Culture of Upper Dir

Gujar, Painda Khel, sultan khel, kadi khel, Swati  Katani and Kohistani tribes populate district Dir Upper. The people of the district are very simple, hospitable and good pathans. They are known for their hard work. They all are Sunni Muslims. Poverty is wide spread. People live and die for their honor and dignity. They feel pride in taking revenge of their enemies but Jirga and hospitality is very dear to them.

i. Dress and ornaments:

The common dress amongst male and female is Shalwar Kamees and Chadar. In winter warm coats, sweaters, woolen pakol (cap) are used by male. The female belonging to poor families use bangles, rings, and charguls. Pazeb, ear- rings made of silver. The female of well -to -do- families use those ornaments made of gold.

ii. Food:

The staple food of common man in the valley is generally wheat and maize bread. It is taken with milk, butter, lassi, onion and challis. Boiled rice with vegetables is used at dinner. On marriage functions and occasion, pulao, kabab, sweet rice and meat are presented to the guests.

iii. Dwelling:

People of the remote areas lead a nomadic life. They have katcha houses made of stones, clay and wood. The occupants and their livestock’s commonly use the rooms. In winter, the people migrates with their cattle’s to the plan areas as well other districts, where fodder are available for their cattle’s. Since the district is mountainous, the people usually live on their respective lands available for cultivation. Normal household consists of kut (bed), a wooden box, blanket, darri or matting.

iv. Religion:

Majority of the people in the district are Muslims and belong to Hanifi school of thought. All the Muslim population offers prayers regularly and observes fast during Ramadan.

v. Occupation:

Farming daily wages, trade and working overseas are the main occupations of the people. Due to lack of employment opportunities, large number of people is either employed in private institutions or unemployed. A very small portion of population is employed in government departments. The women usually share the work with their men. They work side by side with men in the agriculture sector in addition to their household duties.

vi. Marriages:

Arrange marriages normally at early age are celebrated with extravagant spending and serving of food to the guests and community concerned. Marriages are the occasions when relatives, friends, neighbors are invited for food with traditional pump and show. For the departure of girl to the husband’s house, a large procession called janj-carrying Doli (palanquin), visits the bride’s house from the bridegroom, family on the fixed date. The youngsters of groom’s side fire gunshots in the air for joy. Nikah ceremony is performed in the mosque in the presence of Moulvi and other relatives.

vii. Deaths:

Soon after death has occurred the male and female of neighborhood and relatives go to the deceased’s house. The men set outside in open place receiving people and telling the circumstances in which the death occurred. After the funeral prayers the deed body is laid in the grave. Cooking in the house of the deceased’s family generally does not take place even fire in the house is extinguished. All the guests are served food by the neighbours of the deceased’s family. The clothes of the dead person are distributed among the poor.

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