Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pakistan: Women free Kalash - BBC News

May 20, 2011 update at 17: 48 GMT by Nosheen Abbas Kalash Valley women in kalash during the festival time in the Valley of Kalash of Pakistan, almost everything is possible for women.

They can declare their love for a pretender and put an end to their marriage, as long as the community knows in advance the imminent split. They may even flee.

It is large swathes of Pakistan where a conservative Islamic outlook dictate how women and rights that they behave.

But, in the Kalash Valley a more liberal approach dominates, in part because of his unique religion and culture. The Kalash People is not Islamic - they worship a pantheon of gods and goddesses and maintain exuberant festivals inspired by the seasons and year of agriculture.

"In our religion, you can choose the one marry you, parents not dictate to you,"said Mehmood, a girl of 17 years Kalash who accompanied me that we have to scale a labyrinthine puzzle of small houses set in the face of the mountain."."

In this close society, roof a person is someone of another veranda. Stairs soon connect a House to another and he felt climbing in a tree house in the clouds.

Through the wooden window frames and scales of houses were seen panoramic of immense jagged stones and gloriously green mountains surrounding this isolated Valley.

Festivals elopers

Sahiba, Be Happy, 20 years with two children, lives in one of these houses, and she told me how she fled with her husband during a festival.

sahiba Sahiba says that she was able to escape with the man she loves

"I met my husband the manner in which I speak...". "I have had to know three years before marrying him," she said.

"When there is a festival that that the girl is in love with her can escape with him... and this is how I left with the man who is now my husband."

She explains how after they fled together they went to stay in the House of his parents.

"You can stay for as long as you want, there is no specific time, but finally after two months, that we arrived at the House of my parents and we married.

It is a non-conventional courtship, but it is a non-conventional place. Some tasks are still separated. Women generally do the household while the trade and the work of working men. Farm men and women.

The Kalash attitude to sex is also defined by the concept of purity. Some rituals can be performed only by men. The temple itself near seasonal spring festival area is inaccessible to women and Muslims.

Women must wash clothes, and bathe separately. And during their menstrual cycle and pregnancy women living room separate outside the village. They can go to the fields to work, but they are not intended to enter the village.

Yasser, a Kalash man, said: "women are considered unclean, but women are highly respected in society."

"There are only a few things, women are not meant to do.

Bold women

In effect, marriage and divorce is easier for women than for men. Jamrat, 22 years old, left her husband after a year and now lives with another man in the House of his parents. Her former husband converted to Islam, remarried with and moved to a nearby village.

But there are also financial considerations.

"The second husband must give to double the amount of money gave the first husband upon marriage, because for the first husband, it is as if he has lost his money and his wife,"she said."".

If the woman did not remarry, the husband has the right to recover the money of the father of the bride. Although Jamrat is not technically married to his new partner, he nevertheless had to make the first husband of 60,000 rupees ($700; £ 425).

Kalash women, whom I met in Rumbur and Balanguru are bold and outspoken. They watch in eyes when talking and do not hesitate to speak their mind.

In this small village - far above the hot chaos of the main cities of Pakistan and cities - patriarchy that informs most aspects of life in the rest of the country is clearly non-existent.

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