CHITRAL, Feb 8: The recent snowfall in Chitral valley has provided the Kalash with an opportunity to play their most popular winter sport heem ghaal (snow golf) in the Kalash valleys of Bumburate, Birir and Rumbur.
Talking to this correspondent here, a number of Kalash youth said that they eagerly waited for the snowfall as the sport needed the valley to be snow-clad and the greater is the density of snow, the easier it is to play.
Walibar , Haideri Khan and Lajman Sher of Bumburate valley said that heem ghaal also forms one of the religious rituals of Kalash dogma and it is a game which is played as one of the religious obligations.
Regarding the sport, they said that it is played between two villages and one of its interesting features is that there is no specific number of players of a team and it is also not necessary that both the teams must have the same strength. They said that sometimes, the number of players of a team exceeds more than one hundred.
As per rule, the players kick a home made ball stuffed with pieces of cloth (locally called bampoo) and score a goal by making it pass it through the goal posts situated on either side of the stream, they said and added that the play field consists of numerous number of obstacles.
They decision of the match is done on the basis of best of three intervals and the losing team gives a bull or four goats to the winning team and the meat is used in the night in which musical concert is arranged. They said that the event can be used as lever to promote winter tourism in the area which can attract tourists in large number.
The Kalash youth said that skating is also popular among the youth folk when the valleys received snow in large quantity which has also a great potential for promotion of tourism.–Zahiruddin