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Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts

Friday, 21 December 2012

Indian culture in Pakistan - Cultural Blues

While searching for my discussion topic which talked about the cultural invasion of Pakistan by India, I was not very impressed by the material present on the internet.  There was one perspective that talked about increasing globalization and there was another point of view stating that yes we are invaded by the Indian media from every corner etc. 

I appreciate good music, fashion trends and fine entertainment even if its coming from across the borders and so do a lot of people who know how to distinguish between what is wrong and right.

We ridicule our Lollywood actresses be it Veena malik , Meera or singers who have gone across borders to earn a livelihood and get some  recognition of their own.  Unless Pakistan does not officially send these people , they are not representing our country.  They have their identity of their own. But we as a nation believe that if our star achieves something amazing  we like to take all the credit and when he does something not acceptable to us we refuse to even acknowledge the fact that they  were once part of us. Not forgetting random people asking Pakistani government to ban these people from coming to the country? Really? Why?  If you ask these people, they bring the religion in between.   Why doesn't religion come between in discussion when there is talk about corrupt leaders or political instability, or when there are acid attacks on our women? Why does religion only come in the discussion when the entertainment industry is discussed? 

Pakistani youth is strong and we have a Voice. We are educated and We know what we want in our lives. No nation is invading any other country.  Media is a free.  Pakistan drama industry is booming and so is the theater  I know a lot of my friends who are part of the theatrical scene in Pakistan and some of them are aspiring directors.  Today a Pakistani believes that if its own product will be upto the standard there is no way any other country can culturally invade us. Thanks to Humsafar – a massive achievement which made every Pakistani believe that our stuff is all quality.
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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Experience At A Village wedding

The account of my witness to a village wedding dates back a month.I have personally experienced that how Pakistani culture and traditions have a huge impact of Indian culture. I along with my family undertook the journey all the way from Lahore to JamaldinWali, a village at around 45 minutes’ drive south of Rahimyar Khan. JamaldinWali being a beautiful place having beautiful people is situated in the largest sugar production belt of Pakistan. The area is surrounded by lush green crops and farms that stay vegetated throughout the year. Most of the people living in the village are either directly or indirectly associated with the sugar production mills, which makes sugar production the major source of income for a large crunch of people living in this area.
I along with my family reached the wedding house on the evening of Mehndi. Navigating our way through the small dark streets, we reached the house of my cousin who was to get married the next day. The house was magnificently lit up and the constant beat of drums and music at night could easily be heard miles away in the quiet and peacefulness of the village.
The bride throughout the week covered her face with a veil and no one was allowed to see her face, the ceremony is said to bring beauty and freshness on the brides face. The best part of Mehndi was that all the music and all the songs were sung and played live, there were no early recorded or movie songs played, infact there was no music system present at all, all the musical instruments were played live as well. All men, women, young and old equally participated in this beautiful and colorful event where the all danced round and round in circles and did Ludi in an exquisite manner. The event of Mehndi continued till 1 o’clock at night and in spite of all the travelling and a disturbed routine we enjoyed so much that none of us was tired or exhauste. Though the village folk live a simple life but at occasions like these they know how to celebrate and live the moment to the fullest.
Eventually the time we all had been waiting for arrived, when all the formalities of Nikah were completed and the Barat arrived. The venue was full of bright colorful people laughing and chanting. Throughout the wedding there were numerous traditional ceremonies which I failed to understand, but still I enjoyed every part of it because there was a sense of happiness on everyone’s face.
Best part of the wedding came after Rukhsati, as the wedding was taking place amongst next door neighbors, so we got to be the part of the bridegroom’s wedding party “Barat” when the bride reached her new abode.
Throughout the wedding the beat of drums along with chanting of ladies and Ludi continued like a ritual. This was my only and experience of a village wedding and is one of the most memorable event of my life. My people were very humble and hospitable.

Mobina Zahid
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Monday, 2 April 2012



The first and most important duty in Islam after one has brought faith in God and in Prophet Mohammad and borne witness to Divine Oneness and the Apostleship of the holy Prophet is Namaz. It is a most special act of Divine worship, which a Muslim is called upon to perform five times a day. There are numerous verses of the Quran and the Traditions of the Prophet enjoining the Namaz on us. It has been described as the pillar and the foundation of the faith.


