Kamran Brohi's Blog

An Academician & Researcher

Brahui (Brohi)

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PRONUNCIATION: brah-HOO-ee

ALTERNATE NAMES: Brohi

LOCATION: Pakistan (Baluchistan Province); a small number live in southern Afghanistan and Iran

POPULATION: 861,000 to over 1.5 million

LANGUAGE: Brahui; Sindhi

RELIGION: Islam (Sunni Muslim)

1 • INTRODUCTION

The tribes known as the Brahui (also Brohi) live in the rugged hills of Pakistan’s western borderland. Various explanations of the name Brahui have been suggested. The most likely one is that it is a variation of Barohi, meaning “mountain dweller” or “highlander.”

During the seventeenth century, the Brahui rose to prominence in Kalat, in Baluchistan, a province of modern Pakistan. For the next 300 years there was an unbroken line of Brahui rulers. The British eventually acquired control over the strategically located Kalat, although the state remained independent until it was incorporated into Pakistan in 1948.

2 • LOCATION

Estimates of the Brahui population vary from 861,000 to over 1.5 million. Most of this number is concentrated in Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province around the town of Kalat. Brahui-speakers are also found in southern Afghanistan and Iran.

The Brahui homeland lies on the Kalat Plateau, where elevations vary between 7,000–8,000 feet (2,100–2,400 meters). The region is extremely arid (dry), with annual rainfall averaging less than eight inches (twenty centimeters). Strong northwesterly winds prevail through the area, bringing dust from the Iranian deserts and scorching temperatures in summer, and bitter cold in winter. The plateau consists of extensive areas of barren rock, or hills with a thin cover of drought-resistant vegetation.

3 • LANGUAGE (Origin of Brahvi Language)

Brahvi is a one the oldest language of the Indian sub-continent. Brahvi speaking people are found in Balochistan, Sindh, Afghanistan, Turkeministan and Iran. There are many theories about the origin of Brahvi Language. Some people claim that Brahvi is an Aryan Language others say that it is a Turko-Iranian language. Intellectuals also say that the traces of brahvi language have been found in the remainants of Mohenjo Daro and it has Dravadian origin and same language is being spoken in some parts of Indian and Sir Lanka

Now we throw light on different theories:-

3.1. Brahvi is an Aryan Language

Sir Dennis Bray (I.C.S) who served as civil servant in Balochistan had submitted some theories about the origin of brahvi language. One of the said theories was that when Greeks occupied the Khurasan and Balochistan, the brahvi speaking people were living in the valley of Hilmand and brahvis were calling the same valley as “Baroyana” and same name was changed as ‘Brahvi or Brohi’.

3.2. Brahvi is One Clan of the Hundred Balochi Clans.

Renowned historians Mir Gul Khan Naseer and Malik Saleh Muhammad Lehri are of the view that Brahvis belong to a clan of those Balochs who migrated earlier than other Baloch clans. They were settled near the mountainous rang of ‘Al-Burz’ according ‘Al-Burz’ was renamed as “Burz Kohi” and with span of time same mountainous rang was called “Brahvi or Brohi”.Professor Nadir Qambrani in an essay has written that some materials have been explored from Nadali and Baram (Afghanistan) which include coins and images of gods of mountains which are inscribed on the same and following words were written around those idols in “Khuroshthi Script” “Maha Rajasa, Raja Raja sa, Dawapothrasa Kajola, Kafuzasa”If we chage these words into brahvi certainly a brahvi speaking people understand these words.

3.3. Views of Noor Muhammad Perwana

Father of Brahvi Language Late Noor Muhammad Perwana has submitted his opinion in his easy “Brahvi culture” whether Brahvi speaking people belong to Dravadian race or not but it is certain that they belong to different races than Baloch and Pashtun. In another para he says that Brahvi language may belong to Dravadian languages but some Brahvis also speak Balochi. He has concluded that Brahvis have a compound civilization.

3.4. Brahvi Language is a Dravadian(دراوڑی) Language
Dr. Trump, Dir Dennis Bray, Coldwell, and Kami-ul-Qadri are of the opinion that there is similarities between brahvi and Indian languages of Tilgo, Milyalam, Tamil, Gota Malyalam. English scholars support this idea on grounds that composition of words of Dravadian and brahvi language have similarities.
Dr. Abdul Rehman Brahvi, Dr. Abdul Razzaq Sabir, Dr Javed Akhtar and Dr Nazeer Ahmed Shaker support the ideas that brahvi is a Dravadian language and there is no doubt in this theory.

