University of Pittsburgh
April 2, 2004

From Cashmere to Kashmir

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH— Although fashion-conscious individuals may not realize it, the cashmere sweaters they wear are first "worn" by Kashmir goats, which are indigenous to the Gobi Desert region of northern China and Mongolia. Cashmere is the fine fiber that lies beneath the coarse outer hair of the Kashmir goat, and it takes the animal four years to produce enough cashmere for one sweater. The focus of Pitt's April 4 Cultural Colors of South Asia event is an area of Asia farther south of the plateaus that Kashmir goats call home and closer to the highly disputed region of Kashmir. The event begins at 6 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The clothing display portion of Cultural Colors represents 18 regions of the South Asian subcontinent, with particular attention given to the fashions of Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Each fashion will be accompanied by a short narrative and music.

A panel discussion will follow the clothing display. Panelists include Richard Cohen, associate director of Pitt's Asian Studies Center (ASC); Aysha Rehman, a native of Pakistan and graduate student in the Security and Intelligence Studies program in Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs; Naveed Ahmed, a Fulbright scholar from Pakistan visiting Pitt's Department of Linguistics; and Naimur Rahman Farooqi, a Fulbright Visiting Specialist and Muslim scholar from India hosted by ASC. Each panelist will give a short presentation describing his or her views on the status and future of the Kashmir region, which has been a source of serious political friction between India and Pakistan since 1947. A dialogue with members of the audience regarding Kashmir and Indo-Pakistan relations will close the event.

Cultural Colors is sponsored by Pitt's ANKUR: Indian Graduate Student Association and ASC.