Tuesday, September 19

Humans of New York Is In Pakistan

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The internet sensation Humans of New York, also affectionately shortened to HONY, is currently traveling through Pakistan and documenting the people and stories they meet. Here are some of our favorites so far:

HONY Pakistan 1

“One beautiful thing about advocating for the poor is that feminist ideals are advanced naturally. In order to fight eviction from their homes, women whose patriarchy has kept them secluded have been allowed to emerge into public life. Their husbands have been forced to choose their homes over their idea of honor. Even within my organization, the patriarchy is being broken down. Energetic young females are beginning to share influence with older male members. When you’re in a tough fight for a common cause, you can’t afford to be choosy about where the best ideas are coming from.”

(Hunza Valley, Pakistan)

HONY Pakistan 2

“What’s your goat’s name?”
“Goat.”

(Hunza Valley, Pakistan)

HONY Pakistan 3

“I grew up in the village behind me. It’s very beautiful here but there are few opportunities. Whenever I think about my children’s prospects, I grow sad. I have nothing to provide for them so they’ll probably end up like me, taking whatever work they can just to survive. My parents died when I was ten. I went to live with my aunt and my uncle. They never gave me grief. They never made me feel bad. But they were also poor, and every time we sat down to eat, I felt like I was stealing from their family. The guilt grew so bad that when I turned 15, I tried to build a shed for myself. I lived there for about six months. But then the winter came. And eventually the cold grew stronger than the guilt.”

(Hunza Valley, Pakistan)

HONY Pakistan 4

“What’s your favorite thing about your sister?”
“Her happiness.”

(Hunza Valley, Pakistan)

HONY Pakistan 5

“When I’m bored, I call up Radio Pakistan and request a song, then I start dancing. I’ll even dance on a rainy day. It’s my way of expressing how grateful I am. I am the happiest man in Pakistan.”

(Passu, Pakistan)

HONY Pakistan 6

“I just found out we’ve been evicted. Right after you leave, I’m going to start packing up. I’ve got to find my family a new place to live by tonight. The landlady is a good woman. She’s just in a tough situation. Her disabled son lost his home. I’ll handle it. I’ve been through worse.”

(Hunza Valley, Pakistan)

HONY Pakistan 7

“My life is on repeat, every day. This area is surrounded by water, but my village has no access, so every morning I make a two-hour trek to the glacier so we have something to drink. During the day I work to maintain this road. I get $100 a month. In the winter, I make daily trips to cut wood so we can stay warm. I can’t leave this land because it’s all I have. There is no happiness or sadness in my life. Only survival.”

(Passu, Pakistan)

HONY Pakistan 8

“Last month I had an accident that destroyed my tractor, and now my life has been ruined. I’d saved for that tractor for three years. When I finally bought it, I was so happy. Things seemed to finally be moving forward. I was working crops and making money. Now it’s destroyed, but I still owe $5000. I only make $120 a month, and most of that goes toward renting this new tractor. I’m still very injured from the accident. I should be in bed but I couldn’t take any more days off. I didn’t used to look like this. I used to care about my appearance and wear proper clothes. I used to eat proper meals. But I can’t afford any of that now. I have nothing left to sacrifice.”

(Passu, Pakistan)

HONY Pakistan 9

“I admired her from afar for a while, and eventually summed up the courage to tell her my feelings. She told me that she felt the same way. This was before cell phones, so at first our meetings were limited to random interactions on the street. But then we both got mobiles and started talking on the phone. Eventually she told me that she wanted to marry me. I sent my mother to ask her family for permission, but they didn’t think I was a suitable match. They were a higher class of people. They were educated. Her father was a business owner. I tried to plead with them: ‘I’m not paralyzed,’ I told them. ‘I work. Why am I not good enough?’ But I was never given an answer.”

(Hunza Valley, Pakistan)

HONY Pakistan 10

“What are you doing?”
“Nothing.”

(Karachi, Pakistan)

You can keep up with HONY’s travels through Pakistan on their site.

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