3.5.Conclusion

According to some historians, Brahvi and Balochi belong to same race. Balochi speaking people entered Mekran while Brahvi speaking people entered from Chagi defeated the Dravadian rulers of Kalat and entered into matrimonial relationship with the Dravadian people of Kalat. Accordingly Dravadian and Balochi languages were mixed up and a new language of “Brahvi” was born due to same relationship.

4 • FOLKLORE

A Brahui story tells of Mulla Mansur, an orphan who got a job in the house of a qadi (a Muslim religious leader). The qadi was an insensitive man. Even though Mansur had served him loyally for seven long years, he beat him over a trifling mistake. Mansur left the qadi and took to traveling the world. He met an old shepherd, fell in love with his daughter, and married her. When Mansur and his wife returned to his home, the beauty of his wife caused such a stir that everyone from the qadi to the king desired to possess her. However, Mansur’s wife was steadfast in her fidelity to her husband. When the qadi continued to make advances and tried to seduce her, she exposed him publicly. All the people joined in condemning the qadi, and the king banished him from the Brahui lands. This tale presents the Brahui view of the qualities and strength of character desirable in a wife, as well an element of scepticism toward religious leaders who preach purity to the world but practice otherwise.

5 • RELIGION

The Brahui are Muslim, belonging mostly to the Sunni sect of Islam. They follow Islamic religious beliefs and practices as set out in the Qu’ran (Koran), though many of their social customs are Indian in origin. Communal worship focuses on the mosque, and mullahs (Muslim priests) see to the spiritual and ritual needs of the people. Reverence for saints (pirs) is also deeply entrenched in Brahui culture. Every family has its particular saint, and women often keep in their houses some earth (khwarda) from the saint’s shrine to be used in time of need. The Brahui believe in sorcery and possession by jinn or evil spirits. A mullah or sayyed(holy man) is often called in to read from the Qu’ran or provide charms and amulets to exorcise these spirits. Should this fail, a sheikh, who is known for his power over jinn may cast them out by dancing.

6 • MAJOR HOLIDAYS

The Brahui observe the usual holy days of the Muslim calendar. The holiest of all is the eve of the tenth day of the month of Muharram, which is known as Imamak . Women prepare special dishes of meat and rice during the day. The family gathers near sunset in the presence of a mullah (Muslim priest), who reads from the Qu’ran and recites prayers for the dead over the food. Dishes of food are then sent to relatives and neighbors, who reciprocate with their own offerings. The following morning is an occasion for the head of the house to visit the graveyard to pray at the graves of his dead relatives.

7 • RITES OF PASSAGE

The birth of a son is of utmost importance for a Brahui. A daughter is seen as little more than a gift to one’s neighbor. When a son is born, the father announces it to the community by firing gunshots in the air. Various rituals are followed to protect the mother and child from the attention of witches and jinn (evil spirits). Sheep are killed (two for a son and one for a daughter) and a feast held for relatives, friends, and neighbors. The child is then named, sometimes after a worthy ancestor. The head-shaving ritual (sar-kuti) is performed by the time the child is two years old, often at the shrine of a favored saint. A male child may undergo circumcision (sunnat) within six months, though the cost associated with the celebrations cause many to postpone it until as late as the age of ten or twelve.

At death, word is sent to relatives and friends, who gather for the funeral. A shroud is sent for from outside the house, and when the mullah (Muslim priest) arrives, the body is carried to a place of washing. It is washed by the mullah and near kinsmen (or the mullah’s wife and female relatives, in the case of a woman), then wrapped in the shroud. The body is taken in procession to the graveyard, with the mourners reciting the kalima, the profession of faith. At the graveside, the mullah offers the prayer for the dead, and the body is given its burial. Other rituals include the singing of dirges (moda), and a death feast (varagh). Another feast is held on the first anniversary of the death.

8 • RELATIONSHIPS

On meeting, the Brahui stop, shake hands, and embrace each other. The encounter continues with inquiries after each other’s health and then proceeds to an exchange of news (hal) concerning family, friends, cattle, and other matters of interest. Brahui are known for their hospitality to their guests.

