CHITRAL: Dr Inayatullah Faizi, a noted researcher of local culture and folk heritage, has regretted the fact that traditional and indigenous games in Chitral have lost attraction among the players, including women.
He said fading traditional games of Chitral conformed to the geography, material resources, social norms and climatic conditions of the area and entertained the people of all age groups.
Mr Faizi said while some games were specific to men, women and children, many were common, and tested the physical stoutness and courage of players.
“Many major games resembled to cricket when the people were not even aware of it, while some resembled to hockey and football, and yet others looked like athletics,” he said.
Men and children played Patikdik and Budidik in playgrounds with scoring system same like cricket, in which a player trying to hit the six-inch wooden bone with a stick faced the opponent team standing inside a circle of 8 to 10 feet radius, explained Mr Faizi.
Like the bowling in cricket, the fielding team’s player propelled the bone to the player, and was declared out if he failed to hit it.
Scores were counted on the basis of distance covered by the bone after it was hit, he explained.
Mr Faizi said cricket had completely eclipsed the game played only in winter.
“Prinjughall (wooden hockey ball) was played with the help of wooden sticks with hooks on the lower side resembling with hockey, while Bampughall (a cloth ball stuffed with wool) used to be football of the olden days played in the spring and summer by men and children,” he said.
Dr Faizi said Gachchokik, Chhatchhatoaulek, Shemenizhengek (tug-of-war) and Bohkpechik (stone throwing) were the games of stout men normally played between two villages.
He said swimming in river was the most popular game of summer by the villagers who used skins of goats as bladder to stay afloat.
He said Thampukdik was the most perilous and challenging game in which a player riding a galloping horse tried to shot the target by his gun while Pagah was the race of horsemen.
Dr Faizi said games of women involved exhibition of physical strength and tricks which included Hoop Dik (whirling in circles singing a folk song), Phishpudik and Arghawuli (jumping race), Pai Drek (scoring with the help of pebbles) and swinging.
He said Shapirkeli nighttime game was a battle between a shepherd and wolf in which the former defended his/her herd against the onslaught of the latter and tried to repulse the attack. A member of the herd was lost if the attacker touched it.
He said there were also a number of games played indoors providing amusement and joy to the participants.–Dawn