Balochi Culture (Culture)

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One of the major provinces of Pakistan is Balochistan and it covers the largest area in Pakistan. In Balochistan cultural landscape shows different cultural groups. In Balochistan there are three main families named as Pashtoon, Baloch and Brahvi and they have different languages. But still in their literature, moral orders, beliefs and customs they have similarity, but religion is the major bonding factor between them which gives the base for common social orders and unity. People in Balochistan are popular as they consider guests are the blessings of God and famous for their hospitability. In all relations Balochi are sincere and faithful and there is no respect and place for the unfaithful people. Dressing of the Pashtoon, Balochis and Brahvi is very much similar having very little dissimilarities. Men dressing is consists of knee long shirt and loose shalwar and for women the dress consists of a usual shirt having a large pocket in the front. [1] Culture of Balochistan

Title Description
Details
Languages: Balochi
In Urdu: بلوچی ثقافت
Province: Balochistan
Sports: Chauk, Ji, Wrestling, Horse Racing, Shooting and Hunting Pastimes, Card games and Gambling
Food: Wheat, Millet, Rice, Sajji, Milk, Butter and vegetables
Dance: Dochaap, Lewa, Latti and Hambo
Musical Instrument: Flute, Locally called Nal, Tamboora and Soroz,
Wedding Songs: Nazenk and Salonk
Festivals: Eid-ul-Azha and Eid-ul-Fiter, Sibi festival, Handicrafts Stalls, Cattle Shows, Buzkashi
Dress: Men dress Turban, Kamez Loose shalwar and Females dress consists of a shirt having a big pocket and embroidery and embedded round mirror work in front
Tribes: Rind, Lashar, Marri, Jamot, Ahmedzai, Bugti, Domki, Magsi, Khosa, Rakhashani, Dashti, Umrani, Nosherwani, Gichki, Buledi, Sanjarani, Khidai,
Culture: Traditions, Arts and Crafts
Alternate Names: Baloch, Balochi
Pronunciation: bal-OOCH-i
Location: Pakistan (Province of Baluchistan)
Population: 12.34 million
Singers: Saleem Ameen, Misk en Sameen Muslim Hammal, Waris Bizenjo
Poetry: Gul Khan Naseer, Gumaan Ishaq Khamosh [Dapgaal], Aap Rang Manzoor Bismil [Dapgaal], Bya oh Sargwat Hair oh Bangaani-Muneer Momin, Salam Dastonk Mulla Fazul
Website: http://www.balochistan.gov.pk/


History

Culture of Baluchistan

Culture of Baluchistan

Balochistan has an eventful history dating back to the Stone Age. Recent research and archaeological excavations at Mehrgarh have revealed 9000 years old civilization. Human settlement pattern at Mehrgarh was unparalleled and unique, inaugurating the distinct shift from a hunting gathering to a settled life for the first time in human history. Domestication of animals, cultivation of plants, and perfume export were modern features of Mehrgarh civilization. Alexander the great passed through Balochistan in 325 B. C. After his death Balochistan came under the rule of Selecus Nicator whose descendents lost power to the Graeco-Bactrians. The province has also witnessed the march of a number of great conquerors and warriors such as Macedonians, Arabs, Ghaznavies, Mangols and Mughals in the past.

Muslim Rule Began

The Muslim rule began in 712 A.D. The parts of Balochistan which were ruled by the Arabs were called by them Turan (Jhallawan area) having capital at Khuzdar and Nudha or Buddha (Kachhi). In the 11th century, Balochistan fell into the hands of Nasir-ud-din Subuktagin marking the beginning of Ghaznivid dynasty. Ghorids succeeded the Ghaznivids. In 1219, it was annexed to the dominion of Sultan Mohammad Khan of Khwarizm (Khiva). The year 1223 saw the danger of the Yellow Peril, the Mongols, in the south of Mekran. In the 1595 it became a part of the Mughal Empire and later Nadir Shah of Persia captured it . Ahmed Shah Durrani of Afghanistan was successful to establish his rule in 1747. The Khanate of Kalat emerged in 1758 when Nasir Khan-I revolted against the Afghans.

