Hujra is a basic institution in Pashtun’s society and the essential symbol of Pashtunwali. Hujra is the site of great learning, for the promotion of art, poetry, music and culture in the Pashtun society. It is a common sitting or sleeping place for men in the villages, as Pashtuns are basically people of villages rather than cities, and guests and unmarried young men (bachelors) would sleep there. The Rabab and Mangay are two old Pashtun musical instruments and the real ornaments of Hujra and it is a well-established custom among the Pashtun to welcome guests with music. Hujra is also the decision-making forum of the villagers and provides vivid picture of the real Pashtun society and traditions. Today, the Hujra tradition is on the verge of disappearing, constituting a great loss for the culture. Although one can still see Hujra in some parts of Pashtun society, it exists in a very wretched form. Due to the dominance of the Mullah, Hujra has lost its important significance and the decision making process now takes place in the mosque instead. The mosque and the persons connected to the mosque are at full gallop to grab away the powers of Hujra.
By Aurang Zeb Zalmay
THE PASHTUN TIMES