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Saturday, 13 June 2020

Saturday Rave: Landay by Rahila Muska.

Landay (you say it LANDee) are poems sung by Afghan women, often in the rural areas of the country.

Landays are mostly anonymous (because singing is regarded as unislamic, and so performing a landay can be extremely dangerous).

The teenage poet who called herself Rahila Muska's life ended when she set herself on fire after her marriage to her cousin was forbidden.

She left many landays. 

Here's one:

I call. You're stone.
One day you'll look and find I'm gone.

A landay in its native Pashto has nine syllables in its first line and thirteen in its second. Usually it doesn't rhyme, but the second line ends with a ma or a na sound.

Landays are traditionally about love, war, separation, grief or homeland. They sound like lullabies, but are known for being sarcastic, rude, and biting. They show the women behind the burqas to be lively, earthy, contemptuous and furious.

You sold me to an old man, father.
May God destroy your house, I was your daughter.

Landay now sometimes feature suicide vests and bombs, and they are performed and distributed via the internet. It's a voice, a life-line. 

Now say that poetry is useless.

Word To Use Today: landay. This word means short poisonous snake in Pashto.

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