In a remote valley in Pakistan many Kalash minority ladies move to commend spring’s entry — yet as a gaggle of men scramble to get them on camera, the network cautions a convergence of local sightseers is compromising their exceptional customs.
Consistently the Kalash — a gathering of under 4,000 individuals restricted to a bunch of towns in the north — welcome the new season with creature penances, submersions, and weddings at a celebration known as “Joshi”.
As festivities commencement, vacationers with telephones jar to draw near to Kalash ladies, whose energetic garments and hoods balance unmistakably with the more unassuming clothing worn by numerous individuals in the traditionalist Islamic republic.
“A few people are utilizing their cameras as though they were in a zoo,” said neighborhood vacationer manage Iqbal Shah.
Known for their fair skin and light-shaded eyes, the Kalash have since a long time ago asserted familial connects to Alexander the Great’s military — who vanquished the locale in the fourth century BC.
They venerate numerous divine beings, drinking liquor is a convention and relational unions of decision are the standard — dissimilar to in the remainder of Pakistan where associations are regularly orchestrated.
In any case, the network is a long way from a liberal reference point. Individuals from the network frequently marry in their teenagers, with ladies inadequately taught and expected to perform conventional jobs in the home.
Tales about the Kalash are in any case much of the time manufactured, and this has been enhanced lately by the multiplication of cell phones and web based life.
‘Stigmatizing the network’
One video saw 1.3 multiple times on YouTube, declares the Kalash “transparently engage in sexual relations” with accomplices based on their personal preference “within the sight of their spouses”.
Another calls them “excellent heathens”, saying “anybody can proceed to wed any young lady there”.
“How could that be valid?” asks Luke Rehmat, a Kalash columnist. “Individuals are deliberately attempting to stigmatize the network. They are creating stories… when a traveler accompanies such an outlook, he will attempt to encounter [it].”
In the principle Kalash town of Bumburate an inn chief gauges that 70 percent of Pakistani voyagers visiting his foundation are young fellows, who frequently ask about where to “discover young ladies”.
As per visitors who addressed AFP — the greater part of whom were men going in gatherings — their essential enthusiasm for investigating the Kalash Valley was to find out about another culture. “We need to be a piece of this celebration however it doesn’t imply that we need to stir up with young ladies,” says vacationer Sikander Nawaz Khan Niazi from Lahore.
Be that as it may, contact has been expanding lately.
In Bumburate, blurbs presently approach guests to look for consent from townspeople before shooting and signs caution vacationers not to bother ladies. “On the off chance that they don’t regard us, we needn’t bother with voyagers,” says Yasir Kalash, the VP of the neighborhood lodging affiliation.
“On the off chance that they regard… our way of life and conventions, we should greet [them].” Regulating the travel industry is a lumbering however essential assignment for the Kalash, with cash from the business progressively giving a significant wellspring of income for the network.
‘We are going to pass on’
The Kalash — who once occupied a huge domain extending from the Himalayas in Kashmir to northern Afghanistan — are presently one of the littlest religious minorities in Pakistan, as per Akram Hussain, the executive of a neighborhood historical center.
An ongoing overview put their number at only 3,872, living in three remote valleys.
“We are going to pass on the off chance that we are not upheld,” says Hussain.
Kalash conventions, Hussain contends, can be costly. Weddings and burial services expect families to execute many creatures for the celebrations, driving them into obligation, compelling them to auction land and leave their hereditary homes.
Instances of constrained transformations to Islam of Kalash ladies have likewise been accounted for, while the expansion in the travel industry has pushed some in the network to evade customs like Joshi, as per a few occupants who addressed AFP.
Others have started wearing cover to conceal their appearances from according to pariahs.
“We don’t wear shroud as it isn’t our custom, yet some wear them since individuals take pictures of them from all sides and it makes them feel embarrassed,” says Musarrat Ali, a secondary school understudy.
The continuous disintegration of the way of life on account of outside powers is disastrous, says Sayed Gul, a paleontologist from Bumburate.
“They would prefer not to take an interest in view of these cameras and this harshness,” says Gul.
“In the event that these things are ceaselessly happening … perhaps in a couple of years, there are just sightseers, there are no more Kalashis to take an interest and move in the celebrations.”