9 • LIVING CONDITIONS

Brahui settlements essentially reflect the economic activities of their inhabitants. Pastoral nomadism was the traditional occupation of many Brahui: nomadic herders lived in tents and temporary camps, migrating with their herds in search of pasture. Pastoralism has declined in importance in recent years. Many Brahui have adopted a way of life based on a seasonal migration to differing elevations. Villages in the highlands suitable for cultivation are occupied for nine-month growing season. During the winter months, these Brahui drive their herds to the lowlands where they live in tent camps.

10 • FAMILY LIFE

The Brahui are organized into tribes, each of which has a hereditary chief (سردار). The tribes are loosely structured units based on patrilineal descent (tracing descent through the father) and political allegiance. This clan system allows for Baluchi and Pathan groups to be incorporated into the Brahui tribal units. Some of the largest Brahui tribes are the Mengals, Zahris, and Muhammad Hosanis.

The favored marriage among the Brahui is with the father’s brother’s daughter. Marriages are arranged, although the wishes of the couple are taken into consideration. In the past, child marriage was common, though this practice is now banned under Pakistani law. The betrothal and marriage ceremonies are important events in the life of both family and tribe. Disputes within tribes are usually settled at the time of marriages. A bride price (lab) is paid by the groom’s family. Although Muslim law allows polygyny (multiple wives), economic realities mean most Brahui marriages are monogamous. Family structure tends to reflect economic systems. The nuclear family predominates among nomadic Brahui, while extended families are common among village inhabitants. Divorce, though simple, is rare. In the past, adultery was punishable by death, although such practices are forbidden by Pakistani law. Widow remarriage is accepted.

11 • CLOTHING

A young boy is given his first trousers at about three years of age, and thereafter wears clothes similar to those of adult males—the kurti (long shirt), worn over the salwar, the loose, baggy trousers found throughout the area. For men, a turban (pag) completes the outfit.

Women wear a long shift over trousers, although among Brahui nomads women wear skirts rather than trousers. Among the Brahui of the Jhalawan region, women’s shifts are typically black in color. Women’s clothes are embroidered with various patterns and designs in colored thread. Women’s ornaments include finger rings (challav), nose rings (vat), and earrings (panara). Brahui settled in the Sind region tend to dress like the Sindhi population.

12 • FOOD

The settled Brahui cultivate wheat and millet, which are ground into flour and baked into unleavened breads. Rice is also eaten, but usually only on special occasions. Mutton and goat are important in the diet of the Brahui. The more-affluent farmers in lowland areas may raise cattle. As is common throughout South Asia, food is eaten with one’s hands, and often from a communal platter. Milk is drunk and also made into curds, ghi (clarified butter), buttermilk, and butter. Dates, wild fruits, and vegetables are also part of the Brahui diet. Tea is drunk at meals and is also taken as part of various social ceremonies.

13 • EDUCATION

Levels of literacy (the ability to read and write) among the Brahui are extremely low. The 1972 census for the Kalat Division of Baluchistan Province recorded an overall literacy rate of only 6 percent in the population over ten years of age. The Brahui live in areas of Pakistan where there is no access to formal schooling, and even where schools do exist, attendance is low. In settled areas such as the Sind region where Brahui children are more likely to attend school, they are taught in the local language rather than in Brahui.

14 • CULTURAL HERITAGE

The Brahuis have an oral tradition of folk songs and heroic poems. These are sung by a class of professional minstrels and musicians called Dombs, who are attached to every Brahui community. Musical instruments include the rabab (an Afghan stringed instrument plucked with a piece of wood), the siroz (a stringed instrument played with a bow), and the punzik (a reed instrument). These have replaced the dambura (a three-stringed instrument played with the fingers) which is found in the more isolated areas. Dancing is an important feature at events such as weddings and funerals.

15 • EMPLOYMENT

Historically, the Brahui were pastoral nomads, migrating with their herds of sheep, goats, and cattle from the upland plateaus to the low-lying plains. Today, however, many Brahui have abandoned their pastoral activities in favor of transhumant (seasonal migration between lower and higher elevations) or settled agriculture. In the Kacchi lowlands, river and canal irrigation support cultivation, but settlements in other areas of the Brahui region depend on qanat irrigation, a system of tunnels dug between shafts to carry water.

16 • SPORTS

Horse-racing and target-shooting were traditional sports popular among the more affluent sections of the Brahui community.

