srinagar: Shutdowns and curfew-like restrictions following the destruction of the 200-year-old Dastgeer Sahib shrine in the old city here has forced many families to postpone wedding ceremonies and cancel the traditional ‘Wazwaan’ feast.At least a dozen families had today issued cancellation notifications of the wedding ceremonies and feasts in local newspapers.
Kashmir Valley has remained shut for four consecutive days since Monday when the revered shrine, housing centuries old relics, was gutted in a devastating fire. The fire triggered protests as people clashed with police and paramilitary officers in the old city prompting the government to impose restrictions on the civilian movement in Srinagar’s volatile downtown neighbourhoods.
“Due to the prevailing situation, the marriage ceremony which was scheduled on June 29 and 30 is hereby cancelled”, a notification in a local newspaper. The notifications are reminiscent of 2008 and 2010 when hundreds of wedding ceremonies and feasts were cancelled during the summer protests in the Valley.
The marriage ceremonies in Kashmir are accompanied by an elaborate Wazwaan feast — a mutton cuisine considered an art and has a place of pride in Kashmiri culture.
The continuous shutdown in the Valley, where most of the shops have remained shut for the last four days, has led to non-availability of supplies forcing marriage cancellations. Guests have also been struggling to travel across the Valley to the host destinations.