Gojal area of the Karakorum mountains
Pakistan glossary












29 July 2000



Section 1
Today on the 29 July 2000, I am gong to Khizarabad from Aminabad. By the way today is the first day of our local festival known as Chaneer (harvest festival). Today leavened breads are prepared and taken to the house of the most senior person in the neighbourhood and this is eaten together. In Wakhi it is called Shegd-tar-charaman (new crop to the threshing field). When I set out from Aminabad, the weather was quite pleasant and the blue sky over the lush green valley with waving and blooming fields was offering an exiting scene. I passed through the green fields enjoying the scenic beauty of this valley. On the way I met many of my friends we greeted each other and I went on. When I entered the house of Gulshad I found her absent because it was the time of extensive work - probably she was busy in the fields with fodder collection for livestock use in winter. When I entered the house, her daughter went out to call her from the fields. When sister Gulshad entered the house she very warmly welcomed me and excused that she was out on an urgent work and that I had to wait for some time. I also apologised to her for the disturbance that I caused to her busy schedule.

Today on 29th July 2000, I am sitting with sister Gulshad to collect the information and ideas she possessed.

Assalam-O-Aliakum (peace be with you)?
Wa Alikum-o-Salam sister (peace be with you too).

Shireen khui (sweet sister; an expression of respect)! I have come to ask you something about you, so would you like to tell me something about your life?
Why not sister! I would certainly tell you if anything is worth telling.

Dear sister! Where were you born?
Dear sister, I was born in Ghulkin.

How many brothers and sisters do you have?
I have two brothers and two sisters.

What is the profession of your brothers?
My elder brother is a carpenter and my younger brother is an educated man. He is a teacher and he teaches science subjects, and presently he is also serving the community as chairman of the Tariqa (literally, the way; religious education) board.
Section 2
Dear sister! When you were married to Shimshal from Ghulkin what was your age at that time?
When I was married I was 14 years old.

Did you marry in accordance with your wills or was it the wish of your parents?
It was the will of my parents.

Why were you married to Shimshal from Ghulkin? Was it under the influence of the family set up?
According to my father, his relatives were in Shimshal as his mother was from Shimshal and Shimshal was his maternal grandfather’s village and he couldn’t afford to refuse them as my grandmother belonged to Shimshal. So despite the opposition of my mother I was married according to the will of my father.

Are you satisfied with your life?
Yes of course.

How many children do you have? Are they educated?
At present I have three children: a son and two daughters and all the three are getting education. One daughter is in 8th class and the other is in 6th class and my son is studying in 1st class.

Would you like to tell us something about how you spent your childhood in Ghulkin?
At that time there was no system of education, people would not educate their daughters. When my father took my elder sister to the school for the first time, the villagers started making fun of my father and would pass remarks that “mukhi (religious leader; narrator’s father) has sent his daughter to school and she would now conquer the moon”. These remarks disheartened us but my father encouraged us and advised us not to take the remarks seriously. He further said that there was nothing to be worried about as it was the era of education and those who get education would enjoy a better life and people would [highly] regard them, and those who would not acquire education would be termed as animals. He advised us not to be worried about what people said but instead we should think about and plan our futures in the context of the changing world, in which illiterates would be of no value.
It was the desire of my father that his children should get a better education but due to family constraints we could not keep regularity in our studies, because my father at that time was rendering volunteer services to the community. First he was working as a qazi (religious literate responsible for religious performances on weddings; he would recite nikkah and read words from the Quran chosen for weddings) and then later on he took over as mukhi. And due to his position very often guests would come to our house and my mother would always remain busy with the arrangements of the guests and I would normally assist my mother in household activities and would also look after the livestock. At that time my father had two houses one in Jungle (place in Ghulkin) and one in the centre of Ghulkin. Whenever he would shift to the house in the centre of Ghulkin, I would remain with my grandparents at the house in Jungle. My parents always expected that my presence with my grandparents would help them live comfortably, as I was to care for them, prepare food for them and wash their clothes. At that time everyone was not supposed to extend hospitality to the guests so my father was responsible to look after the guests because in the village everyone has a different nature. These were the reason that caused irregularity in my studies.
Section 3
Well! Was it for the first time to establish a school in the village?
Yes, boys were already studying but for the first time girls were provided with access to education. People would make fun of my father for the reason that my father possessed liberal thoughts. Whenever he would talk about religion or education the villagers would say that Mukhi narrates the chat from the streets of Gulmit (larger village close to Ghulkin) whereas my father was predicting about this era but people didn’t follow him instead they would mind his advice.

