21 Apr '17, 5am

Brilliant people doing brilliant things. "Girls help preserve Kashmir's Sufi music traditions"

When Kashmiri teenager Shabnam Bashir first took up classical Sufi music three years ago, she had to practise singing in secret because all the men in her Muslim family opposed her new passion. Now the 14-year-old is a proud member of what her teacher Mohammad Yaqoob Sheikh says is the first mixed Sufi singing ensemble in Indian-administered Kashmir, where the music has for generations been a male preserve. "It took me two months to convince them all," said Bashir as she joins four other girls -- and one 13-year-old boy -- for singing practice. "My father finally gave me permission on condition that it did not affect my regular studies." Thousands of people in the Muslim-majority region follow Sufism, a mystical branch of Islam whose adherents seek spiritual communion through music and dance at the shrines of their saints. The songs, which use the lyrics of old Kashmiri- a...

Full article: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/girls-help-preserve-kashmirs-su...

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