Hujra:

Hujra is an Arabic word, which means a separate room. Hujra is a universal institution and it is found among the simplest societies as well in the peasant and most advance societies of the communities. In advance communities, its been called as drawing room or guest rooms.

In Pukhtun social structure, hujra plays a significant role and its present in its most traditional and typical form. . It is a pivotal center, through which the social, economic, political, educational, recreational and religious activities revolve. It is use for the stay of guests.

The importance of hujra is so deeply depicted in the minds of pukhtuns that it is said that a man is born in hujra and will die in hujra. That mean he can gain all his life experience and knowledge from this hujra. In older times, when the society was in its simpler form, then only hujra was the place, where the male members of the society could get the understandings of the world. Hujra is also present nowadays but in urban areas, it has lost its early charm. People are getting busy in other sorts of activities. They have lots of other sources of learning but in rural areas and most likely in tribal areas, some how people are maintaining the charm of hujra tradition.

There are three things, which are consider as symbol of prestige in the tribal societies, that are the male guest house (hujra), the gun (topak) and the council of elders (jirga), which are exclusively the reserve of Pukhtun males.

It is the hujra, which makes the personality of an individual and group. On the death of the father, the elder brother is to retain the hujra. This is commonly practice in Charsaddah, swabi, mardan, Peshawar, in tribal areas and in baluchistan.



A hujra is either owned by an individual or joint family,or by khel in pukhtun society. In an average village, there are ten to twenty hujras. The building may be build and maintain jointly by the community.

The structure of the building differs from village to village and from khel to khel. It may be either housed in a simple building consisting of an ordinary room with no compound wall and gate. It the simplest form of hujra among pukhtuns. The others, which are owned by particular family or by khans or by khels can be of grand structure. It may be attached to the house of the owner or near the mosque.
A person of high class would have a hujra with carved wooden doors, rooms with modern equipments such as electricity, television, telephone, internet, splits, fans and other accessorize decorations with big chandeliers.


All the members of that society to whom that hujra belongs must maintain those hujras, which are not belonging to any particular khan. In such cases the guest staying in their hujra must be entertain by all the members of the community, who are sharing that hujra. Thus the guest is entertained jointly and it exhibits the affection by the hosts to the guest (melma).

In puktun society, the religious festivals are also observed in these hujras. On Eid day, people get up early in the morning and go to mosques to offer their prayers. On return from the mosque, the hujra fellows gather in their hujra and they jointly enjoy the food from each other homes. After the Eid-ul-Azha prayers, a cow or goats/sheeps, buffalos etc are sacrificed in the name of God in these hujras.

On the birth of the son, firing immediately starts in the hujra is a mark of celebration among pukhtuns, and this celebration continue for many days. Such celebrations are concluded after the father of the boy to whom all the participants would be invited arranges a feast. A son is treated as an asset, where as a daughter as a liability. In the patriarchal society, the son is to perpetuate the father’s line to protect the family whereas the daughter has to go to some body else house on marriage and is not responsible for the perpetuation of her father’s line of descent.

The male members of the society share Hujra. Girls only up to age of 10 years may visit there to bring the food or to convey some messages from the home. Later on they are not allowed to go to hujras.
Structure of Hujra:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fancy and traditional Pashtoon Afghani frocks !!!

Fancy Afghani and Kuchi style frocks

My visit to Khewra Salt Mines ' A wonder of the World'