17 • RECREATION

In the past, the Brahui had to depend on their own resources for entertainment and recreation. They found this in their family celebrations, their traditions of folk song and dance, and in the festivities accompanying religious observances. This is still true for nomadic Brahui today. Those settled in Karachi or villages on the plains have access to more modern forms of recreation.

18 • CRAFTS AND HOBBIES

Brahui women embroider their garments with colorful designs. Tents and rugs are made from sheep’s wool or goats’ hair.

19 • SOCIAL PROBLEMS

The Brahui tribes inhabit some of the harshest, most-isolated, and least-productive environments in Pakistan. This is reflected in the relative inefficiency of traditional economic systems and the generally low standards of living of the community. Belated government efforts to bring development to the region have done little for the welfare of the Brahui, who are essentially nomadic and rural in character. The Brahui are one of the many tribal minorities in a country dominated by ethnic elites such as the Punjabis and Sindhis. The lack of a written literature (what there is dates only from the 1960s) has hindered the development of a tribal consciousness, and matters are made worse by the declining numbers of people speaking Brahui. The Brahui appear to be rapidly assimilating with the surrounding Baluchi populations.

20 • BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bray, Denys. The Life-History of a Brahui. Karachi, Pakistan: Royal Book Company, 1977 [1913].

Rooman, Anwar. The Brahuis of Quetta-Kalat Region. Memoir No. 3. Karachi, Pakistan: Pakistan Historical Society, 1960.

Swidler, Nina. “Brahui.” In Muslim Peoples: A World Ethnographic Survey, edited by Richard Weekes. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1984.

WEBSITES

Embassy of Pakistan, Washington, D.C. [Online] Available http://www.pakistan-embassy.com/ , 1998.

Interknowledge Corp. [Online] Available http://www.interknowledge.com/pakistan/ , 1998.

World Travel Guide, Pakistan. [Online] Available http://www.wtgonline.com/country/pk/gen.html , 1998.

Brahvi Brohi Language [Online] Available http://www.brahvilanguage.com,2012

Written by Kamran Brohi

August 26, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Conversion of Pakistani Driving License to Malaysian Driving License

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I am writing this blog for the information and guidance of those Pakistani who are here in Malaysia. I have checked the website of the Pakistani High Commission in Kuala Lumpur but they don’t provide any kind of information/instructions to Pakistanis regarding the non-automatic conversion of their Pakistani Driving License to Malaysia Driving License and I think this is the main reason why many Pakistanis who come here are not aware of this facility in the beginning, unless they are told by someone else.

So basically I am going to explain the procedure here for the non-automatic conversion of Pakistani Driving License to Malaysian Driving License. As there are two main categories for the conversion of Driving License – Automatic and Non Automatic so there are two separate lists (Category A and B) for this purpose and the name of Pakistan is in the list of non-automatic conversion (Category B). I don’t understand the reason for putting the name of Pakistan in category B. If you look at the requirements for the both categories, you will find that there is only one document – Letter from Pakistan High Commission, which is an extra requirement for category B, otherwise the rest of the requirements are almost the same.

So if you have valid and computerized driving license from Pakistan you can apply for the conversion of your Driving License to Malaysian Driving License. However, this facility is only provided to those Pakistanis who are Malaysia Citizen / Permanent Resident, Employment Pass Holders (Professional Only), Student Pass Holders(PhD only) and Participants of Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H). They will give you a full Malaysian Driving License, if your previous (Pakistani) Driving License has been issued more than two years earlier, otherwise you will get a Probationary License. The following documents are required at the time of application

  1. MyKad or Passport
  2. Visa document – Validity should not less than 1 year
  3. Valid Domestic Foreign (Pakistani) Driving License
  4. Translation of Foreign Domestic driving License from embassy/ High Commission in Malaysia (if not in English)
  5. Completed Lampiran B2 form

You will find detailed instructions here in this document.

Pakistan has very good bilateral relations with Malaysian. Pakistan also has strong brotherly relations with Malaysia. Both are members of Organization of Islamic Conference (O.I.C) and the Commonwealth of Nations. I think the Pakistani High Commission in Kuala Lumpur should play its role and negotiate with the Malaysian authorizes to put the name of Pakistan in category A and allow the automatic driving license conversion to all the people from Pakistan or at least to those who are Malaysia Citizen / Permanent Resident, Employment Pass Holders (Professional Only), Student Pass Holders(PhD only) and Participants of Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H).

