Community Memoirs – Women & Hunzai Caps

By - Aqsa Seth / Volunteer Story

Never in my life words have failed me as perfunctorily as they do when asked about my time in Chipursan teaching in a local school. For I am still always left in an awe everytime the name is mentioned and the most I can express is ‘it was amazing’. So, here’s a story for those who wonder what was so different about it than my usual travel experiences.

Before going to #Hunza, I often heard about the locals, specially the women and their unique way of tying hair-braids. One day when people from all three villages of #Kirmin were out on the street cheering for the kids carrying out an #EnvironmentalDay rally, I saw a couple of village elders having their hair tied in the way I had been hearing about and so much wanted to get done too. Being the sorta meek I am, I didn’t ask them about it even though I kept walking around wondering if I should or would they mind if I do. Soon came a fellow local school teacher who I had friendly terms with so I gathered the guts and asked her if she knows how to make hair like that and if she’d make it for me. For she, instead of responding to me, yelled out in #Wakhi to the women sitting and told them I wanted my hair done like theirs and soon they began laughing. Even before I could form a thought about the reason for their laughter, two younger women held my hands and pulled me towards to sit between both the elders who would make my hair. They didn’t only tie my hair in their local style but one of them took off her hat as well as the dupatta which they wear on top of the hat as their local historic attire and set them on my head. And this was just one of the many such events of compassion and hospitality they offered to us. The love, affection and respect they bestowed was phenomenal and it takes a strong heart and a gracious community to be so unconditionally genuine.
For I went there to teach something to the kids and make a difference but little did I know that I’d learn so much from them

Thank you IEI Pakistan for this experience.

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