What were the conditions in Shimshal when you came here for the first time?
When I was married to Shimshal, there were a lot of old people in Shimshal. There were woollen caps and woollen cloths available and people would wear woollen chugha (long woollen overcoat) and woollen trousers. Women would wear caps made from printed cotton cloths. Almost all the people were related to agriculture, the trend towards education was very less. Then slowly people started changing their thoughts regarding cleanliness, education and other development activities.

When you were married to Shimshal, did you observe any changes, e.g. in the environment of Ghulkin and Shimshal?
Yes, the difference was obvious, there was a lot of difference between the environments of Shimshal and Ghulkin. But I had no bad impression in my mind for this village; neither I viewed the people with hate and sense of dislike nor I condemned anyone in my house. I never felt any deficiency instead it has been my desire that I work for the betterment of the individuals, my village and my home.

At the time of your marriage, what generally were the responsibilities of a man and a woman? How were the household affairs managed and run?
At that time the system was such that whatever household tasks the men would assign to the women, they would obey their instructions. The mother-in-law shouldered all the responsibility of the household affairs. She would issue rations to her daughter-in-law and would instruct her to prepare food for the family and also try to save a little bit out of it. And customarily the daughter-in-law would prepare food and would let her mother-in-law sit at dildong ben (close to the fire place) and would ask her to distribute the food among the family. Mother-in-law would distribute this food among the family. At that time the daughters-in-law would only follow the instructions from their mother-in-law and did not do anything according to their own will, because there was poverty and it was the reason that mothers-in-law shouldered the responsibilities. There was no source of external earning due to the lack of access to the village, people would entirely depend on the local production, therefore very careful management of these resources was required. Now those kind of miseries are over, the jeep road is nearing our village and everyone has the trend to import their commodities for daily use from down below (Gilgit).
Section 4
What were the activities of the men?
The activities of the men were mainly to bring firewood from the forest, water the fields and the forests and other agricultural activities. The daily routine works were divided among themselves and the women were instructed to do works such as making fertiliser from animal waste and some would fetch firewood. Despite the scarcity of kerosene oil the women would sit the whole night in the light of the fire and card wool by hand.

Was this the condition when you came here?
Yes, because no machine-made clothes were available here, people would wear woollen clothes e.g. woollen trousers. Women would wear pirhan (women’s long shirt or dress) but the rest of the clothes such as coat and trousers were made of wool. The household works were the responsibility of the women where as outdoor activities such as the delivery of fertiliser to the fields was carried out by men.

Dear sister! You talked about the woollen cloths, what was the procedure of its fabrication?
My dear sister, the procedure was such that first of all the wool was collected from the sheep and then it was beaten with sticks in Shamban where fine silt was added to the wool and [it was] beaten with sticks. The threshed wool was then spiralled and then the wool was carded. Threads were made from the carded wool and then given to the expert for weaving.

How were the clothes stitched?
There was no sewing machine available so the clothes were stitched manually. I too stitched with my hands. Before, the bridal dress like chugha was also stitched manually. My grandmother Murad Begum was an expert in hand stitching. Therefore everyone would prefer her for stitching their marriage dresses.

My sweet sister! As you talked about the household management system of olden days, would you like to tell us what is the management system of a house today?
Dear sister, the house management system today is quite contrary to the old times, ie a mother-in-law has no importance in the house today, instead the daughters-in-law run the household affairs on their own. Whenever the mother-in-law gives an instruction, the daughter-in-law turns it down by saying that gone are the days when they ruled the family, now it is a different world. [There have been] a lot of changes in terms of food, cleanliness and standards of living and that has also resulted in a change in the attitudes of the people. The old system no longer exists. The more people become prosperous the more they become arrogant; senior members in the family are losing their traditional importance and respect. Whenever a guest comes to the house the juniors of the family according to their wish prepare food for the guest without consulting their seniors. This embarrasses the mother in-law and the jethani (wife of husband’s elder brother) for the reason that their views are not valued.
Section 5
Do you agree with the old system?
I agree with the old system and also I want to keep pace with the people of this modern world. Though I am not educated enough yet I try to act like the modern people because today there is a need of good education, good dress and cleanliness. So it is my desire to keep pace with the time.

