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Pamir

Perjalanan Kirghiz: Di Manakah Rumah?

Nama dari surga itu tersebar di seluruh Afghanistan. Kau bisa menemukannya di toko, di restoran, di supermarket, di hotel, biro tur, perusahaan, organisasi sosial, dan bahkan di pesawat terbang. Tidak berbeda dengan Shangri-La, Pamir telah menjadi sebuah mitos utopis—sebuah surga pegunungan yang dilimpahi keindahan dan kedamaian abadi, begitu jauh sampai tak seorang pun yakin tempat itu apakah benar ada. Untuk mencapai Pamir, saya pergi ke Koridor Wakhan yang sangat terpencil. Itu adalah sebuah lidah yang cukup kikuk yang seperti ditempelkan secara paksa ke ujung timur-laut Afghanistan. Daerah itu berupa segaris tanah sempit yang memanjang, hanya 11 kilometer pada sisi tersempitnya, membentang 300 kilometer, dijepit oleh Tajikistan di utara, Pakistan di selatan, dan China di timur juah. Koridor Wakhan terbentuk pada abad ke-19 sebagai zona penyangga antara India Inggris dan kekaisaran Rusia. Saya membutuhkan sepuluh hari untuk bepergian dari Kabul, dengan membonceng berbagai kendaraan hingga mencapai ujung terakhir jalan tak beraspal yang rusak parah di sepanjang aliran Amu Darya. Di sini petualangan dimulai. Saya membonceng sebuah karavan yang terdiri dari empat tentara Afghan dan seorang komandan mereka yang hendak berpatroli ke perbatasan. Mereka punya empat kuda, dan dua warga desa disuruh memandu. Jalan setapak hanya selebar 30 sentimeter, tertutup kerikil dan [...]

April 22, 2016 // 6 Comments

【中国国家地理】瓦罕走廊:被遗忘的丝绸之路

Article published in Chinese National Geography, October 2015, on Afghanistan’s forgotten Wakhan Corridor. The Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan is the last piece of the ancient Silk Road, which was still operating few decades ago, but now has turned into an isolated world as it’s confined by the international borders. 古丝绸之路如同一棵大树错综庞杂的根系,铺展于东西方之间。在所有丝路古道中,没有哪条比瓦罕走廊更富神秘色彩的了,它藏身于阿富汗深处,像是硬贴在阿富汗脸上的一条舌头。随着边界的关闭,它从传奇商道变成世界上最偏远难达的地区之一。本文作者在瓦罕走廊进行了长达3年的探访,用鲜活的文字为您揭开瓦罕走廊的神秘面纱。   撰文/Agustinus Wibowo(印尼) 翻译/王飞宇   伊什卡希姆是进入瓦罕走廊的唯一门户 伊什卡希姆是阿富汗山区一个僻静而慢节奏的村庄,遍地泥沼尘沙,这里是通往瓦罕走廊的入口。村子北边的喷赤河翻滚着怒涛,巨大的涛声淹没了世间一切声响。它是阿姆河的支流,也是阿富汗与苏联解体后形成的中亚各国之间的分界线。喷赤河就像一面镜子,分隔开阿富汗和塔吉克斯坦的山峦,两国的村落呈镜像分布在河流两岸。阿富汗伊什卡希姆的“双胞胎姐妹”是塔吉克斯坦山间一个同样叫做伊什卡希姆的村庄。 [...]

November 17, 2015 // 0 Comments

【中国国家地理】塔吉克斯坦:群山与国界的夹缝之中

My article in Chinese National Geography, edition October 2015. This is a special edition focusing on China’s grand project: One Belt One Road, a.k.a. the “New Silk Road”, with some focus articles from the Silk Road countries, especially in Central Asia. In this edition, I have contributed two articles: Tajikistan and Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor. 塔吉克斯坦被称作中亚的高山之国,它近一半的国土位于帕米尔高原。其实塔吉克族并非是自古生活在山地的民族,面对如今的国家版图状况,不少塔吉克人心中有难言的苦衷。来自印度尼西亚的作者奥古斯汀是一名“中亚通”,他对塔吉克斯坦的考察和采访,能够加深我们对这个国家的认识。   撰文Agustinus Wibowo[印尼] 摄影刘辉 等 翻译王飞宇   令塔吉克人自豪的两座古城,如今却位于乌兹别克斯坦的境内 塔吉克斯坦是中亚最小的国家,面积约等于中国的辽宁省,全境的93%在山区,一半以上国土在海拔3000米以上。受地理条件所限,塔吉克斯坦境内的文明遗址寥寥无几。但塔吉克人相信自己是中亚最古老的民族,并坚信他们的历史比当今占中亚地区主流的突厥人要长得多。 [...]

