Telephone not just an instrument in Kalash culture


CHITRAL: If asking for a `telephone` or `cooker` in the remote Kalash valley of Rumbur or Bumburate the local people lead you to someone`s house; take it easy as Kalash people have been naming their children after household items since long.

The people of primitive culture and civilisation living in the segregated valleys in south of Chitral share strange habits and ways in their daily life and naming their babies is one of them. Qudratullah, a development worker in the valley, said that names of many people in the area were humourous in nature and there had been no hard and fast rules to name a child.

He said that in some cases, the Kalash had been named after the kitchen utensils like balti, glass, cooker etc. He observed that the Kalash people were fond of naming their children after `new things` such as telephone and computer.

Zahid Ali, a university student doing research on Kalash culture, said that in the Kalash dialect the local names of both men and women hardly carried any meaning. However, he said that the Kalash try to avoid repeating a name already used.

“No two Kalash can be found with the same name,” he said, adding that the Muslim names like Saifullah Jan, Abdullah were now being used.

He said that a stranger could not differentiate between a man and woman through their names, but now the Kalash women had starting using Muslim names like Fatima, Khadija, Shahida and others. Enumerating some funny names of the Kalash, he mentioned Number-One, Mobile, Radio, Cassette, Akhbar, Chaprasi. He said that `Pepsi` was the original name of a young boy living in his neighbourhood.

He, however, said that now changes were also taking place in the Kalash culture and more and more people were using Muslim names. [DAWN]

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