How to Make an Afghan Kite

Posted on 01. Feb, 2014 by in culture, language

It Takes Two, Me and You!

Usually one person flies the kite and the other, an assistant, keeps the charkha (an intricately designed wooden drum that keeps the wire wound around it).

Gudiparan: The Kite
Gudiparan (translation: flying doll), come in different sizes – from about 10 to12 inches in diameter to the size of an adult. The average wing span on fighting kites is 3.5 to five feet.  The shape is mostly diamond-shape. Gudiparan are made of thin paper with a “skeleton” of bamboo wood.  This makes Afghan kites very light and flexible.

Tar: The Wire – Afghan kite wire takes hours to prepare. First shisha (a mold to coat the wire) is made, glass ground (to make the wire sharp for cutting) and mixed with an adhesive material and mashed rice to make a paste. The wire is coated with the paste, dried (often by hanging between two trees), and then wound around the drum (charkha).  The coated wire is sharp—it is designed for kite fighting—and can take hours to make. Kite fighters often cut themselves with this sharp wire. To avoid this, many wrap a piece of leather around their index finger (called kilkak) to protect them.

Charkha: The Drum – The charkha is crucial during kite fighting where fast release of wire is critical. The drum must be lightweight, so it is made of wood.

Jang: The Fight – In order to have a kite fight, two kite teams have to be airborne simultaneously. There can be 25 or more kites in the air during a kite fighting tournament.  As soon as two kite wires come in contact, the fight begins! The fight can last from a split second to up to 1/2 hour, or more, depending on wind, the difference in quality of tar between the two parties and whatever else is going on around them! Generally the team with more experience and patience wins the fight.

Azadi Rawast: With the Wind
Once a teams’ kite wire is cut and they lose the kite fight, the kite is released into the air and follows the wind. This is a great opportunity for someone to catch and own it.  This is when you need a “kite runner!”

Sharti from the Block: The Champion
Most Kocha’s (a block or street) have a Sharti (kite fight champion). The title is given to the one who never loses a kite fight.  Traditionally, shartis have a style that captures fans throughout the neighborhood.  However, even shartis occasionally lose, and this is a “big deal” to the kochagi (neighborhood)


Taar                                  تار                      string

Gudiparan Paper          کاغذ گوديپران        special paper for Kite

Baangs                            بانگس                   bamboo stick

Qaichee                           قیچی                    scissors

Gudiparan                    گودی پران            kite

Sheesha                         شیشه                      glass/ powdered glass used for coating the string.

Glue                              سِرش                      any kind of paper glue

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Islamic Religious Titles (Video)

Posted on 14. Jan, 2014 by in culture, language


Note-: QARI Abdul Nabil  (QARI is the titles).

Islam, a major religion with believers throughout the world, also uses special titles. Because these titles are generally in Arabic (or, sometimes, in Persian), most are not well-known in the English-speaking world. Here are a few that are either well-known or becoming more commonly used: Capitalize when used as a title before a name, but lowercase otherwise. Religious leaders have traditionally been people who, as part of the clerisy mosque or government, performed a prominent role within their community or nation. However, in the modern contexts of Muslims minorities in non-Muslim countries as well as secular Muslim states like Turkey, Indonesia and Bangladesh, religious leadership may take a variety of non-formal shapes.

AAKHUND (آخُند)                                                    Religious Tutor

AKHUNDZADA (آخُند زاده)                                      Low level Muslim cleric

EL-HAJJ OR HAJI (اَلحاج یا حاجې)                            one who has been a pilgrim

AYATOLLAH (آیتوالله)                                               Shiite term for senior clergyman

BEE – BE  HAJI (بې بې حاجې)                                 A female pilgrim of Macca (God house)

CHALEE (چلې)                                                       Usher, altar boy

EMAM    (اِمام)                                                        Head of a prayer in a mosque – could be Mullah

FATWA    (فِتواه)                                                       A religious verdict