Namaz, if it is offered with a sincere heart and proper devotion and mental concentration, is particularly vested with the property of cleansing the heart and reforming one’s life and ridding it of sins and impurities. It generates love for piety and truth and promotes fear of God in man. Thus it is that Islam has laid greater emphasis on it than on all other religious obligations. When anyone came to the Prophet to embrace Islam, the first promise the sacred prophet took from him, after instructing him in Divine Oneness, was that he will offer the Namaz regularly. In fine, after the Kalima, Namaz is the bedrock of Islam.
Traditions We know from the Traditions that the holy Prophet used to equate neglect of the Namaz with infidelity. He denounced it as the way of the unbelievers. He would say that those who did not offer the Namaz had not share in the faith.
A Tradition of the Prophet reads, “What separates a believer from infidelity is simply the Namaz”.
This Tradition clearly warns that if a Muslim will give up the Namaz he will get associated with infidelity; his conduct will become the conduct of an infidel. In another Tradition the Prophet has said, “He has no share in Islam who does not offer the Namaz”.



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Pakistan has one of the oldest and unique cultures inherited from the Indian sub- continent and Indus valley civilization which was established 5000 years ago. Also called the Indus Valley or Harappan civilization, Indus was the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. The emphasis on the Islamic religion has brought about a strong romantic identification with Islamic culture in Pakistan.
Literature is one of the most famous art especially poetry and the credit for the fame of poetry goes to artists like allama iqbal and faiz ahmed faiz. These and few other artists used their art to promote Pakistan’s independence in 1947 as their work provided great motivation for muslim’s and stressed upon the need of a separate country for muslim’s because of cultural and religious differences although the nation’s government was still undecided. In the midst of this tense political uncertainty, writers questioned and critiqued Pakistan’s founding in stories and poems. Poetry is a highly respected art and profession in Pakistan due to sub-continents long affiliation with the Persian Empire.
In that era music, dance and theatre received less attention than poetry and literature but paintings and sculptures were making considerable progress as the way of expression by artists .After the independence Pakistani artists adopted modernism and change was on its way as Pakistan got more and more educated the progress was slow due to the stereotypical thinking but Pakistan got enriched and more educated with time as it got it economic freedom and a country to practice their own culture.
The 1960s brought a strong American cultural impact on Pakistani urban centers. Films and publications were shown, and media was used to promote to promote many things. Through art historians and visiting exhibitions, Pakistani artists received exposure to abstract style. Those educated in the English medium schools readily adopted western styles, valuing forward progress.
Pakistan is a country rich and diverse in all forms of art and culture. The country is home to numerous art galleries, museums, performing arts theaters, drama and dance studios, and film events. Although Lahore is depicted as the cultural capital, all major centers and many rural areas have cultural events and festivals throughout the year.
In this era Pakistan faces the biggest challenge of terrorism but arts and culture one of Pakistan’s biggest asset can be the remedy for this situation because culture in all aspect arts, religion, sports, education and especially youth can mould and prevent terrorist mentality and extremism.

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Sunday, 1 April 2012

ANDROON SHEHAR: Walled city of Lahore

Androon Shehar Lahore or Old Lahore is the heart of LahoreIts cultural property is in the form of forts, gateways, mosques, residential buildings, tombs and palaces. Walled city and the thirteen gates is another historical heritage we have. The gates are named after the places they are located in or after a significant building in their vicinity.  Old Lahore is facing plenty of problems to which the government of Pakistan has been greatly ignorant.  The problem of infrastructure in old Lahore is one of the major economic issues there.  People in the walled city have just adopted themselves to the way of life in old Lahore. 
androon shehar lahore: delhi darwaza, dehli gate

Life in Androon Lahore is difficult and different compared to the life in new Lahore. The infrastructure facilities are not provided which is a major hindrance for the people there. Infrastructure facilities include proper sewerage system, roads, electricity, telephone lines, transportation and proper waste disposal. Infrastructure facilities like proper waste disposal and sewerage system are of little or no existence in the walled city. People residing in these areas are the only ones to suffer and they complain that more attention is being paid by the government to the people in the areas of Lahore such as, Defence, Gulberg, Cantt, Johar Town, etc. 
lahore walled ciy androon shehr

