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Sherine Fatima Balti: The budding social media star of Baltistan

In an age when Balti folk music is fast fading, Sherine Fatima Balti has managed to garner quite an audience among Baltis through her outstanding voice.

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Operating primarily through her Youtube channel and Facebook page from her village Bogdang India, she has now become the first Balti female social media star. Now people listening and discussing her songs is not an unusual sight in Baltistan which is getting its familiarity with the social media world.

Maintaining the integrity of Balti music, she has inculcated modern instruments in her songs, thereby giving us a fusion of both the old and the new. Her music is slow paced and uniform with an air not unfamiliar to the older Bollywood songs, yet the real magic is in her melodious voice which is the most visible and distinctive aspect of her music.

Sherine Fatima Balti

Sherine Fatima Balti during a song recording.

According to her, she was extremely passionate about music from a very early age and began singing at the age of 13. Her father and grandfather were also very interested in music, and that’s how her interest in music began. She has performed at various stages since her school years.

Without much resources at her disposal, she started posting her songs on Facebook and Youtube. And after the release of her popular songs Grifshat Sula Beik and Tsertragi Jusay Jusay, she began finding a steady audience in Baltistan. Now according to her, Baltis from all over Saudi Arabia, Australia, and China are appreciating her musical efforts.

She is the first notable Balti female singer who has risen out of a conservative Balti society. She admits that she had to face a lot of criticisms and objections in this regard. However, her faith in her singing and the support of her family got her through all this.

“Most of the people discouraged me for this profession. They said that I was a woman and that I should do what every woman does- get married and start a family. However, my parents supported me a great deal. It is only because of their support that I have been able to progress thus far.”

Very much like her music, her popular Facebook page mirrors the same effort of Balti cultural preservation and promotion. Her posts primarily feature Balti landscapes, dresses and foods while also give a glimpse of life on the other side of the border. Her attempt to engage Baltis about the distinctiveness and richness of their own culture through her Facebook page is quite outstanding. Her endeavors are bearing fruit as people are engaging in the activity of likes, comments, and shares in the social media world.

The article is part of International Women’s Day celebrations under GBee Pink.

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