Pakistan: Kalash valley people's unique culture

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  1. BRICS
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  2. krash
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    These people are the descendants of the Greek armies Alexander the great lead here. There language and customs are completely unique and can be traced back to ancient Greece. Very beautiful people and culture.

    And the Kalash valley its self....................man you should visit it some day!
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  3. roadrunner
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    they're about as non greek as you can find
  4. krash
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    Well you can say that but then their language is a mixture of Greek and Sanskrit, They still believe in the ancient Greek gods such as Zeus and Apollo but particularly Di Zau (Zeus's brother), their carvings are ripe with Macedonian symbology, the name 'Kalash' itself is the ancient Greek name for lapis lazuli (a gem which is found abundantly there), their burying rituals are that of ancient greece, They them selves believe and tell legends of their descent for the Greek armies of Alexander and Dionysus and then theres the way they look; light skin, blond hair and blue eyes:

    [​IMG]
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    Micheal Wood has written all about this in his book "In The Footsteps of Alexander The Great". You can check the following link to a forum for some extracts from this book:

    Kalash people admitt:ancient Macedonians were Greek

    An article from The Guardian:

    Nikos Deja Vu - The Kalash People a lost Greek tribe struggles for survival
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  5. roadrunner
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    How do any of those girls look Greek?

    Here are Greek children

    [​IMG]

    They're just mixed in with the local Nuristanis.

    A combination of Nuristan, Pashtun, Burusho.
  6. A1Kaid
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    Some attribute their physical appearance to Aryan invasion theory which is a possibility. As of descendants of Sikander ki Fauj that would mainly be Macedonian and not Greek. AFAIK some people in Hunza valley believe they have common ancestry with Macedonians and are descendants of Sikanders army after many of the soldiers decided to settle down in modern day North Pakistan instead of traveling back to Macedonia or "back home"...

    Have any genetic tests been conducted by major Universities? To help shed light....


    Also I think Kalash people should expand and join Pakistani civil society. Become a significant ethnic group in Pakistan like Kashmiris... They seem like wonderful people.
  7. roadrunner
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    What makes them not part of civil society already? Pakistan is not centred on one or two regions.
  8. admiral gorshkov
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    mir of hunza ghazanfar ali khan was an offical guest of macedonian govt few years back






    another interesting video

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  9. somebozo
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    The Kaylash People are actually Aryans but they might have come through Greek invasion.
  10. A1Kaid
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    How many Kalash students are in Pakistani Universities? How many in Parliament? How many make up the work force?


    If Kalash population increases then they can play a bigger role in Pakistani civil society.
  11. Peregrine
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    Vital Signs video which was shot in Kailash Valley
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  12. TruthSeeker
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    They are non-Muslim, aren't they? They cannot "join Pakistani civil society" without making themselves targets of the Islamists. They survive because of their isolated valleys and separateness. The Islamists killed a German who opened a comminity center and art museum that featured their culture.
  13. TruthSeeker
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    Sorry, he was Greek, not German:


    They would have called themselves Katis, but the Muslims surrounding
    them had for centuries called them Kafirs - infidels - and their land,
    thus came to be known as Kafiristan.

    One day in 1897, near the village Brumotul not far from Chitral, then
    a semi-independent Muslim state high in the Himalayas, a bunch of boys
    went walking. They were not Chitralis, but refugees from another place
    that lay west of the newly demarcated Durand Line. They were not
    Muslims, either. The boys would have described themselves as Katis,
    but the Muslims surrounding them had for centuries used “Kafir” to
    describe the boys’ ancestors, and “Kafiristan” for their original
    land. The British had retained that nomenclature for the portion of
    that land they now controlled, while the Afghan Amir, Abdur Rahman,
    whose invasion had made the boys refugees, had named his portion
    “Nuristan” (“The Land of Light”).

