Azaranica is a non-biased news aggregator on Hazaras. The main aim is to promote understanding and respect for cultural identities by highlighting the realities they face on daily basis...Hazaras have been the victim of active persecution and discrimination and one of the reasons among many has been the lack of information, awareness, and disinformation.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ice-cold isolation in Bamiyan

Nelson police inspector Brian McGurk, in Afghanistan on secondment with a European Union mission, reports on the extreme winter conditions and stark isolation in the Islamic central Asian nation.

This week is Nawroz, a holiday for the first day of the Persian New Year, which usually falls on the vernal equinox and marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring in Bamiyan and across all of Afghanistan.

The locals in the Hazarajet have been describing this winter as the coldest for about 15 years and in the news have been reports of people freezing to death. The harshness of the winter and the physical isolation of Bamiyan from the rest of Afghanistan has been a vastly different experience from a Nelson winter.

The first winter snowfall arrived in Bamiyan at the end of November. There has been snow on the ground constantly since the end of December and it is only in the last week or so that the snow has began to recede. The heavy snowfalls in recent days are just a reminder that winter has not quite finished.

The temperature really didn't rise above freezing any time during January or February, traditionally the coldest months. The temperature in Bamiyan hover around -10 degrees Celsius to -15C in the bright winter sunshine and often plunges down to -25C to -30C in the shade or when the sun gets low in the sky. It got even colder with temperatures of -33C recorded a few times during February.

It is a very dry cold and surprisingly it often doesn't feel as cold as it really is....Continue Reading...

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