Copper has been an integral part of a Kashmiri household. A collection of copper utensils are gifted to the bride. The Hindu brides in Kashmir used to get Brass utensils and Muslim brides used to get copper utensils. Also these utensils are part of every celebration in a Kashmir. These utensils were always on my shopping list as I wanted a “Surahi” as a souvenir of this lovely land. My exploring this lovely piece of art took me to a local shop here who is selling these utensils to the locals. And I discovered that there is plenty to explore here. The variety and the “Nakashi” on the utensils are simply mesmerizing.
The first piece of utensils that he showed me was a beautiful plate called “Majma”. Majma is filled with dry fruits and other gifts and sent to the grooms house from the bride side.
Next he introduced me to the bowls which is used to eat food. Ladies prefer to eat food in “Kinz” and men prefer “Thalbana” bowl.
After this came upon limelight was the “Samovar” a traditional utensil to make tea.
The central portion of the “Samovar” is used for coal and all around is the water boiling for the salty tea that the Kashmiri’s relish.
Ladies and gentleman I present the ‘Surahi” set that is my personal favorite and this is what I will pick as a souvenir.
Next are some utensils that are part of the “Wazwan”. Wazwan is 36 course meal served in the marriages and celebrations and one has to follow a pattern and ritual to eat it. The first step is to wash hands using a “Tasht-e-nari”.
Then huge plates called “Trami” are brought in which is full of rice and all veg and non veg delicacies for a group of four.
The refilling that is brought in is covered with “Sarposh”.
After the main course desserts are served in “Turpiyali”. The whole ritual of “Wazwan” is not complete without a cup of salty tea in the end of the ceremony. Also to note that the “Wazwan” is cooked in copper utensils only and served in the same metal utensils.
Lastly when I was exploring the shop I came upon a lovely piece of utensil called “Ishabdani”. Actually it is a utensil that is used to spread the fragrant fumes during a marriage ceremony especially when the bride leaves her mother’s house to go to her husband’s place.