As I discussed earlier that the only difference of requirements, for conversion of driving license in category A and B (for Pakistanis), is getting a Driving License Attestation Letter from Pakistani High Commission (although this requirement is not listed on the website of the Road Transport Department). So if the High Commission of Pakistan in Kuala Lumpur negotiates with the concerned Road Transport Department in Malaysia and cooperates with them to validate the Pakistani Driving Licenses of those who apply for this purpose, then it should be no problem for them (Malaysian) to allow the automatic conversion of the driving license to Pakistanis. This will help the people from Pakistan, who are here in different parts of Malaysia, to save their time, money and energy. Because now they have to travel to Kuala Lumpur to get this Driving License Letter first from Pakistan High Commission, before applying for the non-automatic conversion of their driving license.

Written by Kamran Brohi

February 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Posted in Malaysia, Notes, Travel

Cultural Policy of Pakistan and Broadcasting Media

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I have written a blog before on the Impact of Indian and other channels on Pakistani society, and the recent controversy concerning the vulgar behaviour and appearance of Pakistani film actress Veena Malik on an Indian Reality Show, demands more attention to this issue, which is badly  affecting our society and culture.

The general consensus which is found among the masses of Pakistan is of anger, shame and disappointment against this lady, who seems to be having no regrets of whatever she did over there. However, the reaction of the masses shows that we are still Pakistanis and no matter how much influence and impact Indian and other channels have on our society, we still feel from inside that we are Pakistanis and this (what is shown on Indian and other channels) is not truly our culture. Although one can argue that we have diverse cultures in our country but the reaction and condemnation of people shows that that they truly believe that it’s not our culture.

I don’t want to discuss or judge the actions of Veena Malik in Big Boss because whatever she did over there is due to the lack of certain rules and policies on Pakistani broadcasting media especially Film and TV industry. Whatever she did over there is quite common even in Pakistan Film and TV Industry.

There is no argument against the fact that the Indian culture and specially the culture, which is represented or shown on Indian channels is quite different from our own and even theirs. “The customs, culture and traditions of the people of a country are representative of the history, faith, language and environment of that country. Likewise, the cultural patterns of Pakistan speak of our rich cultural heritage and traditions. The culture of Pakistan seeks its influence from the cultures of India, Central Asia and the Middle East. Pakistani culture varies widely from Punjab and Sindh to Baluchistan and Khyber………” [1] It shows that although the culture of Pakistan has some Indian influence due to heritage but still there are a lot of differences when it comes to language, vulgarity and most of all the religion.

Just like any other country it’s the major responsibility of Ministry/ Department of Culture and Heritage to work according to the policy of its Government for the protection and promotion of its culture and heritage. Now let’s have a look at the list of the responsibilities of culture division of Ministry of Culture in Pakistan. “The main responsibility of this Division relates to the promotion of education in arts and culture including all matters pertaining to the privately sponsored dancing and cultural troupes going abroad on commercial basis; development of arts council, institutions and galleries; financial assistance to arts organizations, artists and journalists and their bereaved families; Pride of Performance Awards in the field of arts; preservation and conservation of national museums and historical monuments declared to be of national importance; cultural pacts and protocols with other countries and their implementation; development and control of film industry; administration of Censorship of Films Act, 1963; establishment of cultural centers.”[2]

In some advance countries like UK the Broadcasting industry is watched and controlled by the Ministry/Department of Culture according to the policy of its Government for the Culture and Heritage, as the social impacts of broadcasting industry are much faster and influential as compared to others in a society. The above excerpt from the website of Ministry of Culture Pakistan shows that the control of the Broadcasting industry in Pakistan is not the major responsibility of this ministry. As the two important factors relating to Broadcasting industry are on the bottom in the list of the responsibilities/priorities of this ministry, so there is not much attention being paid to them. The broadcasting industry in general is not the responsibility of Ministry of Culture in Pakistan which is very much necessary these days, especially when we have allowed the broadcast of so many Indian channels in Pakistan.

I was looking for the Cultural Policy of Pakistan and luckily I found its draft version on the website of its ministry. However, I also found that the last Cultural Policy of Pakistan was formulated in 1995. The revision started in 2005 and is still in progress, which is regrettable.  The ministry has invited comments and views from general public for the revision of this policy and I think they are not getting enough feedback on this important issue. Neither do I see any discussions and debates on the media on this serious issue, which is going to cause us a great deal of trouble, if left unattended like this.

