Nov 5, 2010

Apricots Are Hunza




Apricots Are Hunza Gold

Of all their organically-grown food, perhaps their favorite, and one of their dietary mainstays, is the apricot. Apricot orchards are seen everywhere in Hunza, and a family's economic stability is measured by the number of trees they have under cultivation.

They eat their apricots fresh in season, and dry a great deal more in the sun for eating throughout the long cold winter. They puree the dried apricots and mix them with snow to make ice cream. Like their apricot jam, this ice cream needs no sugar because the apricots are so sweet naturally. But that is only the beginning. The Hunzas cut the pits from the fruits, crack them, and remove the almond-like nuts. The women hand grind these kernels with stone mortars, then squeeze the meal between a hand stone and a flat rock to express the oil. The oil is used in cooking, for fuel,as a salad dressing on fresh garden greens, and even as a facial lotion ( Renee Taylor says Hunza women have beautiful complexions).


The Apricot Kernel Anti-Cancer Theorya onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_u31k8Wu4h5Q/TNQAdlA-ETI/AAAAAAAAAGg/Y9nUrhdA8Kw/s1600/hunza2.jpg">

Do these kernels have important protective powers which in some way play an important role in the extraordinary health and longevity of the Hunza people? The evidence suggest they very well might. Cancer and arthritis are both very rare among the Taos (New Mexico) Pueblo Indians. Their traditional beverages is made from the group kernels of cherries, peaches and apricots. Robert G. Houston told PREVENTION that he enjoyed this beverage when he was in New Mexico gathering material for a book dealing with blender shakes based on an Indian recipe. Into a glass of milk or juice, he mixed a tablespoon of honey with freshly ground apricot kernels (1/4 of an ounce or two dozen kernels) which had been roasted for 10 minutes at 300. It is vitally impotent to roast the kernels first. Houston points out, "in order to insure safety when you are using the pits in such quantities." roasting destroys enzymes which could upset your stomach if you eat too many at on time. In any event the drink was so delicious that Houston kept having it daily. On the third day of drinking this concoction, Houston says that a funny thing happened. Two little benign skin growths on his arm , which formerly were pink had turned brown. The next day, he noticed that the growths were black and shriveled. On the seventh morning, the smaller more recent growths had vanished completely and the larger one. about the size of a grain of rice, had simply fallen off.

Houston says that two of his friends have since tried the apricot shakes and report similar elimination of benign skin growths in one or two weeks. What is there in apricot pits that could produce this remarkable effect? some foods, especially the kernels of certain fruits and grains, contain elements known as the nitrilosides (also known as amygdalin or vitamin B 17) says Dr. Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., biochemist and co-discoverer of Laetrile, a controversial cancer treatment ( Laetrile is the proprietary name for one nitriloside) Nitrilosides, says Dr. Krebs, are non-toxic water-soluble, accessory food factors found in abundance in the seeds of almost all fruits. They are also found in over 100 other plants. Wherever primitive people have been found to have exceptional health, with marked absence of malignant or degenerative disease, their diet has been shown to be high in the naturally occurring nitrilosides, Dr. Krebs maintains.

"These nitrilosides just might be to cancer what vitamin C is to scurvy, what niacin is to pellagra, what vitamin B12 and folic acid are to pernicious anemia," says Dr. Krebs (Cancer News Journal, May/August, 1970).

There are other common foods (all seeds) which provide a goodly supply of this protective factor. Millet and buckwheat, both of which the Hunzakuts eat in abundance, are two. Lentils, Mung beans and alfalfa, when sprouted, provide 50 times more nitriloside than does the mature plant, Dr. Krebs points out. And the Hunzas, as you might expect, spout all of their seeds, as well as using them in other ways. Since other essential protective elements are increased in the sprouting of such seeds, young sprouts are excellent foods which give us more life-giving values than most of us realize.


Apricots Rich in vitamin A and Iron

Aside from whatever anti-cancer properties the seeds of apricots may offer, the fruit itself is exceptional in its own right. There is probably no fruit which is as nourishing as the apricot. When they are dried, and most of the moisture removed, the concentration of nutrients becomes even greater. A generous handful of dried apricots (3 1/2 ounces) is packed with nearly 11,000 units of vitamin A, or more than twice the recommended daily allowance. In fact, if this much vitamin A was put into a capsule the FDA would arrest the person selling it. Because they consider this amount both "useless" and "potentially dangerous." The Hunzas eat it every day. Dried apricots also contain a great deal of iron, potassium and natural food fiber.


The Style For Longer and Better Life

Besides apricots, the Hunzas also grow and enjoy apples, pears, peaches, mulberries, black and red cherries, and grapes. From these fruits, the Hunzas get all the vitamin C they need, as well as the other nutritional richness of fresh fruit, including energy from the fruit sugars. From the grapes, they also make a light red wine that helps make their simple fare into more of a real "meal".


The World's Freshest Bread

The bread which accompanies each meal enjoyed by the Hunzas, and sometimes forms the mainstay of the meal, is called "chappati" - and is quite different from any bread that we are used to. The grain is kept intact as long as possible, and is ground at the very last moment, the housewife grinds only as much as she needs for the next meal, and kneads again and again with water- no yeast! She then beats it into very thin, flat pancakes similar to the tortillas of the Mexican Indians, Chappatis can be made form wheat, barley, buckwheat of millet, So although chappati is something new to us, the ingredients are all familiar and easily available. Sometimes the flours are mixed together and baked in several shapes, small or large, depending on the occasion.

While bread baking at home in our country is practically a lost art because of the time involved, a surprising feature about chappatis is the incredibly short "baking time", if you can call it baking at all. The dough is simply placed on the grill for hardly more than a moment and it is finished.

"Just long enough to grow warm and no longer taste raw". Dr. Ralph Bircher noted in his book on Hunzas published by Huber in Bernie, Switzerland. "No more effective method of preserving the health value of the grain exists and the taste is excellent even without butter or jam, " Dr. Bircher notes.

Death Rides a Slow Bus in Hunza

ow would you like to live in a land where cancer has not yet been invented? A land where an optometrist discovers to his amazement that everyone has perfect 20-20 vision? A land where cardiologists cannot find a single trace of coronary heart disease? How would you like to live in a land where no one ever gets ulcers, appendicitis or gout? A land where men of 80 and 90 father children, and there's nothing unusual about men and women enjoying vigorous life at the age of 100 or 120?

We see a lot of hands going up. Fine. But first, you have to answer a few more questions before setting out for a place called Hunza, a tiny country hidden in the mountain passes of northwest Pakistan.

Are you willing to live 20,000 feet up in the mountains, almost completely out of touch with the rest of the world? Are you ready to go outside in every kind of weather to tend your small mountainside garden, while keeping you ears open for an impending avalanche? Are you prepared to give up not only every luxury of civilization, but even reading and writing?

We see a lot of hands going down. But if you want the benefits of the pure air that whips by the icy cathedrals of the Himalayan Mountains, the pure water that trickles down from glaciers formed at 25,000 feet, and the mental and spiritual peace that comes from living in a land where there is no crime, taxes, social striving or generation gaps, no banks or stores-in fact,-no money- where are you going to find it outside of Hunza?

But don't give up! Not yet, because there is still one more question to be answered. That is: are you prepared to eat the kind of food the Hunzas eat? If you are, then you can rightfully expect to give yourself at least some measure of the super health and resistance to degenerative disease which the Hunzakuts have enjoyed for 2,000 years.

