(Last Updated on : 01-12-2015)
Culture plays an imperative role in the life of the people of Udhampur District. Language, literature, folk art etc are an integral part of their culture. Culture of Udhampur District is rich and diverse. The most important languages spoken in the district are Urdu, Hindi, Kashmiri, and Dogri. Apart from these languages other main dialects spoken in the district are Pehari, Goujri etc. The Dogri language belongs to the Aryan languages and many words of the Dogri language are derivative from the Hindi and Sanskrit language. Dogri, the mother tongue of Dogras, has rich tradition of folk literature. The rich literature of Dogri consists of folk tales, riddles and proverbs. There are also a number of narrative poems in the honour of God known as Bhetas. District Udhampur has produced number of Dogri Poets and writer of Dogri Literature such as Sant Ram Shastri, Prakash Premi, Jitender Udhampuri, Jia Lal Jia, Uttam Chand, Dinu Bhai Pant etc.
Folk songs and dances are inseparable from the cultural heritage of Udhampur District. Folk songs are sung in different occasions such as marriages and festival. The Bhakh is a chorus narrative song by a group of singers without the complement of any musical instruments. The Bhakh replicates the true Dogra Culture. Bhar is like the Bhakh in which the stories of brave deeds are told. It is usually a love story which ends in tragedy. Gwatri is a singing and dance combined tradition in which the singers recite some text which is enacted by the Gwatari dancers. Karak is a tale ballet singing form sung by a community called 'Jogies'. They narrate a popular folk tale in their dance style, performed by three members with accompaniment of typical folk instrument called 'Rabab'.
The Dugger culture is scattered in the hilly area. The folk dances of the district Udhampur are Fumenie, Kudd, Surma etc. The Kudd and Fumenie are performed by the peoples living in the Mountainous area of the District Udhampur. These dances are presented both by men and women on the special events like marriages, local fairs and festivals. Kud is mainly a ritual dance performed in honour of Lok Devatas. This dance style is performed generally during nights. Instruments used during this dance are chhaina, flute, narshingha, drums etc. It is the tempo of music which controls the movement of participants. Fumenie dance style is performed by the ladies on the eve of bride's departure to in-laws house. This traditional dance form gives a picture of the feelings and emotions of women folk. Heren is a traditional theatre form performed during Lohri festival. This style is by and large performed in hilly regions of Jammu