I realize I only have a few hours to go before this special day is over, so thought I’d write a little about it, since this is the first time that most (if not all) Pashtuns, all around the world, are celebrating our beloved language, Pashto.
So, what is international Pashto language day, you may ask? And why should we even celebrate it? Well, it appears that today (June 21st) has now officially been dubbed as “International Pashto Language Day.” And this is the day when all Pashtuns are encouraged to speak/write Pashto every chance they get, keeping it as pure as possible. And, frankly, this is the most brilliant idea anyone has ever come up with! How come I never thought of this idea before? Damnit!
Anyway, I’ve come to realize that we, Pashtuns, don’t really have any formal national days/holidays; if any, at all. And, although, International Pashto Language Day would probably never become a holiday, one thing is for sure: it’s the perfect way to unite Pashtuns; a way to make them realize and appreciate just how important and how beautiful our language is; and it’s a way to ensure that we better our Pashto and make it a priority before dedicating so much time and effort to other languages (I wrote an article on this topic once called “Let’s Learn Pashto Properly, Shall We?”).
Further, now that we will be celebrating International Pashto Language Day every single year, going forward, here are perhaps some ways or ideas that we can go about celebrating it (and it could be either with your family, friends, etc.):
- Teach one of your non-Pashtun friends a Pashto word or two – you get more brownie points if you teach them a whole sentence! And, please, PLEASE refrain from teaching them any swear words. We all know that swear words are the very first things we learn when getting acquainted with a new language. So, yes, teach them something a little more intelligent, ‘mkays?
- Call up/meet up with a good Pashtun friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and have a two to three hour conversation with him/her – ALL in Pashto. Trust me, it’ll be fun. I know some of us Pashtuns prefer speaking in English, ‘cause we find it easier (for some reason), and I admit, I am guilty of that too :: blush :: But please take advantage of this day and try to refrain from spoiling your Pashto too much. It’ll be worthwhile in the long run.
- If you cannot write Pashto and want to learn, well, here’s your chance to finally use this day as an excuse to learn it. There are lots of great websites you can access, namely Qamosona.com. (I’ll think of more websites, but in the mean time Qamosona is a great source, as it’s very accessible online and it comes in all different languages: English-Pashto, German-Pashto, Dutch-Pashto, etc.). Also, I just discovered a virtual Pashto keyboard online that one could use to practice Pashto writing, and it can be accessed here. (I know, it’s beautiful, innit?)
- However, if you can read Pashto, perhaps you can dig into your old library, at home, and grab a Pashto book and read a few pages from it (if you haven’t read it already). This book could either be a novel, poetry, short stories, etc.
- If you write Pashto, well, even better! Write something! Anything! Again, it could either be an article on issues most relevant and dear to you (on or about Pashtuns, though not necessarily); or it could simply be a poem or a short story.
- Watch your favourite Pashto drama(s); yes, I admit, some Pashto dramas are really good! (Too bad I can’t say the same about our movies/films – a blog post on that specific topic is coming up next, I promise!) So, if you really enjoy that sorta thing, take some time to watch a few on YouTube – I believe some people have been kind enough to upload a few. My favourite one is “Starhay Mashey” with Ismail Shah. (I tried to find this drama on YouTube but unfortunately it’s not on there! So, if someone knows where and how I can access it online, please let me know! Deera manana!) Anyway, Ismail Shah was surely a comedic genius! May his dear soul rest in peace. Oh, and by the way, you can either watch these dramas with your parents, your wife/husband, or your kids.
- Okay, we all know how much we love, love, LOVE the attanr, right?! Well, then, if you know how to dance it, good for you! Dance away like no tomorrow to some mast attanr songs (Dawood Hanif anyone? :p). But, if you don’t know how to dance, or want to learn it, well, what are you waiting for then? Learn it already! And it doesn’t have to be so formal or anything either. You’ll most likely be doing all this crazyness at home anyway, so knock yourselves out! 😉
Okay, that’s all I can think of right now. If my readers could think of any more ideas, then please share them in the comments box below.
Anyway, I know I should have thought of this list before this special day, but fret not, dearest readers! At least now we all can be a little better prepared for next year (though I, personally, believe that everyday should be Pashto Day, just like how I believe that everyday should be Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.). But if this is the only day in the 365 days that will encourage and motivate Pashtuns to speak, improve, enjoy, and appreciate Pashto, then heck, who am I to say anything?
So, with that being said, Happy International Pashto Language Day, ya’ll!