KALASH CULTURE

Culture refers to manmade environment including heritage. Culture is not restricted to any particular field of knowledge; it includes ways of behavior derived from the whole range of human experience and activity. Culture is also defined as the whole-complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterize a society or social group. It includes not only arts and crafts, but also modes of life, customs, value systems, traditions, beliefs, morays & rituals etc.

Chitral, the largest district of the KPK, is one place in the scenic land where people are known for their soft-spoken gesture and hospitality.  One of the major attractions of Chitral, is the famous Kalash valley (this consist of valley of Birir, Rumbur, and Bumburet) – the home of the Kafir-Kalash or “Wearers of the Black Robes” a primitive pagan tribe.The Kalash are ancient tribe and have a religion and culture of their own, their culture is unique as well as amazing one. Tourist from all over the world come here to see their natural beauty and unique culture. Their ancestry is enveloped in mystery and it is the subject of controversy. Legends says that one General Salik shah, who was called by the Greek as General Selefuous with five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedonia, settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kafir Kalash. Kalash people live in the valley of Birir, Bumburet and Rambur, south of Chitral while Bumburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kefir-Kalash and Birir and Rambur are located at a distance of 34 and 40 kms respectively from Chitral.  Kalash culture is a very unique culture in the world and has their own identity. Their way of life is very much different from other parts of Chitral.  There is centuries’ old tradition and culture and a real attraction for the local as well as foreign tourists.  The Kalash are a friendly and cheerful bunch that love music and dancing, particularly on their religious festivals like Joshi Chilimjusht to be held in the mid of December. Polo is the most popular sport of Chitral and it holds similar importance amongst the Chitral & Gilgit populations. Polo matches are great attractions and festive occasions for all tourists. Even one doesn’t have a knack for this game will surely love the atmosphere it creates. A regular Polo tournament is the main feature. Polo at roof-top (Shandur) is held every year in the first week of July at Shandur.

By Shahzadi.(38/10)

    

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