I think we should all come forward and discuss and come up with suggestions for the promotion of our own culture and demotion of foreign and especially Indian culture in our own society.

  1. http://202.83.164.26/wps/portal/Mocul/!ut/p/c1/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os_hQN68AZ3dnIwML82BTAyNXTz9jE0NfQwNDE_1wkA6zeAMcwNFA388jPzdVvyA7rxwAicV1Mg!!/dl2/d1/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnB3LzZfT0ZMTzlGSDIwT1JMMDAyVEYyUk5POTFJTzU!/
  2. http://www.culture.gov.pk/

Written by Kamran Brohi

January 24, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Posted in Pakistan

The impact of Star Plus and other channels on Pakistani society.

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In my opinion it’s not the fault of Indian Channels or others. They can’t be blamed for what they are showing as they are merely commercial channels which don’t even represent the true Indian culture. They are in a kind of race to compete with each other. Even our local channels like Geo TV and KTN are showing vulgar and immoral dramas. No one else is going to do the hard work of monitoring what kind and how much television children watch. However, it’s the sole responsibility of the parents and secondly the Government to monitor them. The parents can monitor what their children are watching and the Government can monitor what our local and foreign channels are displaying by setting up a watch dog committee.

With an increasing number of TV channels and programs coming into our homes each day, it can be hard for parents to monitor what their children are watching. Many parents are concerned about their young children watching programs with content that’s more suitable for older children or adults. Even in countries like USA and UK parents are highly concerned about what their children are watching but they have mechanism and systems, through which they can control it.

Unfortunately in Pakistan, we don’t have systems like TV RATINGS (system to give parents more information about the content and age-appropriateness of TV programs) and THE V-CHIP AND PARENTAL CONTROLS (a device built into most television sets since 2000 — to allow parents to block out programs they don’t want their children to see. The V-Chip electronically reads television program ratings and allows parents to block programs they believe are unsuitable for their children. Parental control technology in cable and satellite set-top boxes can also be used with the TV Parental Guidelines to block programs based on their rating).

So I think instead of merely banning the channels we should introduce the systems like V-CHIP AND PARENTAL CONTROLS and TV RATINGS and should have a TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board in Pakistan. The board should comprise the experts from the television industry and public interest advocates. The Board should also review complaints about specific program ratings to help ensure accuracy.

What do you think about this report and how much do you agree with it? If you don’t then why? Please share your comments about this as its a very important discussion.

Senate committee calls for ban on Indian channels

“ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting today asked cable operators not to show Indian TV channels and dramas.

The committee met today in Islamabad with Senator Ghulam Ali in the chair. Member committee Senator Tariq Azeem said that he had twice adopted resolutions recommending ban on Indian television channels. However, the resolutions were not yet implemented.

The committee said there were approximately 1500 cable operators in the country. Every operator was paying only Rs200, 000 per annum but was earning million of rupees through advertisements.

The committee urged the government to take notice of the situation. Ali ruled that if the issue of ban on Indian channels was not solved through the committee then the matter be raised at the upper house.”

Source: The Daily News

Written by Kamran Brohi

March 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Posted in Pakistan

Help Translate Google Into Your Language Sindhi

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Google is doing a great job by translating Google’s help information and search interface into your favorite language. The translation of “Sindhi”  is 53% complete. The Google search page in Sindhi is already there but it’s not 100 % complete according to Google Translation Status Report.

You can help Google with their translation process .Google will be available in your language of choice more quickly and with a better interface than it would have otherwise. There is no minimum commitment. You can translate a phrase, a page or an entire site. So please spare some time for this noble cause and make your contribution.

Click here to help Google with the Translation Process of Sindhi

Google Translation Status Report

Google search in Sindhi

Written by Kamran Brohi

February 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

History of Sindhi Topi (Cap) (سنڌي ٽوپي جي تاريخ)

with 14 comments

If we march along the course of history due to opulence and generosity of Sindh different communities of the world has been moved here, the majority among out comers were Persian, Greek, Arab, Aryans, Turkhan, Mongols, Dutch, French, English etc: this cruel course of history is continue even today, because the advent of nomadic nations and gipsy communities from different parts of the earth and outside provinces or bordering countries toward Sindh is never stopped. Sindhi people not only welcomed the wandering visitors used to come here from different regions of the world through ages but also impressed them with loving behavior and warm hospitality on such scale that mainstream among the infiltrators preferred to live here rather than to go back their respective homelands. Every traveling family, ethnic group or nation which moved around here, carried their ways of life, like traditions, values, rites, rituals, culture, folklore, dwelling systems, ideologies, beliefs, philosophies etc: along with them, the inhabitants of Sindh patronized those all cordially, while among the guests who went back to their respective native soils sponsored communal values, spiritual stuffs and cultural principles of Sindh amid them.