What kind of exotic, ill-tasting grub do these Hunza people eat, you are wondering. Strange as it may sound, virtually everything the Hunzakuts eat is delectable to the western palate, and is readily available in the United States-at least if you shopping horizons do not begin and end at the supermarket.

Not only is the Hunza diet not exotic, but there's really nothing terribly mysterious about its health-promoting qualities, Everything we know about food and health, gathered both from clinical studies and the observation of scientists who have traveled throughout the world observing dietary practices and their relationship to health, tells us that it is to be expected that the Hunza diet will go a long way towards improving the total health of anyone, anywhere. The Hunza story is only on of the more dramatic examples of the miraculous health produced by a diet of fresh, natural unprocessed and unadulterated food.

LIFE IN HUNZA

There are, of course, many theories about why the people of Hunzaland live so long. Patrick Flanagan, the founder of Micro Cluster technology believes that the water is the secret along with hundreds of other people who have been using his products. The King of Hunza Land was asked why their people live so long and he said "It's the Water." The lifestyle and diet likely play an important role but their water is very different then water in other parts of the world. However, the author of the following article has her own theories. The article does provide a good picture of the superior health of the inhabitants of Hunzaland

Oct 12, 2010

ATTA ABAD HUNZA

HUNZA: Affectees of Attabad lake after successful negotiations with Hunza Administration concluded their protest sit and went back in the relief camps. DCO Hunza talking to media said that district administration held successful negotiations with the agitated affectees of Attabad lake and took seven days time to compensate all the affectees of Attabad accidental lake and land sliding victims in Hunza valley

AKCSP

Islamabad, September 30: The Gulabpur Khanqah in Shigar valley, Skardu, Baltistan was recently awarded the 2010 Asia-Pacific Award of Distinction in Cultural Heritage by Unesco. For nine consecutive times, the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan.

Sep 13, 2010

gilgit baltistan news

China rejects reports regarding presence of its forces in GB

Beijing: September 3: China has strongly rejected the media reports about the presence of Chinese forces in Gilgit-Baltistan China has reacted strongly to the reports of New York Times and some other American newspapers about the presence of its forces in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan

Agha Rahat – al – Hussaini announces Eid in Gilgit

Agha Rahat – al – Hussaini announces Eid in Gilgit

Gilgit, September 10: Imam Jumma -wal-Jamat of the Shia Musilms, Agha Rahat, has announced that sufficient evidences about moon sighting have been received so Eid will be observed tomorrow.According to sources the announcement was made from Imamia Masjid Gilgit. The faithful were asked to participate in Eid prayer tomorrow to be held at ten in the morning.More Infor | Feedback

Mar 8, 2010

The Original Hunza Summer Diet.


The Original Hunza Summer Diet.

The British General and soldiers arrived in the summer during the 1870s as did everyone who traveling to Hunza. This was the harvest season for the grains, fruits, and vegetables from the gardens, and much of the food was consumed raw. Because fuel for cooking was saved to be used in winter for boiling meat and providing some heat for the stone dwellings, very little meat was consumed in summer, and vegetables were eaten raw.

Curious visitors who followed the British soldiers to Hunza Valley years later naturally arrived in summer also, and the summer diet of the people led visitors to assume they were mainly vegetarian and ate very little meat. This was typical of the summer harvest season. Many primitive cultures including cavemen lived in a similar manner, gorging themselves on available fruit during the short season and eating mostly meat for the rest of the year. The people of Hunza differed in that they never had an abundance of anything except rocks. They did not have enough animals to provide abundant meat during the winter because of the lack of fodder. They did not want to kill female animals that were milk producers unless the animal was old or lame.

The Hunzakuts are said to have cultivated plants included barley, millet, wheat, buckwheat, turnips, carrots, dried beans, peas, pumpkins, melons, onions, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower, apricots, mulberries, walnuts, almonds, apples, plums, peaches, cherries, pears, and pomegranates. John Clark did not find green beans, wax beans, beets, endive, lettuce, radishes, turnips, spinach, yellow pear tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, or parsley. Cherry tomatoes and potatoes are thought to have been brought in by the British. The long list of currently grown plant varieties should not be a consideration when discussing the longevity of the Hunzakuts and their past diet.

Apricot trees were very popular, and the fruit was eaten raw in season and sun dried for winter. The pits were cracked to obtain the kernel that was crushed to obtain the oil for cooking and lamps. The hard shell was kept for a fire fuel. The kernel and oil could be eaten from the variety of apricots with a sweet kernel, but the bitter kernel variety had an oil containing poisonous prussic acid. Click the picture to see an enlargement.

The apricot trees were allowed to grow very large in order to obtain the maximum yield. Picking the maximum amount of fruit was more important than the difficulty in picking. The children would scamper to the higher branches to pick or shake off the fruit. Planting new trees required several years of growth before any fruit was produced. The special garden silt or glacial milk did not contribute to the age or size of the trees as is commonly claimed. Our modern orchards are not managed that way because we have abundant space and picking is expensive. Our trees are cut when the size makes them difficult to harvest, not because they fail to live as long as those in Hunza.

The Discovery of the Hunza River Valley


The Discovery of the Hunza River Valley.

A British General and a garrison of solders on horseback investigated the Hunza River Valley in the 1870s. Hunza was a tiny kingdom located in a remote valley 100 miles (160 km) long and only one mile (1.6 km) wide, situated at an elevation of 8,500 feet (2590 m), and completely enclosed by mountain peaks. These peaks soar to a height of 25,550 feet (7788 m) and belong to the Karakoram Range, broadly known in the West as the Himalayas. Hunza is now part of Pakistan in the northern section bordering on Afghanistan, Russia, China, Kashmir, and India. The Kilik Pass leads to Russia and the Mintaka Pass to China.

The pass to reach Hunza from Gilgit, Pakistan, was 13,700 feet (4176 m) high, a difficult and treacherous trail. Upon entering the valley, the British found the steep, rocky sides of the valley lined with terraced garden plots, fruit trees, and animals being raised for meat and milk.

The gardens were watered with mineral-rich glacier water carried by an aqueduct system running a distance of 50 miles (80 km) from the Ultar Glacier on the 25,550 foot (7788 m) high Mount Rakaposhi. The wooden aqueduct trough was hung from the sheer cliffs by steel nails hammered into the rock walls. Silt from the river below was carried up the side of the valley to form and replenish the terraced gardens. The average annual precipitation in Hunza is less than two inches.

Ultar Peak rising above Baltit, the capital of Hunza, is spectacular. The Old Palace is on the hill above the village. Click the picture to see an enlargement.

The difficult trail into Hunza kept the people isolated. As late as 1950, most of the children of Hunza had never seen a wheel or a Jeep even though airplanes were landing at the airport in Gilgit, Pakistan, only 70 miles (112 km) away. John Clark reported in his book, Hunza - Lost Kingdom of the Himalayas, that he could see three peaks above 25,000 feet and eleven glaciers all at once from Shishpar Glacier Nullah (canyon) overlooking the Hunza valley. See page 92 in John Clark's book listed below.

The Hunzakuts, as they are called, had signed a peace treaty with their neighboring communities about 10 years prior to the arrival of the British. They had been a warrior community preying upon the Chinese trading caravans as they traveled the high mountain passes between Sinkiang and Kashmir. The Hunzakuts profited for a time by their thievery, plunder, and murder, but they were hated by their neighbors. According to Hunzakut folklore, a peace treaty was signed because the Mir's son convinced his father to end their murderous ways.

