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A Journey Through a New and Breathtaking World by Mohd Shafi Sagar

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Dal kahin an amizing system of dard sheen peoples
    The significance of the  Daal   ( kaahin ) in the Shina-Dardic society  A journey through a new and breathtaking world    Mohammad Shafi Sagar This Article is about the custom of Shin Dard people belonging to Drass and adjoining areas. It is a part of the book titled “SHINA LOAK ADAB” (  ( کل   ش د  by Mohammad Shafi Sagar where  he had collected several ancient songs and translate them in urdu. This English translation includes only one article of the book, presented by the author in an international conference of International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) and translated in English and German by Rainer Kimmig and Bettina Zeisler. Contacts 9419399487, 9622221748 E mail  1 The Shina -speaking Dards live in several regions of Pakistan and India. Many authors have written about the Dards. If we talk about the Dards living in Ladakh, then we think of the Dards of Dah-Hanu or Darckiks-Garkoon. The mental horizon even of local authors does not reach further than up to these places. However, there are also Dards in Dras, who have, until now, escaped the attention of the researchers. With respect to the Dards of Dras, each author is content to state that they converted to Islam and abandoned their old customs. But the truth is that many old customs have remained alive in Dras. The people of Dras are perhaps themselves responsible for this neglect. It is possible that they did not cooperate with the researchers. However, if we get to know this local culture and tradition, then we experience a journey through a new and breath-taking world, which could be a world of dreams, if not our real world. The Shina-Dards of Dras believed in a group of invisible beings ( makhlooq ), which would always be of great benefit for the people, which would help them and would have pity with them. The people had great respect for these very special beings. The local Dards believed that if one satisfied them, then one would be protected against any kind of mishap and suffering. It would  be wrong to assume that the Dards of Dras had venerated a specific being; they rather believed that every region had its own lord. If they took care that this lord was satisfied, the latter would not cause any damage to them. This particular lord is also known under the name  Raachii  or  Raachoo . And if in those days the Shina people, being at an unknown place, felt fear, they recited a few special words and so overcame their fear. These particular words were: daadii hanutu gaa, daado hanutu gaa, Raachoo bo, pyalo bo.   „Whether you are a man or a woman,  protect me, become my protector!‟ If one  takes a closer look at this custom, then the Shina  people wanted that the respective owners ( maalik  ) of the land, which they also called  sabdag  , did not harm them. Mohammad Amin Pandit writes in his book  A Short History of Kashmir   that the ancient Hindus believed that each spring had its own lord. Therefore, it is possible that the old religion of the people of Dras corresponded to the old Hindu religion. The Shina people living in Dras knew of several invisible lords of the country and of the house. And so, they also transmitted their names, such as Buroong-Chiring, Abelii, Hakiila, Lootoolma, Rilo, etc. Hundreds of stories about their rage and their dangerous deeds have been transmitted orally until now. For example, one day a man came to place whose spirit-lady was Abelii. As soon as she saw the stranger coming towards her, she seized him and fastened him to the beam of the roof. But the strange thing was that these invisible lords were always friendly to those who really belonged to the place and did not harm them. Nevertheless, even the people who really belonged to the place had to venerate the invisible lords and special food was put down in the room of the goat and sheep. One also had to utter prayers, which the local people called boyee  Furthermore, once a year a sheep had to be offered to the  sabdag  , the meat of which was distributed among the family members. No stranger was allowed to eat from this meat.  2 Apart from these, there was another invisible species, who grazed sheep and goats. These beings were called Yas  ( Yash ). The Yash resembled the Djinns. They had one eye in the middle of the forehead. This species was also kind to the people and helped them. Sometimes, the sheep and goats of the Yash met with those of the people and as a result, the property of the people increased. Dr. Leitner has included in his book about the Yash of Dardistan some stories of the Astoor of Gilgit. Similarly, one hears a lot of such stories about the Yash in Dras. Among the Yash, there are a few who have an evil nature. These could even cause harm to the people. There is a story about one of these: One man made friends with a Yash. The Yash told him that he would help him with