Chief Commissioner of Balochistan

Baloch Culture Day

Baloch Culture Day

The Muslim rule was followed by the British rule in 1839. Two Afghan wars between 1839 and 1879 helped the British to consolidate their power in Balochistan. Sir Robert Sandeman, who later became the Chief Commissioner of Balochistan, was the architect of British strategy in the region and he negotiated a number of treaties with the Khan of Kalat during 1854 to 1901. Through these treaties the British Government gained control over the leased territory of Chaghi, Bolan Pass, Quetta and other areas. The princely states of Mekran, Kharan, Lasbela and a little later Kalat state acceded to Pakistan after it came into being in 1947. In 1955, Balochistan was merged into one unit of West Pakistan. After the dissolution of one-Unit, Balochistan emerged as one of the four new provinces of Pakistan.[2] History

Traditions

Traditions

Traditions

Baluch differ from their neighbors not only in their language, literature, religion, and feelings, but also in their traditions and habits. Traditions play an important role in the making of a nation. Arab Islam failed to assimilate the Persians into Arab traditions. Iranians fought and resisted Arab domination and though they converted to Islam, they formed a new sect (Shia) in Islam. They maintained their separate language, literature and traditions. Turks and Afghans also refused the domination and influence of Iranian Islam. The same is true of the Baluch, who maintain their own traditions and customs, which are different from Punjabi, Sindhi, Iranian, and Afghan Muslims.

Rational Traditions of the Baloch

Pakistan's Baloch Culture

Pakistan's Baloch Culture

When we compare the rational traditions of the Baluch to those of his neighbors, we see that though they are Muslims, they wear a different dress, eat different food, etc. The Baluch prefer to eat meat without chilies, while the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent spice their food with these peppers. The
 special and common diet of the Baluch is “Sajji” (grilled meat on the fire),
which is not partaken of by Indo-Pak Muslims. In fact, the Muslim Punjabis’ and Sindhis’ way of life has more in common with that of the Hindu Indians, with the exception of religion. In the following paragraphs we will examine the major Baluch traditions, which differ from those of neighboring Muslim nations or ethnic groups.

People

Balochi Culture

Balochi Culture

A number of tribes constitute to make people of Balochistan. Three major tribes are Baloch (Baloch & Brahvi) and Pashtoon. The Balochi speaking tribes include Rind, Lashar, Marri, Jamot, Ahmedzai, Bugti Domki, Magsi, Kenazai, Khosa, Rakhashani, Dashti, Umrani, Nosherwani, Gichki, Buledi, Notazai, Sanjarani, Meerwani, Zahrozai, langove, kenazai and Khidai. Each tribe is further sub-divided into various branches. The tribal chief is called Sardar while head of sub-tribe is known as Malik, Takari or Mir. Sardars and Maliks are members of district and other local Jirgas according to their status. The Baloch, believed to have originally come from Arabia or Asia minor, can be divided in to two branches: the Sulemani and Mekrani as distinct from the Brahvis who mostly concentrate in central Balochistan. Among the eighteen major Baloch tribes, Bugtis and Marris are the principal ones who are settled in the buttresses of the Sulemania. The Talpur of Sind aIso claim their Baloch origin. Brahvi speaking tribe include Raisani, Shahwani, Sumulani, Sarparrah, Bangulzai, Mohammad Shahi, Lehri, Bezenjo, Mohammad Hasni, Zehri , Sarparrah, Mengal, Kurd,Sasoli, Satakzai, Lango, Rodeni, Kalmati, Jattak, Yagazehi and Qambarani , most of these tribes are bi-lingual and are quite fluent both in the Balochi and Brahvi Languages. The Pashtoon tribes include Kakar, Ghilzai Tareen, Mandokhel , Sherani, Luni, Kasi and Achakzai.[3] People

Languages

Languages

Languages

Balochistan, despite its scarce population, has an uncommon racial and tribal diversity. Most of the people in the cities and towns understand and speak more than two languages. In adddition to Balochi, Pashtoo and Brahvi, the majority of the population understand and speak Urdu, the national language. In Kachhi and Sibi districts, people speak Seraiki and Sindhi. Quetta city, the confluence point of all linguistic groups accommodates not only Urdu, Balochi, Pashtoo, Brahvi and Sindhi speaking people but Darri and Persian speaking ones as well. Dehwar tribe of Sarawan sub-division in Kalat, also speaks a language derived from Persian.

