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Mutton Heaven or Hell?

Posted in 2010 Summer Public Service Program, Belal by kashmircorps on July 6, 2010

Wazwan cooks prepare a local feast

Pretty much heaven if you’re a carnivore, like me. That was my take on the Wazwan we attended, which seems to be more of a waste of food than a blessing. It’s the first real feast I’ve had, and I’m talking about feast as in the ways kings used to eat during the times of royal courts. If you didn’t know, a Wazwan is a traditional Kashmiri gathering and feast done in a large tent. The guests sit in groups of four around a large serving dish stacked with rice. A proper Wazwan has you eating with your hands, with anywhere from 10 to 30 courses of mutton dishes in all sorts of varieties and flavors being served.

I certainly made a splash with my galabeya and Omani kufiy wrap. The pure Arab look lead immediately to talk of politics, religion, culture, and of course food. My three companions in the feasting were delightful and represented unique lives in Kashmir. One was a professor of geology and geography at Kashmir University, the second a successful business man of Kashmiri origins who has travelled the world, the third an engineer working on water management and recycling for the city of Srinagar. All three are of importance to the community. Their company definitely made the Wazwan a highlight of the trip.

KashmirCorps Volunteers enjoy a traditional Kashmiri feast, known as "wazwan"

Belal is a senior at the University of South Florida and will be graduating this coming fall semester with a degree in Economics. He previously worked with the Alliance for Arab Women, an NGO in Cairo, Egypt that promotes microbusiness ventures for women in rural areas in Egypt amongst other projects. This summer Belal will be working with MercyCorps on an agribusiness project with low-income farmers.

One Response

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  1. Erum said, on July 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    My name is Erum. I am an Registered Nurse. Live in Houston. I would definitely love to make my way to where you guys are at. This is one of my dreams, I want to build a clinic or help in what ever way possible to those who need help all around. Doesn’t mean I can help every one ofcourse but an intention to do so and a determination that will continue should get me some where inshallah..
    Ps: let me know how I can help
    Jazakhallah Khair

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