Leh Nov 14 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) in collaboration with Association for Baltis in Himalayan Ladakh and Territories of Indus (ABHLATI) organised a seminar on 'Influence of Bonism in Ladakh and Baltistan' yesterday at the Nagarjuna Hall of Central Institute of Buddhist Studies (CIBS, A deemed to be university) in Leh.
Despite being the coldest day of the year so far and a holiday, there were more than 70 people across communities that attended this programme and actively participated. There was genuine appreciation for the uniqueness of the topic and the involvement of scholarly voices across Leh, Turtuk and Kargil. The secular representation of speakers from Buddhist and Muslim communities added flavour to the discussion. Each panel was a combination of experienced monks, research scholar, cultural expert, historian and/or poet. This included two Padma Shri awardees amongst them.
Each speaker covered a unique aspect of Bonism influence - from language to art, Islamic heritage, divided families, rituals and traditions - which gave a holistic picture of the society. The culture of this region has evolved and flourished over centuries due to its strategic location. Historically, it has remained the melting pot of lifestyles in the mountains for being situated at the crossroad of international borders.
The seminar was live on Facebook and there were reactions across the border. Later, prominent scholars in Pakistan took to social media in local language expressing their gratitude and love for such a unique discussion in India. WhatsApp groups of divided families were active and emotional on this seminar, where they wished more of such events should take place.
During the 'way forward', it was stated that this seminar was a small step towards finding the roots of Ladakhi and Balti culture and language, and many such events will be organised in 2023 and subsequent years in and outside Ladakh. A committee in this regard was proposed to plan such programmes.