Balochi Culture

Traditional Baloch

Traditional Baloch

Baloch Culture Day

Baloch Culture Day

Baloch culture is opposite to the general perception about it. Though Balochistan is an area of barren lands, deserts and mountains, the Baloch culture is full of traditions, arts and crafts. Balochi embroidery is one of the most popular arts and crafts which are done by the females. Baluchistan is also known for its tribes and festivals. Another distinct feature of Baloch culture is the storytelling tradition.  Poets and story tellers are highly respected in Baloch culture.

Religion

The Baluch i are Muslim, mostly Sunni, but also including members of the Zikr i sect. Zikr i s (pronounced "ZIG-ris" in Baluch i) are estimated to number over 750,000. They live mostly in southern Pakistan. They are followers of a fifteenth-century mahdi, an Islamic messiah, called Nur Pak (Pure Light).The Baluch i do not support the idea of a religious nation that underlies national policies put in place by Pakistani governments in the 1990s.[4]  Religion 

Tribes

The people belonging to Baloch tribe speak balochi language. Balochi language is an ancient language. Its roots are traced back to Iranian branch of Indo-European family.  It has resemblance with languages such as Sansikrat, Avesta, Old Persian and Phalavi, which now a days are said to be as dead languages. This tribe is further divided in to
  • Rind
  • Lashar
  • Marri
  • Jamot
  • Ahmedzai
  • Bugti
  • domki
  • Magsi
  • Khosa
  • Rakhashani
  • Dashti Umrani
  • Nosherwani
  • Gichki
  • Buledi
  • Sanjarani
  • Khidai
The tribe has a head known as sarda, the sub divided tribes also have heads known as Malik or Takarior Mir. These tribe heads are members of districts and local Jirgas.

Divisions

As of 2008 it was estimated that there were between eight and nine million Baloch people living in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. They were subdivided between over 130 tribes. Some estimates put the figure at over 150 tribes, though estimates vary depending on how subtribes are counted. The tribes, known as taman, are led by a tribal chief, the tumandar. Subtribes, known as paras, are led by a muquaddam.

Five Baloch Tribes Derive

Five Baloch tribes derive their eponymous names from Khan's children. Many, if not all, Baloch tribes can be categorized as either Rind or Lashari based on their actual descent or historical tribal allegiances that developed into cross-generational relationships.This basic division was accentuated by a war lasting 30 years between the Rind and Lashari tribes in the 15th century.

Marriages

In Baloch culture marriages are different and unique than in the other provinces of the country. The marriages are according to Islamic principles in presence of a Mullana along with the presence of witnesses. Every member of the family takes part in the marriage; they express their joy and happiness by following the traditions of their culture. Usually the marriages are done in young ages (teenage) but are arranged in early childhood or at birth. There is a very low or negligible ratio of love marriages as this is not appreciated across the culture in all tribes. Usually the marriages take place within tribes but at times intra tribal marriages are also conducted. Divorce rate is very low in the Baluchistan as compared to the other provinces of Pakistan because they consider is a matter of disrespect for the family and honor of the tribe. Different rituals are celebrated in different tribes. In some tribes there is a tradition of takings Valve, it is a sum of money paid by the groom to the family of the bride.

Dressing

Like all the other provinces of Pakistan the national dress shalwar kameez with distinct additions and modifications are worn in Baloch culture. The people dress up very pleasingly and in the same way in all the tribes. Turban is the common headwear of Bloch men along with wide loose shalwar along with knee-long shirts. Females dress consists of a shirt having a big pocket and embroidery and embedded round mirror work in front. A big Dupatta/ Chaddar is taken to cover the head and shoulders.

