“In a remote mountain region of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, the Kalash people, followers of a pre-Islamic religion, mark death as few on the planet do. With dance, drums, and gunfire, the colorful funeral ritual is an elaborate celebration of a loved one’s life.”
The people of Kalash used to leave bodies in the graveyard without burying them but now they have started burying them. They also bury the deceased’s personal items, such as an axe, knife, and gun, as well as his pillow and charpai (his bed), at the grave. They don’t carry the possessions home because they think bad spirits do.
Before we go into the depth of the situation of the Kalash people, it is crucial to understand the ethnic and sectarian history of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan has a long history of opposing the recognition of various ethnic communities.
“Kalash is a place out of this world. There are no doctors, no mobile phones, no newspapers and no tarmac roads. But they still look the happiest people on earth.”
The Kalash people are a small religious and ethnic minority of Pakistan. The members of the Kalash religion, a polytheist faith resembling early variants of Hinduism, sacrifice animals to their gods. Their faith and culture are intertwines, and they have a number of distinctive holidays and celebrations. Although they normally do not inhabit areas or marry local Muslims, the people are not hostile to them either. As a scheduled tribe, the people are protects by the State of Pakistan’s laws and constitution.
For three days, the body is kept at the Jastakhan (the dancing place of Kalash), where dancing and singing continue all around it. The occasion gives the Kalash the opportunity to show their riches and affluence as the guests attending the ceremony are lavishly provided with rich food.
Kalash Women’s Culture
They still send their women to remote homes known as “Bashali” during menstruation and childbirth because they are seen as impure, following to centuries-old traditions and customs. During this time, they are not even touch. The Kalash community deviates from Islamic principles in two areas: the status of women in society and alcohol consumption.
Although they inhabit a nation that is heavily influence by Islam and some regions of Pakistan prohibit women from traveling alone, Kalash women do not cover their hair or wear veils. In a same vein, relationships are unrestricted and divorce is acceptable for both men and women.
“The Kalasha culture is unique and tourist come from all over the world here to see the beauty of this unique culture. Each year as many historians, anthropologists, sociologists and photographers from all over the world focus the Kalasha society.”
Kalash is not the only place where people have rules and different ways of showing their emotions and happiness; there are many cities and countries inside or outside Pakistan. So, if you are a person who loves to read unique things about people, stay connected with us!