Nunik Nunik: An Interesting Women Folksong from Shimshal of hunza valley, Gilgit-Baltistan Region

April 2, 2019

By Fazal Amin Beg

I’m presenting here an interesting folksong, named as “Nunik Nunik”, which is unique in its nature and comes from Shimshal of Hunza Valley, Northern Pakistan.
You may be curious to know that what could be “Nunik Nunik?”
It should be noted that when the suffix -ik affixes with any kinship term, the kinship term gets its diminutive form. For instance, “tat” in Wakhi means “father but when its tatik, it means little tat. A related concept and reality behind tatik would be decoded in such manner that one’s father has passed away and his name has been given to a new born child within the family.the child would therefore be termed as tatik (little father or a given name of a father. The child, even when eh grows up to his adulthood, would be termed in respect as tatik. Similarly, “nan” is Wakhi is mother, and nanik would be “little mother” or “a name carrier of a mother.”“ In such manner, Nun” is a Wakhi kinship term for “sister-in-law; while, nunik has the same concept (as explained above) for “little sister-in-law” or a “carrier of the name of a sister-in-law.”
But it needs to be kept in mind that “Nunik Nunik” is a historical Wakhi folksongIn this regard, some selective stanzas were sung by Mrs. Khurshid Numo wife of Qurbon Karim of Shimshal, which I had recorded it in January 2009 in Gilgit. According to the singer, The song has been reportedly composed and sung by a creative lady in the Shimshal Pamir when she was in isolation from her family and conjugal partner.
The poetess addresses her companion (perhaps also a friend) termed as nunik in the Pamir. she expresses her emotions and experiences in an interesting poetic mood while interacting with the Nature within the respective cultural situation in the Pamir. She asks her sister-in-law to wait for her so that to go together for collecting the animal dungs and warns her not to look towards a place called “Guy-e G̃har”, literally means “Stone of the Polo.”
The poetess feels feels a risk and shares it with Nunik that if there were an axe and sword in the hands of her husband, she is afraid lest he strikes her either with the sword or axe (and she may not survive).

Let’s now go through Nunik Nunik , which follows here.

Nunik Nunik, tu maz̃h e didig̃h
Skinner rec̃hen Lupz̃hũy-e sar
Ca’nep tayinen tra guy-e g̃har
Tra ma’r wezde yi tis̃hnohal
Nohal ma’r reg̃hde S̃hũwwũrt-e bar
Ce zarhal hali ya z̃hũ shohar
Dam-e dhasti tẽpar khingar
Ca’nep dik̃ht ey k̃hũy ra z̃hũ sar

Watch Nunik Nunik sung by Mrs. Khurshid Numo and presented by Eagle’s World on the following link:

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