Skateistan – a skateboarding initiative empowering the youth of Afghanistan

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One of the best things to come out of punk rock and hardcore is definitely growth in awareness of the world that you live in, at least, to me – that’s what’s SUPPOSED to happen through involvement with the world of punk rock and hardcore. Opening up a CD, LP or cassette booklet and reading through socio-political lyrics or words that challenge your thinking, is what was the beauty of punk rock and hardcore. Through those words you often found yourself stuck forcing yourself to make a decision on where you stood on what the band was singing about…before you made that decision, band’s would even include website links or titles of books to be better informed about the topic at hand.

That’s what hardcore is still all about to me to this day.

Skateistan

Skateboarding used to also feel that way but in the past almost 20 years skateboarding has moved far away from those old independent streets to a wholly corporate and materialistic world. I don’t look at skateboarding and think ethics – I look at skateboarding and think Nike.

But without a doubt, skateboarding was a huge part of my life that gave me a lot of that confidence that I have now because through constant failure of being unable to land a trick but continuing to get back on my board and push through until I succeeded, easily is a metaphor for life. The times where my band has struck out with band members leaving or hassles on tour at the airport or with shady promoters, or putting on hardcore show after hardcore show where only a small number of people show up, or having to continue to explain punk/hardcore in a commercial city like Hong Kong where no one gives a shit, or still having to explain to my parents that YES – I’m STILL playing in a band even though I’m 38, married and am a father now…the harder you fall, the more the reason you HAVE to get back up and see it through.

Skateistan

This massive intro is all because I am so proud to shed some light on an organisation in Afghanistan (and now Cambodia and South Africa as well) called Skateistan. As you check out the videos below you will find out some crazy facts about life in Afghanistan…you can either stew in pity, or be STOKED in the facts that they lay out – skateboarding is now the BIGGEST sport for females in Afghanistan. THAT IS SO RAD!

In their own words…this is their mission statement:

WE USE SKATEBOARDING AS A TOOL FOR EMPOWERING YOUTH, TO CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND THE POTENTIAL FOR CHANGE.

Skateistan

Skateistan

Check out the videos below…get on their website and contribute any money if you can…they have amazing merch on their site as well that is pretty pricey but all that money goes back to children. Do it. As you’re watching the videos think about life in your town and cities…think about the freedoms you enjoy and the life you get to lead. How different is it from others around the world? Pretty insane…

Get on it: http://skateistan.org/

The State of Skate – Skateistan in Afghanistan from Skateistan on Vimeo.

UniteAsia.org is an underground Asian music news website created for the sole purpose of supporting our own world. We support all bands and genres HOWEVER we do not support nor have any sympathy for homophobic, racist, sexist rhetoric in lyrical content or band material. UNITE ASIA!

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