Off the Grid

Most Tajiks who live in cities have access to electricity and running water – some have it all day (barring outages), some have it for specific hours during the day, some have it for only a couple of hours a day. People living in towns and some of the larger villages usually have it for at least a couple of hours a day. But there are some, including those who live near towns, that do not have it at all. One such family is related to our friend Dildor, and when her student mobile theater group performed in Patar Village, next to the town of Kanibadam, her uncle graciously had the cast and guests [David, Rukiya (another Khujand State University English teacher) and me] come to their house for lunch after the performance.

Dildor’s uncle name is Alisher. He is often in Russia working because he can make more money there than in Tajikistan, but this means long separations from his family. Citizens of the former soviets of the Soviet Union, such as Tajikistan, can travel to and work in Russia without visas, and are a supply of cheap labor. His home is typically middle class, but without the amenities of electricity or running water.

Here is a “filmstrip” illustrating their house. The song is Apeainen by the Finnish group Kardemimmit. I took the photos and produced the video.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Off the Grid

  1. Russell

    The bread looks good! But is there any nice Danish butter to put on it?

    Still looks very grey there, but now that I recall, the worst season in Canton was Spring because you never saw a blue sky – just a white-ish, grey humid haze. It went on for weeks and drove me nuts. What animals did they have? Chickens, surely. Goats? Any pets? The people look healthy, intelligent and nice.

    • The bread is good and butter is available. It still looks grey, because these photos were taken the same day I took the apricot bloom photos. We actually have blue skies almost every day, and usually all day. Amazingly, I didn’t see any animals at this house, not even a pet. We see few animals here in Khujand either, some dogs that look like they don’t have owners and an occasional stray cat. No rabbits or squirrels or small critters like that — not even rats — although I am sure they are around. But they keep to themselves during the day.

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