    The boys stopped on a bridge to watch two “Sahibs” fishing in the
    stream below, not having seen their likes before. One of the sportsmen
    came over to them and said something in Khowar, one of the several
    languages spoken among the Kafirs. One Kati boy understood what was
    said; he asked his friends to find earthworms for the Sahib. Later, he
    and another boy carried the day’s catch to the Sahibs’ camp. The man
    who spoke to the boys was an army doctor named Capt; the Kati boy who
    understood him was named Azar. Something about the boy struck Harris
    as exceptional. He sent for him the following day and almost
    obsessively insisted that Azar—barely ten or eleven at the time—should
    join his service. Azar offered excuses, his mother cried, but his
    father, Kashmir, the leader of the clan, gave his permission. Azar
    became Harris’s servant—first for 18 months at Chitral, and then for
    two years at Peshawar. Meanwhile, Kashmir was killed by some relatives
    when he was on his way to Kabul—after converting to Islam—to meet the
    Amir and seek from him his previous high status.

    In June of 1900 Harris was dispatched to China to help suppress the
    “Boxer Rebellion,” while Azar stayed with the Captain’s spinster
    sister. However, when she decided to return to England at the end of
    the year, Azar refused to accompany her. He insisted on staying in
    service in the army with the Punjabi soldiers he had come to like, and
    who had been very kind to him. Miss Harris then handed him over to a
    Capt. A.A. James.

    Soon after, Azar fell seriously ill, and during that illness took a
    vow to become a Muslim on regaining health. After recovery, Azar made
    his wish known to James, who was not pleased. It was not what Harris
    had wanted, who, in fact, had given everyone strict instructions
    against it. (For the record, Harris had never sought to make Azar a
    Christian.) Seeing Azar’s determination, however, James took the
    necessary steps and obtained the required permission from the
    Political Department. One Friday, Azar converted to Islam, and took on
    a new name: Shaikh Muhammad Abdullah Khan. His devotion to Capt.
    James, however, and the latter’s manifold kindness to him remained
    unchanged.

    A few years later, in the summer of 1905, when Abdullah was at the
    mountain resort of Murree with his master, he was overwhelmed by a
    longing for his ancestral homeland. A new ambition also took hold of
    him. He got the idea of accomplishing what his father had died trying
    to do—return to the original home in Afghanistan and become the leader
    of his people. With James’s help, a petition was prepared and—after
    Abdullah put his thumbprint on it—sent to concerned authorities.
    Several British officers helped in forwarding the cause. Abdullah
    eventually got an audience with the new ruler of Afghanistan when the
    latter visited India, but, not knowing Persian, he could not converse
    with him. Promises were made—or so Abdullah thought—but nothing
    happened. Then James had a serious accident, forcing him to return to
    England.

    That is where Abdullah’s story, as told by him, ends. It is now
    available to us in a remarkable book. (Shaikh Muhammad Abdullah Khan
    ‘Azar’, My Heartrendingly Tragic Story, edited by Alberto M. Cacopardo
    and Ruth Laila Schmidt (Oslo: Novus Press, 2006), pp. xl, 136, 139.)
    As the narrative closes in Jalandhar Cantonment, Abdullah says: “Now I
    can feel homesick with a good conscience, because God Almighty has
    given the Sahib relief and recovery.” The learned editors add in a
    footnote: “This was probably written in early 1908; Abdullah is
    already planning his return home, which will take place later that
    year.” Abdullah returned to Brumotul, where he lived out the rest of
    his life. The editors think he died around 1948.


    At some stage during the process of petitioning (1906–07), Abdullah
    dictated to someone an account of his life, containing much more than
    the bare-bone given above. He also added to that “heartrending” (dilon
    ko hila-dene-wali) story a separate but detailed account of his Kati
    people, their history, kinship system, religious rituals, arts, and
    important myths or lore. Evidently, it was done at the urging of Capt.
    James, who might have also suggested the topics that needed to be
    covered. The two narratives are in Urdu, and in first person. But the
    editors are rightly doubtful of Abdullah’s prowess in that language at
    the time, for it contains patches that are too purple for any novice.
    Most likely Abdullah’s words were recast by his scribe friend. Be that
    as it may, the preciseness of Abdullah’s observation and the poignancy
    of his feelings draw our respect and attention even if they come in
    someone else’s language. The singular manuscript, formally dedicated
    to Capt. James, remained in the captain’s custody until 1914, at which
    time it was returned to the author with other papers. It stayed with
    Abdullah until 1929, when the famous Norwegian scholar Georg
    Morgenstierne (1892–1972) met him at Bromotul, and bought it from him
    for thirty rupees. It now reposes in the Institute for Comparative
    Research in Human Culture at Oslo.