Burushaski, the language of the Hunzakuts, is much different from other languages of the region and appears to be a mixture of the languages of Ancient Macedonian and the Hellenistic Persian Empire. However, the people also learned to speak the written Urdu language of Pakistan and other languages of the region.

The terraced gardens were extensive with up to 50 cascading levels. The people lived in communities below. It was a considerable distance to walk to work in the fields. They had no roads or wheeled carts. All the grain and other produce was transported to the homes on the backs of men and animals. Click the picture to see an enlargement.

Everything in Hunza valley was always in short supply except crumbling rocks. Fuel for heating and cooking was severely limited, and fodder for feeding the animals was precious. Animal dung was used for garden fertilizer rather than fuel for fires as was done elsewhere. Supplies from outside of the valley were limited by the difficulty in bring goods over the high mountain pass. Highly prized goods brought in from the outside included guns, knifes, tools, metal pots, stoves, lamps, cotton cloth, silk cloth, thread, needles, matches, mirrors, glassware, and some construction metals such as bolts, rods, sheet, and plate. As late as 1951, these items had to be carried on the backs of men or animals. In past centuries traditional dress and bedding were made from sheepskins and other animal hides.

The original valley was mostly bare rock with a very limited amount of indigenous plant life. The sudden appearance of the vegetation in contrast to the surrounding barren rock earned the valley the description of being Shangri-La or the Garden of Eden. Given the hard work required to tend the gardens and animals, the description of Garden of Eden certainly did not apply to the Hunza River Valley.

Mir Muhammed Ghazan Khan I ruled from 1864 to 1886. Folklore stories say he sent his brother a gift of a cloak impregnated with smallpox and murdered his uncle and other brothers, but the facts are rather unknown. He was murdered in 1886 by Safdar Ali Khan who became the new ruler of Hunza. Mir Safdar Ali Khan is shown in the picture at the left. Click the picture to see an enlargement. In 1891 an expedition of 5,000 men lead by British Colonel Algernon Durand was attacked by the Hunzakut leader, Mir Safdar Ali Khan. The Mir fled to China and was replaced by his half-brother, Muhammed Nazim Klan. Mir Nazim Klan died in 1938 of mysterious causes, and it is highly suspect that his son, Muhammed Ghazan Khan II, was involved in his death. He died in 1946 and was replaced by his son, Muhammed Jamal Khan. Mir Muhammed Jamal Khan was deposed in 1974 by Pakistan although he maintained his property in Hunza. He died in Gilgit, Pakistan, in 1976 were he also had a residence. Mir Muhammed Jamal Khan could also speak perfect English because he had been educated by the British as a boy. His descendents maintain their royal titles but have no ruling authority in Hunza.
Ancestry of Hunza Rulers Since the 16th Century.

Feb 14, 2010

The Hunza Valley

The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley in Gilgit in the Gilgit-Baltistan autonomous region, an area under the control of the government of Pakistan. The Hunza valley is situated to the north of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). The territory of Hunza is about 7,900 square kilometres (3,100 sq mi). Karimabad (formerly called Baltit) is the main town, which is also a very popular tourist destination because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains like Ultar Sar, Rakaposhi, Bojahagur Duanasir II, Ghenta Peak, Hunza Peak, Diran Peak and Bublimating (Ladyfinger Peak), all 6,000 metres (19,685 ft) or higher.
Contents
[hide]
• 1 History
o 1.1 First Muslim Thum
o 1.2 Thum
• 2 Geography
• 3 Climate
• 4 Transport
• 5 Spectacular scenery
• 6 People of Hunza
• 7 New District
• 8 See also
• 9 References
• 10 External links

History
Main article: State of Hunza
Hunza was formerly a princely state bordering China to the north-east and Pamir to its north-west, which continued to survive until 1974, when it was finally dissolved by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The state bordered the Gilgit Agency to the south, the former princely state of Nagar to the east. The state capital was the town of Baltit (also known as Karimabad) and its old settlement is Ganish Village.
Hunza was an independent principality for more than 900 years. The British gained control of Hunza and the neighbouring valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1892 followed by a military engagement of severe intensity. The then Thom (Prince) Mir Safdar Ali Khan of Hunza fled to Kashghar in China and sought what can be called political asylum.
First Muslim Thum
“ The ruling family of Hunza is called Ayeshe (heavenly), from the following circumstance. The two states of Hunza and Nagar were formerly one, ruled by a branch of the Shahreis, the ruling family of Gilgit, whose seat of government was Nager. Tradition relates that Mayroo Khan, apparently the first Muslim Thum of Nagar some 200 years after the introduction of the religion of Islam to Gilgit, married a daughter of Trakhan of Gilgit, who bore him twin sons named Moghlot and Girkis. From the former the present ruling family of Nager is descended. The twins are said to have shown hostility to one another from birth. Their father seeing this and unable to settle the question of succession, divided his state between them, giving to Girkis the north, and to Moghlot the south, bank of the river. [1]

Thum
The traditional name for the ruler in Hunza was Thum, which is also a respectful appellation used by people of both Hunza and Nager who belong to the clan of Boorish. The Shin use the term Yeshkun for the Boorish.
“ Both Thums are still addressed as Soori, as a title of respect. This appears to be the same [in meaning] as Sri, an commonly prefixed to the names of Hindu princes in India, to denote their honour and prosperity. The Thum's wives are styled ghenish which is almost identical with the original Sanskrit word for mother, and their sons are called gushpoor.[2]

Geography


Baltit Fort, the former residence of the Mirs of Hunza

The Hunza is situated at an elevation of about 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). For many centuries, Hunza has provided the quickest access to Swat and Gandhara for a person travelling on foot. The route was impassable to baggage animals; only human porters could get through, and then only with permission from the locals.
Hunza was easily defended as the paths were often less than 0.5 metres (20 in) wide. The high mountain paths often crossed bare cliff faces on logs wedged into cracks in the cliff, with stones balanced on top. They were also constantly exposed to regular damage from weather and falling rocks. These were the much feared "hanging passageways" of the early Chinese histories that terrified all, including several famous Chinese Buddhist monks such as Xuanzang.

