Pakistan - Kalash of Cultures

An uncertain future for the Kalash people of Pakistan

Pakistan - Kalash of Cultures In a remote part of northern Pakistan, a tribe believed to be descended from Alexander the Great is facing cultural annihilation.
As animists, the Kalash Kafirs live by cultural practices which clash with those of the Muslim Pakistanis’ that surround them. Their identity is constantly undermined by their Muslim neighbours. Help comes in the form of volunteers from Greece who believe that the Kalash people are part of their own ancient history and worth preserving. New facilities are being built but such help comes at a price. ”They are building in their own way…I think they should build like Kalash,” complains villager Mohammed. Whether fact or fiction, the Kalasha realise the commercial value of their founding myth and so are keen to preserve it. However, it is their spiritual life and beliefs that they feel are under threat by the growing hostility of fundamentalists. With jobs promised to those that convert, over 6,000 have reluctantly given up their bright national dress to become Muslim. For the Kalash people, both their past and future remain uncertain.

Produced by ABC Australia.

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