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TF Iron Soldiers join Macedonian Ranger’s birthday celebration August 31, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Afghanistan, Macedonia, US.
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PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Fivecoat, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment Commander, from Delaware, Ohio, presents Macedonian Capt. Borche Turturov, commander of the Macedonia army rangers from Skopje, Macedonia, with an award of appreciation during a celebration of the Macedonia army's 18th birthday on Combat Outpost Shar Hawza, Paktika Province Aug. 18. This event was coordinated by Task Force Iron Rakkasans on Foward Operating Base Sharana.  (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Lorenzo Ware, 982nd Combat Camera Co.)PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Fivecoat, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment Commander, from Delaware, Ohio, presents Macedonian Capt. Borche Turturov, commander of the Macedonia army rangers from Skopje, Macedonia, with an award of appreciation during a celebration of the Macedonia army’s 18th birthday on Combat Outpost Shar Hawza, Paktika Province Aug. 18. This event was coordinated by Task Force Iron Rakkasans on Foward Operating Base Sharana. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Lorenzo Ware, 982nd Combat Camera Co.)

Macedonian Rangers at Forward Operating Base Sharana recently celebrated their 18th birthday, and U.S. Soldiers from Task Force Iron Rakkasan were there to join them for the event.

The two forces have worked together for several months now and will be going their separate ways soon. They took the opportunity to not only celebrate the birthday, but to also show their mutual respect and appreciation.

During the event, Soldiers from both forces exchanged stories and reflected on the events of the last six-months that helped cement a bond of friendship between them, said U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek, 3-187 spokesman, from Clarksville, Tenn.
That friendship will continue even after the two forces separate. The Iron Rakkasans of 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment will soon be relocating to East Ghazni, and the Macedonian Rangers will move to Paktya, said Peek.

Everyone who attended the celebration seemed to enjoy themselves and the chance to fellowship with their comrades in arms.

At the conclusion of the event, leaders recognized some of the hard working soldiers among their ranks.

Five Macedonian Rangers were promoted, and one Vermont National Guard Soldier from Company D, 3rd Bn., 172nd Inf. Reg., received a Combat Action Badge.

In addition, four Afghan Uniformed Police from the Sar Hawza district received certificates of appreciation for their part in securing Palau Village.

Among those attending was U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Fivecoat, a native of Delaware, Ohio, and the battalion commander of 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment. He presented a special plaque to the Macedonian commander that boasted a battle-ax engraved with the historic Rakkasan Torii.

“It was an honor for the Iron Rakkasans to have fought shoulder-to-shoulder with men of your calibre,” he said. “This battle-ax is to show our appreciation for the Macedonian Rangers. During these last months together, they showed a true dedication and devotion that greatly contributed to the overall success of the mission.”

Returning the gesture, the Macedonian Rangers also presented a plaque to Fivecoat and his Soldiers.

“When you see this plaque, remember that we are your brothers,” said Macedonian Capt. Borche Turturov, Macedonian Ranger commander, from Skopje, Macedonia. “Our soldiers and our unit will continue to support you in your efforts.”

Overall, the day was more than just a birthday celebration. It was an opportunity for those present to recognize past achievements and honor a partnership and friendship formed by combat. It was a day for friends to gather before parting paths, and to solidify the friendships they have made along the way, said Peek.

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Learn more about the Kalash society July 20, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Afghanistan, Macedonia.
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  • Boy
    Boy’s birth

    A woman has to move to Bashali to give birth and has to stay there for at least 10 days. Even if a boy is born, he is not considered a ‘man’ until he is six years old. The boy has to live with women and he is not allowed to wear pants or pyjamas for six years since his birth. A big celebration is held when a boy turns six and wears a ‘shalwar’ or pants. After that he eats only with men and not with women. A goat is also sacrificed to mark the occasion and the meat is eaten only by the men.

  • Historic link
    Historic link

    Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), who conquered the Persian empire and annexed it to Macedonia, is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all times. In the winter of 327 BC, Alexander passed through what is now Pakistan during his campaign to invade the Indian subcontinent. It is not known exactly where he crossed, but it’s believed that he went up the Kunar River in Pakistan, close to where the Kalash live now, and crossed a mountain pass into what is now Bajaur Valley.

  • Standout identity
    Standout identity

    The Kalash are known for their unique way of dressing, especially the attire of their womenfolk. All women wear black robes called ‘Piran’ and it takes at least nine metres of cloth to make one dress. With the passage of time, the black robe has started drawing on diverse fashion influences and has come to be decorated with accessories and colourful embroidery coupled with beads, shells and coins. The Kalash attire is centuries old and has not changed much from its original form. As the belief goes, the women of Kalash started wearing black in honour of a prince called ‘Kala Shehzada’ (black prince) who ruled them centuries ago.

  • Headgear
    Headgear

    The women wear an extraordinarily large headgear called ‘Kopus’ embellished with buttons, beads and shells, which in some cases tops two kilogrammes in weight. The cost of one dress varies from 2,500 rupees (Dh110) to 6,000 rupees (Dh180), which is a lot of money for the average Kalash.

  • Robes and belts
    Robes and belts

    Women’s robes cover the entire body right down to the feet and are tied around the stomach with a belt called ‘Chehare’. The average Kalash goes in for four or five dresses a year to coincide with festive occasions. Kalash men normally wear Shalwar-Kameez, a combination of long tunics and trousers, with Chitrali caps that could be black or white.