    Morgenstierne was the first to note the importance of the book—no
    worthy account of the Kati people existed at the time—and planned to
    bring out a proper translation. Unfortunately he died before he could
    make any serious progress. The task was then undertaken by one of his
    illustrious students, Knut Kristiansen, but he too passed away before
    the job was finished. Thankfully, the project was not abandoned, and
    we now have the two accounts accessible to us in the original Urdu as
    well as in English translation. The latter, done originally by
    Kristiansen, has been revised and updated by Kandida Zweng and Manzar
    Zarin, and provided with explanatory notes by the editors. A brief
    epilogue accounts for Abdullah’s life after 1908, while archival
    photographs allow us to see the faces of these neglected people and
    their physical environment. There is a wealth of scholarly addenda in
    the form of an introduction, biographical and explanatory notes, plus
    an extensive bibliography, resulting in a superbly put together
    book.Who were Azar/Abdullah’s people? Only the ancestors knew, and they do
    not seem to have left any story of origin or migration.

    Some outsiders, coming much later, have called them the descendents of
    Alexander’s army because they prominently have blue eyes and very fair
    skin. When in 1888 Rudyard Kipling sent off his two rascally heroes to
    become kings in Kafiristan, this is how he described their first
    sighting of the local people: “Then ten men with bows and arrows ran
    down that valley, chasing twenty men with bows and arrows, and the row
    was tremenjus. They was fair men, fairer than you or me, with yellow
    hair and remarkable well built.” (Sadly, the 1975 film based on the
    story was shot in Morocco and not in Chitral, and John Huston’s
    “natives” were swarthy and dark-haired, true only to Hollywood
    anthropology.) Linguists who studied the relevant languages have
    declared them as old as the time when Aryan and Iranian languages had
    not branched away from each other—even older. These people made their
    home in a remote region, extremely picturesque but not possessing the
    wealth that attracted marauders and empire builders. Various invading
    hordes seemingly skirted them. And when the diverse people around them
    became Muslim, they collectively came to be known as “Kafirs,” and
    their land as “Kafiristan.”

    However, what could survive ancient marauding failed against the
    combined might of 19th century colonialism and nationalism. The
    British in India came to terms with the Pathans in Kabul in 1893 and
    put down the infamous Durand Line (1896) that cut through the land of
    the Kafirs. Soon after, the Amir of the new nation of Afghanistan
    invaded his portion of the divide to establish his sovereignty. Those
    who could do so fled to Chitral, whose Muslim ruler let them settle
    near their brethren.

    The “Land of Light” is presently controlled by the Afghan Taliban. It
    gained headlines around the world in October 2009 when The American
    forward base, “Camp Keating,” was attacked, and eight American
    soldiers were killed. Subsequently, the Americans abandoned the base
    after turning it into rubble. Things are also perilous in the Chitral
    valley, with frequent rumours of Osama bin Laden hiding in the region
    and the CIA having a listening post there. In September 2009, a Greek
    scholar-volunteer, Athanasios Lerounis, was kidnapped by the Afghan
    Taliban. Lerounis had been working with the Kalash Kafirs of Chitral
    for many years because he was struck by their response when he had
    asked what they wanted most. “A school of our own,” they told him,
    “where we can teach our language and culture to our children.” He was
    now helping the Kalash build an ethnographic museum of their own when
    the raiders came from across the Durand Line. They now hold him in
    Nuristan, in ransom for the release of three Taliban leaders in
    Pakistan’s custody. In January 2010, a group of Chitrali Muslims,
    including some Kalash, traveled to Nuristan for the fourth time to
    plead for Lerounis’ release, and again returned disappointed.
    Back in September 2009, a member of the Kalash community had told the
    Daily Times of Lahore: “If the government doesn’t take any serious
    action we will leave Pakistan and go to some other country, a move
    which would bring bad name to Pakistan.” Who can even begin to imagine
    the desperation behind that threat, so naïve and so futile? In the
    21st century, no people can emigrate at will. The countless “Durand
    Lines” all over the globe will never allow it.

