels like there is some kind of Dogra festival during these trying times. The thoughtful campaigns have given people reason to connect, contribute, engage, enjoy, and live those childhood memories. Many women cried listening to age-old suhag’s, many started cooking ambal and many started speaking and learning Dogri.
Few of their campaigns are:
Inspiring Dogras: Every Monday IDS Facebook page features a Dogra who has accomplished a lot in his/her field. These inspiring Dogra’s talk about their journey to success and also convey a motivating message to young Dogra’s
Ajj Ke Chadeya: Every Tuesday the page posts a short video of a chef cooking an authentic Dogri dish
Jammu Di Sair: This is an initiative started by IDS to promote tourism of known and not so known places of the Jammu region. The post covers a brief history of the place, main attractions, and beautiful pictures.
Dogri Pathshala: Every Saturday a short Dogri class is conducted to make people familiar with the Dogri words, pakhien and other nuances of the language
Stay Fit Sessions: This campaign was initiated during COVID times, in which a renowned Dogra fitness instructor does live yoga sessions and post quick exercise videos to help people remain fit during these trying times.
Stay in Talent: Again started during COVID times, in which many hidden talents sent their entries and got featured on the page.
In addition to all, there are multiple other campaigns, Sunday Funday, Dogra History sessions, and many more which are already launched and some in the pipeline. Society has also launched a Fundraiser for contribution to JK Governor COVID relief Fund. Dedication, pure intent, longing to contribute to the community drives International Dogra Society to deliver on the vision of connecting Dogra’s and celebrating culture. This is the need of the hour and may the force be with many other groups like IDS to reach their goals; together we can bring the change. Earnest efforts are being made to promote the language with the support of Indian Nationals in United Kingdom.