One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Mongolian Spirit and Hazaras
Hazaras are the largest Mongolian population outside of the Mongolia. Hazaras are also called Turko-Mongols or Persianized Turks. It all comes fit to describe Hazaras because no one can delineate among Mongols, Turks, Tartars, Uyghur and other tribes living the vast steppes, mountain ranges and Tundra of central Asia. The nomadic life styles and alliances during wars mixed these nations to a degree that clear distinction is impossible. The current divisions based on the nation states, like Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia,…… and possibly Hazarajat is more geographical nationalities. Truly they belong to a single civilization, known as Altaic Civilization. The Altaic civilization is a basis of future regional alliance like European Union, ASIAN.
Before analyzing the Hazaragi culture, political, social and economical structures, it is necessary to know the historical spirits that they have inherited from their ancestors. One should be careful in applying these spirits into modern Hazara society because Hazara society is very dynamic and changes frequently. Today's Hazaras unlike their Shaman ancestors are dominantly Shia Muslim however, one cant ignore the links and openess of Hazara spirit with nature.
1. Mongolia is an isolated, land-locked country in the heart of central Asia. In north, vast Siberain forests, in south, vast Gobi desert and in west, two mighty mountains Altai and Tien Shen isolate Mongolian Plateau from the rest of the world. Exterme cold and hot weathers and harsh landscapes of desert, steppe, forests and mountains make it inhospitable. Despite these geographical disadvantages and natural barriers, Mongol spirit blew westward, southward and northward to unite all nations by first globalization.
2. Shamanism was the core of Mongolian world perspective. The sky, Sun, stars, mountains, rivers and simply nature had spirits that Mongols were praying and talking to. The highest among spirit was the spirit of sky that is over everything. Sky and nature accompany anywhere you go. It was the basis of the global thinking in Mongolian mindset.
3. Though Mongolians embraced all religions and their followers but they had their own interpretations of these religions based on sprits of nature.
4. The nature was leading their movements (nomadic life style) and wealth and knowledge were their main attraction. There were no natural barriers for them. The only thing that stopped them was poverty and ignorance. They conquered every kingdom with wealth and knowledge and stopped where these two things were absent.
5. Color and race were not important to Mongols. What was important to them was loyalty so they included people from all races into their family that they annexed to Mongolian empire.
Mongols tried to create a single nation out of all races. The Turko-Mongol people living in central Asia, Urdu or Hindi speaking people in South Asia (India and Pakistan) and Hazaras living in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and also in scattered populations in Central Asia and Australia is examples of new nations out of these efforts.
There were three ways that people become part of Mongolian family. Firstly called, Quda, means by marriage, second was by sworn brotherhood which is called, Anda and thirdly by friendship which is called, Nokor. So the doors of Mongolians were open for all who were wishing to be part of it.
6. Skills and meritocracy was the core in the Mongolian empire. In their attacks they were looking for skilled and educated men and women and were using their skills and benefit the empire. People with skills and knowledge were promoted to the higher ranks, irrespective of their race, color and religion.
7. Xenophobia was alien to Mogolians. It was the main reason that a small nation of Mongolia could conquer the populous nation of China and vast lands of central Asia and Middle East. The numbers of soldiers from other nations outnumbered the actual Mongolian soldiers in Mongolian army.
The spirit of Hazaras:
There are few books and articles about social structures and behaviors of Hazaras which, when I study, as a member of Hazara nation, looks totally alien to me. This made me write down the real spirit of Hazaras so the researchers and writers interested in Hazara culture, social, economical and political structures have a better understanding when analyzing Hazara society.
Main confusions about Hazaras:
1. The collapse of social, economical and political structure after the 1885 invasion of Hazarajat by Afghan incursion, Hazaras went to the fringe of political, social and economical life of Afghanistan.
In fact, it was the collapse of Hazara society to push them to bottom of the social life among other nations but the intentional isolation of Hazara society, denial of education, trade and participation in politics that made them out of an active role in Afghanistan. We observe the significant educational and trade achievements of Hazara society in Baluchistan province of Pakistan at the same time that Hazaras were living in at fringe Afghani society.
2. It is the 1885 invasion of Hazarajat and following oppression of Hazaras that Hazaras migrated to Iran, India at that time and later on to Pakistan, Central Asia and recently to Europe, Canada and Australia.
Hazaras, with a spirit of globalization that they have inherited from their Buddhist and later on Mongolian ancestry were never stopped moving across the borders in search of wealth and knowledge. Poverty and ignorance is the only barrier for movement of Hazaras. It was Mongolian who started the process of globalization by connecting Asia, Africa and Europe and since those times that never ceased movements though their movements reduced by new political, economical and military developments across the world.
3. Hazaras is an ethnic group.
Hazaras are not an ethnic group. Hazaras is a nation that is not based on ethnicity. As I mentioned in part of Mongolian spirit, that they were including people of all races in the empire into Mongolian family to make them part of Mongolian nation. This process is not stopped among Hazaras. In Hazarajat you will find Baluchis (In Kijran), Pashtoons (Members of Yusufzai tribe), Qizilbash, Uzbeks, shi'it Tajiks as part of Hazaras nation. The same process is in Quetta of Baluchistan province. People across Pakistan, from Kashmir, Gilgit, Baltistan, Parachinar, Kurram Agency, Peshawar, to Punjabis, Sindhis, Baluchis, to Zabulis and Kandaharis are becoming part of Hazara society and Hazara nation. Hazaras is a historical spirit that embraces multiculturalism and never ceases nation building process. Hazaras have still preserved the Mogolian concepts of Quda (relationship by marriage), Anda (realtionship by sworn brotherhood) and Nokor (relationship by friendship). When a girl and boy marry their parents call each other Quda-ghu which means members of family and it is still alive in Hazaragi culture even in Quetta, Pakistan. Similarly, Hazaras have still preserved the traditions of sworn brotherhood and sisterhood and Hazaras are known in their loyalty in friendship across the cultural, religious, lingual and national boundaries.
4. Hazaras have a historical hatred and rivalry to Pashtoons.
It is the largest confusion about the Hazaras. Xenophobia is alien to Hazara society. Hazaras are massacred, their lands are confiscated, they forcefully migrated. Hazaras have been facing the worst kinds of discriminations that still continues. Ceratinly these discriminations cause bitter feelings among Hazaras but it is not the result of Xenophobia. People confuse the feelings resulted from discrimination and xenophobia. Discriminations is unacceptable to Hazaras as well as Xenophobia.
5. Hazarajat is a land-locked, isolated and composed of inhospitable narrow valleys that is not a viable country. The people were looking the same way to Mongolia before Genghis Khan. The Chinese emperror mocked Genghis Khan by saying that China is as vast as Ocean.
Note: This article is still under construction. Your comments, suggestions and critics are welcome.