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Posted by Jen @ThatHelps
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Interest: Culture

Purpose: Educate

Under 5 mins.

Surrounded by the Muslim population of Pakistan, the Kalash are a people that have managed to hold true to their own culture and heritage in the midst of the modern age. They have their own unique language, religion, clothing, and traditions. Their population is dwindling with only 3,000 people left. It is feared that ongoing violence in the region will force the Kalash to abandon their homeland and assimilate into modern culture.

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1️⃣ The Kalash language is also known as Kalasha-mun, and it was formerly spoken across south Chitral, but now it is only spoken in a much smaller area, as the Khowar language (with its 1 million native speakers) has taken over.

2️⃣ The Kalash people practice a polytheist religion that some label as animism and others recognize as a form of ancient Hinduism. Animism is the belief that all creatures, objects, and places possess a spiritual essence.

3️⃣ If any Kalash converts to Islam, they cannot live among the Kalash people anymore. Sheikhs (those that have converted to Islam) make up more than half of the Kalasha language speakers.

4️⃣ Kalash women typically wear long black robes embroidered with cowrie shells. Because of this, they are known in the Chitral area as the Black Kafirs. Men wear the Pakistani shalwar kameez. Kids start wearing the same clothing as adults after they reach the age of 4.

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