Nouristan wasformerly known as Kafiristan “land of the infidels” until the inhabitants were converted from a grave-revering animist religion that has been described as ancient Hinduism, to Islam in 1895, and thence the region has become known as Nuristan (“land of illumination”).
The primary occupations are agriculture, animal husbandry, and day labor. Located on the southern slopes of the Hindu Kush mountains in the northeastern part of the country, Nuristan spans the basins of the Alingar, Pech, Landai Sin, and Kunar rivers. Nuristan is bordered on the south by Laghman and Kunar provinces, on the north by Badakhshan province, on the west by Panjshir province, and on the east by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Head of Nouristan information and culture directorateJalaluddin told The Kabul Times, in 1896, the people ofNouristan converted to Islam and after that, they had celebrated both Eids in that province.
About traditional feasts he said, ‘In the past, the people of Nouristan had many feasts in different seasons such as singing local songs by women near the river, local games such as wrestling, goat-pulling, shafting and many more which were lasting for one or two weeks.
He added since the people of Nouristan had been converted to Islam, their celebrations had been completely removed.
He said, “Unfortunately, cultural traditions of neighboring provinces have affected Nouristan and besides the security situation has negatively affected the people in the province.”
Maliha, aNouristan resident who lives in Kabul said, “The people of Nouristan don’t pave-out tablecloth like other provinces’ people but they provide their own livestock-made stuff such as cheese, ghee, butter, etc.
She said usually the people wear open cloths in Nouristan.