Festivals

Festival Culture Dance

Festival Culture Dance

Both religious and social festivals are celebrated by Baloch people. The religious festivals are same as across the country like Eid-ul-Azha and Eid-ul-Fiter. These religious festivals are celebrated by decorating houses wearing new dresses cooking special dishes. Baloch culture is full of many social festivals like Sibi festival which has folk music performance, cultural dances, handicrafts stalls, cattle shows and a number of other entertaining activities showing the colorful side of Baloch people. Buzkashi is another festival showing rather enhancing the bravery tactfulness and bravery of Baloch people. It is celebrated on horse-back by two teams that use their skills to snatch a goat from the each other.

Music

Balochi Culture Music

Balochi Culture Music

Baloch culture is rich in folk music dances and songs. Famous wedding songs of Baloch culture are Nazenk and Salonk. The instruments used are mainly a flute, locally called Nal, Tamboora and Soroz. A common Baloch folk dance is known as Dochaap. Women also move in a circle clapping their hands on certain occasions. Other dances include the Lewa, Latti and Hambo.

Food

Balochi Food

Balochi Food

Usually Baloch people have meals in morning and evening. Men and women eat separately. Wheat, millet and rice are part of the Baloch meal. Meat is also an important part; Sajji is the favorite dish of most people. Sajji is the food eaten with knife other than that Baloch people usually eat with hands. Milk, butter and vegetables are also part of Baloch cuisine.

Sports

Balochi Culture Sports

Balochi Culture Sports

Popular games include chauk, and Ji. Also games like wrestling, horse racing, shooting and hunting pastimes among the wealthier people of tribes. Card games and gambling are also popular among groups of some tribes.[5] Balochi Culture

Major Holidays

Government School Event

Government School Event

The Baluch i observe the festivals of Eid al-Fitr , which marks the end of Ramadan , and Eid al-Adha , the Feast of Sacrifice that falls at the end of the Islamic year. On these occasions, people put on clean clothes and begin the day with prayer. The rest of the holiday is spent in gambling, horseracing, and general merrymaking.Eid al-Adha is celebrated with the sacrifice of goats and sheep. The meat is distributed among relatives, friends, and the poor. Alms (donations) are given to beggars. The tenth day of the month of Muharram is observed by visits to the graves of relatives, followed by prayers and the giving of alms to the poor. In general, the Baluch i pay less attention to celebrating festivals than do other Muslim peoples in South Asia.[6] Major Holidays 

Relationship

Baloch Good Relationship

Baloch Good Relationship

When Baluchi greet each other, they normally shake hands. However, if an ordinary tribesperson meets a religious leader, the tribesperson reverently touches the leader's feet. A meeting usually begins with inquiries after health (durahi) and then goes on to an exchange of news (hal). It is considered the height of rudeness not to ask for news from the person one is meeting. The Baluch i are guided in their daily lives and social relations by a code of conduct known as Baluchmayar, or "the Baluch i way." A Baluch i is expected to be generous in hospitality to guests, offer refuge to people who seek protection, and be honest in dealings with others. A Baluch i man must be merciful to women and refrain from killing a man who has found sanctuary in the shrine of a pir (Sufi saint). He is also expected to defend his honor (izzat) and the honor of the women in his family, and his other relatives.

Living Condition

Baluchi nomads live in tents (gidam) made of palm matting stretched on poles. A coarse goat-hair carpet forms the floor of the tent. There are permanent settlements to live in during the summer months. More recently, houses have been built of sundried brick. They are scattered along narrow, winding village lanes. Both old and newer houses have an open courtyard in front, enclosed by a low mud wall or palm fence.

Cultural Heritage

Balochi Culture Event

Balochi Culture Event

The Baluch i have a rich tradition of storytelling. Poets and storytellers are traditionally held in high respect. The oral tradition conveys the theme of Baluchmayar, the Baluch i code of honor. Among the more popular of these poems recount the legendary exploits of Mir Chakur, a sixteenth-century Baluch i warrior and chieftain of the Rind tribe.Music plays a role in all ceremonies except death rituals. Dancing accompanies many events, such as weddings and other festivals. Men's dances reflect the warrior traditions of the Baluch i. The drum, the lute, and the shepherd's flute are the most common instruments for accompanying the singing and dancing.[7]  Cultural Heritage 

