A remnant of the days of yore when it was more common in Kashmir for a bride to wear silver rather than gold, this cylindrical silver pendant was typically strung with others or sometimes on its own. .
The hollow cylinder reminded me of Tibetan prayer necklaces, and considering the geographical proximity of Tibet and Kashmir, I wondered if they had any relation. So I decided to ask my friends @kashmiridictionary about this. Imagine my joy when they replied to say that this piece was called ‘doikher’ ~ meaning ‘prayer/blessing’ and that it was specifically gifted by a father to his daughter on her wedding day (the hollow of the necklace figuratively filled with his love and blessings - ‘Doikher’ ) .
I say I was filled with joy when I heard the name - because ‘Doikher’ is one of my favorite Kashmiri words - that I love & have been wanting to write about for a long time.
To ‘do’ Doikher is an art form ~ that I fear we are losing. Perfected by the older generations in Kashmir, it is a way of verbally saying out loud your prayers and aspirations for the person you are doing ‘Doikher’ for. . There are refrains and phrases that are used by all who do ‘Doikher’ but each one is customized and added to by the orator, and the seasoned ‘doikher’ -doer can reel of a unique,, customized to you, doikher like a poet reeling off a sonnet. The closer you are to the person, the more beautiful the ‘doikher’. That’s why, and I know many of my Kashmiri readers will agree, grandma’s doikhers were always the best! .
Have you ever worn a ‘Doikher’ necklace? I wonder whose whispered blessings are inside this one? 🕊 🤲🏽 .