Hunza is going through a crisis. Loved and owned by locals, the area is considered another disposable exotic getaway for city dwellers. This point was recently highlighted when a music festival was held in the area.
Canadian travel video blogger Rosie Gabrielle has been on a motorcycle mission around the world and is currently based in Hunza. Some locals have reached out to her with concerns, hoping she will use their platform to help. She shared their remarks in an Instagram post called Keep the North Pure.
The post features photos of pollution by festival goers, a collage of event images, and screenshots of conversations with disgruntled locals.
The common feeling is that they appreciate those who come to enjoy the beauty of their land, but don’t appreciate bringing the garbage and pollution of the city with them.
They recently complained about how tourists are spreading “vulgarity” and “drug culture.” Locals felt that these problems were lurking behind the screens of art and entertainment, and argued that there was a better way. They believe that their values are being threatened.
Gabrielle also shared her thoughts on the situation with thoughtful captions. She said the lack of international travel opportunities has driven people to the north, but they are leaving with them “a lot of bad behavior, drugs, vulgarity, raging parties, and a lot of trash,” she said.
Sharing her experiences on a trip to northern Pakistan, she said she needed to find more solitary places to be interrupted by local tourists.
The video blogger said he understood the need for people to travel and relax after a tough year, but pointed out the entitlement to destroying places they visited.
Gabriel echoed the sentiments shared by the locals. Gabriel claimed that locals love to welcome tourists. It’s just a practice they hate. They welcome music events and workshops to exchange skills, but what’s going on right now is considered a threat to their culture.
And they are right. When people leave polluted cities and visit northern regions, they often leave traces of pollution and garbage. Tourists should respect the feelings of the locals they visit and respect the culture. What if someone comes to your house and scatters, throws a party and then takes over the responsibility of cleaning?