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Chitral livens up with sports, music festival

CHITRAL, April 10: While on one side the only colours to be seen in the country these days are of different political parties, people of Chitral valley, oblivious to the election drives and keeping up with their tradition, organised a colourful festival welcoming spring. springThe festival, a collaboration of the WWF and Project Snow Leopard, was held in Sheikhanda village in Rumbur on Tuesday. All through the harsh winter, girls with their mothers make hand-embroidered clothes to prepare for the festival, while men polish their archery and Buzkashi skills. On this occasion, the contest was held between the junior and senior teams of the Qureish tribe, with the junior team bagging the archery title and the seniors proudly accepting the Buzkashi cup. WWF field biologist Ejaz Ahmad distributed prizes among the winners in front of a large crowd of spectators. The village is one of the less developed areas of the North West, where even basic facilities have not been made available. However, far from dampening their spirit, the lively villagers keep up their decades-old traditions and customs alive. According to the locals, this tribe came from Nuristan, Afghanistan and settled here 150 years ago. A local and foreign attraction, the scenic beauty and customs of this valley have a good tourist turnout. Residents have asked the government to take steps to help them preserve their culture and valley to attract more tourists.–Express Tribune]]>

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