What kind of services do you render to the community?
I serve the community as a volunteer and I am also a member of the village education committee. Above all, my entire attention is on the education of my children and I request the new generation to give more attention to their education. Not only the education, the new generation should also learn the norms of the society such as way of living in society, cleanliness of environment, respect of elders, respect of teachers and parents and performing everyday work in polite way. All these things depend on the education and without education one has no value and regards.

As you are saying, you work as a volunteer, so what caused you to choose volunteer work for the society?
I undertook this job in the light of the farman (instruction/guidance) of our Imam (hereditary spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, currently Prince Karim Aga Khan). Our Imam says that volunteers are a very important part of our institutions. So it has been my immense motives to prefer volunteer works to my personal interests for the pleasure of my Imam and to follow the instructions of the senior women rendering volunteer services to the community and to get their blessings.

You were talking about the education of your children. What kind of education do you wish for your children?
For my daughters, I want them to study and choose the profession of teaching or nursing but I couldn’t properly look after my son here. In view of the study environment of the village I sent my son out of the village. I decided to send him to Karachi to stay with his uncle and get the best education because one should make the best use of time available to him. If he could not get the best education in his uncle’s lifetime he would be in trouble in future.

Sweet sister! Would you like to tell me something about the marriage system in former times? And what is the marriage system today?
The marriage system in olden times was such that nobody would bother seeking the consent of the girl and the boy, the parents according to their own wishes would decide and would prefer kinship or wealth rather than the likes and dislikes of their children. The girls were forced and sometimes even beaten if they refused the marriage. But today it is not like that, unless the boy and the girl are willing and they like each other. Parents do not take any decision. When both are agreed then the parents go for formal betrothal; otherwise nobody can force them.
Section 6
As you were telling that in former times marriages were made in accordance with the wishes of the parents but now they marry according to their own wishes. Which system do you agree with; the old or the new system?
I am in complete agreement with the present system because it allows one to marry in accordance with their own likes and dislikes and in such a way the couple can live a happy life. In olden times the boy and the girl wouldn’t even know about one another until the day of marriage, then it would normally end with divorce hence complete collapse and destruction of two lives. This also causes worries and trouble for the parents as the marriage is based on mutual understanding and both are responsible for the success of their marital life. But today the system has changed and now they like and understand each other before they enter into the marriage agreement.

Are there festivals celebrated in our village if so please give your views about these festivals?
Whatever festivals we celebrate in our village are the best; there was a time when people lost interest in these festivals then our Imam emphasised retention of the cultural heritage because festivals are the living proof of a society. We celebrate the birthday of our Imam with great joy and enthusiasm. Similarly, we celebrate Kethedith, (Spring festival), Vichhosh (outdoor soup festival), Shegd Saal (New year/Nauroz), and Chaneer. These are our customs; it would be too bad if we give up these festivals, instead preference should be given to such things.

How should a good woman manage her household activities? What kind of skills should she posses?
Sweet sister! A woman should posses the quality to look after her children and her home; she should keep her home neat and clean and should also respect the elders. In addition she should also possess some skills, for example, different kinds of embroidery work such as stitching artistic designs on women’s caps and tablecloths. Similarly she should also possess the skills to grow vegetables so that she could get the advantage of agriculture. A good woman should possess all these qualities because one can take the best advantage if she is skilled. For example, if we stitch a women’s cap, tablecloths, bed sheet and pillow covers and sell them in the market, we can earn a handsome amount.

Do you do any embroidery work? If yes what benefits do you get out of it?
I stitch women’s caps, tablecloths, bed sheets, sweaters, and pillow covers and also knit hand gloves and I sell most of these products and earn money. Whenever I have spare time at home I engage myself in stitching and embroidery works and whenever an angrez (western tourist) visits the village I sell the products to them.

Do you sell a lot of products from your embroidery works?