HAFEZ (حافیظ)                                                         who memorized the Holy Quran

HAZRAT (حضرت)                                                   Descendants of the Caliphs

HUJJAT-UL-ISLAM (حُجتلااسلام)                          Reverence

JIHADI     (جهادی)                                                    Member of a Jihad party

KHALEEFA (خلیفه)                                                   Caliph

KHWAAJA (خواجه)                                                 Descendants of the Caliph

MALANG (ملنګ)                                                    Spiritualist, not formally trained – sometime supported by donation

MAWLANA (مولانا)                                                Senior Religious rank

MIR (میر)                                                                Descendants of the Prophet Mohammad

MOAZZEN (مواَذن)                                                  one who call people for daily prayers to a mosque

MUFTEE (مُوفتېِ)                                                     Great Reverence who can issue religious rulings.

MUJAHID (مُجاهد)                                                   Holy fighters

MUJAHIDIN (مُجاهیدِین)                                           Plural of Mujahid

MAULAWI (مولوی)                                                 Senior Religious rank

MULLAH (مُلا)                                                        Theologian

PACHAH (پاچا)                                                        Descendants of the Caliphs

PEER/PIR (پیر)                                                        title for elder, seer, Wiseman

QARI (قاری)                                                            the person who recites Holy Quran

SAYED (سید)                                                             Descendants of the prophet Mohammad

SAYEDA (سیده)                                                         A female descendent of the prophet Mohammad

SHAHEED/SHAHID (شهید)                                 Martyr (becomes part of the dead person`s name)

SUFI (صوفې)                                                            Mystic

TALIB (طالب)                                                           A religious student


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Afghan Music (Harmonium)

Posted on 03. Dec, 2013 by in culture

Short Information regarding Harmonium     (معلومات کوتاه درباره هارمونیم)

When the British came to India in the 18th century, they brought their harmoniums also. Although the foot pedal was still retained, the hand pumped version was introduced. When the harmonium came across to North Indian musicians, they immediately favored this instrument for few reasons. When the hand pumped version came out, it did not require foot pedals. For an Indian musician, it was discipline and practice to sit on the floor. Thus, this format of a floor organ worked well. Secondly, the harmonium was able to go with the flow of the voice pretty well. One hand was required to pump air; it was not a problem, because Indian music does not have chords. Since Indian music is primarily melodic, only hand was needed to pump and one hand was needed to play the melody.

Now countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are using this instrument, the harmonium has been used in almost all genres of music.


PARTS OF THE HARMONIUM (پارتهای هارمونیم)

 BELLOWS– (پکه) the bellows is a series of metal tongues which allow the air flow. The bellows must be pumped by hand allow air to flow into the harmonium to produce sounds. The left and right ends of the bellows usually has a metal bar or latch. These latches are on both sides to assist right and left handed players at their comfort. More about left and right handed positions in the next chapter.

KEYBOARD- (کیبورد) this is the most important and unique feature of a harmonium. The keyboard allows one to play melodies. Each key, when played, produces a unique sound. The structure and format of the keyboard resembles a piano. The function and theory will be discussed in great detail in the second unit.

MAIN STOPS- (بندهاې بزرګ) Main stops are the bigger knobs on the harmonium. The purpose of the main stops is to direct air flow. Selecting a certain number of stops in a certain order can affect how the sound comes out.  If no stops are pulled out, then no sounds will be produced, regardless of the amount of air being pumped into the harmonium. There are a few things that your harmonium might not have. Stops are one of them. If you do not have stops, don’t panic. You will still get sound, but the whole harmonium will be having a uniform sound.

DRONE STOPS (بندهاې کوچک) (not shown) – The function of these stops are to produce a constant sound of a single note. Again, not all harmoniums will have this feature.

پکه – Bellows- also means Fan

بزرګ – big

کوچک – small

بندهاې – stops

پارتهای – Parts

موسیقې – music

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