[Choice of Name and Identity] Hunzu or Kunjut, What you Call Central Hunza???


Keeping in view the ethnic diversity of Hunza and sense of precious identities which are so valuable for someone to identify herself or himself with is place of birth or motherland recently media has promoted three broader identities, of Shinaki, Kunjut and Gojal. More than ethnical identities these are geographical division of Hunza linked with the ethnicity of people living in these areas. However, none of the three regions of Hunza inhabit an exclusive ethnic group, it is a solvent of different and various ethnicities which are in anthropological terms calls ‘assimilated communities’. The terms of Shinaki, Kunjut and Gojal are three beautiful colours of Hunza, which makes her a diamond in the mountains.

The terms of Shinaki and Gojal are not unfamiliar for many people, which are being used for lower and upper Hunza respectively but Kunjut is an unfamiliar term for many so people questioned what it this? The media recently used ‘Kunjut’ for Central Hunza and there seems to be a consensus among the people behind the media out-lets regarding this name but what is missing is the views of public and readers, what they feel and what they mean with the word ‘Kunjut’.

In fact the word ‘Kunjut’ based on GB Times’s  limited research indicates that it was used by the people of Gojal, particularly Wakhi speaking community for the Central Hunza, so its origin is in Wakhi Language, but the meanings of the term are not clear. At the same time people of Central Hunza, Brusashki speaking community and Shinaki, Shina speaking community, use the word ‘Hunzu’ for Central Hunza, again the meaning of the word ‘Hunzu’ is not clearly known, however various researches indicates different meaning to it. On this basis many people from central Hunza who approached Gilgit-Baltistan Times, expressed their concerns to the word of ‘Kunjut’ not being the identity of central Hunza. So Gilgit-Baltisatn Times wants to explore this issue further with the involvement of public and would highly value their views, for the way they want to be identified. In this regard GB Times would highly appreciate your comments, and soon it will also conduct polls for the names of ‘Hunzu’ or ‘Kunjut’ for central Hunza and would remain stick with the name which would be preferred by the majority of public.


7 Responses to [Choice of Name and Identity] Hunzu or Kunjut, What you Call Central Hunza???

  1. muslim khan says:

    Hunza is generally recognised as the general name for people living across Kilik and Mintaka. This has been true in our recent memories and this has also been true in our recorded history, whether that history is written by the late 18th century British imperial agents or for that matter recorded by indigenous historians such as Haji Qudrautallha Baig. The famous British geographers such as John Bidulph, EF Night, and also John Clark who published a famous book on Hunza in 1920, all of them describe this whole region form Kilik to Mintaka as Hunza, although they certainly refer to Kanjut and other historically archaic names.
    While I would acknowledge the foundational importance of identity in today’s contested society where belonging, community and authenticity are key philosophical questions, but i would differ with the idea of differentiating people along yet another set of namesakes. We in Gilgit-Baltistan have tasted enough of this what i would call ”name game”. It is time now that we should get to the real business of identifying real issues and attempting to resolve them. Politicising people along emotional issues will keep us in darkness as ever, therefore we should seek what is just, what is relevant and what is forwarding looking.

  2. Hunar Badshah says:

    I wondering along the importance of name. If I had not a name how would people have described me? It would have been very difficult for myself and and for others to relate things with me and represent myself. While I do have a name, I am proud of it and it makes me to find a place among others and facilitate others, I find myself linked with many others.

    At the same times I feel bad if people will call me with any other name than my own. If people calls me with any other name I feel if they are mocking me or trying to label me with something els than what I am.
    My name gives me identity, recognition and power to assert my views.

    The same way the village that I am living in has a name and I proud to be a member of that village. If people call my village with other name I correct them immediatly, becuase it is not only a name of village, with that name all demographic,geographic, economic and social and political affiliation of my village comes to the peoples mind which is highly important to distinguish it from others.

    These names are for nothing than recognition of identities and characteristics of the entities. God says in the Quran ‘O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. The Quran, 49:13

    The same way it is important to call proper name of our regions such as our villages and ourselves. It for sure positivily effects the development process and it would not hinder it. God bless Hunza from Click to Khizer Abad (Shinaki, Hunzu/Kunjut, Gojal). Today is Salgirah in Hunza and I am happy to be part of it. Salgirah Mubarak to you all.

    Hunar Badshah.

  3. Bashir Ahmad says:

    dear this is a Non issue.i think few people who have got little access to socalled media, are trying to exploite the name of Hunza.this may be a conspiracy against the populaitry of hunza in the world. the name of central huna was hunzu will ramain hunzu no mater what others (edited one word only) use to call it or peole from other parts. for example the Kashmir is named as GIYAKO in burushaski language should we ask Kashmiries to start calling their regon’s name as Giyako?

  4. Eng.Farman says:

    If we go with the historical records, there is no where any divisional manfestation for Hunza based on ethenical diversity and the meaning of Hunza describes “the piece of land starts from Khizer Abad to Click Pass”, so it would be better enough to call its portions into Upper, Central and LoWER Hunza instead of Kunjut or Gojal or Shinaki.

  5. Haq Parast says:

    nobody but the Burushaski speaking term central Hunza as “hunzo” …. so you are making it ethnic, brazingly conspiring agains Hunza.

  6. Hadee Hussain says:

    Why we should forget Hunzu, and say Kunjut. I am living in Hunzu not in kujut,and what is this Kunjut? Hunzu, Zindabad.


  7. umeed-e-noor says:

    I agree with Hunar Badshah, eng. Farman and Bashir Ahmed, that Hunza is a name used for our beloved mother land from Khizer Abas to Click, we love it. But central Hunza is called Hunzu, upper Hunza called Gojal and Lower Hunza is called Shinaki. This work Kunjut is so unfamiliar and I do not know from where does it come. Hunza (Hunzu, Gojal, Shinaki)Zindabad!!!


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