Climate

Spring in Hunza Valley

The temperature in May is a maximum of 27 °C (81 °F) and a minimum of 14 °C (57 °F); the October maximum is 10 °C (50 °F) and the minimum −10 °C (14.0 °F). Hunza's tourist season is generally from May to October, because in winter the Karakoram Highway is often blocked by the snow.
Transport
Today, the famous Karakoram Highway crosses Hunza, connecting Pakistan to China via the Khunjerab Pass. Travelling up the valley from the south, Hunza is the land to the left, and the former state of Nagar to the right of the Hunza River. Regular bus and van services operate between Gilgit and Central Hunza (Ganish Village, Aliabad and Karimabad) and also between Gilgit and Sost Gojal. PTDC Office at Gilgit, Sost and Islamabad arranges tours and transport for visitors.
Spectacular scenery


Rakaposhi, 7,788 metres (25,551 ft)
Hunza is one of the most impressive places in the world. Several high peaks rise above 6,000 metres (20,000 ft) in the surroundings of Hunza valley. The valley provides spectacular views of some of the most beautiful and magnificent mountains of the world which include Rakaposhi 7,788 metres (25,551 ft), Ultar Sar 7,388 metres (24,239 ft), Bojahagur Duanasir II 7,329 metres (24,045 ft), Ghenta Sar 7,090 metres (23,261 ft), Hunza Peak 6,270 metres (20,571 ft), Darmyani Peak 6,090 metres (19,980 ft), and Bublimating (Ladyfinger Peak) 6,000 metres (19,685 ft). Hunza Valley is also host to the ancient watch towers in Ganish , Baltit Fort and Altit Fort. Watch towers are located in heart of Ganish Village, Baltit Fort stands on top of Karimabad whereas Altit Fort lies at the bottom of the valley.
The valley is popularly believed to be the inspiration for the mythical valley of Shangri-la in James Hilton's 1933 novel Lost Horizon. As one travels up on the Karakoram Highway, the beautiful sceneries keep on revealing themselves. On the way one can witness the 65 kilometres (40 mi) long 'Batura' glacier, the second longest in Pakistan, surround by Shishper, Batura and Kumpirdior peaks. On reaching Sost one can continue the journey up to Khunzhrav or turn west to witness the mystic beauty of Chipursan (also Chapursan) valley. Chipursan valley has some of most exotic tourist spots in the area. In Yarzerech (also Yarzirich) you can have a look at the majestic Kundahill peak (6,000 metres (19,685 ft)), or trek along the Rishepzhurav to the Kundahill to experience the soothing sceneries. Beyond Yarzerech one can travel further to Lupghar, Raminj, Reshit, Yishkuk up to Bobo Ghundi (Oston), the shrine of Baba-e-Ghund, a saint from Afghanistan near the border between Pakistan and Wakhan region of Afghanistan.

People of Hunza


Hunza valley river
As much as the valley is famous for its beauty, the people of Hunza are noted for their friendliness and hospitality. The local languages spoken are Burushaski, Wakhi and Shina, many people understand Urdu. The literacy rate of the Hunza valley is believed to be more than 90%. Virtually every child of the new generation studies up to at least high school level. Many pursue higher studies from prestigious colleges and Universities of Pakistan and abroad.
Most of the people of Hunza are Ismaili Shia Muslims, followers of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, while in Ganish Village more than 90% are Shia Muslims.
The Hunza region is home to people of three ethnicities:
• The Lower Hunza area - (from Khizerabad to Nasirabad is mainly inhabited by the Shinaki people who are Shina speakers;
• The Central Hunza area - (from Murtazaabad to Ahmedabad) is mainly inhabited by Burushaski speakers.
• The Upper Hunza area, known as Gojal - (from Shiskat to Khunjerab is mainly populated by Wakhi speakers;
The majority of the people are Ismaili Shia Muslims who are followers of the Aga Khan. The present Aga Khan IV has provided a lot of funding for the area to help with agriculture and the local economy through the Aga Khan Development Network.
New District
Hunza-Nagar became a new district in Gilgit-Baltistan starting in July, 2009. There is planned to be a Northern Areas Legislative Council Assembly (NALA) seat for Hunza.[3]
See also
• Former State of Hunza
• Baltit Fort
• Altit Fort
• Northern Areas
• Karakoram Highway
• Karakoram Mountains
• Nagar Valley
• Burusho
• Ganish Village
• Karimabad
• Khizerabad
• Nasirabad
• Ahmedabad
• Hussainabad
• Murtazaabad
• Sikandarabad
• Jafarabad
• Hunza-Nagar District
The Hunza valley contains many small villages. The first village is Khizerabad. Prior to the early 20th century, the people of the Hunza valley are said to have had an average lifespan of 100.This group of people were highly associated with nature, especially regarding dieting habits and lifestyle. They highly acknowledged the apricot seed, using it as currency. The women would squeeze out the liquid of the seeds, and spread it over their foreheads, eliminating their wrinkles even at an extraordinary age. Unfortunately with more contact to the outside world, the Hunzus' average lifespan increasingly dropped, due to different ideas and lifestyle their group was obtaining from other peoples. The Hunzu valley is frequently referred to as Shangri La, and is also known as "The Valley Where you Live Forever"
References
1. ^ Tribes of the Hindoo Koosh by John Bidulph page 26
2. ^ Tribes of the Hindoo Koosh by John Bidulph Sang e meel publication page 30
3. ^ [1] HunzaTimes, June 24, 2009.
• Kreutzmann, Hermann, Karakoram in Transition: Culture, Development , and Ecology in the Hunza Valley, Oxford University Press, 2006.
• Leitner, G. W. (1893): Dardistan in 1866, 1886 and 1893: Being An Account of the History, Religions, Customs, Legends, Fables and Songs of Gilgit, Chilas, Kandia (Gabrial) Yasin, Chitral, Hunza, Nagyr and other parts of the Hindukush, as also a supplement to the second edition of The Hunza and Nagyr Handbook. And An Epitome of Part III of the author’s “The Languages and Races of Dardistan.” First Reprint 1978. Manjusri Publishing House, New Delhi.
• Lorimer, Lt. Col. D.L.R. Folk Tales of Hunza. 1st edition 1935, Oslo. Three volumes. Vol. II, republished by the Institute of Folk Heritage, Islamabad. 1981.
• Sidkey, M. H. "Shamans and Mountain Spirits in Hunza." Asian Foklore Studies, Vol. 53, No. 1 (1994), pp. 67–96.
• History of Ancient Era Hunza State By Haji Qudratullah Beg English Translation By Lt Col (Rtd) Saadullah Beg, TI(M)
External links

Jan 24, 2010

ATTA ABAD HUNZA LAND SLIDING


According to initial disaster assessment report, four villages — Attabad Payeen, Attabad Bala, Sarat and Ayeenabad — were directly affected by the massive landslide in Hunza where thirteen people, including women and children, have been reported dead, while nine are injured and six are still missing.

The initial report has been compiled by Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) which is a crisis response and disaster risk management agency established in Europe, North America and South and Central Asia. It helps vulnerable communities build resilience to natural and man-made disasters and compliments the provision of humanitarian relief principally in the developing world. FOCUS is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve opportunities and living conditions, for people of all faiths and origins, in specific regions of the developing world.

FOCUS Pakistan’s voluntary Search and Rescue Team (SART), Disaster Assessment Response Team, Community Emergency Response Team and Village Emergency Response Teams were immediately mobilised to respond to the emergency.

According to the report, in the upper part of Hunza Valley, a population of about 20,000 people has been cut off from the rest of Hunza region. “We are still trying to get to these people. Unfortunately if we don’t, soon, food and other supplies will run short.

This is also winter time in the region, so families living without shelter and heating are even more vulnerable,” said Fozia Anwar, a female volunteer working with the SART team in Hunza.

As part of its mandate, FOCUS Pakistan conducts regular geological survey and hazard assessments of vulnerable areas across the country, especially in the mountainous areas of northern Pakistan. According to a 2006 assessment of the affected area, there was a high risk of rapid movements and potential disaster.

The survey also projected debris fall resulting in the blockage of the Hunza River. According to the report, the eastern part of the village was the most vulnerable. “One block of the area had already been detached in a landslide in 1994. Since then, there was a projected risk of another block falling off, since there were obvious cracks that were at least 100m in length,” said a FOCUS geologist who conducted the survey in 2006.

