CHITRAL: Annual festival of Kalash community Joshi (Chelumjosh) attracted thousands of domestic as well as foreign tourists in the scenic valley of Bumborate, Rumber, and Birir. As Kalash people celebrating 2 small and two mega festivals each year. This was spring season religious festival of Kalash community has a unique culture and declared indigenous people by the UNESCO. The four-days Joshi festival concluded with much funfair and religious activities in the scenic Kalash valleys of Chitral in three valleys Birir, Rumbor, and Bumborate.
Barbara had come from France to see this unique cultural cum religious festival of Kalash. She said that we should respect the values of Kalash community and to preserve this unique culture for coming nations.
Wazir Zada a social activist said that number of Kalash people increasing but even then they facing great problems like lacks of facilities, poor condition of roads etc.
Miss Jamela had come from Lahore to see this festival who highly hailed generosity, characteristics and unique dress of Kalash women.
The festival, which heralds the arrival of the spring season in Chitral, is usually celebrated in the three Kalash valleys — Bamburet, Birir, and Rumbur this year it was sponsored by Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP).
Miss Hina from Karachi said that she was listening about the Kalash festival but when she practically watch their dances, songs she was very much enthralled.
Wazirzada Kalash said that this year the participation of local and foreign tourists was tremendous and that almost all hotels in Bamburet valley had been booked well before the start of the festival but even then some tourists stayed under open sky or in the houses of Kalash people due to non-availability of rooms in hotels.
Sardar Willen Sing from Lahore visited Kalash valley first time and was very much impressed by this festival and unique culture of Kalash community. Syed Gul Kalash who is the first Kalash Archeologist said that they are celebrating these festivals for the last 3000 years and they celebrating these unique ceremonies.
Ibadullah from Shangla appreciated and like colorful dress and this event of unique customary.
French, Italian and Australian tourist families stayed in Chitral for several days and enjoyed the local culture, traditions, tourist attractions and festival in the scenic valleys.
Miss Shumaila is a psychologist at Multan she said I had heard about Kalash people but when I personally saw these people she was really impressed by their hospitality and peace loving. Mr Anglo having beard came from Germany was among the foreigner tourists who like these people and he invited tourists of the world to must here and enjoy peaceful environment of Chitral. As part of the religious and cultural traditions, the locals distributed dry fruits and other gifts among the visitors and guests.
A group of motorcyclists also participated in adventure tourism activities at the festival.
The TCKP had also established a tent village for the tourists. The main feature of the festival is the selection of life partners for unmarried boys and girls.
Kashif Minhas of Multan is a photographer and he specially came here to enjoy this colorful event in the scenic valley. Hence Nabaig Advocate of Kalash community complained that local administration and government do nothing from uplifting of Kalash community and they preserving themselves on self-help basis. Tourists suggested that if roads to these valleys were constructed it will cause for attracting more and more tourists of the world because at present poor conditions of roads is the main hurdle in the way of tourists who want to visit the valley.