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Travel Logue 65005

Kalash Joshi Festival

 Film Details


 : Global Television
 Episode Number: 65005
 Title: Kalash Joshi Festival
 Languages: E De
  26 Mins
 Produced: 2019

The Kalash are thought to be the descendants of Alexander The Great’s soldiers, who did not return to their homeland, Macedonia, after the conquest of India, but instead settled in the mountain valleys of the Hindu Kush, in what is now Eastern Afghanistan, a region called Kafiristan.

Since strangers today are no longer met with mistrust - except perhaps for small children, who are still a little afraid of the "Ingres", as the long noses are called here, and flee into the Buildings - we are often invited in for a cup of tea.

At the beginning of the Joshi Festival a cleansing ritual is celebrated. In the villages and the surrounding oak forests, the respective shamans perform this ritual. A burning branch strengthened with schnapps is swung over the heads of the women and afterwards they are given "roti", the local flat bread, but it’s not clear whether the women or the bread receives the blessing, but with such religious rites it is anyway pointless to question the tradition. It has always been done in this way.

All the women who have given birth to a child since the last Joshi Festival present it to the assembled community so that these children can be officially accepted into the Kalash community with a ceremony. A little similar to where a child is accepted into the Christian community by way of baptism. In this village in the valley of Bumburet alone, about twenty children were born this year.

The dances last three days and although there is the risk that the Joshi Festival will become a tourist attraction for Pakistanis, fortunately it has lost nothing of its originality. Western tourism has practically come to a standstill throughout Pakistan, mainly due to the tense security situation, but this only applies to certain areas, the north is generally safe - at least as long as the passes to Afghanistan remain snow-covered.