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The Fabulous Sinisay and a Glimpse Over its Background: A Wakhi Folk Lament from Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan Region

April 2, 2019

By Fazal Amin Beg

A Background of Sinisay

It should be noted that Sinisay as a particular folk lament is prevalent among the Wakhi community of Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan Region and it has a diverse context and it cannot be understood through literal meanings only. Instead, its complexity invites the readers and audience to ponder over deeply in a situation that had occurred and encountered by a Wakhi family (then a small community, at least centuries back). The explanations could be seen broadly in a metaphorical context to see what a brave mother’s role was and how did she perform incredibly.
Although, the stories related with the bride, the enigmatic death encountering her, the bride’s mother’s bravery, making up of the bride’s younger sister in replacement, seeing off the wedding party, emergence of Sinasay and the Sinisay taking its course as part of Wakhi tradition are though so interesting, the themes also stimulate us for a deep analysis and debates in an academic context. But the purpose here is not to go in an analysis rather to simply describe the story of Sinisay in Wakhi. An analytic part with a critical review I’ll be presenting ahead in future (in the form of a paper).
The Melodic Sinisay
Sinisay is not only a popular poem of lament comprised on over two dozens of verses but rather it’s so melodic in nature that without involvement of any kind of musical instruement a concerned person listens it on its natural music: that is, the sweet voices of women at individual level as well as in chorus when they sing this painful song with a joyful fashon. One would get so attracted and prefer to listen it again and again.
It’s noteworthy that different versions of Sinisay are found among the Wakhi women from Hunza. Here, I’m going to offer a set of Sinisay (included 22 verses) that was sung in its original melody by Grandma Bibi Dawlat daughter of Arbob Muhammad Adab Khan and wife of Salman Ali of Passu village within Hunza valley (which I had recorded back in January 2009).although, some of the words may sound alien to Wakhi, the reason may be its occurrence in the distant past and the vocabularies do not exist in the present context. But, let me reiterate, it’s pertinent to strictly note that we cannot take the literal meanings for granted to the whole extent in order to understand the deep meanings behind the circumstances as there ar series of metaphors involved in the poem itself. In brief, let’s come towards the famous folk lement as follows under.

Ye sini saya sini say,ya sini say ey siyoni say ey, lowa lo ey, loni lay ey, loni lay
Ye ta gũlik ta’na gũlik ey, lowa lo, loni lay-e loni lay
Ye shepk-e shepk nogra gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya sũrkh et safida gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya mũs̃hki maboghcha gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya mũs̃hker da ruya gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya z̃huy-e z̃huy Fẽtma gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya cuq sikidh Qũba gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Malmal be pẽs dũma gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Yan aw-e hazora gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya Baltit-e qẽlha gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya ghizhek-e tamoncha gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya rabob et dora gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Arbob-e tuykhona gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya rukhn zem tẽr har kũcha gũlik ey lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya Yir g̃hate da Dhankuter ey, lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya werekhte da Kimkuter ey, lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ye ya jawononisht kirke rus ey, lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya chũmũt̃kerisht ra pũrk-e rus ey, lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Da rus-e g̃has̃hi s̃hũw burus ey, lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Ya burus’ni bet chiz yus ey, lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
Qamchin be dũrz di tra furus̃h ey, lowa lo, loni laya loni lay
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2 Comments

  • Reply Mirza Hussain April 2, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Shirin bech
    Very interesting, really a very good effort to document such a wonderful tradition.

    • Reply fazalamin April 5, 2019 at 11:05 pm

      Thanks for your appreciations, indeed.

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