What is your opinion about other women?
I have the view of other women, that instead of wasting their time in leisure, they should do something productive so that it is marketed and the money earned in such a way is invested in the education of their children and should also make some savings. This could also help them in meeting the household expenses. It is inappropriate to waste their times in gossips and unproductive activities.
Section 7
Sweet sister! Could you please tell us about the happiest moment of your life?
Why not sweet sister! In olden times there was a custom that philanthropic works were carried out in the name of their parents and forefathers. They would offer the foodstuff to the community and a variety of foods were prepared by the community throughout the day and were offered to all the community members. This act was deemed as the act of philanthropy. We too, offered such kind of nomus (system of donating resources for a community project in the name of a relative) in the name of our grandfather Qurban Baig and Muharam Baig. Almost everyone in the village in the name of their forefathers does this type of charitable work. This has been a good tradition of our village.
When I got married and came to live in Shimshal, my father-in-law had already passed away and my mother-in-law was living with eight orphaned children i.e. three of her own children and five children of her husband’s elder brother. The parents of these five children had also died and my husband’s sister had also died. My mother-in-law lived with her two sons - one of her son’s is currently in Karachi. Despite the fact that my mother-in-law’s parents wanted her to get married again she preferred to stay with her children and to bring them up and she looked after them till they matured.
When she was seriously ill, I acknowledged the hardships of her life and promised her that we would offer nomus in her name in recognition of her sacrifices and services. She was then satisfied. After her death, I would always refresh in my mind the promise to my mother in-law so I told brother Amjad about my promise to my mother-in-law and requested him to arrange resources so that we could undertake some project and fulfil our promise to the deceased soul. I also requested him not to bother the villagers for volunteer work instead we should perform the entire work by ourselves and after completion hand over the project whatever it could be, to the community so that no one would feel any burden in carrying out the work. So my husband and his brother constructed an office building for the Tariqa board and turned it over to the community. That was the happiest day of my life when I fulfilled my promise to my late mother-in-law.

Sweet sister! As you talked about the nomus you performed in the name of your mother-in-law, could you please tell us about the acts of charity carried out by others?
Yes sweet sister, in former times, people had done a lot of charity works through nomus and it continues until today. When AKRSP (the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme) undertook the construction work of the jeep road to Shimshal many generous people offered their wealth as nomus for this noble work.
People built trails in some areas and they also built huts as camping sites and bridges throughout the way from Dut to Ziarat. For example Muhammad Nayab constructed one house and the family of Amim Shah at Dut constructed another house. Similarly in our central Jamat khana (religious community centre of Ismaili Muslims) many such works were sponsored by individuals in the name of nomus. Likewise the DJ (Diamond Jubilee) school - every room has been constructed through the act of nomus. For instance one room each was sponsored in the name of Muhammad Saeed, Saeed Ullah, Mrs Azra Begum and the fourth room was constructed by numberdar (government representative in the village) Baig Daulat in the name of his two late sons. Hussain Khan in the name of Allah, donated the land for this school. The religious centre in Khizarabad and in centre Shimshal, the volunteer’s office in the centre of Shimshal, were also constructed through the act of generosity. Any hindrance from Shimshal to Pamir (Shimshal’s mountain pastures) those were solved through the act of generosity. Those problems included houses, trails and the animal sheds, these were constructed through nomus. This was the way they would solve their problems. And in my opinion when people solve their problems in this way the difference between the rich and the poor diminishes and every need of the community is fulfilled. If such works were left at the mercy of individuals this would have been a burden on orphans, widows and the poor segment of the community and this would effect the poor elements of the community. Such works have no adverse effect on the wealthy persons, therefore I am in favour of nomus and the way our forefathers have established this tradition. I would like to request to my new generation and would expect from them that they would follow the foot steps of their ancestors and would promote this noble work.
Section 8
Sweet sister! How do you manage to fulfil the year-long expenses in this village?
It is part of our tradition that we herd livestock (cows, goats, sheep and yaks etc) and we prepare fertiliser from these animals. At the beginning of the autumn men collect soil, before the land is frozen, in order to prepare fertiliser throughout the winter months. Fertiliser is prepared in the animal shed and is taken to the fields as the spring season approaches. Then we cultivate our fields. When the cultivation is completed by the end of May, half of the population migrates to the pasture along with the livestock; the responsibility and task of those people is to look after the livestock. The half of the population that remains in the village is responsible to look after the fields. The responsibility of the people in Pamir is to collect milk from the livestock and make butter and cheese out of it and also to collect the wool and the hair of the livestock and process it. When these are processed, then it is sent to the village where the men make threads from it.
After five months stay at Pamir, they return to Shimshal along with their earnings (butter and cheese). In the meantime the people in the village also discharge their responsibilities by watering the fields growing vegetables and potato, weeding the crop fields and also drying vegetables for the winter use. Women carry out all the agricultural works while men go out with tourists to earn [money]. When the crop ripens we harvest the fields and then the threshing is done and the grain is filled in bags and is stored for winter use. We collect our earnings through these few summer months for the rest of the year, and men go out to earn money.
Livestock play a vital role in getting optimal yield from our agricultural system, because yield depends upon the fertiliser and we get the fertiliser from the livestock. If we do not produce sufficient fertiliser we would not be able to get maximum production from our fields as we cannot transport the chemical fertiliser from the down country (refers to the rest of Pakistan) due to the unavailability of the road. Unlike the people in the down valley (refers to Hunza and Gojal), we are still lacking the basic facilities; therefore we can only rely on what we produce from our own resources.
Section 9
Dear sister! You talked about the nomus and that how people solved their problems such as construction of trails etc. through nomus in the olden times. And you know it very well that the road to our village is being constructed with the kind cooperation of the government and the AKRSP. So what would be the advantages and disadvantages of the road when it will link the village please give your opinion?
My sweet sister! As the road has approached closer to the village it has eased our life, it has removed the load from the backs of our men. The road will ease our lives; there will be a lot of development in the village. With the construction of the road the village will develop - the development caused by the road links in the down valley will also happen here. But the freedom of life, which we are enjoying today, this liberty will no longer exist when the road is linked. At present, wherever we want to go within our territory, we can move without fear but when the road link is completed we will even have to lock our doors, which we keep unlocked today as there is no fear and risk of theft etc. It seems to me quite possible that we will lock our doors and we will not be able to move within our territory without men. It also looks to me that the free movement within our territory will be restricted but of course there would be a lot of development and our men would be free from taking the load on their backs. It is my idea about the road link.

