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Hunza diary – Breaking the taboos

By Didar Ali

“You can look at the world from a mountain or from a rat hole! Most people do the second!”  Mehmet Murat ildan

It has turned a tradition more like a taboo now that whoever studied, whatever, or wherever, visits his/her hometown, varying the time schedule (mostly in summer)- Bun-Kebabs have now become Burger, who normally shy away to give hands to their poor parents during their free time. It was fade or trend, which marched towards style, slowly and gradually the practice wore the attire of fashion, which has now become a taboo. A lifestyle that washes away the beauty of joint family practices eludes social harmony and above all, it diminishes care for the senior citizen in general and parents of those involved in specific.

A university or college brat, especially the young, admires roving in the streets, adores sipping the Namkeen Choie at local restaurants no matter if he begged the dosh from their poor parents. Ouchhhhh!!! It’s heartening for the highly educated lassies as they don’t want to break their long nails. Mama will do it; normally girls puke, my cloths gets dirty, when I clean the house, wash cloths or dirty dishes.

May we all stay away from baloneys of all kind, of all sources, all time!!!!


Almost after a decade I am staying home this long, something forced me to stay, which is unusual. A witchdoctor might answer about the “diversion” well. God forbid!!!

I can witness alteration, modification, variation, transformation and change in every sector, zone, and segment of the society and area. You cherish the good but you also yell over the bad happenings in the towns of high mountain valley.

The thing that deeply hurts me is the increasing nous for class differences; this malady never existed among the people of the past. Everything used to be simple, pure and full of affection. Gloomily! Such imprudent notions have penetrated in hearts and minds of the people; now people of the area really care about status symbol, power and money.

Fatherhood, motherhood, brotherhood, sisterhood and neighborhood have now been slowly hiding under pirate-hood.

We live in the eastern sphere of planet earth and we believe in joint family system, but the inspiration we impose on “self” from other worlds, which hardly contributes to our social norms and family values.

Parents are reluctant to instruct or share ideas with their spoiled brats; “I know everything” the little monster regurgitates, but the truth is that they know everything about a world that doesn’t exist in the high mountain valley or Eastern sphere.


It’s a dogma in the Land of Pure that whoever reads or writes are literate, educated or groomed person, no matter he/she ever been through the lines of social norms, family values, mutual respect and routine honesty. Such ignoramus attitude of society, especially by the undeveloped youth, brutally ruins virtuous beliefs of old traditions.

There are newly introduced fashions here in the high mountains; it’s a curse for the so-called educated monsters to work at his family gardens or fields or help in any capacity. The lassies shy away from helping their parents, as they have now become literately-illiterate and there is a strong possibility to break their filthy colored nails.

It’s even sin to ask for help or instruct the sophisticated literates who have got piece of a colored paper from the prestigious schools of foreign lands, where all you learn how to get filthy rich.

Whatever the case, I tried to break the outrageous Taboo. Amusingly I got weird responses from the locals during my mission here in the high mountains. How they react when they see you cutting wood for fire, plucking fruits, or doing variety of tasks in your family gardens or fields: why don’t you go and find and nice job? Why don’t you start your own business? Why don’t you go for CSS option?? Why don’t you go for NGO? Why don’t you join army? Why don’t you go for PhD? Why don’ you become a religious scholar? Why don’t you go abroad and get settled?

No doubt, there is charm for the innocent senior citizens of the area, they have been finding charm in things, people or places, which they have rarely used, met or visited.

The free-souls are not even aware about the souring realities of material world, they aren’t aware of the sickening fact that being master of their field, they become corporate slaves, religious bigots, financial vultures, social felons, political jinx or military jarheads, rather a “man of his own.”

Enthrallingly, I enjoyed whatever I did; just to break the cocoons, which every educated youth wears upon their arrival. I truly enjoyed playing with mud and flowers. I enjoyed the absolute joy of my garden, where I trimmed tree branches and plucked fruits. I cherished marvels of my small town, where the locals celebrate rituals, which are insignificant to the outer world. It’s not only your mind that freshens up, but your soul, which struggles to exit form body cage when you hit the top of the Village Mountains.

hunzaYouth of the area need to define and differentiate between their needs and wants, running after material desires and achieving material goals should not be the sole motto. As many billionaires of the world have left their fortunes and returned to simpler living, just to find inner peace, love, and care.

Ethics and ethical values should be given prime importance at homes, government schools, and community based schools to educate new generation (naye tehzeeb k ganday aday) on how to respect others, their privacy, esteem, affection and mutual care, which is badly diminishing among youth of the area.

The unidirectional educated youth of the area must have to understand needs of their parents, who really need care and attention in their old ages. So far I have seen many senior citizens who are alone on their own and are suffering with psychological disorders.

Didar has a passion to write about arts, culture, philosophy, politics, technology and tourism. He is also a cultural critic. He blogs at OINOMANCY. He can be reached at alee_st@yahoo.com

The views expressed by the writer, the reader comments, the perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes expressed through this blog are those of individuals and participating users, and are not necessarily aligned with the views, policies, standards, and practices of Mountain TV.

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