Showing posts with label Anthropology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anthropology. Show all posts

Wednesday 21 February 2018


Northern Pakistan boasts a rich variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Much has been learned about the sociolinguistic situation of this part of the world through recent research, such as the Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan (O’Leary 1992). Cultural societies in various language communities are supporting mother-tongue literacy and production of vernacular literature as a means of preserving the rich ethnic heritage of this area.

 The Punjabi dialect chain in the Indo-Aryan language family includes millions of speakers in northern Pakistan. This is one area where the sociolinguistic situation has not been investigated. Choosing a well-respected and widely understood dialect for development of printed and oral materials is an important factor in literacy and literature development. Knowledge about language vitality and domains of use is important for language planners who make decisions about future education and training.

Pahari, which means “mountainous,” is primarily spoken in the Murree and Kotli Sattian tehsils of the Rawalpindi District in northern Pakistan. The Murree dialect of Pahari ends at the Jhelum River, but another dialect of the same language, also called Pahari as well as Chibhali, extends into Azad Kashmir. As one travels from Murree to Abbottabad, one passes through a transitional region between Ayubia and Nathiagali, where the language gradually changes from Pahari to Hindko. 

Pothwari is spoken in the plateau south of the Pahari dialect area. Its southern border is formed by the Salt Range; from there the area runs northward to Rawalpindi and eastward to the Jhelum River. As one travels from Rawalpindi to Murree, the language transitions from Pothwari to Pahari around Bharakao, approximately where the Murree Hills begin. Mirpuri is spoken in the district of Mirpur in Azad Kashmir. People who live in this area refer to their language sometimes as Mirpuri but also as Pahari. Hundreds of thousands of those living in this district have immigrated to the UK and other countries (Lothers and Lothers 2003).

Michael Lothers and Laura Lothers published a survey report in 2010, comprised of 262 pages. This report gives a snapshot of the Pahari-Pothwari language complex. It addresses questions of dialect versus language and the number of dialects through synchronic, descriptive means rather than a historical, phonological comparison. The survey team used oral interviews, questionnaires, wordlists, comprehension testing, and our own observation from the two and a half years we lived in Murree, Pakistan.
The Pahari-Pothwari language complex includes three major but mutually intelligible dialects: Pahari, Pothwari and Mirpuri. Those speaking the latter, Mirpuri, also refer to their language as Pahari.


Sunday 12 November 2017


Khalabat is a hilly village of Murree hills in Rawalpindi district, Pakistan. Khalabat is 23 miles south-east of Murree town - a popular hill station, 31 miles north-east of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. It is in the lower Himalayan hills and this area has cold, snowy winters, relatively cool summer with drastically escalated rain. During monsoon village top mostly remains covered by fog, monsoon starts in July and continues til September.
Maize is the traditional crop of the area, land holdings are small due to the hilly terrain and production is hardly sufficient for subsistence. Apple, apricot, pear, plum, walnut, cherry, raspberry, fig and pine nuts are main fruit of Khalabat.
The village has forest land as well as cultivated land. Part of the forest is kept by the government ; some of it, called guzara, is for community use. The forest is covered by thick blue pine trees. The top peak of the village is at altitude of 7,417 ft which is known as "Kullah", and the distance between this peak and Patriata top is just 300 meters, Patriata top is the highest point of the Murree hills which consequently the highest point of the Punjab as well.
There is a dense blue pines forest between Khalabat and Patriata, which is home to different wild animals like leopard, bear, monkey, fox and various species of pheasant and rabbit.
Forest is full of wilderness and it has large number of culinary and medicinal herbs.
The third type of land is used for house construction. Due to the need for terraces, houses and fields are small and homes are scattered.
There are four Mosques in village including Central Jammah Mosque. There is one primary school for boys and one for girls, one private high school for boys and girls and a college for girls. The literacy rate of Khalabat is 91.5%.
The village consists of five parts. The villagers are of different ethnic groups and each occupies a specific area of the village.
The largest ethnic group in the village consists of Satti who are also the second largest tribe in the Murree Hills. There are four tribes inhabiting the Murree hills: Abbasi, Satti, Dhanial and Kethwal. Khalabat is a Satti village situated in Satti area. In this village the first migrants were three Satti brothers from a neighboring village to the south east of Khalabat. Dhanials came later, the few households of Kethwals are the latest arrivals in the village.
Ethnic group Percentage in Khalabat
Satti 66%
Dhanial 24%
Kethwal 9%
others 1%

                                                                By : Anjum Satti


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