The survey and hazard assessment report were shared with the Gilgit-Baltistan government, due to which 25 households were evacuated from Attabad Bala to relocate to safer locations in March 2009.

Other villages, Ahmadabad and Ayeenabad, have been evacuated given the threat of water build-up or dam breakage in the area. Wazir Baig, Speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) and Mutabiat Shah, Member, GBLA, along with officials from the National Disaster Management Authority are overseeing the response and relief efforts in Aliabad, Hunza, where relief items from all agencies are being collected. Search and rescue operations are still in progress by the Pakistan Army, local administration, volunteers, residents and trained FOCUS experts.
According to initial disaster assessment report, four villages — Attabad Payeen, Attabad Bala, Sarat and Ayeenabad — were directly affected by the massive landslide in Hunza where thirteen people, including women and children, have been reported dead, while nine are injured and six are still missing.

The initial report has been compiled by Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) which is a crisis response and disaster risk management agency established in Europe, North America and South and Central Asia. It helps vulnerable communities build resilience to natural and man-made disasters and compliments the provision of humanitarian relief principally in the developing world. FOCUS is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve opportunities and living conditions, for people of all faiths and origins, in specific regions of the developing world.

FOCUS Pakistan’s voluntary Search and Rescue Team (SART), Disaster Assessment Response Team, Community Emergency Response Team and Village Emergency Response Teams were immediately mobilised to respond to the emergency.

According to the report, in the upper part of Hunza Valley, a population of about 20,000 people has been cut off from the rest of Hunza region. “We are still trying to get to these people. Unfortunately if we don’t, soon, food and other supplies will run short.

This is also winter time in the region, so families living without shelter and heating are even more vulnerable,” said Fozia Anwar, a female volunteer working with the SART team in Hunza.

As part of its mandate, FOCUS Pakistan conducts regular geological survey and hazard assessments of vulnerable areas across the country, especially in the mountainous areas of northern Pakistan. According to a 2006 assessment of the affected area, there was a high risk of rapid movements and potential disaster.

The survey also projected debris fall resulting in the blockage of the Hunza River. According to the report, the eastern part of the village was the most vulnerable. “One block of the area had already been detached in a landslide in 1994. Since then, there was a projected risk of another block falling off, since there were obvious cracks that were at least 100m in length,” said a FOCUS geologist who conducted the survey in 2006.

The survey and hazard assessment report were shared with the Gilgit-Baltistan government, due to which 25 households were evacuated from Attabad Bala to relocate to safer locations in March 2009.

Other villages, Ahmadabad and Ayeenabad, have been evacuated given the threat of water build-up or dam breakage in the area. Wazir Baig, Speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) and Mutabiat Shah, Member, GBLA, along with officials from the National Disaster Management Authority are overseeing the response and relief efforts in Aliabad, Hunza, where relief items from all agencies are being collected. Search and rescue operations are still in progress by the Pakistan Army, local administration, volunteers, residents and trained FOCUS experts.

Aug 20, 2009

Hunza Blossom


Spring being the beginning of season usually from early April welcome you to the Northern Areas. Hunza & Nagar in Bloosom present an aesthetic panorama. The lush green tarraced fields surrouded by blooming trees and the village itself guarded by snowbound sky kissing mountains displaying scene enough to overwhelms visiters. Moreover, besides the appealing vistas, the fragrance emanating in the villages add charm to the visual beauty. This breathtaking tour in beautiful spring in the north gives you the huge variety of natural splendors. This panorama can be seen throughout in the North along the KKH and off the road.
Start it from Gilgit, the capital of Northern Areas. When you arrive in Gilgit you will feel that you are somewhere you need to be in Spring. Bagrot valley in Gilgit is at around an hour drive famous for its panoramic outlook in spring and summer. Kargah Buddah in the tiny Kargah valley is about 30 min drive from the city. It is more famous for the carved Buddha in a rock about 12 meters from the pathway.
Proceed further to Hunza. Karimabad is about 95 km from Hunza and usually takes 3 hours but with repeated cessations on the viewpoints could prolong the journey double as longer up to Hunza. You will stay in Hunza even if you never liked to do that. Drive further to upper Hunza for added beauty, hit the Khunjarab Pass (The highest border linking China and Pakistan at an elevation of 4757m) and start the journey back. You can spare a day to visit Nagar valley off the KKH opposit Hunza valley. You can drive up to the Hoper Glacier flowing down by the valley with picturesque mountains in the surroundings

Aug 19, 2009

Silk Route


For centuries, the ancient Silk Route was one of the land links connecting Northern Areas with the outside world; the armies of Alexender the Great, the early pilgrims taking Buddhism to China, caravans of spiece and silk traders, and mysterious explorers-cum-spies playing out the "Great Game" of imperial rivalry between the Russian and British empires have all trodden this path.
All these people who explored the adventure of this route brought new ideas and influences instrumental in shaping the way people think and see. The sluggish Process of change in Northern Areas, due to remoteness, suddenly speeded up with conversion of this historic path into Karakoram Highway (KKH) in early 1979?s.
Initially KKH, connecting Pakistan with China spurred feeling of openness, connectivity, hope and business opportunities. However, true potential of KKH as a means to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the broader NA society has yet to be realized.
For its sheer mountain grandeur and beauty, few places can match the landscape through which Karakoram Highway passes. A fantastic spectacle is the passage of the highway along the Batura glacier, rated among the world?s seven largest. The Khunjarab pass, which the Highway crosses, and the nearby Mintaka pass lies on the ancient Silk Route connecting Europe with Asia.
The 809 kms (570miles) black-top Karakoram Highway, great marvel modern engineering, links the northern region of Pakistan with Chinese Province Xinjiang. The highway follows the ancient Silk Route that was used by Chinese traders during the rule of Han Dynasty 2,100 years ago. There has always been a steady flow of visitors, scholars and traders through this route. Famous scholars like FaHian, Huen Tsang and travellars like Marcopolo also used this route. A brisk trade of tea, silk and porcelain from China and Gold, Ivory, jewels and spices from the India-Pakistan subcontinent flourished almost 2,000 years ago. Where the ancient trade caravans took months to cross the mountains, the same distance can now be covered in hours over an all-weather metalled road.
Karakoram Highway took about twenty years to complete. The 775 kms long Highway was hacked through the world?s toughest terrain. It involved the service of 15,000 men of Pakistan Army and Chinese workers. During the course of construction more than 900 workers both from China and Pakistan laid their lives. Their memorial can be seen near Nomal and at Danyore. The road between Shatial and Chilas is particularly interesting as on its stretch ancient rock-carvings and etchings can be seen which date back to the Buddhist times.

