Dador festival reflects rich tribal culture: Rahi

Participants during Dador festival. —Excelsior/Rahi
Participants during Dador festival. —Excelsior/Rahi

Excelsior Correspondent

KATHUA, Jan 19: A 3-day Dador festival which is held every year in January, at a village (Dador) located near Jammu-Pathankot Highway, about 15 km away from Kathua town, concluded here today with cultural performances at main ground of the area.
The festival was started with celebrations Urs of Peer Baba -a most revered saint among nomadic Gujjars residing in Jammu, Kathua, Samba and others residing in adjoining states. The festival was organised by 5th generation of ‘Sawan Gujjar’ a nomad Banhara Gujjar who started this event decades ago to remember his ‘Peer’ whom he met once in his entire life.
The festival which includes Bhandara of Peer, cultural shows besides Dangal /folk games popular among Gujjars. The festival was attended by hundreds of tribal people hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pardesh, Punjab and Haryana states who assembled here for this annual cultural extravaganza held after one year.
Noted tribal researcher Dr Javaid Rahi, who was special invitee to the programme, in his address stated that this annual festival not only reflects rich cultural tradition of Gujjars but also highlights communal harmony, brotherhood and a since of co-existence in the area. He appreciated the efforts of Ram Chand Sarpanch Katheda and Sardar Satwant Singh for providing local support to this festival.
He said the Dador festival also reflects centuries long tradition of Dogara-Gujjar unity who are collectively upholding the tradition of co-existence in the region. “Let us not allow any force to divide us on religious lines. This is a rare tribal event which held every year without the interference of Government machinery.”
On the occasion, the president of Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, Ghulam Sarwar Chouhan stated that keeping in view the cultural importance of this annual event our organisation has started documentation of this event from this year onwards to preserve the rich Gujjar Culture audio-visual form.