A range of cultural heritage

This ongoing Ladakh festival is an attempt to showcase the unique facets of this Union Territory

author_img Dyuti Roy Published :  13th November 2021 12:19 PM   |   Published :   |  13th November 2021 12:19 PM
Jigmat Couture presented the traditional ensembles worn by Ladakhis

Through a fashion show, Jigmat Couture presented the traditional ensembles worn by Ladakhis at The Claridges, New Delhi

Writers and travellers usually use the word Shangri-la—an idyllic paradise—to describe Ladakh. In fact, a study of the Union Territory’s culture will also present its story of tranquility. Keeping this in mind, The Claridges unveiled ‘The Mighty Maryul Festival’ on Wednesday. The event will continue till November 18.

Curated by Indian photographer Latika Nath, who was awarded ‘The Tiger Princess’ for her work on the conservation of tigers in India, the nine-day event will display the heritage of Ladakh, with a focus on its music, cuisine, and fashion. “Every time I go to Ladakh, I refall in love with the place and its people,” said Nath, who we met at the festival on Thursday. She mentioned that the idea to host a Ladakh festival in Delhi stemmed from her recent visit to the place. “I wanted to experience more of Ladakh, and to bring its rich culture back with me.”


Apricot tea

An extravagant display
Along with exhibitions on Ladakh’s art and artefacts, you can attend a series of informative talks on its culture. On the opening day, Monisha Ahmed, a researcher on Ladakhi textiles, addressed the audience, followed by a fashion show displaying traditional Ladakhi clothes by designers Jigmat Norbu and Jigmet Wangmo. The audience also witnessed an enthralling musical performance by folk singer and instrumentalist Tsewang Phuntsog. You will also find statement pieces from Norbu’s sustainable brand Jigmat Couture. “We wanted to make it [the brand] truly Ladakhi and Himalayan.

Either the textile or theme of our pieces are always from Ladakh,” said Norbu. Their sartorial pieces are made from fibre woven from yak, camel, and lamb hair, with embroidered motifs of Ladakhi landscapes and myths. Stanzin Minglak and Sonam Angmo, founders of a slow fashion label called Lena that is reviving Ladakhi Pashmina, are also presenting their collection. As a female-led brand, the duo works with 37 local artisans to produce handwoven and botanical-dyed Pashmina. “Our brand brings a more raw Pashmina fabric—which is authentic to Ladakh—to the global map,” said Minglak. 

Taste of the mountains
Notable chef Nilza Wangmo is presenting traditional and contemporary flavours of Ladakh at the festival. “Although Ladakhi food looks bland, it is extremely flavourful, especially the non-vegetarian dishes. Because of the latitude and terrain, we use herbs and spices that make you feel warm inside.” Her dishes such as the Lamb Mok Mok with walnut sauce; soups like Ngamthuk (barley soup with mutton chops), Gyathuk (flattened noodles in lamb), and Yarkendi Pulao (mutton) along with traditional accompaniments such as yak cheese sauce, and gur-gur chai (Ladakhi butter tea) are from the terrain of lower Ladakh. The festival presents the lively culture of this region through an amalgamation of Ladakhi food, fashion, and music.