Polo in Northern Areas


The game Polo
(chaugan) described as “the game hockey played on horse back, polo being properly in the language of that region” the ball used in the game (yale and burnell on p.719). in the article on chicane and chicanery which as words are traceable to the game chaugan or horse- golf, polo is a game looked upon as hockey-on horse back while just above it is conceived as golf on horse back. However hockey is much faster game than golf. While deriving the word chicane from chaugan the problem has been created as to how chicanery can be associated with polo. This requires dealing with the evolution of the game which will be discussed after the etymology of chugan has been explained.
With regard to its etymology, a probable origin of chaugan would be an Indian, prakrit, word meaning four corners. Plats (in Urdu English dictionary) give this word as chugana, four-fold the name of the polo ground. This means that the game was invented in India where it was named after the playground. There is however another theory, which takes polo to Persia. The concise Oxford English dictionary while explaining the word chicane, states that in Greek polo is called tzoukanaiza which has been derived from the Persian word chaugan, meaning polo stick. Thus chaugan is a persain game and as word means polo. C .diem (p.126) has written a whole book on polo. He refers to and attempts showing that in Pehlavi polo chauvigan or chopgan. The latter word would be a variant of chobgan in which chob-stick but nevertheless would remain unknown.
However according to Diem, and to the Oxford English dictionary, (chaugan) has been the name in Balti, is for polo which makes it the ball game. The discrepancy is obvious. Coming to chicane it is a degenerated form of the word from which chaugan itself is derived. Diem transltes the Greek word for chaugan as tzykanion meaning polo and derives chicane from it. He writes that the Byzantine emperor, Theodosius 2 played polo at Constantinople about 401 A.D. Much earlier it was played in ancient Iran during the time of Darius, 522-486 B.C.
During the reign of king Khusrou Parvez 2 even his queen and her ladies played the game. Summarizing what has been discussed so far polo is an Indian game and the word chaugana four cornered has been modified as chaugan. Polo then was named after the polo ground. Another theory makes polo a Persian game with chaugan derived from chobagan, chob being the polo-stick, but Gan is left unexplained. At any rate as Persian word chaugan would be polo stick.
Diam gives following terms in Chinese. Ball (chiu), chhiu himself translated with an aspirated, polo-stick chhiu-chang.
The evolution of the game polo indicating the country of its birth, Polo has been rightly described by Yule and burn ell as hockey on horse back hence horse comes first to be considered. If we can conceive “Aspasthan” in Persian or horse land it would be magnolia. The Mongols have been nomads and being always on the move most of their time was spent on horseback. In Mongolia the horse was the unit of wealth. So, Mongol pick up lambs to provide more tasty (as booty) meet while the horse was still in full speed, because it is a small horse called pony. It was a dexterous performance which only the Mongols could claim to their credit.

Jul 25, 2009

The Hunza


The Hunza Valley located at 8,100' in northern Pakistan is the home of the longest lived people on the planet. The high mountain valley is surrounded by the Himalayan mountains with the mountain in the photo to the left rising to 25,556'. Northern Pakistan is blessed with the greatest mass of high mountains on earth where the Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir's, and Hindukush all meet!

As much as the valley is famous for its beauty, the people of Hunza are noted for their friendliness and hospitality. The local language is Brushuski but most people understand Urdu and English. The literacy rate of the Hunza valley is believed to be above 89%, virtually every child of the new generation studies up to at least high school. Many pursue higher studies from prestigious colleges and Universities of Pakistan and abroad.

The Hunza People are uniquely healthy and free of disease. Many studies have been done and it is believed that their simple healthy diet of carefully grown organic food and the glacial, living water is their secret to health and long life. Hunza drink directly from glacial streams in the high Himalayas. It is fresh, invigorating, life enhancing, free radical scavenging and delicious.

The Hunza have the longest lifespan in the world and this has been traced as related to the water that they drink and their natural diet. Hunza water is an example of perfect natural water. Hunza has people who routinely live to 100-120 years, in good health with virtually no cancer, degenerative disease, dental caries or bone decay. Hunza people remain robust and strong and are also able to bear children even in old age. Research has proven conclusively that the major common denominator of the healthy long-living people is their local water.

Apricots Are Hunza Gold



Apricots Are Hunza Gold

Of all their organically-grown food, perhaps their favorite, and one of their dietary mainstays, is the apricot. Apricot orchards are seen everywhere in Hunza, and a family's economic stability is measured by the number of trees they have under cultivation.

They eat their apricots fresh in season, and dry a great deal more in the sun for eating throughout the long cold winter. They puree the dried apricots and mix them with snow to make ice cream. Like their apricot jam, this ice cream needs no sugar because the apricots are so sweet naturally.

But that is only the beginning. The Hunzas cut the pits from the fruits, crack them, and remove the almond-like nuts. The women hand grind these kernels with stone mortars, then squeeze the meal between a hand stone and a flat rock to express the oil. The oil is used in cooking, for fuel, as a salad dressing on fresh garden greens, and even as a facial lotion ( Renee Taylor says Hunza women have beautiful complexions).

The Style For Longer and Better Life

Besides apricots, the Hunzas also grow and enjoy apples, pears, peaches, mulberries, black and red cherries, and grapes. From these fruits, the Hunzas get all the vitamin C they need, as well as the other nutritional richness of fresh fruit, including energy from the fruit sugars. From the grapes, they also make a light red wine that helps make their simple fare into more of a real "meal". Observe the apricots drying in the sun in the photo to the left.

Jul 21, 2009

Daily Physical Exercise


Another great Hunza health secret concerns the considerable amount of time each day devoted to physical exercise. Most exercise is done outdoors in order to take advantage of the pure mountain air, which in itself has a beneficial effect on health.

Although a large part of their day is spent outdoors, working the fields, the Hunzas do a lot more than that. For one thing, they take regular walks - a 15 or 20 kilometer hike is considered quite normal. Of course they don’t walk that distance every day, but doing so does not require any special effort. You should also keep in mind that hiking along mountain trails is a lot more demanding than walking over flat terrain.

Of course we’re not suggesting that you move to the mountains and become a farmer! You don’t have to change your way of life completely in order to stay healthy and live longer. But one thing the Hunza life-style does prove is that exercise is very important for health.

Walking for an hour each day, something most people can manage, is excellent for both your body and your mind. In fact, walking is the simplest, least costly and most accessible form of exercise there is. And contrary to what you may think, it also provides you with a complete workout. So get in step with the Hunzas and start walking

Jul 14, 2009

Burusho


Burushaski (Urdu: بروشسکی - burū́šaskī) is a language isolate (that is, not known to be related to any other language of the world).[1] It is spoken by some 87,000 (as of 2000) Burusho people in the Hunza, Nagar, Yasin, and parts of the Gilgit valleys in the Northern Areas in Pakistan. Other names for the language are Kanjut (Kunjoot), Werchikwār, Boorishki, Brushas (Brushias) and Miśa:ski.

Today Burushaski contains numerous loanwords from Urdu (including English and Sanskrit words received via Urdu), and from neighbouring Dardic languages such as Khowar and Shina, as well as a few from Turkic languages and from the neighboring Sino-Tibetan language Balti, but the original vocabulary remains largely intact. The Dardic languages also contain large numbers of loanwords from Burushaski.

There are three divergent dialects, named after the main valleys: Hunza, Nagar, and Yasin (also called Werchikwār). The dialect of Yasin is thought to be the least affected by contact with neighboring languages and is generally less similar to the other two than those are to each other; nevertheless all three dialects are mutually intelligible.

Relationships

No connection has been established between Burushaski and any other language or language family. Several attempts have been made to establish a genealogic relationship between Burushaski and the Caucasic languages,[2] with the Yeniseian languages in a family called Karasuk,[3] or to include Burushaski in the Dené-Caucasian proposal, which includes both Caucasic and Yeniseian.[4][5] An attempt to link Burushaski to the poorly attested Paleo-Balkan languages has also been made.[6] None of these efforts have met with scholarly acceptance. In 2008 Yeniseian was convincingly shown to be related to Na-Dene in a Dene-Yeniseian family,[7] and the evidence does not appear to extend to Burushaski.

