Last decade saw Pashtu literature developing in Balkh
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Efforts at promoting Pashtu literature in northern Balkh have sped up during the past 10 years and have a positive impact on the province’s cultural scenario.
Balkh information and culture officials and literary figures say that printed Pashtu media, youth’s weekly meetings about Pashtu literature, the opening of Pashtu language faculties in universities and holding literature seminars in Balkh are achievements made during the past decade.
Saleh Mohammad Khaliq, the provincial information and culture director, told Pajhwok Afghan News that a stable security and available opportunities in Balkh paved the ground for development of Pashtu literature in the past decade.
He said Pashtu language newspapers and regular meetings of Pashtun culturists every week contributed well to the development of Pashtu literature in the recent years in Balkh.
Citing an example, Khaliq said Balkh Literature Movement (BLM), a culture center, was working for Pashto literature and social affairs.
The BLM holds meetings in Mazar-i-Sharif City, the provincial capital and a number of districts every week.
The BLM also publishes Parkha, Pasarly and Pul magazines in Pashtu and arranges different seminars and conferences for promotion of the language every year, according to Khalilq.
He said the opening of Khushal Baba Library was another greatest step the BLM took for Pashto literature’s development.
Zamir Char, BLM head and a lecturer, told Pajhwok stable security situation and available facilities in Balkh enabled them to promote Pashto language and culture during the past 13 years.
He said the launch of Pashtu language newspapers in 2003, journals including Parkha magazine and the launch of Momand Literature Process were some of the achievements made in the recent years in Balkh.
Char added the centre held various meetings and seminars on literature and social affairs every year.
Two years ago, the LBM opened Khushal Baba Public Library overcoming the absence of Pashtu books in Mazar-I-Sharif City, he said.
The Pashtu literature’s development is not confined to Mazar-i-Sharif City, but is also extended to districts.
Char said the LBM had branches in Chahar Bolak and Balkh districts and it facilitated the Pashtun youth to hold weekly meetings.
A Pashto culturist in Chahar Bolak district, Najib Pasoon, said they regularly held weekly meetings in their district under Chahar Bolak Literature Process.
The meetings being participated by youth from different villages of the district usually discussed various literature and social topics, he said.
Pasoon said Bukhdi Literature Process was also working for the development of Pashtu literature in his district.
Umul Bilad Literature Association is working for the improvement of Pashtu literature in Balkh district.
Ghulam Ali Malakzai, head of the association, said they held meetings and discussed about literature topics every month and published Pul magazine.
Pashto magazines in Balkh include Parkha, Pasarly, Pul, Khabara, Laton and Seyal.
Atta Mohammad Saho, the owner of Khabara weekly, said his magazine had turned two years old.
He said once their magazine plunged into financial problems, but he tried to keep publishing it without interruption.
However, BLM head Zamir Char said besides men’s meetings, they also provided facilities for women to hold weekly gatherings under “Mirman Baheer Women Association” in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Shukurya, head of the Mirman Baheer, said dozens of girls used ot gather at the Khushal Baba Public Library every week and discuss about poems and literature topics.
She said the participating girls’ writing skills had improved and they gained more awareness about Pashto literature.
Balkh culturists say Pashtun people in the province should be provided with enough facilities so they could get education in their own language.
Javid Wak, a Pashto writer, said Pashtuns were deprived of learning in their own language in most parts of Balkh.
“We should claim development in Pashtu literature when we have education facilities in this language,” he said.
Prof. Ghulam Nabi Karimi, head of Pashtu Literature faculty in Balkh University, said the subject was taught in the university since 2005. He said 500 students were currently attending the Pashto Literature faculty.
Pashto Literature also has sections in Balkh Teachers’ Training Center and Education Institute, he added.
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