Saturday March 25, 2023

Kalash Festival attracts people in droves

By Our Correspondent
February 07, 2023

CHITRAL: The first three-day Kalash Valley’s Ice and Snow Festival concluded at Bomboret after attracting a large number of people through colourful activities.

Hundreds of locals, a large number of tourists, district officials and non-governmental organsations participated in the series of events where women and children participation was a notable feature.

The festival took place from the February 3 to 5 with the support of the Lower Chitral district administration, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, WSFP, and Sarhad Rural Support Programme.

The activities included skiing, snowboarding and trainings for both boys and girls alongside Kalash indigenous sports competitions. Around 100 girls and 200 boys received snow sports trainings and competitions of indigenous wrestling, archery, Iskhay (one legged wrestling), Buzkashi and Heem Ghal (snow hockey-cum golf).

Local products were displayed and promoted at the cultural stall. The nights were lit with bonfire and cultural music. According Hasham Ul Mulk, President, Hindukush Snow Sports Club, the Kalash Ice and Snow Festival was an event to introduce the modern winter sports in the Kalash Valley and learn more about the traditional winter sports of the valley.

“Such events need more support from the government and donors as these promotes sports, tourism and the socio-economic profile of the area”, he pointed out. Nadir Gul, the CEO of the PPAF, who was chief guest on the final day, assured the participant that the PPAF would assist the organisers in future as well in holding the event at a wider scale so that it attracts national and international tourists. The official said PPAF had made substantial investments to develop the Kalash valleys and would broaden the development support to include cultural preservation in the times to come.