Pheran ban in Kashmir withdrawn: All you need to know

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Published: December 19, 2018 7:09:26 PM

A Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) passed this order which kicked up a social media storm and even drawn criticism from politicians like Omar Abdullah.

At a stadium in Bandipora, boys are seen wearing pherans. (Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

On Tuesday, a December 11 order banning Jammu and Kashmir officials from wearing pheran during official visits, was withdrawn. A Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) passed this order which kicked up a social media storm and even drawn criticism from politicians like Omar Abdullah.

Langate Agha Abdul Rashid, the ZEO who banned pherans while talking to The Indian Express said, “People used to come to the office wearing pherans and carrying kangris, and I had asked for that to be banned.” “But since the Chief Education Officer asked me to withdraw that order, I have withdrawn it,” he added.

A Kashmiri pheran is a loose cloak or coat, which is also the traditional attire of J&K. Pherans are worn by everyone, irrespective of their gender, and is usually tweed or wool, which is worn during winter. Another variety of pheran, which is made from cotton is usually worn during summer.

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The attire that Kashmiris consider to be an integral part of their culture, dates back to 15th century, and was introduced to India through the Middle East. It was worn in just the bright colours initially – however, now can be found in all hues. Pherans keeps the people warm on the chilly Kashmiri winters.

The order passed by Zonal Education Officer Langate Agha Abdul Rashid read, “All the officers visiting this office are advised to visit with proper dress. It is recommended that no official will visit the office wearing ‘feral’ traditional trousers and slipper/plastic shoes.” This infuriated the public.

Omar Abdullah tweeted, “I fail to understand why pherans should be banned! This is a regressive order that makes no sense at all. Pherans are a very practical way of keeping warm during the cold winter aside from being part of our identity. This order should be withdrawn.”

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