Sweet sister! When there were no doctors in the village and the people were not literate, then how would they provide treatment when someone would fall ill?
My sweet sister! When there were no doctors available in the village then there was the local way of treatment. When someone would suffer from diarrhoea they would give the patient cheese cooked in fat and the patient would recover. It was the only treatment for this disease. Those who suffered from pain in the back, chest or ribs were treated by putting warm ashes in a piece of cloth and these were placed at the location of the pain. When the pain was elsewhere in the body, the patient was placed inside the fresh warm skin of a goat. When a certain part of the body was affected by the severe cold this part was treated by applying the almond paste on the affected area and massaging with almond oil. Nausadar (ammonium chloride) was also applied. So these were some techniques of treatment. In cases of severe illness the patient was wrapped in a freshly slaughtered warm animal hide or advised to sit in warm spring water.

In a warm spring water?
Yes in warm spring water. And the animal hide was also warm, these treatments were made for the diseases caused by severe coldness.
Section 10
Those who would suffer from tars (epilepsy), how were these people treated?
The patients of mirgi (Urdu for epilepsy) were normally cured with the help of tawiz (an amulet). The patient was also advised to inhale the smoke of sulphur. And he would recover because the disease was not of a severe nature but simply a mirgi. Another kind of treatment was to approach a bitan (shaman; person who can communicate with the mountain spirits, enabling them to heal the sick or predict the future) and whatever he would suggest they would strictly follow it. So these were some of the treatments against the diseases.

Sister, Is it credible to use this kind of treatments even today?
No, this kind of treatment is not more useful today

What type of treatments is given today?
Today the medical science is quite advanced and the allopathic way of treatment is mainly used to combat diseases, because today we have access to the doctors and modern medicines are used for curing the diseases. Every child is thoroughly checked up at the time of birth and vaccinated against the diseases. The allopathic way of treatment is equally effective for children as well as the aged persons because specialists in every field are available today.

As we talked about the children, the health organisations have educated regarding family planning i.e. to control childbirth. In Shimshal too, the family planning workers are active. Do you cooperate with them or what is your opinion? Are they doing a good job and what are their objectives?
My sweet sister! They are doing a wonderful job. They educate the people to think about their resources first, as to how many children they can afford, and then go for the children. It is now the era of education and cleanliness. In former times there was no education and the children would even live filthy and barefooted and people would not mind that. People would have as many children as they could but they were not worried about their conditions. But today it is a big deal to feed and educate children. It is quite difficult to feed and raise the children properly. Therefore it is advisable to go for three children so that they are easily looked after and well educated. In this way the children also become valuable for the society and they also respect their parents.

You agree that there should be few children and they should be well educated?
Yes of course, I agree with them that the children should be well brought up and well educated.

