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Making fun of Chitral’s Khow culture

After a suspension of three decades or more, Phindik Festival was celebrated throughout Yarkhun valley in June/July 2013, managed by LSO PUNAR with the financial assistance of AKRSP. The elders highly appreciated the activity as the revival of their old festival.

From 2014 and onward, they continued observing the event without any financial help of any NGO. In 2014 the villagers of Parkusap-Mastuj and Mehrting in Yarkhun celebrated the festival in August. The event was sponsored by some international organization through AKRSP, Chitral. This scribe objected to its observance during an irrelevant month and didn’t attend it (as chairman of LSO PUNAR I was to attend the event).

The concerned officials maintained that funds were released lately and they had to utilize it at any rate. It was a lame excuse. However, AKRSP made no further attempt to observe any cultural event during irrelevant part of a year. Yesterday, a news item in chitraltoday.net “Annual Gharikhomik festival celebrated with enthusiasm” attracted my attention.

The villagers of Charun observed Gharikhomik in December. It is really a ridiculous service to our Khow culture when an event of September is celebrated in December. Is it a revival of our old festivals? Is it some service to our culture? The sponsoring NGO may be ignorant about the festival and month of its observance but the villagers are not supposed to be so naïve to observe it two months later than actual Gharikhomik took place; or have changes descended from Ghari, recently? Is it possible to stay on the snow clad hills in the chilly month of December? It is our responsibility to transfer our culture to our young generation in the same colour and shape as far as possible.

With the passage of time, some kind of changes in its characteristics cannot be avoided. But such a blunder in observing a festival whenever we get fund or have leisure time will ruin its very fabric. Our youth will take it as, “there is no restriction on observing any Khow festival during any month of a year.” Hence next year the youth of Charun will be celebrating Phindik in November and Salgherek in July, and boast of revival of their culture.

Khows have two main festivals, Phindik and Salgherek, celebrated between mid-June and mid-July and February, respectively. Gharikhomik, binisik, kholsoyek etc. are small ones observed in small scale but within due season/month. There are variations of a week or two in different parts of Chitral. Our humble request to our NGOs and Local Bodies is to please not to distort our century old traditions in the name of revival. 

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2 Comments
  1. Sharafat says

    Kehtay hay k Booni ka naam kisi zamanay may “Boo neest” tha, zamana guzarta gaya Boo neest say Booni par gaya nam.
    Ye kisi faqeer ko chae pani nai dee gai the, is wajeh say usnay isay “Boo neest” bola tha jo bad may bol bol ker Booni ban gaya. (sunni sunai bat ha ghalat b hosakta hay)
    Isi tarah zamanay ki irtaqa k sath nam, culture, festivals, zuban change hojati, ajkal sara Games, Indoor or video game Mobile nay asan kerdiya hay, ap ye to nai kehsaktay k Chitral k log Buddi dik, patik dik chordi hay unko ye b kerna chahiya
    May apny bachay ko ye samjao beta ap Ghulel lay ker chilingi shikar kia karo, ye Khol kramic q nai kerta ho, hamay afsus to hay ham kia kerskat hay.

  2. salahuddin says

    Mr. Sher Wali Khan sb has rightly identified a serious issue and shown strong concern over the highly irresponsible attitude of different organizations being repeatedly practiced in the name of fund utilization. It should be stopped and all the organization representatives should take notice and make sure that such activities should be discouraged in the interest of area development.

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