the cutting of the grass. But the man should stay with his family in his house until the grass would be cut. Nobody should have a look. The man agreed and told his family not to look outside and to stay in the house. A  s they heard a terrible noise outside, the man’s wife could not bear it any longer and peeped out of the window. And what does she see? A large group of Yash are cutting the grass. But in the same moment as the woman saw them, they disappeared  . Another story, published by Dr. Leitner in his book tells how a man was invited to the wedding of a Yash. There he observed, as the bride took leave, how the bride mother sang a very beautiful song in the Shina language. Goom baghe de Badaelee khatooni goom baghe de ha ha. Ghi baghe de Badaelee khatooni ghi baghe de ha ha.  Moos baghe de Badaelee khatooni moos baghe de ha ha.  Maa baghe de Badaelee khatooni maa baghe de ha ha. Distribute the wheat, you maiden of Badiil, distribute the wheat, ha-ha! Distribute the  ghee , you maiden of Badiil, distribute the  ghee , ha-ha! Distribute the meat, you maiden of Badiil, distribute the meat, ha-ha! Distribute the wine, you maiden of Badiil, distribute the wine, ha-ha! There is further a story that is famous in Dras. One man went along with an old Sufi. On the way, the Sufi looked to the right side and began to smile. The man asked the Sufi: Why are you suddenly smiling? But the Sufi did not answer. But the man insisted until the Sufi had to give in. He held out his right hand and told the man to seize his thumb. As the man seized the Sufi’s thumb and looked to the right side, what does he see? There is a Yash wedding and the bride has earrings from which two big millstones are hanging down. Countless such stories about the Yas are known in Dras. To include them in a book would be equal to confine the ocean to a pot. Djinns of this type are also mentioned in Kalhan‟s  Raajatarangginii . Kalhan calls these beings Yaksh .  3 A third invisible species in which the people believed is called  Baraye . These beings a similar to the  paris  (fairies). They are small and wear white wool garments. These beings takes a great liking at singing and dancing. They often abduct humans and bring them into their own world, where they keep them as prisoners. The Shina people assert that they often hear the drums of these beings. And some people claim that they have seen how an army of these beings had set up white tents and had settled there together with white dogs. These beings often come to the springs and lakes. In ancient songs and stories, one can see how they bathe in lakes and springs. These were the sole beings who could predict the fate of humans. A  Daal   ( kaahin ) is a man who keeps regular contact with these three species. One does not  become a  Daal   through training, but through birth. Sometimes when the  Raachii  or  Baraae  (the  protecting spirits) were benevolent to a human, they would initiate the contact with him. If the  Daal   wanted, he could call upon the  Raachii  and from them he would get information about the fate of a particular person or about the general conditions of the time (Dall predicts about the future, i.e political situation, natural disasters, peace and war conflicts of the area etc during the coming days). We have seen with our own eyes how a  Daal   calls upon the  Raachii . But only a  Daal   can see the  Raachii , not other people. According to the  Daal  , the invisible beings with whom he had contact were two girls wearing white wool garments. They would give him an answer to each of his questions. One can, therefore, conclude that the beings with whom the  Daal   had established contact belonged to the species of the  Baraae . But it is not so easy to make contact with the latter. It takes very experienced people. These specialists first burned chili , that is juniper, and then sang particular songs. The songs that were sung to establish the contact  between  Daal   and  Raachii  were called oonali . Every  Daal   could establish his contact with the  Raachii  by singing an oonali . But if a  Raachii  initiated the contact with a  Daal  , she would do this with much seducement. In this situation, the  Daal   had to sing a sophisticated song. Cholomi ga dani Brachel ga khanna jo cholomi ga dani. Taway shoie boom titaway kay jo jook sulubomaek sharanie. Cholomi ga dani Soojie ga aavorail jo cholomi ga dani. Taway shoie boom titaway kay jo jook sulubomaek sharanie. Cholomi ga dani Kharbu traye jo cholomi ga dani. Taway shoie boom titaway kay jo jook sulubomaek sharanie. Cholomi ga dani Shimsha shaiy jo cholomi ga dani. Taway shoie boom titaway kay jo jook sulubomaek sharanie. Cholomi ga dani khebair konoley jo cholomi ga dani. Taway shoie boom titaway kay jo jook sulubomaek sharanie. Cholomi ga dani jasgund naranoo jo cholomi ga dani. Taway shoie boom titaway kay jo jook sulubomaek sharanie. Cholomi ga dani jasgund calvo jo cholomi ga dani. Taway shoie boom titaway kay jo jook sulubomaek sharanie.(etc)
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