October 17, 2015 // 1 Comment

Koridor Wakhan: Jalan Terakhir Jalur Sutra (6)–Jalan Menembus Batas

Serial artikel untuk Chinese National Geography Jalan Menembus Batas “Afghan datang! Afghan datang!” Para bocah yang tinggal di perkemahan yurt keluarga Khan bersorak meloncat-loncat menyaksikan titik kecil hitam yang bergerak di padang luas. Titik itu semakin mendekat, semakin menampakkan wujudnya. Para lelaki dari keluarga Khan berlarian menyambut. “Afghan datang!” Orang Kirgiz Afghan secara natural tidak pernah menganggap diri mereka sebagai “Afghan”. Para “Afghan” itu adalah dua pedagang Pashtun dari Kabul yang beserban dan berjenggot, membawa karung-karung besar di punggung kuda. Keduanya langsung menuju sebuah yurt kosong yang dikhususkan menerima tamu. Di sana, mereka membongkar isi karung, sementara para lelaki keluarga Khan sibuk memilih barang, dan anak-anak hanya menonton di sudut kemah sambil terkikik-kikik. Di Pamir tidak ada toko dan pasar. Semua barang kebutuhan orang Kirgiz di Pamir, mulai dari gandum sabun, kain, gula, selimut, radio, panel surya, potongan kayu untuk membangun tenda, kain merah untuk bahan pakaian perempuan Kirgiz, bros China untuk hiasan baju, sampai opium, dibawa oleh karavan pedagang Afghan dari bawah gunung sana. Mereka datang berkaravan, beriringan menunggang kuda. Di Pamir juga tidak ada uang. Perdagangan di abad milenium masih dilangsungkan dengan cara yang paling primitif: barter. Satuan mata uang mereka adalah domba. Seekor domba berumur empat tahun [...]

September 25, 2015 // 1 Comment

Koridor Wakhan: Jalan Terakhir Jalur Sutra (5)–Perjalanan yang Terhenti

Serial artikel untuk Chinese National Geography Perjalanan yang Terhenti Nama Pamir bagi kebanyakan orang Afghan adalah sinonim surga. Nama Pamir bertebaran di seluruh Afghanistan, mulai dari toko, restoran, hotel, biro wisata, perusahaan dagang, lembaga sosial, sampai maskapai penerbangan. Seperti Shangri-La, Pamir telah menjadi mitos utopia, sebuah tempat fantastis berlimpah keindahan dan kedamaian sempurna. Namun, mengalami sendiri kehidupan di Pamir, saya tahu pasti ini bukanlah kehidupan surgawi yang dibayangkan orang-orang. Pada ketinggian yang ekstrem ini, kehidupan Pamir sama sekali tidak normal. Sore musim panas yang berkabut dan bersalju lebat itu, saya berkuda menuju perkemahan sang Khan—raja suku orang Kirgiz di Pamir. Khan Abdul Rashid Khan, lelaki renta bertubuh ringkih itu berjalan pincang dengan dibantu sebuah tongkat kayu, masuk ke dalam yurt, duduk setengah berbaring. Tidak sedikit pun saya melihat kemegahan seorang “raja” pada diri Khan. Lima kemah pada klan keluarga Khan tidak jauh berbeda dengan permukiman klan-klan Kirgiz lainnya, bahkan jumlah ternaknya terlalu sedikit jika dibandingkan sejumlah keluarga lainnya. “Mengapa tetap tinggal di alam yang sekeras ini?” saya bertanya. “Tanah kami ini memang sulit, tetapi kami tak mungkin meninggalkannya,” jawabnya. “Kami sudah terlalu banyak berpindah. Sekarang kami sudah menemukan rumah. Di sini, di Pamir Afghanistan. Rumah kami, sekarang dan selamanya.” Kirgiz [...]