My sweet sister! Is there any custom of helping each other in the village?
Yes my sweet sister, there exist a number of institutions in the village. These institutions are the women and men volunteers, boy scouts and girl guides etc. These institutions extend all possible help to the orphans, widows, poor and needy people of the society. They are always on the alert to help people and solve their problems, whether it is in Pamir or here in the village. They voluntarily work for the people just to get the blessing of Maula (Imam; spiritual leader). In such services no one is obliged or no one needs to be thanked for the services. Its reward is only the blessings of maula, and it is that very blessing that [is the reason] people prefer to give their services for free, rather than do their own commitments.
Section 11
Nowadays lots of tourists from western countries are visiting our village, in your opinion, is this influx beneficial to the village or it has some drawbacks?
My sweet sister, the influx of tourists is beneficial to the community; it provides the opportunity for the unemployed people to earn their subsistence. It benefits the people but at the same time there are some disadvantages associated with tourists; if some of them are carrying some disease that could be transferred to the healthy people. As our youth are more associated with them they also borrow some bad habits and culture from them. But the advantage is that our children learn English language from them. So there are not only advantages from the tourists but there are also some disadvantages.

Sweet sister! In your view what should be the role of women in the society?
My sweet sister, in former times women lived under the veil, they were confined to the houses and it was generally perceived that women were required to remain confined to the household activities. It was generally believed that women were to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner only and their activities were confined to preparing meals. The other tasks of women were to card wool and also feeding the animals, they would also arrange firewood to heat the house and to prepare the food. These were the activities of the women. Women were not allowed to talk in a gathering or take part in the meeting. Nobody would dare to photograph the women. When I was young and lived with my parents at Ghulkin. My father was a moderate man and whenever a tourist would come to the village and want to photograph my grandpa, as he was very old then my father would ask my grandpa for photograph he would willingly go out of the house for the photograph and we would also accompany my grandpa, the people of Ghulkin would normally get angry as to why a kafar (infidel) is photographing the family. The time was such that the photography was completely banned
This was due to lack of knowledge and illiteracy because they would not understand the things. It is the farman of Imam that women and men are like the two wheels of a vehicle and the vehicle can only work if the wheels are balanced.
Women without men can’t do anything and in the absence of women men are helpless. Whether it is indoor work or an outdoor task both women and men share it equally. As you know in every institution they have given the women representation, whether it is the institution of council, arbitration board or school committee, at least one woman has been given representation. And you know that I am the member of school committee. Despite this the women are yet to be given more opportunities as the education has become very common and our men must give the women more opportunities to come forward to participate in these institutions. The women should be given more chance and access to the institutions as there is no difference between the son and the daughter - both are equal - so both should be given equal opportunities for education. But some times we discriminate them for being son or daughter, which is our misconception. In fact daughter and son are the same. If there is a son in the family, he is married in a good family and he supports his parents; on the other hand, if there is only a daughter in the family and when she marries she come to settle along with her husband in her parents’ house to support them. In this way both are equally important for the parents.
It is therefore necessary for the parents to give more opportunity to their daughters to serve the institutions, give them the opportunity to express themselves to work for the community so that the community makes progress and the new generation is confident and capable to serve the humanity. I would like to advise the new generation that they should use their own sense and should try to learn the civilised manners instead of portraying the old thought and keep pace with the changing world.
Section 12
Sweet sister! The food we use here, in your view what kind of food are prepared in our village?
Sweet sister the food used (prepared) in our village are; molida (local dish; bread mixed with local cheese and butter, chilpindhok (local dish; flat thin bread with a layer of cheese and butter), gral (thin paste of fine wheat flour missed with salt and cooked on a flat iron plate, chamorki (bread mixed with butter), bat and mool (paste of wheat or barley floor cooked with butter) are prepared. These are the foods that need pure local butter. Vegetable oil/ghee that is imported from down country is used for cooking of vegetable and rice etc. The materials like tea, salt etc are imported from down country and the rest of the commodities such as qurut, and flour etc. are produced locally. These are produces through their efforts locally.

Would you like to tell us how these dishes such as molida, gral, seman, and chilpindhok are prepared? It would be nice if you could tell us about the procedure of preparing it.
My sweet sister! For molida; first of all gurma (thin flat bread) is prepared and qurut is socked in a separate pot it becomes soft. Then it is rubbed and mixed with water. The gurma is then fragmented in to small pieces and is mixed with the qurut mixture and is cooked till it becomes thick and is taken in pots and is served with butter. That is how to prepare molida.
The procedure of preparing gral (thin paste of fine wheat flour mixed with salt and cooked on a flat iron plate) is such that water is taken in a bowl and salt is mixed with it and fine wheat flour is slowly added to the water and thoroughly mixed
And a thin paste is prepared this paste is then spread on a flat plate with the help of spoon and is put on the fire stove, the gral after adding butter to it is then ready to serve.

