Society and Culture of Pakistan

Written by Ilmgaah

Society and Culture of Pakistan

Living together with people is called society. Culture means those patterns of living, which have been practiced in a certain community for centuries. The culture is also referred to by the words “customs” and “traditions”. Culture undergoes changes with the passage of time. It has a deep association with religion and ideology. For example, before the rise of Islam, the Arabs used to serve their guest’s wine and entertain them with music. After accepting Islam they abandoned these evil practices. Since Islamic ideology is strong enough, Pakistani culture dominantly reflects Islamic teachings. In the past, several non-muslim nations ruled the territory that is part of present-day Pakistan. Their peculiar cultural imprints can still be seen in our living style.

speaking, “Culture is the way of life which a society develops generation after generation in the light of its material and spiritual needs.” Culture is also associated with the physical characteristics and economic resources of an area. For instance, the people of the mountainous areas of Pakistan live quite differently from those of the plain areas. Similarly, cultural differences exist between the people living in dry-cold and hot-humid regions.

National Culture

The land of Pakistan has profound physical diversity. It has lofty mountains, plateaus, and vast plains. Some regions are extremely hot, while some others are too cold or moderate. There is about a 1050 km long coastal belt in the south of the country, which experiences a moderate climate and a high ratio of atmospheric humidity. The cultural traits of its inhabitants are quite distinctive. The few common cultural traits of Pakistani society are discussed below:

i. Ethical Values

Pakistan is an Islamic state; hence the moral values of its people are based on Islam. Their dresses, trade, educational system, mode of relationship, eating habits, etc. all reflect the Islamic way of life. The people of Pakistan believe in respect for all, Islamic brotherhood, and equality. Respect for the elders, care, and love for senile parents, respect for women, and the rights of neighbors etc. are the fundamental ethical values of our society.

ii. Festivals

Our religious festivals are called “Eids”, which are two in a year: Eid-ul- Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. One of our national festivals is Pakistan Day, which is celebrated on 23 March each year. On this day, a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Sub-continent was demanded. Another event is Independence Day, which is celebrated on 14″ August each year. This is the day when the dream of a separate homeland for Muslims came true. Likewise, Defense Day (6th September), the birth and anniversary days of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam are among our national events of celebration.

iii. Architecture

On the arrival of Mohammad Bin Qasim in the Sub-continent in 712 A.D. the foundation of a new civilization was laid here. One of the features of that civilization is its unique style of architecture. The buildings constructed by Muslims exhibit a sense of openness, aesthetics, and tranquility. The building included in our cultural heritage is Badshahi Masjid. Shahi Qilaa, Shalimar Garden and the Sunehri Masjid. All four are located in Lahore. Moreover, Masjid Mohabbat Khan (Peshawar), Masjid Shah Jahan (Thatta), and Masjid Bhong (Sadiqabad) are also famous and spectacular historical sites in our country.

iv. Calligraphy

Muslims have been unsurpassable in calligraphy. We have inherited this talent from our ancestors. During the Mughal dynasty, new calligraphic styles were devised and the existing styles have been modified through innovative art. A number of calligraphers wrote the Holy Quran.

in various letter designs. Kings like Zaheer ud din Babar, Aurangzeb Alanger, and Bahadur Shah Zafar, not only supported this art but they themselves had a great command of it. Sadiqain is a prominent name in promoting this art in Pakistan. He wrote the Holy Quran in a fascinating style. Gul Jee is another worth mentioning name in this field.

v. Dresses

V. Pakistanis commonly wear a shalwar and kameez. In many areas, men wear a turban. The women cover their bodies with a sheet or veil called a “dupatta”. In Punjab Province, the band is worn in rural areas instead of shalwar. Sindhis wear shalwar and kameez but they are distinguished by their embroidered caps. In addition to that, they also wear locally made sheets, called “Ajrak”. The Pashtoons of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan wear waistcoats, turbans, or Qaraqulli or a type of woolen cap. The Balochi dress generally consists of a typically embroidered waistcoat, a long turban, creased shalwar, and flat shoes. Balochi women wear thickly embroidered beautiful dresses.

vi. Food

Wheat and rice are parts of our staple diet. Corn is widely grown in Kashmir and Northern Areas, hence it is the staple food there. In some rural areas, millet (bajra) is cultivated and bread made of it is eaten with great relish. Islam establishes a clear distinction between Halal (legal) and Haram (forbidden) food. The meat obtained from cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep and chicken is halal, therefore it is widely used in Pakistan. Fish is also a favorite food all over the country but is mostly enjoyed by the people living in coastal areas. The people of Punjab and interior Sindh mostly use milk, curd, and whey, while those of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan use fresh and dry fruits.

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