September 24, 2015 // 4 Comments

Koridor Wakhan: Jalan Terakhir Jalur Sutra (4)–Kehidupan Gembala Atap Dunia

Serial artikel untuk Chinese National Geography Kehidupan Gembala Atap Dunia Jalan mobil buatan Rusia berakhir di Sarhad-e-Boroghil, 220 kilometer di timur Ishkashim. Ini menandai berakhirnya Lembah Wakhan, yang dilanjutkan dengan Pamir di timur, ke arah perbatasan China. Selepas Sarhad, yang ketinggiannya sekitar 3300 meter, jalan berubah menjadi jalan setapak yang hanya bisa dilalui dengan berjalan kaki atau berkuda, melintasi celah-celah pada ketinggian 5.000 meter dikelilingi puncak-puncak salju yang mencapai 7.000an meter. Ini jalan berbahaya di tepi jurang curam, yang seperti tak pernah tersentuh peradaban, namun justru adalah sebuah lintasan Jalur Sutra yang tak berubah sejak zaman Marco Polo. Karena terlalu berbahaya, saya tidak mungkin ke Pamir sendirian. Setelah empat hari menunggu di Sarhad, saya akhirnya menemukan sebuah karavan kuda para tentara Afghan yang hendak menuju Pamir. Karavan terdiri dari seorang komandan perbatasan, seorang pengawal, empat serdadu memanggul Kalashnikov. Mereka mendapat tiga ekor kuda dari penduduk Sarhad. Dua lelaki Wakhi dari Sarhad menjadi pemandu karavan. Di hadapan saya terpampang jalan setapak berpasir licin selebar 30 sentimeter tepat di tepi jurang vertikal yang kedalamannya mungkin sampai 1000 meter, dengan sebuah sungai deras mengaum dalam perjalanannya menuju Amu Darya, sementara tepat di seberang sungai ada sebuah tebing vertikal lain yang membentuk gunung cadas [...]

September 23, 2015 // 3 Comments

Tajikistan: Tersekat Gunung dan Batas (4)

Serial artikel Tajikistan untuk Chinese National Geography. Para pekerja China membanjiri Tajikistan. Selatan dan Utara Realita kehidupan Tajikistan sebenarnya ada di bagian barat negeri, di dataran yang walaupun tak sampai 7 persen luas wilayahnya, dihuni mayoritas penduduknya sehingga kota-kotanya sangat padat. Namun ada hal yang selalu sama: kehidupan di sini tidak pernah terlepas dari dua sekat—garis batas dan gunung. Bentuk negara Tajikistan begitu canggung di atas peta. Tajikistan seperti memiliki sebuah “kepala” kecil di utara yang dihubungkan dengan bagian badan di selatan oleh sebuah leher sempit yang terlihat begitu rapuh. Kenyataannya memang hanya ada satu-satunya jalan, menembus Pegunungan Fan dan Pegunungan Turkistan, yang menghubungkan ibukota Dushanbe di sisi selatan dengan kota terbesar kedua Tajikistan yang terletak di utara, Khujand. Khujand, yang pusat kotanya dihuni orang Tajik tetapi dikelilingi desa-desa orang Uzbek, semula adalah wilayah Uzbekistan yang baru belakangan ditambahkan ke Republik Soviet Sosialis Tajikistan yang akan berdiri. Dulu, ketika masih berada di bawah Uni Soviet, jalan mulus yang menghubungkan Dushanbe dengan Khujand melewati dataran rendah Samarkand—kini wilayah Uzbekistan. Setelah kedua negara merdeka, Uzbekistan menutup perbatasannya untuk kendaraan Tajikistan (beserta warganya). Karena itu, untuk bepergian di antara kedua kota itu, warga Tajikistan terpaksa bersusah-payah mendaki dan melewati dua celah gunung raksasa: [...]

