Kalash: “Most of us are of Greek Origin through Alexander’s soldiers”

 

2614320597 Kalash: Most of us are of Greek Origin through Alexanders soldiers

A Kalash Woman. Kalash themselves admit their Greek roots (ATIQ-UR-REHMAN / Gulf News)

Kalash miss no chance to demonstrate their Greek Origin even today.  “Some customs, rituals and traditions do match with Greeks and this leads us to the conclusion that most of us are of Greek origin“, says Rehmat Deen, a Kalash school teacher in the recent Report of GulfNews on the forgotten tribe of Kalash. Rehmat also held firm to the view that some descendants of Alexander from Macedonia came to the region from Nooristan in Afghanistan.

Durdana, a 25-year-old woman with big blue eyes is well known in the Kalash community and has also been to Athens on a trip arranged by the Greek government. She insists the tribe’s forefathers were from Greece.

I went to Greece and our blood samples and DNAs also matched their blood when they conducted tests on us. Most of our community also believe that some of Alexander’s soldiers stayed back and settled in Chitral,” said Durdana, who works as an assistant at the Kalash museum set up by the government.

Khan, another member of Kalash added, “All I am trying [to do] is to keep our unique culture alive as we are seriously threatened with extinction if our people keep on embracing Islam.”

Kalash seem to feel threatened by the outside world, while their number is getting decreased. There are less than 4,000 Kalash left. They were 3,554 to be precise when the last count was done in 2009. Several historians have written about the Kalash and most of them have linked them to descendants of the Greek army of Alexander the Great since many of their rituals, customs and traditions are indicative of the way of life of the ancient Greeks.



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