Employment

The traditional economy of the Baluch i combines cereal (grain) farming and the seminomadic herding of sheep, goats, and cattle. Some Baluch i communities along the coast make a living from fishing. Baluch i think of formal trade and business as unworthy occupations.[8]  Employment 

Crafts and Hobbies

Pakistan Baloch Culture

Pakistan Baloch Culture

The Baluch i are not known for their folk art or crafts. However, the women are skilled at embroidery and decorate their clothes with elaborate geometric and abstract designs. They make felt from sheep's wool, and also weave rugs for their own use and for sale.[9]  Crafts and Hobbies 

Distinct Identity

Distinct Identity

Distinct Identity

Having been free of foreign invasion and influence has allowed Balochi culture to form its own unique identity. Their dress code and traditions are culturally very distinct from other communities in both Iran and Pakistan where they reside.

Khan of Baloch

Khan of Baloach

Khan of Baloach

Although the Balochi tribes have lived in Baluchistan region for hundreds of years, it wasn’t until early 17th century that the various tribes first experienced some unity under the leadership of the tribal leader, Mir Hasan, who styled himself as the “Khan of Baloch”. This would later pave way for the establishment of the Khanate of Kalat under Mir Ahmad Khan Qambrani Baloch, which would survive until 1955 when it was ceded to Pakistan.[10]  Khan of Baloch 

District

Districts

Districts

Balochi Culture Day

Culture

Culture

Baloch Culture Day was observed across Balochistan including Gwadar, Panjgur, Kharan, Chagai, Dalbandin, Nushki, Kalat, Khuzdar, Mastung, Bolan, Sibi, Nasirabad, Jaffarabad and other respective areas.[11]  Balochi Culture Day  Celebrations were also held at Quetta Press Club, Officer Club and Balochistan University.Various shows including musical programmes are being organised in respective areas of Balochistan.Various processions of youth, students and people from all walks of life would be taken out from various parts of the provincial with distinctive Balochi dress, turban and embroided dress.

Four-day Sibi Mela Begins

Baloch Culture Sibi Mela

Baloch Culture Sibi Mela

The Sibi Mela (festival) began with fanfare and pomp and show in Balochistan’s historical district of Sibi .The annual fair in Sibi is certainly a factual reflection of ancient cultures of the province and people living here for centuries. This event has been helpful to create harmony, national cohesion and love among people of the province and country at large on one side, while on the other side, it has also been financially beneficial in promoting the business of livestock and agriculture.The four-day Sibi Mela from March 2-5 started at Sardar Chakar Khan Stadium Sibi. Balochistan Minister for Agriculture Sardar Aslam Bizenjo was the chief guest of the opening event.

Demonstrated Flower Show and the Bands Party in Sibi Mela

Baluchistan Times

Baluchistan Times

The students of different schools of Sibi demonstrated flower show and the bands party of FC, Pak Army and BRP displayed stunning performance at the opening ceremony. The National Anthem was played and animals’ exhibition enthralled the spectators.

Addressing the Auspicious Ceremony

Addressing the auspicious ceremony, the minister for agriculture said that the festival was a significant event in the province and people eagerly waited for that.He said the festival portrayed quite true picture of Balochistan culture , besides giving boost to economic activities. Sardar Bizenjo added that around 80 per cent livelihood of Balochistan populace was coming from livestock and this festival brought home a stream of cattle owners for animals’ auctions. The minister also applauded various programmes that were presented.

Education Department

Balochi Culture Celebrations

Balochi Culture Celebrations

The education department had arranged a mina bazaar at Public Park Sibi in collaboration with district administration wherein all girls’ schools of the city had set up stalls of various traditional dishes.

Stringent Security

In view of recent terror strikes in the country, the Balochistan government had taken stringent security measures for festival and Frontier Corps and police personnel were deployed on key locations of the city to foil any untoward happening. Provincial ministers, MPAs and other high ups were present at the opening ceremony of the Sibi Mela.

Scheduled Event

The festival was earlier scheduled to begin on Feb 23-27 but the suicide attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine at Sehwan Sharif made the Balochistan government to postpone it at the eleventh hour to show solidarity with the victim families of terror strikes. This infuriated the farmers and cattle owners and they also held a shutter down strike in Sibi to express displeasure over the decision.