Qaqlasht Festival 2010 from April 16 to 19

Enjoy the fresh spring of northern Chitral and the sensation of: Free Style Polo of the Mountain Communities in the Hindu Kush Football by the players with strong stamina characteristic to high altitude Tug of War played with raw power by study village-based teams Cricket with its sensational moments Shot Putt—the oldest living sport in the region Traditional Wrestling, oldest sport where sheer power is demonstrated Marksmanship with ‘chikit’—the oldest locally made traditional guns Bodi Dik—the endangered sport with unique rules Day & night cultural events with music of reed instrument, pure Chitrali sitar, pasture flute, reformative poetry and many more.   Our packages are as follows:   1.  April 15, 2010:   Flight from Islamabad/ Peshawar to Chitral & hotel stay 2.  April 16, 2010:  Transfer to the festival venue, food & accommodation 3.  April 17, 2010:  Tent stay, food, accommodation, sight seeing & night musical programme 4.  April 18, 2010: ...

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Naurooz Celebrated in Chitral Pakistan

Naurooz, the spring equinox festival, was celebrated in northern Chitral and Lotkoh valley of the Chitral district on March 21st, marking the commencement of spring with trees putting forward fresh shoots and blossom. In Chitral, it is a time of the year when the newly sprouted blade of grasses and flowers fills the air with aroma and the land with motley colors immediately after receding of the white sheet of snow. For people, then this particular time is the right season to celebrate.    Naurooz in the beginning of New Year is a refresher of commitment of the locals to practice noble deeds for the broader community welfare, adopting the tradition of hard work in their professional life. Besides, it is time when one evaluates one’s achievements in life. Thus numerous time-honored values, such as self-evaluation, self-discipline, creativity, truthfulness, happiness progressiveness and plentitude emanate from Naurooz.   The important socio-religious aspect of...

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Workshop for Kalash Tour Guides in Bumborate

Two-day capacity building workshop for Kalash tour guides was arranged by District Administration through the support of Ministry of Culture Federal Government of Pakistan was implemented by CAMAT [Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism]. The purpose of the workshop was to improve the service quality of the guides in view of the fact that many national and international tourists come to the valleys who are less likely to be provided with information showcasing the true aspects of the indigenous Kalash culture. This is because of lack of capacity on the part of the local guides.   The workshop was attended by 37 guides from Birir, Bumborate and Rumbor was conducted in participatory method through group works, using of flash cards aside from open discussion by the forum. Mr Dawood Khan, the experienced Kalash guides was the key facilitator in the workshop.   The workshop put forward the recommendations as follows: 1.      ...

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CAMAT’s New Board of Directors Elected

CAMAT’s new Board of Directors was elected on March 9, 2010 at Mountain Inn, Chitral, where the Board members cast their vote in favor of the candidates as follows: Chairman: Sikander ul MulkVice Chairman: Dr Inayatullah FaiziGeneral Secretary: IsraruddinFinance Secretary: Meherban KhanPress Sectetary: Taj Muhammad Figr   After the election, Prince Sikander ul Mulk, the newly elected chairman thanked the members for reposing trust in the new honorary set up. He also emphasized on the need to further strengthen CAMAT’s cause of protection of Chitral’s indigenous cultures and to highlight it worldwide. He added that the traditional cultures of Chitral with its festivals besides free style polo are remarkable tourism products. The peace of Chitral is intertwined with the rich cultural heritage of the region which needs to be protected at all cost.   The meeting also took decision to organize Jashan-e-Qaqlasht 2010, the spring festival of the people of northern...