Following Berger (1956), the American Heritage dictionaries suggested that the word *abel (apple), the only name for a fruit (tree) reconstructed for Proto-Indo-European, may have been borrowed from a language ancestral to Burushaski. (Today "apple" and "apple tree" are /balt/ in Burushaski.) Others, however, reconstruct the Proto-Indo-European word for "apple (tree)" as *mel-, while yet others don't think Proto-Indo-European had a word for "apple" at all and consider the different words of different Indo-European subgroups to be separate loans from different unidentified non-Indo-European languages.

[edit] Writing system

Usually Burushaski is not written. Occasionally, the Urdu version of the Arabic alphabet is used, but a fixed orthography does not exist. Nasir al-Din Nasir Hunzai has written poetry in Burushaski using the Urdu alphabet.

Tibetan sources record a Bru-śa language of the Gilgit valley, which appears to have been Burushaski. The Bru-śa are credited with bringing the Bön religion to the Zhangzhung in Tibet and Central Asia, and their script is alleged to have been the ancestor of the Tibetan alphabet. Thus Burushaski may once have been a significant literary language. However, no Bru-śa manuscripts are known to have survived.[8]

Linguists working on Burushaski use various makeshift transcriptions based on the Latin alphabet, most commonly that by Berger (see below), in their publications. The Burushaski Research Academy, in cooperation with Karachi University, has recently published the first volume (A to C̣) of a Burushaski-Urdu Dictionary using this transcription.

[edit] Phonology

Burushaski primarily has five vowels, /i e a o u/. Various contractions result in long vowels; stressed vowels (marked with acute accents in Berger's transcription) tend to be longer and less "open" than unstressed ones ([i e a o u] as opposed to [ɪ ɛ ʌ ɔ ʊ]). Long vowels also occur in loans and in a few onomatopoeic words (Grune 1998). All vowels have nasal counterparts in Hunza (in some expressive words) and in Nager (also in proper names and a few other words).

In addition, Berger (1998) finds the following consonants to be phonemic, shown below in his transcription and in the IPA:
Bilabial Dental Alveolo-
palatal Retroflex Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ ṅ /ŋ/
Plosive aspirated ph /pʰ/1 th /tʰ/ ṭh /ʈʰ/ kh /kʰ/ qh /qʰ/2
plain p /p/ t /t/ ṭ /ʈ/ k /k/ q /q/
voiced b /b/ d /d/ ḍ /ɖ/ g /g/
Affricate aspirated3 ch /t͡sʰ/ ćh /t͡ɕʰ/ c̣h /ʈ͡ʂʰ/
plain c /t͡s/ ć /t͡ɕ/ c̣ /ʈ͡ʂ/
voiced j /d͡ʑ/4 j̣ /ɖ͡ʐ/5
Fricative voiceless s /s/ ś /ɕ/ ṣ /ʂ/ h /h/
voiced z /z/ ġ /ʁ/
Trill r /r/
Approximant l /l/ y [j]6 ỵ /ɻ/7 w [w]6

Notes:

1. Pronunciation varies: [pʰ] ~ [p͡f] ~ [f].
2. Pronunciation varies: [qʰ] ~ [q͡χ] ~ [χ].
3. The Yasin dialect lacks aspirated affricates and uses the plain ones instead.
4. Sometimes pronounced [ʑ].
5. Sometimes pronounced [ʐ].
6. Berger (1998) regards [w] and [j] as allophones of /u/ and /i/ that occur in front of stressed vowels.
7. This phoneme has various pronunciations, all of which are rare sounds cross-linguistically. Descriptions include: "a voiced retroflex sibilant with simultaneous dorso-palatal narrowing" (apparently [ʐʲ]) (Berger 1998); "a fricative r, pronounced with the tongue in the retroflex ('cerebral') position" (apparently [ɻ̝]/[ʐ̞], a sound which also occurs in Standard Mandarin, written r in Pinyin) (Morgenstierne 1945); and "a curious sound whose phonetic realizations vary from a retroflex, spirantized glide to a retroflex velarized spirant" (Anderson forthcoming). In any case, it does not occur in the Yasin dialect, and in Hunza and Nager it does not occur at the beginning of words.

[edit] Grammar

Burushaski is a double-marking language and word order is generally Subject Object Verb.

Nouns in Burushaski are divided into four genders: human masculine, human feminine, countable objects, and uncountable ones (similar to mass nouns). The assignment of a noun to a particular gender is largely predictable. Some words can belong both to the countable and to the uncountable class, producing differences in meaning: for example, when countable, /balt/ means "apple", when uncountable, it means "apple tree". (Grune 1998)

Noun morphology consists of the noun stem, a possessive prefix (mandatory for some nouns, and thus an example of inherent possession), and number and case suffixes. Distinctions in number are singular, plural, indefinite, and grouped. Cases include absolutive, ergative/oblique, genitive, and several locatives; the latter indicate both location and direction and may be compounded.

Burushaski verbs have three basic stems: past tense, present tense, and consecutive. The past stem is the citation form and is also used for imperatives and nominalization; the consecutive stem is similar to a past participle and is used for coordination. Agreement on the verb has both nominative and ergative features: transitive verbs mark both the subject and the object of a clause, while intransitive verbs mark their sole argument as both a subject and an object. Altogether, a verb can take up to four prefixes and six suffixes.

[edit] Nouns

[edit] Noun classes

In Burushaski, there are four noun classes, similar to declensional classes in Indo-European languages, but unlike Indo-European, the nominal classes in Burushaski are associated with four grammatical "genders":

* m > male human beings, gods and spirits
* f > female human beings and spirits
* x > animals, countable nouns
* y > abstract concepts, fluids, uncountable nouns

Below, the abbreviation "h" will stand for the combination of the m- and f-classes, while "hx" will stand for the combination of the m-, f- and x-classes. Nouns in the x-class typically refer to countable, non-human beings or things, for example animals, fruit, stones, eggs, or coins; conversely, nouns in the y-class are as a rule uncountable abstractions or mass nouns, such as rice, fire, water, snow, wool, etc.

However, these rules are not universal - countable objects in the y-class are sometimes encountered, e.g. ha, 'house'. Related words can subtly change their meanings when used in different classes - for example, bayú, when a member of the x-class, means salt in clumps, but when in the y-class, it means powdered salt. Fruit trees are understood collectively and placed in the y-class, but their individual fruits belong to the x-class. Objects made of particular materials can belong to either the x- or the y- class: stone and wood are in the x-class, but metal and leather in the y-class. The article, adjectives, numerals and other attributes must be in agreement with the noun class of their subject.

[edit] Pluralisation

There are two numbers in Burushaski: singular and plural. The singular is unmarked, while the plural is expressed by means of suffix, which vary depending on the class of the noun:

* h-class > possible suffixes: -ting, -aro, -daro, -taro, -tsaro
* h- and x-class > possible suffixes: -o, -išo, -ko, -iko, -juko; -ono, -u; -i, -ai; -ts, -uts, -muts, -umuts; -nts, -ants, -ints, -iants, -ingants, -ents, -onts
* y-class > possible suffixes: -ng, -ang, -ing, -iang; -eng, -ong, -ongo; -ming, -čing, -ičing, -mičing, -ičang (Nagar dialect)

Some nouns admit two or three different prefixes, while others have no distinctive suffix, and occur only in the plural, e.g. bras 'rice', gur 'wheat', bishké, 'fur', (cf. plurale tantum). On the other hand, there are also nouns which have identical forms in the singular and plural, e.g. hagúr 'hors(es)'. Adjectives have a unique plural suffex, whose form depends on the class of the noun they modify, e.g. burúm 'white' gives the x-class plural burum-išo and the y-class plural burúm-ing.

