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Art and culture

Rouf Dance – A Folk Dance of Jammu and Kashmir

Rightly addressed as the land of diversity, India, gifted with abundant natural beauty, keeps up with its reputation when it comes to performing arts. From Kerala’s Kathakali, Gujarat’s Garba to Assam’s Bihu, every state in India has a special dance form that exemplifies the country’s rich cultural heritage. Each of these dance forms has its unique significance. While some enact a mythological story, some denote the beginning of a season and the happiness that follows. One of the popular dance forms in the latter category is the Rouf dance of Jammu and Kashmir.

Rouf is one of the folk dances of Jammu and Kashmir. It is performed by women in the springtime during Eid and Ramzan. Let us proceed to look at a few more essential aspects of this highly popular dance form of Kashmir.

About the Rouf Dance

Rouf is a mystical poetical folk dance that the women of the valley perform. As stated earlier, the dance is performed in spring during Ramzan and Eid. It features intricate footwork, which, in the local language, is termed Chakri. In popular culture, you can catch a glimpse of the dance in the song “Bumbro Bumbro” from the movie Mission Kashmir.    

The History and Significance of the Rouf Dance

Rouf has been part of Kashmir’s culture for several years. The dance welcomes spring and the pleasant weather it brings along with it. In Srinagar, Rouf is pronounced as “row”, and in the rural areas, it is pronounced as Rouf. The song sung while dancing draws inspiration from the lovemaking of the bee. The dance also expresses the joy of harvest with mystical poetry, to which the dancers dance rhythmically. Farmers celebrate the occasion by dancing and serving sumptuous delicacies. Rouf is popular nationally as well as internationally. It forms a popular attraction for tourists visiting Jammu and Kashmir.

How is Rouf Performed?

So, how is Rouf performed? Rouf is performed by two groups of women who stand in front of each other. The groups wear beautiful traditional attire coupled with unique jewelry. The most significant attraction of the Rouf dance is Chakri, a sequence of complex steps that the women perform during the dance. People love to watch the footwork. Moreover, the song on which the dance is performed comprises one group asking questions and the other providing answers in song form.

The Eid Rouf song is, “Eid aye ras ras

Eidgah waswai

Eidgah waswai”

The above lines can be translated to, hey friend, Eid has arrived slowly and slowly. Let’s go to Eidgah to offer prayers.

The Ramadan Rouf song is, “Retav Manz

Reth Kusui Jan

Shoubvun Mahi Ramzan “

The meaning of the above lines is, hey friend, let’s sing Rouf in this auspicious month of Ramadan, as this month is more meritorious than other months of the year.

Other Popular Dance Forms of Kashmir

Some other famous dance forms of Jammu and Kashmir include Bhand Pather, Hafiza, Bhand Jashan, Bacha Nagma, Dumhal, Wuegi-Nachun, and Kud. We hope this blog gave you glimpse of the Rouf dance of J&K.

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