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I heard about dancing girls of the Swat valley, Pakistan, as a result of news articles about attempts to eliminate them. For example, Dancing girls of Swat back in business.

I haven't been able to find out much about them - I don't even know what word residents of the Swat valley themselves would use for them. Currently, I'm trying to work out if it's even possible for foreign tourists to see them.

First, is it legal to see dancing girls?

Secondly, some articles have stated that you need a reference in order to be a guest.

“There are 10 to 12 dancing girls in this street. Strangers are not allowed to come here. You can only come through a reference,” says Shabana.

Is this a matter of prestige, trying to make the experience more exclusive? Or is it more a matter of safety, and knowing that the customers won't behave inappropriately towards them? I'm asking because if it's the latter, then it may be possible to get a reference, whereas if it's the former, then it may not be possible to get a reference.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Firstly It's legal to see dancing girl but it is not socially accepted in Northern part specially Swat and surroundings. Though they are not eliminated they still exist but Taleban stopping them as suggest this BBC story.

And of course it is not impossible, It's a matter of value how much you give them. But reference can also work.

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Do dancing girls exist in other parts of Pakistan? Is their dancing similar, or different? –  Andrew Grimm Oct 10 '13 at 9:42
Well of course They do exist and there are special places like "Heera Mandi(known as place of dancers+singers+prostitutes)" where dance Classes are held. these places do exist in cities like Lahore(Punjab's Capital) ,Karachi and some other cities. But they exist in huge ammount in India. The dancing girls are specifically called tawaef(urdu, Hindi), Kanjari(Punjabi).. but inclusion of prostitution with dance make this thing suspected and damage it's real assence. –  Ali Asad Oct 10 '13 at 9:53
Thanks for mentioning the words "tawaef" and "kanjari". That's very useful, because it means I can now do a google search for extra information. –  Andrew Grimm Oct 10 '13 at 10:38
There's a Wikipedia article under the spelling "tawaif". –  hippietrail Oct 10 '13 at 13:18
"tawaef" is not English word so it's matter of Pronounciation. "tawaef" is nearest pronounciation of the actual word "طوائف" the actual word is from Urdu. –  Ali Asad Oct 11 '13 at 0:56
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