New York: People from Greece, Kalash Valley and Gilgit-Baltistan came together at an event held in New York, USA, to celebrate common heritage and cultural kinships dating back to thousands of years.
A new book about the Kalasha community, authored by renowned activist Lakshan Bibi, herself a Kalasha, was also launched during the event. Speaking at the occasion, Lakshan Bibi, who was the first commercial pilot from the Kalasha community, said that through her book she wants to dispel myths about her community.
Speaking at the occasion, Lakshan Bibi said that the Kalash identity faces unprecedented threats due to various reasons, including religious conversion.
Lakshan told Pamir Times that there is a lot of misinformation about the Kalasha community on the internet and in the popular imagination. She said that being a Kalasha herself, she felt that it was her duty to highlight the real values and beliefs of her community.
The book, “Kalasha: What I know”, offers insights about the present and past of the Kalash community, highlighting challenges faced by the people, while also explaining the rituals, beliefs and customs in detail, with the help of photographs. The book presents Lakshan’s “perspectives of Kalasha’s Mystery, History and Facts”.
Several speakers, including the counselor generals of Pakistan and Greece, spoke at the occasion, highlighting the importance of bringing people together, celebrating diversity and protecting the culture and religion of the Kalasha community.
Speakers also discussed the cultural and civilizational impact of the Greek, particularly Alexander the Great, on the world. Speakers implored the audience to adopt the ‘Olympian spirit’, which they said, was the spirit of inclusion, humanity and togetherness.
Artists from Greece and Gilgit-Baltistan also performed cultural dances and songs during the event.
The event, titled “Olympic Hellenism: From Leonidas to Alexander and the Kalasha”, was organized by the Federation of Associated Laconian Societies.
According to a pamphlet printed by the organizers of the event, some communities in Gilgit-Baltistan are “Greco-Bactrian”, who lived north of the Hindu Kush mountain range and south of the Amu Darya river.