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Chitral Asssociation for Mountain Area Tourism (CAMAT)

High up in the Hindu Kush Mountains, CAMAT is working for the promotion of culture-rooted and environmentally-friendly tourism. It is a not-for-profit company working for poverty reduction in the field of tourism-- a relatively new sector of community development. Tourism is a potential sector likely to provide off-farm job opportunities for the indigenous communities—Kalash, Kho and Wakhi—in the mountains of northern Pakistan. This is desperately needed as the ever growing population is causing major natural resource depletion, which results in the degradation of natural biodiversity.    Areas of Intervention: 1.       Protection of Natural Environment 2.      Protection of Indigenous Culture 3.      Capacity Building 4.       Networking Building 5.      Advocacy 6.      Publicity and Promotion   CAMAT is thankful to ECOCLUB International for the great support to promote the cause of tourism in northern Pakistan and Chitral in particular! Thank you ECOCLUB! Please visit the following website link to know more:http://www.grassrootsjourneys.com/explore/asia/pakistan/camat/

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Code of Ethics for Visitors to the Kalash Valleys

To protect the culture and natural environment of the indigenous Kalash community, please follow the code of ethics as under: 1) Before you visit the Kalash educate yourself about local customs and culture2) The Kalash are friendly, hospitable and gentle. Unlike other villages in Pakistan, the womenfolk in the Kalash valley are more visible. Their traditional values must be respected by visitors.3) Do not gawk at the Kalash at the Kalash, consider how you feel when you are stared at during your travel.4) Always ask permission before photographing people. Do not pay to take photographs.5) Do not disturb the Kalash working in fields or in the privacy of the Bashali [the women house of seclusion].6) Do not walk into houses and temples or participate in dances or festivals without being invited.7) Buying local products benefits the local economy, but buying antiques and artifacts robs the local culture.8) All meadows are preserved...

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Kalash Participate in Sarhad Culture Festival

The Kalash Cultural Troupe participated in Sarhad Cultural Festival organised at Lok Virsa, Shakarparian, Islamabad. The event, which was participated by large number of artists and artisan from the entire North West Frontier Province was sponsored by Sarhad Tourism Corporation through the faciliation of CAMAT [Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism] continued from January 28 to 30, 2010.

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Booni Vigil Rally for ClimateChange SOS Copenhagen

A vigil rally in Booni, northern Chitral, Pakistan was organized through the facilitation of CAMAT [Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism]. The objectives of the placard bearing rally was to showcase support and show solidarity with the climate change SOS Copenhagen conference in addition to highlight the issues of climate change that has already posed a serious challenge to the communities in the Hindu Kush Mountains.The participants were mostly students of government high school Booni and Pamir Public School apart from business community, political leadership, social workers and people from different walk of life. The rally, after walking for a kilometer, concentrated at the main Booni square where teachers, political leadership and business community representatives addressed the gathering. It was maintained that for the last three decades there has been a considerable change in the climate, which is inevitably linked to global warming. The destruction of the village Sonoghor three years...

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Tourism declared industry in NWFP

PESHAWAR: The NWFP government has declared tourism an industry and decided to develop a master plan for its promotion.NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti issued directives to this effect during his last week visit to Hazara division, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told a press conference here on Saturday.The chief minister along with some cabinet members and officials visited different parts of the hilly Hazara region and inspected ongoing uplift projects and also approved some new schemes for the tourism sector, he said.The Frontier province had immense potential for tourism, but its present utilisation was less than five per cent, therefore, the provincial government had decided to formulate a master plan for its promotion, the minister added.The chief minister had declared tourism an industry and announced holding Kaghan festival on the pattern of Shandur festival on yearly basis from next summer season. Similarly, the chief minister also issued directives for...

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Kalash Celebrate Intl Climate Day of Action

CAMAT [Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism] celebrated International Climatic Day of Action, Oct 24, 2009 in the Kalash valley of Rumbor, district Chitral with a philosophy of ‘think globally, act locally’ in mind. The theme of the day was “The Impacts of Global Warming on the Kalash Communities”. Kalash ECOCLUB, school students, local leadership and woman representatives participated. The day was observed in about 170 countries around the world aimed at awareness raising regarding the impacts of global warming on the natural environment and ecology that is likely to cast negative impacts on all organisms living on the planet earth. The participants felt proud in being part of the noble cause being celebrated around the world on Oct 24, 2009.In the meantime, they recorded their apprehension that the natural environment of the Kalash valleys—Rumbor, Burmborate and Birir—is certainly threatened due to climatic changes leading to longer summers, short autumns and...

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