Dancing boys popular at Kabul weddings
KABUL (PAN): Dancing boys dressed in women’s clothing are becoming increasingly common at Kabul weddings. They wear makeup, wigs, and bells on their feet, and can collect from 10000 to 20000 Afs for one night of performing.
Some of the most popular ones are Shoba, Salima, Naik Mohammad, Mirwais "Pai Kana," Javed, Zalmai and Zaki Logari. But the best-known is Kashash, who earns a great deal of money from his performances.
Kashash, 18, wears a skirt, belled shoes, and artificial breasts under his clothes.
On June 27, Kashash was dancing with three others in the Nu Burja area of the capital Kabul. Falal Alami, a singer at the wedding, said that Kashash was a big hit. Many of the dancers’ fans are young people.
Lal Agha Lang said that he has seen several such performances in the Bala Da area, but that he was hoping to see Kashash perform.
Lal said he wanted to throw money at Kashash, a typical way of tipping the dancers. Asked whether Islam forbids boys' dancing, he responded that while he participates in the parties, he also prays, and that Allah is merciful.
The dancing boys are especially common in Chahlston, Charqala, Kotai Sangi, Qala-i-Zaman Khan, Da Khudai Dad, Hotkhel, Yaka Tot, and Khair Khana areas of Kabul.
Naik Mohammad, one of the dancers, told Pajhwok Afghan News: "If I do not dance in the parties, I won’t have any other job."
He said he would not face ridicule from society by dressing up like a woman if his many problems did not compel him to. He did not describe what his problems were.
Mohammad said that he can earn 8000 to 10000 Afs in a single night of dancing. Including tips, which spectators sometimes place between the dancers’ teeth in addition to throwing them, he can collect up to 30 thousand Afs.
He said the amount he makes depends on the wealth of those at the wedding. "At rich people’s parties we collect a lot of money, but at the other parties we receive less money," he remarked.
Another dancer, who is known as Shoba, said: "There are some people who urge us to wear makeup and dress like a bride."
Wedding singers’ voices are also often amplified through loud speakers, and many families complain about the noise.
Mohammad Zahir, a resident of the Nu Burja area in Kabul said: "A few days ago, there was a wedding party, and the music was so loud we could not sleep until morning."
He said those people should be considerate of their neighbors and not use loud speakers, and urged the government to ban such parties, which he said are illegal in Islam because they are vulgar and improper.
Haji Ehsan, a resident of the Yaka Tot area, said that three days ago there was a wedding party in their neighborhood, and that his son had urged him to invite dancers to his wedding party. Ehsan said that inviting the boy dancers was now so popular that people often didn’t attend wedding parties unless they knew the dancers would be there.
Ehsan himself feels that people should not invite such dancers to their parties, saying doing so violates the laws of Islam.
Seddiq Azizi, a local singer, said that it was becoming more difficult for him to earn money at weddings now that the dancers drew most of the attention. Even the police, he said, have been known to attend the parties in full uniform.
But Col. Mohammad Zahir, the crime branch chief of Kabul Police Headquarters, said that any policeman who considers himself Afghan and Muslim would not attend such parties.
He added that the police operate in those areas every night, and that if any policeman was seen attending such a party, he would be prosecuted.
Col. Zahir said he had instructed county heads all over Kabul to tell people not to throw loud parties that involve the dancers, because doing so violates Islam and Afghan culture in addition to creating controversy.
Last year in a wedding party in the Trakhel area of Da Sabz district, seven people were killed and 25 others were injured due a hand grenade blast, Col. Zahir said.
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