The Women of Kashmir

I just returned from Kashmir, a magnificent region of India.

Referred to as a tropical paradise in old literature, there is no wonder why it has been the subject of many disputes and is now divided between India and Pakistan.

Kashmir is surrounded by Himalayan Mountain Ranges whose rivers have created large, beautiful lakes. I was so taken by the gorgeous scenery and by the warmth, openness and beauty of the people, who have gone through many conflicts.

I wasn’t sure what I would experience in Kashmir and found the people to be so open, gentle, endearing, and ready to embrace a new, modern society.

Kashmir is over 93% Muslim. Many of the women wear headscarves, some cover their faces totally; some walk around without any head coverings. All of the women were as curious of me as I was of them. They welcomed me, shared their stories &#8212 some surprisingly spoke English very well and even invited me into their homes for tea.

I was fascinated by their culture and their tumultuous history but I left hopeful for a new, peaceful and good future. I hope my portraits help express the heart and the soul of these interesting women.

People ask me why I travel to all these different places. For me, meeting women from different parts of the world opens my eyes and my heart to women’s struggles and strengthens the belief that we are all connected.


#Kashmir #Women

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© 2020 by Michele Zousmer Photography