Arab traders accustomed sugar candy in Sindh and took horns of rhinoceros from here to sell in China . Al-Mehlib (the Arabian tribe) transported Hens and Buffaloes of Sindh toward Iraq and China , Arabs also carried prey dogs from Sindhi soldiers as a tribute. These people furthermore carried betel leaf from here and harvested in Oman whereas they brought seeds of taramid tree from Basra . People of Sindh learned honey making process, agriculture of dot tree and making of sweet meal with dot palms from Arabs. The Persians brought perfume, olive and water lily from Khurasan, pomegranate is also Persian gift and they in addition gave us seeds of bringal. Grapes have been planted here during the era of Abbasid dynasty, British carried kernel of orange from here
In divine book “Touret” is written that “Suleman brought Peacock, musk, gold and rhinoceros from Sindh”. In 808 AD a doctor named Manik has been called upon for treatment of incurable disease of Abbasi Caliph Haroon Rasheed, after completing successful treatment, Sultan appointed him chief supervisor of the royal hospital at Baghdad .

During the era of Yehya Bermki a Sindhi physician named Ibn-e-Dhanna had been appointed an administrative officer at the hospital of Baghdad, this man introduced there Sindhi method of treatment. During invasion of Alexander the great on Sindh the king of Alor gifted him medicine of snake bite whereas a pair of yellow pigeons was presented him by a monarch.
During this era Greek learned the treatment of poisons and herbal knowledge from Sindhi doctors. They also carried Sindhi cotton (cloth) from here of which they praised in their books as “Sindhin”, whereas method of teaching and art left by Greeks is part of Sindhi culture even today.
In this way due to exchange (which extracted through the ages) of different customs, traditions, things, assets, national and religious values of guest companies Sindh became lodging of complex civilization and ideologies. Though such happenings smashed up the original characteristics of Sindhi culture but also became beneficial with the exchange of rich cultural heritages of the different nations of the world.
Such changes and exchanges were not bound only with overseas or distant populations but were usual with bordering nations, among such other civilizing interactions a beautiful piece of cultural art is Sindhi Cap which was introduced among Sindhi natives from neighboring Baloch people.
A reason regarding the convey of Balochi cap among Sindhi people was that northern areas of Sindh is bordered with Baluchistan, for that basis the replacement of every aspect of life was order of the day.
That time Balochi people used to wear turban upon the cap, copying them Sindhi people also patronized the method, though this has been ended now but in few remote regions of the both provinces same style is still prevailing, whereas in some areas cap has been taken away from turban and on some vicinities load of turban has been suspended. Unfortunately by and large both nations has now thrown away turban and cap from the head thinking these unreasonable weight or out of fashion thing what were once sign of respect, personality and pride.

During the eighteen and nineteenth century AD, covering head with turban, cap or cloth was considered as a sigh of soberness among the people of Sindh and Balochistan, while uncovered head was measured as social indulgence, therefore according to their status people always keep their heads covered. In most few areas of both provinces the men with uncovered skull had been prosecuted, fined or socially boycotted, even today in many regions around Pakistan the concept of head covering is respectfully accustomed.
During its early phase two type of caps has been used to cover heads, one made by sewing two folds of white cloth, its four sides had been circular with which complete forehead could be covered, pious and religious people like to wear that. Second kind of cap was prepared by silk and golden fibers (threads), curved with beautiful embellishment and ornamented with pieces of glasses to extend its sober attire. This cap has been incised from forehead in the way (like half moon) that both curving corners touches right and left mandible.
By the time many changes has been commenced into style plus crafts of cap, hardness and softness of cloth etc:, keeping the seasons of the year in view numerous alterations has also been brought in, like some times increasing pearls with glasses and some times decreasing those.
Transaction of cap from Baloch to Sindhi people also seen several innovations seemingly correlated with Sindhi culture and the time came this cap has merged with particular Sindhi dress, sober structure, walking style etc: and called “Sindhi Cap. In any part of the Pakistan if you see some one worn Sindhi cap he must be thought Sindhi or resident of Sindh.
Making of Sindhi cap is like constructing a building where there is base, walls, floor, roof, color, plaster etc: plus the periods of polish and shining also. There are five styles of cap, round (circular), four cornered, fancy, betel leaf shaped and the cap having different designs. Prevailing style of cap has been passed from three different phases of its evaluation.

