Spring is the season of beauty around the world and this is especially so in Bamiyan province. People of Bamiyan suffer from very hard, cold winters. It is a mountainous area and winter is terrible for people.
Roads become impassable and people cannot get to the health clinics or to other districts in the province. With the heavy snow they can start to feel like they are jailed in their homes and villages. Access to fuel like gas and wood is difficult, so people must work very hard during the other seasons to collect enough wood and food for the winter.
But the start of spring changes all that for Bamiyan. People believe that spring is a gift to them from God. They spend most of their time outdoors, starting the farming and enjoying the beauty of nature. Women and men, husbands and wives, work together in the fields and pastures. They plant wheat and potatoes and then the women also grow vegetable gardens for fresh food. The children take care of the sheep in the pastures and sing and play in the mountains all day.
In the spring, the trees wear new clothes and the flowers show off their beauty. People get up early in the morning to hear the song of rebirth and to smell the scent of flowers wafting in the breeze. In the beginning of spring, small girls prepare posies with colorful yellow flowers. Sheep give birth to their babies and when the shepherds come back in the evening they carry the baby lambs held to their breast. When it is raining, people make umbrellas using the big leaves of plants and they walk back to home.
I think of springtime in Bamiyan like a gift from God after suffering from the hard winter.
Photo by Hadi Zaher.