Is a thin or thick paste is required for gral
It is neither so thick nor so thin it is an average mixture that is used for preparing gral. Chilpindok is prepared in such a way that first of all chapatti (unleavened bread) is prepared and then the mixture of qurut paste and salt is coated on the surface of the chapatti then butter is added to it and the dish is ready to serve to the guests. Mool (local dish) is prepared in such a way that first of all appropriate quantity of water is taken in a cooking pot and salt is added to it then flour is added to it and is mixed with a thick stick till it is homogenized and is cooked on low flames till it becomes thick then butter is added to it. The dish is ready to serve. The procedure of sharbat (local dish) is such that Water is taken in a cooking pot and butter and salt is added to the water and is put on stove when the water starts boiling flour is gradually added and is constantly stirred with wooden spoon till it becomes thick and is cooked on low flames. Sharbat is then served to the guests. It is also prepared for the family as well as for large gatherings.
Section 13
Sister! How is seman (local sweet dish) prepared
Seman is prepared in such a way that first of all wheat grain is soaked in water and after some days the socked wheat grain is filtered and the pot containing the grain is tightly packed with a sheet and stones weight are placed over the sheet and is kept for some days
[Both laugh out loudly]. When the wet wheat grain starts sprouting then it is taken out of the pot and is put to the sunlight to dry it. The dried grain is then grinded to get flour. A small quantity of seman flour is mixed with wheat flour seman bread is prepared. After adding fresh butter to this bread it is served to the guest. The other seman dish which is prepared on the occasion of Tagam (sowing festival) is such that seman flour is mixed with water with equal proportion of wheat flour and seman flour and is cooked throughout the day till it becomes thick then this seman is distributed among their relatives and sub clan along with milk. The next day one pot of seman is taken to the sowing field and another pot of seman is distributed to their relatives. Almost all the small pots/plates are filled with seman. Yes no pot in the house is left empty all is filled with seman.

Good, very good! Then what is done on the day of Tagam?
On the day of Tagam, we get up early in the morning and prepare nigan (thin flat bread), then the men go to the house where toman activity (smoke is made from burning juniper branches for purification) is performed. The women then go to the sowing field where the men join them after toman. Everyone goes to the Tagam field very well dressed. When all gather in the field one man, the Shogoonpathok (person designated for inauguration of festivals) dressed up with poosteen (overcoat made of animal hide) upside down, wearing an ugly face mask and looking like a ghost. He comes forward and climbs the top of fertiliser mound and offers prayers. Then we take the new born babies near the oxen and make them touch the plough. This is the formal inauguration of cultivation. All the oxen are gathered in one place and the seed is sown.
All the people gather around the Tagam bull (Shogoonpathok dressed up as a bull) and he then climbs the fertiliser mount and rolls down, people enjoy this activity. This is the collective start of cultivation after this event, everyone go to their own fields, they take seed with them and a young boy takes their seed and spreads it in the field. Then they offer prayers in their fields and return back. When they reach their house the young boy carrying the seed is not allowed to enter the house. They also exchange a dialogue with the young boy.
The person inside the house asks, “What you have brought for us?” The boy says, “Open the door. I have brought you wheat grain like a pearl.” The person inside the house asks, “What else you have brought for us?” The boy says, “Open the door. I have brought you seven daughters-in-law.”
They do not open the door until he repeats the dialogues three times. The boy is then allowed to enter the house, this is the Tagam festival, which is celebrated enthusiastically, and people enjoy the event very much.
Section 14
Sister! Would you please tell us which festivals in the village are celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm?
The first festival is the Tagam, which is celebrated with great joy, and then the Salgira (birthday of Imam) is another occasion of happiness. Kethedith and Nauroz (New year festival celebrated on March 21) are also the happy occasions. Then people also enjoy the marriage ceremonies. So these are some of the sources of entertainment in the village.

Thank you very much, you were busy with collection of fodders and I interrupted you and wasted your time. Thanks also for the very interesting ideas and information you shared with us. At the end I would like to thank you on my behalf and on behalf of PANOS international for sharing your views with us.
Thank you