In this modern time little or no work could be carried out without electricity. Pakistan has been suffering load shedding for the past 3 years. Cities like Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad suffer less load shedding compared to the other cities in Pakistan. The average amount of load shedding in Lahore is 8 to 10 hours in a day. In the walled city it is 14 to 16, this explains the difference. Electricity results as a major hindrance in their work.  
People claimed that several issues affect their income out of which electricity and narrow roads play the most important role. Shops that are a little large in size use generators, which itself is not feasible because of the rising prices of petrol, and others use ups or work without electricity. No proper transportation facilities are there. Car parking is a major problem. People have to park their cars on main roads which again results in traffic jamsThere sales keep low because people avoid coming into the market without their vehicles. The sales vary every month due to which workers hired are not paid fixed salary. Many of the people even quit their business in search of jobs because of the loss they suffer and many start duel jobs. 

A major infrastructural facility that abides many of us to enter the area is the proper sewerage system and waste disposal. No waste disposal facilities are thereAs the roads are narrow the waste is just thrown out of the house or in a nearby place that becomes a waste disposal area for many living there. The odor of the waste is unbearable.  Despite it being a business hub, Androon Shehr Lahore is despised of the modern luxuries of he world
Androon Lahore - Walled City of Lahore

Walled city is a part of Lahore and the technological advances should be made there too along with the advances in new Lahore. There should and must be no distinction. 

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Written by: ZAINAB SHAHID 
My gaze veered towards the couple engaged in a blatant display of lewdness. The youth reached towards the decanter of the finest wine whilst snaking his arm around the small of her back. The girl expelled a puff of smoke-both of them relishing the temporary oblivion they were seeking to pursue. Vehemently. This is the youth of Pakistan-The Land of the Pure. We need to hold ourselves and those before us responsible for the tumultuous condition of this country where there is a dearth of food, clean water, electricity and whatnot? You name it and we "don't" have it. Our despot politicians have resorted to Machiavellian tactics in order to assuage their insatiable greed for power and money and we do or say nothing and act like spectators to a very intriguing Broadway show. Is it because the life of those close to us has been spared? Until now, that is. Is this the reason why we have adopted a blasé attitude towards the incessant killing of innocent civilians in Karachi? What about the innumerable orphans and the widows, who cry tears of blood every day. We prefer to stay mum on the issue of the drone attacks which is an everyday occurrence in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Innocent denizens who have not committed a single act of terrorism in their lives are being brutally divested of their right to live. To breathe. To survive. It is easy to stigmatize Muslims as terrorists but what about Anders Behring Breivik who ruthlessly opened fire on adolescents? What about Raymond Davis' unscrupulous act of killing Pakistani's in cold-blood? What have we done to our beloved country? This is not the Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam had strived hard for.It is high time that the lush valleys of Pakistan reverberate with the jubilant shouts of young children rather than bomb blasts. We need to take a stand against corruption- a malicious disease which has seeped in to our roots. It is imperative that the rights of women be restored. Their position in this society respected and they be treated with the honor bestowed upon them by Islam. Imbibing of alcohol and intake of drugs should be frowned upon rather than being embraced with open arms. We as a youth are obsessed with the gaudy ways of the West. Most of us openly ridicule those who are not proficient in English which is not even our mother-tongue. We are so deeply complexed that we refuse to recognize our own beautiful language and give druthers to English over it. H Jackson brown Jr. said:"Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means that they know another language.” We are the future of Pakistan and it's fate is in our hands. Let’s make a solemn vow to not bow and scrape but to speak up for what we believe in. To let go of our hedonistic ways and do something for our nation. It's time for a change. It’s time for us to realize the importance of voting. To choose a leader who has morals, scruples, and first and foremost, a conscience. The 14th of August is fast approaching. Let’s repeat history once again and not be the oppressed one's anymore. Pakistan Zindabad! 
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