September 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

Tajikistan: Tersekat Gunung dan Batas (3)

Serial artikel Tajikistan untuk Chinese National Geography. Masa lalu yang belum sepenuhnya berlalu Dimensi Mimpi Di seberang sungai sana, orang Afghan sering mengatakan kepada saya betapa bagus kehidupan Tajikistan. Jalan ada, listrik ada, mobil ada, perempuan ada, sekolah, pasar, rumah sakit semua ada. Itu dunia yang sempurna. Tetapi berada di sisi Tajikistan sini, barulah saya menyadari bahwa realita tidak seindah apa yang mereka impikan dari seberang sana. Di daerah pegunungan terpencil ini, bensin adalah barang langka. Seorang sopir mengatakan sudah dua bulan ini mobilnya tidak beroperasi sama sekali karena tidak ada bensin. Tiga hari menunggu di Langar barulah saya mendapat tumpangan melanjutkan perjalanan. Mobil kami tidak melulu mengikuti aliran sungai yang menjadi penanda perbatasan Afghanistan, tetapi berbelok menuju Pamir Highway di utara. Celah Khargush, pada ketinggian nyaris 4.000 meter, adalah rintangan terberat. Khargush terletak di dekat Danau Zor Kol, salah satu sumber Sungai Amu Darya. Danau ini juga menjadi perbatasan dengan Afghanistan, sehingga merupakan daerah sensitif dan terdapat pos pemeriksaan militer yang cukup besar. Tak lama setelah melintasi Celah, pemandangan tiba-tiba berubah. Dari tebing gunung yang terjal, sekarang menjadi padang hijau yang datar dan luas. Di kejauhan, terbentang barisan gunung bertudung salju dengan lekuk kurva nyaris membundar. Inilah Pamir yang [...]

September 14, 2015 // 1 Comment

[旅行家Traveler] :瓦罕走廊天堂何处

  旅行家2015年4月期 阿富汗的风筝 说其遥远,其实并不准确。地图上,阿富汗甚至有一角领土与中国比邻,那一条狭长的通道就是本期专题的主打目的地——瓦罕走廊。     瓦罕走廊天堂何处 策划 | 本刊编辑部 执行 | 邓丽颖 程婉 特约撰稿人 | Agustinus Wibowo 翻译 | 黄文静 肖若琳   十多年前,我第一次去阿富汗旅行,在这个战争的伤疤无处不在的国度,一位旅行者告诉我,在阿富汗有一处“隐藏的天堂”。那是我第一次听到瓦罕走廊的名字。翻看地图,它像是海底深处一条狭长的裂隙,北抵塔吉克斯坦,南至巴基斯坦,东临中国。这是世界上最偏远国家之中的最偏远的地方之一。然而,在几世纪前,瓦罕走廊却是连通中国和西域各国,那条繁华的丝绸之路的一部分。 放眼望去,阿姆河看起来稀松平常。河水湍急有力,流过险峻的谷底时会发出隆隆的巨响。有时水面宽阔,甚至看不到对面的河岸。有时水面狭窄,可以毫不费力地将石子扔过20米宽的河面。无论阿姆河在100年内如何坚定地分开了两岸的时间维度,但事实上它流经了许多国家。 河的对面是塔吉克斯坦,这显而易见。倾斜的木制电线杆, [...]

July 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

行李︱Agustinus:在阿富汗的3年里……

 2015-05-15 行李 他是堪比奈保尔的著名作家,曾以最艰苦的方式在阿富汗生活3年,深入人迹罕至的瓦罕走廊,并游历中亚5国所有边界地区,现正采访印尼数百个岛屿的神秘故事。 (Augustin Wibowo在帕米尔高原) 行李&Augustin Wibowo 行李:你最近刚参加完伦敦书展? Augustin :是,印尼是今年法兰克福书展的主题国,所以印尼出版界推荐了很多本国作家到世界各地参加书展。伦敦书展是世界第二大书展,我是作为印尼游记文学的作家代表去伦敦演讲,介绍印尼游记文学的情况。 行李:在国外,游记文学已经单独作为一个门类了吗? Augustin :在英国是这样。英国在游记文学方面是全世界最发达的,已经有几百年历史,英国人很早就开始到世界各地游历,游记文学在英国已经变成一个门类,这个是他们文化的一部分。在美国,travelwriting这个词并不流行,但你在英国的书店里,所有在travel门类下的书基本都是旅行文学类的,甚至历史、地理、传记类的书籍都包含在里面。但在其他国家,travelwriting一般只有导游书。 行李:中国现在也出现了大量游记文学,但感觉真正好的作品并不多,你在读游记文学方面有什么经验? Augustin [...]