    Source: asianwindow.com
  14. TruthSeeker
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    Sorry, the Greek man was released, not killed:


    Athanasios Lerounis, a Greek social worker is FREE now

    Professor Athanasios Lerounis, a Greek social worker who was kidnapped by Nuristan-based Afghan Taliban from Bamburet valley in Pakistan's mountainous Chitral district six months ago, reached here Wednesday, official sources said on Thursday.

    Professor Athanasios Lerounis was handed over to the Pakistani authorities in Orsun village of Chitral along the Afghan border early on Wednesday,” the sources said requesting anonymity.

    Though the Taliban were demanding release of four important Taliban leaders, only one Afghan Taliban commander, Rahmatuddin Nuristani, was set free to secure the safe release of Prof Lerounis, the sources said. The commander, also known as Rahmatuddin Siddiqui, was arrested by the security forces in a raid in Swabi district of NWFP.

    Some sources said the government also paid ransom to secure the safe release of the Greek national. Chitral's District Coordination Officer Rahmatullah Wazir, however, insisted that his release was secured unconditionally by Pakistan's security agencies.

    The law-enforcement agencies produced the Greek social worker in a court in Chitral city to record his statement but journalists were not allowed to meet him. He was later shifted to an undisclosed location and was reportedly in the care of the intelligence agencies.

    Prof Athanasios was kidnapped on September 7, 2009 from the Kalash-Dur, a wood-hewn museum built by him in Baroon village in Bumboret with financial assistance from the Hellenic Aid Society of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to preserve and showcase the Kalash culture.

    He was kidnapped by the Afghan Taliban and was shifted to the bordering Afghan province of Nuristan. The kidnappers killed a policeman and injured two others, including a cop and Prof Athanasios' servant, when they offered resistance to foil the kidnapping bid.

    At least three delegations comprising elders from Chitral, including notables from the Kalash valleys, visited Nuristan to secure the release of Prof Athanasios. Though they failed to secure his release, they brought pictures of the kidnapped Greek national and conveyed Taliban’s demands to the government.

    The Afghan Taliban were demanding the release of their three top commanders including Mulla Obaidullah, former spokesman Ustad Yasir and Rahmatuddin Siddiqui from the captivity of the security agencies in Pakistan. There were reports of a rift in Afghan Taliban ranks on the issue as some were critical of the kidnapping of the Greek national from Pakistani territory.

    Mulla Dost Mohammad, the Taliban shadow governor of Nuristan, was reportedly inflexible on the issue while other Taliban figures wanted to be flexible. The Pakistani authorities, it was learnt, were willing much earlier to free Taliban commander Rahmatuddin Siddiqui in exchange for Prof Athanasios.

    The Kalash people also staged protests time and again, asking the government to secure the safe release of their Greek benefactor and even threatened to migrate from the valley if he was not recovered.

    Prof Athanasios first came to Chitral in 1994 as a tourist and visited the Kalash valley of Bamburet, Birir and Rambor. He developed fascination for the Kalash culture and later as chairman of the NGO, Greek Volunteers, he worked hard to preserve and protect the unique Kalash culture.

    The museum he built also housed a small dispensary and a school for the Kalash people. He also worked selflessly for the Muslim community living in the area and a jirga of local three times visited Nuristan to prevail upon the Afghan Taliban to release him.

    When contacted, the district administration officials declined to confirm the swap of the Afghan militant and paying ransom for the release of the Greek national.
    Dr Zainul Wahab, an archaeologist and close friend of Prof Athanasios while expressing happiness over the latter’s safe release said: "Prof Athanasios is a sincere friend of Pakistan and its people including the Kalash community. He is an important Greek academic and his only agenda is to serve humanity," he added.
    He said Prof Athanasios liked Pakistan and visited the country every summer to spend time in Chitral and oversee the humanitarian projects he was supervising and funding for the people of the valley.

    Professor Athanasios collected donations to build schools, clinics, water tanks, potable water supply schemes, maternity homes and completed more than 20 projects with endowments from donor in Greece.

    The Kalash people along with the Muslim residents in Bamburet valley celebrated his safe release and expressed jubilation over the return of the volunteer who served them selflessly for years, sources said.

    Athanasios Lerounis, a Greek social worker is FREE now - Glenn Welker's Posterous Blogs
  15. roadrunner
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    this comment alone should win idiot post of the year award.

    just stick to the us.. foreign cultures consist of more than cheeseburger eating.
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