The Pakistani Culture: Unity in Diversity
Written By: Rida Zainab Kharal
Pakistan, being ethnically diverse is like an amalgamation of cultures bound together by nationalism and religion.Besides the diversity, national unity is reflected by every aspect of its culture. Pakhtun, Baloch, Punjabi and Sindhi are all Muslims yet they have different cultural traditions, even they speak different languages. Moreover, the white part of the flag, the minorities, are given due right and enjoy religious and political freedom in the state.
It will be fair to say that the Pakistani culture is the modern form of the Islamic civilization where faith and Islamic traditions play the major role in deriving cultural aspects.Majority of the population is Muslim and live peaceful with the minorities as prescribed by Islam. Holidays are observed at national level on the the important dates of the lunar calendar.Religious festivals are celebrated with zeal. The society is mainly patriarchal but women are given their due rights, liberties and freedom.
Regional languages, which are a remarkable constituent of the culture, are as many as one may count as the dialect, accent and vocabulary mix and transform in every ten kilometers radius. some of the major regional languages are Punjabi, Sindhi, Saraiki, Bharvi, Balochi, Hindko, Kashmiri, Shina; all rules by the national language when spoken, Urdu. English is also widely known and used as a medium of instructions in a considerable chunk of educational institutions.
Literature is another beautiful aspect of any culture. the Pakistani culture is replete with masterpieces of Waris Shah, Bhullay Shah, Ghulam Farid, Shah Hussain,Abdul Latif Bhatai, Sachal Sarmast,Faqir nabi Bakhsh, Khushaal Khattak, Raghoon Khan, Ghani Parveez and many more. the masterpieces of the national poet, Iqbal, are admired by all.
No culture can be a culture without having its distinctive wardrobe and cuisines.A variety of dresses is worn by the Pakistanis: Dhoti, Lungi,Kurta,turban and Khussa are popular among Punjabis, The Baloch prefer Jama, Balochi Shalwar, Dastaar, Phashik and world famous Balochi Sanals .Tthe Sindhi attire has Ajrak or Chunri fabric, Lehnga choli, Chanero and Julaba are worn by women, while men like wearing Shindhi caps and Ajrak Chadar. The Pathans wear Khat Partug, Kullah, Chogha,and Sharai. The national dress, shalwar kameez, is the most popular. The list of popular food is longer than one may imagine. Lassi,Sherbet, Sattu and rabri Doodh are well liked and Sugarcane juice is the national drink. Balochi Sajji, Punjab’s Saag Paratha, Baltistan’s Balay, KPK’s Chapali Kabab and Sindhi Biryani can make anyone crave.
Sports are an important part of the Pakistani social life. A variety of sports are played across the the county including Kabaddi, Football, Wollyball, Cricket, Polo, Tent-pegging, Gully danda and board games like Ludo and Carrom.
No other country across the globe can produce handicrafts as aesthetic and qualitative products are produces in Pakistan. Wooden furniture of Chiniot, sports goods of Sialkot, embroidery of Multan, Khaddar of Kamalia, Chappal of Peshawar, Chunri of Hyderabad and a list of other handicrafts are produced in their best possible shape in Pakistan.
As education plays an important role in framing a nation’s future, due importance is vested in the said sector to ensure unity and solidarity of the nation. Measures are being taken to improve the educational sector every now and then. Madariss also have a great contribution in educating the youth. Besides the worldly knowledge Taleem ul Deen is considered equally important , Sufis, Ulema and Mushaikhs are treated with great respect.
The political culture of Pakistan is a developing-democratic one. Elections are held regularly and military intrusions in the political process have diminished. With every general election being held, voting turnout is increasing and the future of democracy is bright.
Pakistan has a culture that reflects unity in diversity. Even the flag of the country is multicolored: the green reflects the Muslims and the white symbolizes the minorities, the star and the moon spread a message of peace.