Silky Era

Before the partition of sub-continent best kind of silk had been imported from Kashmir with which Sindhi cap makers designs the cap and decorated ornamentation of different things as pieces of plastic, pearls, glasses etc: to create fine-looking caps. Such caps have been mostly worn under the turban in such style that cap peeps out of the turban like hump of bullock or camel. That was not similar to the rounded cap prevailed today but was cut from forehead like half moon, this kind of cap has almost been outdated.

Phase of Collyrium

The cap of this period was different than that of silky one because collyrium has been used instead of glittering golden threads or pieces of glasses. Cap producers create such beautiful lines, decoration and flowering designs with collyrium on cloth (mostly silk) of different color that having seen their art heart filled in high spirits. Lines of collyrium glittered in the light of sun as strips of phosphorus written behind the vehicles, reflects back the beams when head light of other vehicles thrown on those during dark. Top (roof) of the cap had been decorated with interesting geometrical figures like, half, circular, rectangular, four-cornered, oblique, moon, sun, and stars etc.
These caps were not very durable because after became dirty if washed, the grayish color and shining went away, in this way after three or four time cleaning no where to found its beauty.

Phase of Golden threads

Two or three folds of cloth have been used in this kind of cap which was made inflexible by using hard cloth between the folds. The cap had been incised in orchid shape at its opening, in a way that complete head covered whereas the forehead remained open.
With the passage of time keeping in view the disposition of wearer plus needs of modern world, new styles and designs has been introduced, as some times striking with national movements designing the map of Sindh, national slogans plus flag, figures of national heroes, axes, mosques, tombs, old and new geometrical shapes, Ajrak (Sindhi shawl) etc: has been designed. Though many changes have been introduced in the industry of cap making but not much difference can be found between old and new Sindhi cap.

like other cultural heritages of Sindh nothing has been done for the development and maturity of Sindhi cap or its makers, neither any step has been taken by government missionaries nor private institutions or social organizations did anything, rather they has been denied and distorted by the authorities.
Forgetting the cultured character of our cap in sociology, history and literature we bounded its use only on special occasions or gatherings like marriage. In spite of this state of rejection regarding this art, cottage industry of Sindhi cap making is with us winning all interferences in the travel of times, present life and conservation of this skill goes to the genuine struggle of Sindhi and Baloch women whose are more effective and active than male artists. Nonetheless, due to introduction of modern technology manual work has effected on great scale even though a class among new generation of cap lovers mostly like to wear the cap made of hand.
Wherever is education around the globe, the nations of world are busy to save their national and cultural heritages, whether it is in form of archaeology, history, dress, language, literature, land etc: but among us where rays of education reached, our cultural and traditional heritages has been ignored and destroyed there. Thus the tradition of cap wearing has mostly remained only in less educated and northern districts of Sindh like Larkana, Jacobabad, Dadu, Shikarpur and Nawabshah, but the percentage of its use has been decreasing day by day.
Though the past of Sindhi nation is excellent but present is alarmingly worse, its current generation has became prey of Europe like other nations of the Pakistan . Due to infiltration of borrowed schooling syllabus and conquest of foreign media and being victim of downfall against foreign civilizations we are destroying our national heritages and cultural legacies with our own hands Sindhi cap is also among those.
In this connection we should have to be grateful the poor and amateurish section of our society who has protected this cultural heritage because they think it sin to uncover their heads, in this state of affairs the cultured legacy of Sindhi cap can be claimed by this group because they are not only makers of the cap but also protectors of expertise and exercise.

Source: Dr.N.A Baloch Institute for Heritage Research

اقبال، قائد اعظم، بندے ماترم اور مخالفین پاکستان…..صبح بخیر…ڈاکٹر صفدر محمود

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Source: Daily Jang

Written by Kamran Brohi

November 10, 2009 at 12:45 am

Posted in Notes