Celebrations bloomed in the Churunada border town of Uri, Baramulla district, as locals marked the first wedding celebration of the year amid a two-year ceasefire between India and Pakistan.
The ceasefire, which has brought peace to the de facto border, has allowed residents on both sides of the Line of Control to resume their daily lives without fear of frequent firing and destruction of homes.
Choudhary Lal Hussain, who had previously experienced disrupted wedding ceremonies due to cross-border shelling, expressed gratitude towards his loved ones for attending his sister’s wedding.
“The peaceful situation in the area over the past two years has made such gatherings possible,” he said.
Gulam Rasool, another local, described the wedding as a lively affair, with traditional songs and drumming added to the festive atmosphere. He expressed hope that the ceasefire would continue, enabling people in border areas to live their lives with a sense of safety and comfort.
Mohammad Sultan, an elderly local, expressed his joy at the newfound ability to hold celebratory events in his village.
“Before, we used to worry about whether we would be able to hold a wedding or not because of the constant threat of shelling and violence,” he said.
“But now, with the ceasefire in place and a peaceful atmosphere prevailing, we can hold our ceremonies with joy and celebration. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to carry on our cultural traditions without the constant fear of shelling,” he said, adding that the colours of our cultural traditions shone brighter than ever before, as we celebrated the wedding amid the peaceful ceasefire.
Other locals echoed similar sentiments, expressing their delight at being able to hold weddings and other celebrations without fear of violence.
“We are very happy to be able to celebrate weddings in our own homes, just like we did in the past,” said Sajad Ahmad another local resident.
“It feels like the old times have returned, and we are very grateful for that,” he added.
Mushtaq Ahmad another local said that the sound of laughter and music echoed through the hills, as we celebrated the wedding in the border town of Uri.
“It was like the mountains themselves had come alive with the joyous spirit of the occasion, and even the birds in the sky seemed to be dancing to the beat of the drums,” he said.
The other local villagers said that the spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood was palpable in the air, as we celebrated the wedding with our friends and neighbors.
“It was like we had all become one big family, bound together by the ties of love and friendship, and the borders that separated us seemed to fade away into insignificance,” they said.
Altaf Ahmad, a local said that the past two years have been a blessing for them. “We are finally able to sleep peacefully at night, without the fear of shelling and gunfire. The ceasefire has brought a sense of calm and stability to our lives, and we hope that it continues for many more years to come,” he said.
He said that the people of the border areas have suffered for far too long. They have lost their homes, their loved ones, and their livelihoods to the never-ending cycle of violence.
“The ceasefire has given us a ray of hope, and we pray that it remains intact so that we can rebuild our lives and live in peace,” Ahmad added.
He also said that the wedding celebration in Churunada is just one example of how the ceasefire has brought a sense of normalcy back to the lives of those living in border areas.
“As more and more weddings and other celebrations take place, residents are hopeful that the ceasefire will continue, allowing them to live their lives in peace and security,” he said.