Examples of pluralisation in Burushaski:

* wazíir (m), pl. wazíirting 'vizier, minister'
* hir (m), pl. hirí 'man' (stress shifts)
* gus (f), pl. gushíngants 'woman' (stress shifts)
* dasín (f), pl. dasíwants 'girl', 'unmarried woman'
* huk (x), pl. hukái 'dog'
* tilí (x), pl. tilí 'walnut'
* tilí (y), pl. tiléng 'walnut tree'

[edit] Declension

Burushaski is an ergative language. It has five primary cases.
Case Suffix Function
Absolutive unmarked The subject of intransitive verbs and the object of transitive ones.
Ergative -e The subject of transitive verbs.
Oblique -e; -mo (f) Genitive; the basis of secondary case endings
Dative -ar, -r Dative, allative.
Ablative -um, -m, -mo Indicates separation (e.g. 'from where?')

The case suffixes are appended to the plural suffix, e.g. Huséiniukutse, 'the people of Hussein' (ergative plural). The genitive ending is irregular, /mo/, for singular f-class nouns, but /-e/ in all others (identical to the ergative ending). The dative ending, /-ar/, /-r/ is attached to the genitive ending for singular f-class nouns, but to the stem for all others. Examples:

* hir-e 'the man's', gus-mo 'the woman's' (gen.)
* hir-ar 'to the man', gus-mu-r 'to the woman' (dat.)

The genitive is placed before the thing possessed: Hunzue tham, 'the Emir of Hunza.'

The endings of the secondary cases are formed from a secondary case suffix (or infix) and one of the primary endings /-e/, /-ar/ or /-um/. These endings are directional, /-e/ being locative (answering 'where?'), /-ar/ being terminative (answering 'where to?'), and /-um/ being ablative (answering 'where from?'). The infixes, and their basic meanings, are as follows:

Jul 3, 2009

Baltit Fort


Baltit Fort - Baltit Fort or Balti Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.

In former times survival of the feudal regimes of Hunza was ensured by the impressive Baltit fort, that sit on top of Karimabad. The foundations of the fort are said to date back around 700 years, but there have been rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the Thum married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time.

The Mirs of Hunza abandoned the fort in 1945, and moved to a new palace down the hill. The fort started to decay and there was concern that it might possibly fall into ruin. Following a survey by the Royal Geographical Society of London, a restoration programme was initiated and supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme. The programme was completed in 1996 and the fort is now a museum run by the Baltit Heritage Trust.

Historical Background

Baltit Fort In olden times a number of small independent states existed in the history of Northern Areas of Pakistan. Among them Hunza and Nager were the traditional rival states, situated on opposite sides of the Hunza (kanjut) river. The rulers of these two states, known as Thámo / Mirs (Thάm=S), built various strongholds to express their power. According to historical sources (Ref: Tarikh-e-Ehd Atiiq Riyasat Hunza by Haji Qudrarullah Baig, Pub: S.T.Printers Rawalpindi 1980 Pakistan), the Hunza rulers initially resided in the Altit Fort, but later as a result of a conflict between the two sons of the ruler Sultan, Shah Abbas (Shάboos) and Ali Khan (Aliqhάn), Shaboos shifted to the Baltit Fort, making it the capital seat of Hunza. The power struggle between the two brothers eventually resulted in the death of younger one, and so Baltit Fort further established itself as the prime seat of power in the Hunza state.

The rich beauty of Baltit Fort can be traced to over seven hundred 700 years ago. Ayasho II, Tham / Mir of Hunza in the early 15th fifteenth century married Princess Shah Khatoon (Sha Qhatun) from Baltistan (In Moghul history Baltistan is called Tibet Khurd mean, little Tibet), and was the first to modify the face of Altit and, subsequently Baltit Fort. Baltistan meaning land of Balti people had a very strong cultural and ethnical relation with the Ladakh territory of India then. Consequently, the structure of Baltit Fort was influenced by the Ladakhi / Tibetan architecture, with some resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Then additions, renovations and changes to the building were being made through the centuries by the long line of rulers of the Hunza that followed.

iew of the Hunza Valley from Baltit FortA veritable treasure house for ancient forts, the Northern Areas of Pakistan lost most of its glorious built heritage around the 19th century as a result of the destructive attacks by the Maharaja of Kashmir. However, in this regard people of Hunza were exceptionally fortunate to successfully defend against the invasions of Maharaja Kashmir four times. One of the biggest changes in the structure of Baltit Fort came with the invasion of the British in December 1891. Tham Mir Safdarali Khan, ruler of Hunza his wazir Dadu (Thara Baig III), fled to Kashgar (China) for political asylum with their fellows and families. With the conquest of Hunza and Nager states by the British forces in December 1891, the fortified wall and watch towers of the old Baltit village and watch towers of the Baltit Fort on its north-western end were also demolished as desired by the British authorities. The British installed his younger brother Tham Mir Sir Muhammad Nazim Khan K.C.I.E, as the ruler of Hunza state in September 1892.

During his reign, Tham / Mir Nazeem Khan made several major alterations to the Baltit Fort. He demolished a number of rooms of third floor and added a few rooms in the British colonial style on the front elevation, using lime wash and colour glass panel windows. The Baltit Fort remained officially inhabited until 1945, when the last ruler of Hunza, Mir Muhammad Jmamal Khan, moved to a new palace further down the hill, where the present Mir of Hunza Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan (Current Chief Executive of Northern Areas) and his family are residing.

With no proper authority entrusted to care for it, the Fort was exposed to the ravages of time and over the years its structure weakened and began to deteriorate. His Highness Aga Khan IV initiated the restoration efforts for Baltit Fort in 1990, when Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan the son of last ruler of Hunza, Tham / Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan and his family generously donated the Fort to the Baltit Heritage Trust, a public charity formed for the explicit purpose of owning and maintaining the Fort. The restoration undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva in association with the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (Pakistan), took six years to complete. The project was supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture as the main donor through its Historic Cities Support Programme, as well as by the Getty Grant Program (USA), NORAD (Norway) and the French Government.
The restored Fort, resplendent in its regal glory was inaugurated on September 29, 1996 in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan IV and the president of Pakistan Farooq Ahmad Khan Laghari. It is now operated and maintained by the Baltit Heritage Trust and is open to visitors. Preservation at its best, the Baltit Fort serves as a perfect example of culture restored and preserved for the future generations of the mountain people.

Geography

Geography

The Hunza is situated at an elevation of 2,438 metres (7,999 feet). For many centuries, Hunza has provided the quickest access to Swat and Gandhara for a person travelling on foot. The route was impassable to baggage animals; only human porters could get through, and then only with permission from the locals.

Karakoram Highway, PakistanHunza was easily defended as the paths were often less than half a metre (about 18") wide. The high mountain paths often crossed bare cliff faces on logs wedged into cracks in the cliff, with stones balanced on top. They were also constantly exposed to regular damage from weather and falling rocks. These were the much feared "hanging passageways" of the early Chinese histories that terrified all, including several famous Chinese Buddhist monks such as Xuanzang.