Kalash of Cultures - Is cultural diversity what we require?

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Kalash is a mixture of cultures of much liberal origin as compared to general trend in Pakistan; as we see use of alcohol, dancing and mingling between man and women but where do we stand as a society do we accept such behavior or do we condemn it? For the elite it’s clear but for many it still requires much pondering. The documentary does again in my view show quite a narrow view when it comes to Islamic norms but still it does manage to highlight a society which wants to have their own way in Pakistan but the question remains DO WE ACCEPT or DO WE REJECT???

About the Documentary:

  • Pakistan - Kalash of Cultures - 18' min 55 sec (1 September 2003)

  • As animists, the Kalash Kafirs live by cultural practices which clash with those of the Muslim Pakistanis’ that surround them. Their identity is constantly undermined by their Muslim neighbours. Help comes in the form of volunteers from Greece who believe that the Kalash people are part of their own ancient history and worth preserving. New facilities are being built but such help comes at a price. ”They are building in their own way…I think they should build like Kalash,” complains villager Mohammed. Whether fact or fiction, the Kalasha realise the commercial value of their founding myth and so are keen to preserve it. However, it is their spiritual life and beliefs that they feel are under threat by the growing hostility of fundamentalists. With jobs promised to those that convert, over 6,000 have reluctantly given up their bright national dress to become Muslim. For the Kalash people, both their past and future remain uncertain. Courtesy journeyman.tv

About Journeyman: Journeyman Pictures is an independent distributor of documentaries, topical news features and footage. It has its head office in Thames Ditton, Surrey (UK).

Kalash People: The Kalasha (Kalasha: Kaĺaśa, Nuristani: Kasivo) or Kalash, are a Dardic indigenous people residing in the Chitral District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. They speak the Kalasha language, from the Dardic family of the Indo-Aryan branch, and are considered a unique tribe among the Indo-Aryan peoples of Pakistan. The neighboring Nuristani people of the adjacent Nuristan (historically known as Kafiristan) province of Afghanistan once practiced the same polytheistic religion as the Kalash. By the late 19th century much of Nuristan had been converted to Islam, although some evidence has shown the people continued to practice their customs. Over the years, the Nuristan region has also been the site of numerous war activity that has led to the death of many endemic Nuristanis and has seen an inflow of surrounding Afghans to claim the vacant region, who have since admixed with the remaining natives. The Kalash of Chitral maintained their own separate cultural traditions. History contains references to "Siah-Posh Kafirs". Timur fought with them. Babur advised not to tangle with them. Alexander the Great encountered them. Genghis Khan passed by them. However, there is a question whether these were the Red or the Black Kafirs, or both. It has been widely assumed that these were the Red Kafirs who were thought of as fierce and independent, as opposed to the Black Kafirs, who were somewhat subservient to the King of Chitral. On the other hand, the word "Siah-Posh Kafirs" means "Black Robed Kafirs", as "siah" means "black"; so it seems possible that it was the Black and not the Red Kafirs who fought against and defeated Tamurlane.

Related Info:

Chitral < Chitral District < Khyber Pakhtunkhwa < Pakistan

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