Please sign this petition:
The Kalash are an indigenous tribe in the remote Hindu Kush range of Pakistan practicing one of world's most unique religions. Due to their remoteness and minority status, they are living in a very challenging environment. It is a very hard battle for them to survive in today's modern world as is the case with indigenous peoples all over the world. And their location in a radicalized country makes them even more vulnerable.
Rationale for the Project
Puppeteering is a centuries old art form existing in many countries. In 1980 a group of enthusiastic artists from the National College of Arts for the first time introduced puppeteering in the Kalash region. After awhile those who were trained passed away or just become too old to work as puppeteers.
Young kalash boys and girls are very eager to learn puppeteering but there is no one in the area who can teach them how to make puppets. In the words of Asmat Gul Kalash of Krakal village, " I always wanted to make puppets but the only woman in her valley who could teach her has forgotten how to make puppets".
This indigenous culture has a rich folklore. It abounds with Myths of fairies, gods, goddesses, princes and princeses, and animals. Kalash love to tell stories. But many of the young are not interested in folklore anymore. And no written record of this folklore has ever been kept. Many of these great legends of the past seem to have died in the hearts of Kalash elders. Transmission of these rich oral histories through Puppeteering is at the heart of this project. The young's interest will be caught easily through it. The efforts to preserve oral history of the Kalash will get a big boost with this project.
Besides passing on folklore, puppets can be an important channel for creativity and entertainment in valleys where there is little or no electricity. In long winters when there is deep snow outside, everybody huddles inside. During these winter nights Kalashis will have a medium to exercise their young's active imaginations. At the same time, puppeteering will be providing a purpose and entertainment to girls and boys. These puppets as a handcrafted item can also prove a valuable source of income for Kalashis. Kalashis need to have a stable source of income as there is no industry or other modern source of livelihood to add to their income.
We plan to bring sixteen young kalashis girls and boys to Lahore and give them a five day training. The Rafi Peer group has graciously promised to provide puppet making training for free. The youth will be trained to carve puppets out of wood and manipulate them for storytelling in this workshop. These trainees will then work as peer educators once they go back to valleys. We are in the process of securing funding for transportation, food, and housing for this trainee group.
KALASH a picture exhibition
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Secretary General of United Nations.
Help Preserve Kalash a tribe in Pakistan for United Nations Protected site:
United Nations is celebrating DECADE of Indigenous People from 2004 till 2014
A PETITION TO THE Sec General and all Heads Of States
Please treat this as an urgent appeal to support the historic Kalash people of North Pakistan. Our aim, with your assistance, is to have the Kalash territory declared as a "World Heritage" site.
The Kalash (or Kalasha) is an ethnic non-Muslim group that exists in the Hindu Kush mountain range located in the Chitral District of North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Although their numbers were quite significant before the 20th century, they have however, gradually dwindled over the past century. This is very unfortunate and is in large part due to the fact that they have been assimilated by the larger Muslim majority of Pakistan. Today, more than half the Kalash people have been made to convert to Islam thus losing their ethnic and historical originality in the process.
It is, therefore, absolutely vital and imperative to save and protect this ancient culture and, therefore, we implore you to assist us in having the Kalash territory declared as a protected World Heritage site.
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The Kalash People