If you thought Balti people live only in Baltistan of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir you are wrong. The people with a distinct Himalayan culture, language and traditions also live in the Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in India.
Recently, the community’s organized its congregation at Dehradun, Uttarakhand called the “Confluence of Balti community in India,'with the collaboration of the Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Balti Welfare Association of Uttarakhand.
Prominent Balti community members and renowned folk singers discussed the Balti culture and history of migration of the Balti community in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and their connection with Ladakh and Baltistan.
Speakers reading papers on Balti people's migration in India at the Dehradun conference
Leading academics, community leaders, and Baltis living in and around Uttarakhand attended the confluence.
The Speakers from Turtuk, Kargil, Jammu, Kashmir, and Uttarakhand presented papers on the topic ‘Balti culture and history of migration of Balti community in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and their connection with Ladakh and Baltistan’.
Speaking on the occasion founder, of HCHF Dr Sonam Wangchok has urged the entire Balti community to work through various initiatives to preserve and promote the rich Balti language, literature, tradition, and culture as the legacy of mountain people in Ladakh, Baltistan, Uttarakhand, J&K, and other regions and countries.
He highlighted the importance of the preservation and promotion of Balti culture as it is the source of many other cultures and traditions that support social coexistence and communal harmony.
A cultural program was also organized and renowned Folk singers of Ladakh Dorjay Stakmo and Dechen Chuskit sang Balti folk songs and Gazal.
Eminent Balti people being honoured at the Dehradun Conference
Notable Personalities Ferooz khan, Safdar Ali Balti, Iftikhar Hussain Maqpoon, Abdul Karim (Turtuk), Mohd Ali Ashoor (Kargil), Shujaat Husain, Gulzar Hussain Zubdavi, Agga Mehboob (Kabi Haripur), Shujat Ali Shah and Mohd Sadiq Hardassi read papers on the occasion.
On the second day, a round table discussion was held and a resolution was passed highlighting the importance of Balti culture and its preservation through different initiatives.
Meanwhile, on this occasion, All India Balti Association was also formed and Kacho Shujat Ali Shah was appointed as the 1st president of the association.