May 17, 2015 // 1 Comment

Children of Gilgit

Gilgit is the closest big town from Karimabad, as well as the center of business and government of Northern Areas of Pakistan.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys and girls result in the highest literacy rate nationwide. The Ismiali spiritual leader, His Highness Aga Khan insisted that girl education has to be prioritized as woman will teach the whole family. [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Festivities

Wedding is always a happy and merry occasion in Hunza. People dance and drink “Hunza water” (alcoholic drink) until late midnight.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys and girls result in the highest literacy rate nationwide. The Ismiali spiritual leader, His Highness Aga Khan insisted that girl education has to be prioritized as woman will teach the whole family. Mehmannavazi, [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Coming to New Home

Bride arrives in Karimabad, the house of her newly-wed husband. Starting from today, this village will be her new home.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys and girls result in the highest literacy rate nationwide. The Ismiali spiritual leader, His Highness Aga Khan insisted that girl education has to be prioritized as woman will teach the whole family. Mehmannavazi, or [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

United Color of Hunza

Colors riot in grey and shadow. The women of Karimabad went out, filled the alleys and climbed to rooftops, just to see how the arriving bride looks like.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys and girls result in the highest literacy rate nationwide. The Ismiali spiritual leader, His Highness Aga Khan insisted that girl education has to be prioritized as [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Dowry

The family of the bride prepares a truck load of jehez (dowry from the female side). The dowry consists mostly of daily needs for their daughter. In Indian Subcontinent, dowry is a main issue in most marriages. The government of Pakistan has issued law to limit the value of dowry allowed in a wedding.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Welcoming the Groom

The groom and his family departed from Karimabad to the bride’s house in Hassanabad. The groom family is welcomed with delicacies and lavish lunch.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys and girls result in the highest literacy rate nationwide. The Ismiali spiritual leader, His Highness Aga Khan insisted that girl education has to be prioritized as woman will teach the [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Traditional Dance

The traditional dance of Hunza imitates the movement of an eagle. Only men are allowed to dance.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys and girls result in the highest literacy rate nationwide. The Ismiali spiritual leader, His Highness Aga Khan insisted that girl education has to be prioritized as woman will teach the whole family. Mehmannavazi, or hospitality, is the [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Enjoy the Party

The villagers enjoy the noisy celebration of a wedding in Karimabad, Hunza. The usually quite and cold winter days suddenly turned to a party mood.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys and girls result in the highest literacy rate nationwide. The Ismiali spiritual leader, His Highness Aga Khan insisted that girl education has to be prioritized as woman will teach [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Go Pick Your Wife

Parents prepare groom with traditional dresses. After some rituals in their house, the groom and family will depart to the bride’s house to pick her home.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys and girls result in the highest literacy rate nationwide. The Ismiali spiritual leader, His Highness Aga Khan insisted that girl education has to be prioritized as woman will [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Decorated Palms

Girls decorate their palms for wedding celebration in the village.   There, under the shades of the mountains, you will freeze at the land with no sunshine… People of Hunza in Northern Pakistan warned me when I attempted to move further north, closer to the mountainous border of China and Afghanistan. Hunza and Gojal in Northern Areas of Pakistan (now known as Gilgit Baltistan province) are blessed (or cursed?) by snowcapped mountain ranges, among the highest in the world. They are majestic heavenly scenery, potential to attract international tourists, but with current situation in Pakistan, tourism is not in good shape anyway. While most tourists come in summer, I arrived in Chapursan in winter, when sunshine does not come to villages for two and a half months continuously. Unlike most parts of Pakistan, the people in Hunza and Gojal believe in Ismaili sect of Islam, which are very moderate and forward-looking. Good education to both boys and girls result in the highest literacy rate nationwide. The Ismiali spiritual leader, His Highness Aga Khan insisted that girl education has to be prioritized as woman will teach the whole family. Mehmannavazi, or hospitality, is the way of life here, as the culture [...]

January 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

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