Tuesday, March 01, 2011
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dr Bhudia Kutch Science Foundation
Date: Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 5:17 AM
Subject: Unique ancient CULTURED Pakistan community under threat
To: Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP)
Unique ancient CULTURED Pakistan community under threat
Subject : KALASH (KUMBH) valley civilisation and Chitral Culture civilisations in the area of NW frontier of Pakistan - in Hindukush valley area and khaibar valley area of the Himalayan region
Dear Docs, Medicos, friends of Nature, HISTORY, ARCHEOLOGY, science, cultural Science, GENOLOGY, Mythology,
DNA forum discussion on origin of civilisation and their origin
I just visited site of DNA forum, Due to partial/incomplete and because of lack of full linguistic and archaeological experience, similarly KALSH CHITRAL - most of have not visited nor studied they are just reading from internet source. but need to understand all festivals, customs, language etc. I have pictures of INDRA carved in mountains if those KALASH VELLY. CHAUMAS - 4 months of farming. chitral is not written with "S" but pronounced "s" as "Shetral" mean FIELD in KHOWAR lenguage. they worship SHETRA pal as we do as KHETAR pal, geneticaly they are Indo Aryans & many more
Civilisations of Indus and Saraswati did disappeared long before with the time but as some civilisation moved upstream of the Indus to survive from the attacks from outsiders. so they moved deep in Himalayan hindukush and khaibar valley areas. so they remained undetected and survived till today.
Known of those are KALASH (KALASH - KUMBH ) valley civilisation and Chitral Culture civilisations in the area of NW frontier of Pakistan - in Hindukush valley area and khaibar valley area of the Himalayan region. both the valley area are on the tributaries of INDUS RIVER BASIN - traced on the satellite maps of Indus river basin and confirmed those are on the banks of tributaries of INDUS RIVER BASIN only. Satellite vies are in out library to explore.
When most of the area is loosing a traditional culture with an effect of the modernisation. there are some isolated areas are still maintaining their traditions.
Though there has been effects of the Political and religious take over but as those are Isolated remote area of Himalaya valley are of Khaibar Ghat and hindukush valley of Himalaya they could retain the original traditions but soon will be lost if not supported.
Islamabad : Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) is today arguably one of the most dangerous places in the world.
But while that may be true of regions where the Taliban proliferate, there are still areas of NWFP where life goes on as normal.
The most prominent of these is the Kalash region in the northern-most district of Chitral.
It is named after the Kalash tribe which has been settled here since time immemorial.
The tribe, said to be descendants of Alexander the Great's soldiers, still practise an ancient pagan culture unlike any other in this part of the world.
For centuries, the Kalash have been a people apart.
In modern times, they have become a major tourist attraction, but in so doing have also attracted the ire of Islamic clerics.
This has led to many of them derogatively referring to the Kalash region as Kafiristan, or "land of the unbelievers."
This ill-will was largely restricted to slogans and sermons - until the coming of the Taliban.
The valley was at one point conquered by Alexander the Great
But that is not the only challenge facing this dwindling community - many educated young Kalash men have chosen to convert to Islam.
In doing so, they have abandoned the community to seek a life in the cities and a more upscale existence.
All these factors are combining to erase a unique heritage.
Hundreds of years ago about 3,000 Kalash people made their home in the Birir, Rumbur and Bumburet valleys among the Hindu Kush mountains of Chitral.
Generally speaking, the people of Chitral, Muslim or Kalash, are liberal when it comes to religion.
But the Taliban threat has now jeopardised all that, with the neighbouring district of Upper Dir firmly under their control.
"Chitral is one of the most peaceful regions in Pakistan," Abdul Wali, a local lawyer says.
"All communities here have brotherly relations with each other.
"People here believe culture has precedence over religion."
The Kalash in Chitral have four festivals to celebrate the seasons.
The area is becoming increasingly squeezed by the Taliban
The summer festival is the most well attended with people coming from all over the country and the world.
This year there are fewer foreign visitors, but they are present. Among them is Glasgow resident Patricia Fort with her son Leon.
"This is the second time I have come here...this time to show it to my son," she said.
Her son Leon is equally enthusiastic.
"I got to know about this place from my mother, heard all the stories about the Kalash, saw pictures and knew I had to come," he said.
"The scenery is incredibly beautiful, and the people are very friendly."
But now a shadow lies over the event as the security forces are deployed to fend off the Taliban.
The Kalash culture is increasingly under threat
Checkpoints litter the road leading to the festival venue and local hospitals have been put on red alert.
"There is a rumour going around that the Taliban will attack the festival," Dr Jahangir Khan, medical officer at a local hospital said.
"There is the situation in Dir, and we are just across the border from Afghanistan.
"We have been put on 24-hour emergency standby for as long as the festival lasts."
The Kalash continued with their festival despite the dangers.
In a region wracked by conflict, their simple ways seem like echoes from another time.
Beautiful women adorned in black robes splattered with bright colours and with necklaces of sparkling stones dance to ancient tunes.
The music is played by the men who occasionally break out in song.
"They are singing of their happiness to God," says Munir, a Kalash man.
"They are thankful that water is plentiful in the rivers and crops are ripening.
"The trees are bearing fruit and prosperity is coming to our homes."
But how much longer the Kalash community can sing of the joys of life is open to doubt. The Taliban are not now that far away.