Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O for Opportunity

During April, I'll be posting daily on A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is the Hunzas.
Today is O..... for Opportunity.

Opportunity in Hunza? There is no opportunity in Hunza. The only export they have is people. The valley will not support a growing population. Most young adults leave the valley for other areas in Pakistan where they seek jobs and send money and goods back to their parents. The country has no exports; therefore they have no money to purchase imports.

The Hunza educational system is more advanced than the schools of the neighboring villages, so the young people are well prepared to seek work when they leave home.

Hunza people are happy and grateful for what they have. This separation of family is the way it has always been and will continue but now, the modern Karakaram Highway brings families together more often.

Since the completion of the Karakaram, tourists arrive for some of the festivals and stay in the hotel for a few days. Groups of climbers are welcome to spend a few days as they travel to the glaciers. Even though Hunza is now part of Pakistan, their isolation pretty much remains as it has always been for over a thousand years.


  1. Maybe the opportunity that the Hunza people can capitalise on is longevity?? Your series has been fascinating so far - can't wait to see what you come up with for 'Q'!

  2. The Hunza certainly live in a most raw and stunning place - hope future generations continue to have the opportunity to enjoy this! Take care

  3. It's nice the young people send goods back to the village, but why do they send money? The Hunza villagers have no use for it? Unless tourists are staying in the villages and buying souvenirs...this would mean the old way of life is already compromised.

  4. Red : Welcome my dear. If we have a break in our blogging, it always feels like the old familiar when we gather again.

    Kitty, I think it will to a great extent because there is no room for growth and only the one way to grow the crops but who knows, when corruption corrupts, it corrupts severely.

    River : When Hunza became part of Pakistan, their way of life immediately changed. The currency of Pakistan became theirs. I have seen their apricots (dried) in a few expensive health food stores but there isn't room to produce any crop for exporting. The Karakram Highway now brings tourists to their door but there isn't room for them to remain but only a few nights lodging at the hotel.

  5. I wonder if when the young leave, do they keep the ways that makes them long lived.

  6. I can't think that tourists are a good thing for these folks.

  7. Sucks that there is none, but they seem to make it work. I also don't see how tourists would be good if there is no room already.

  8. I do hope they are able to keep their way of life for a long, long time. People who live on islands could learn something from them.

  9. It's nice to hear their educational system is more advanced than some of the other neighboring schools. We often hear the contrary when dealing with isolated cultures.

  10. I would of thought just the oposite about their educational system. I guess them being so secluded made me think that.

    Another great post Manzi!!

  11. What an interesting series this is! I don't always comment, but I've read them. I'll be sorry when it's over. I'm learning so much. You've prompted me to do some reading beyond your posts, too. So fascinating. But what makes your series so special is your own special interest in them. Thanks so much for all the effort you are putting into this series of posts.

  12. Manzi: Like Galen, I am learning a great deal. It is hard for me to digest the concept of no opportunity.

  13. Patti : I'm sure they don't have the pure glacier water or total organic food. They would have to eat the vegetables that have been genetically modified (GMO's). just like everyone else and drink the chemical water with fluoride and other additives.

    Delores : Probably not. I'm sure the tourists are more curious and want to visit Hunza than the Hunzas needing tourism.

    Pat : I think you're "right on" but as I said to Patti, its probably the tourists who want to learn about their healthful way of life. I know I would have loved to visited Hunza and learned about their way of life.

    Bish : They most likely will as it's been the same for such a long time. I don't understand what you mean about islands.

  14. Elise : I was a little surprised too but I've read that most of them speak English in addition to their own language, Brushaski, and Pakistani.

    Terry : Their good educational system might be the reason they were able to keep order without a police system and the people didn't commit crimes. Other countries could benefit from that knowledge. There's another factor to think about, i.e. usually when someone gets educated, you think of education to get a job. But there are no jobs so perhaps their education stresses more social behavior.

    Galen : Thank you for the kind words and letting me know you are reading and enjoying the theme.

    JJ : It would be a bleak existence without something to look forward to.... so one would think. But if a child grew up with that one idea, I suppose it would be accepted.

  15. Not even the opportunity to buy a duck? With the money sent home?

    I can well imagine the assault on their Hunza live-styles by the invading hordes of outsiders. It might well send more of them further up the mountain to retreat.

    All so sad. A case where progress is not "a good thing."

  16. To each his own. I don't think I could handle living there.

    Places I Remember
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  17. Kinda sad, but maybe they don't measure "opportunity" the way the rest of the world does. If their way of life is all they know, they may simply accept it for what it is, and has always been.

    Oh, MT is "mike tango". (Ooops! I left OUT the M!) Thanks for the heads up so I could fix it.

  18. Hi Manzanita .. I share Susan's thought opportunity to them might be different - in fact should be different. But sadly money makes the world go round ..

    I hope they don't get taken over by the influx from the Highway - probably coming from the north ..

    Fascinating way of life - so pleased you chose them as your theme ..

    Cheers Hilary