24 Nov 2023
With a colourful and diverse culture at their back, when Pakistanis travel to foreign countries for better employment opportunities to earn a living and send money to Pakistan to offer financial aid to their family back home, they are extended a warm welcome by their hosts.
A diverse culture decorated with vibrant multi-colours has always been a fascination for foreigners.
Do you know why the culture of Pakistan has always attracted people from outside the country? Why, despite the questionable media propaganda about the country and its people, when you travel abroad as a Pakistani migrant, you are offered a reception you hardly expect?
Well, the brief answer to these questions lies in the details about the culture of Pakistan, which is pretty fascinating.
This blog will guide you about Pakistani culture and its elements that you may not be aware of despite being a national.
Pakistan is a multi-ethnic country that sits in a prime geographical location in South-East Asia. This region has a rich history of migration, and conquests which have added to the diversity of the country’s culture.
Therefore, the norms and values, forming the culture as a whole, vary greatly. It has led to distinct identities of its provinces and regions, which are distinguished from one another to the extent that it poses certain challenges in identifying identical and consistent practices, beliefs, and values.
In short, you can describe the culture of Pakistan as a cultural painting in which traditionalism and conservatism sit in proximity to liberalism and secularism.
With this cultural background, millions of Pakistanis are living abroad for different purposes and except for the rare and minor hiccups they face due to insignificant reasons, they have largely been given fair treatment.
A report by Piolet Guides estimates that around 9 million Pakistani migrants are spread across the world.
These migrants have been making a significant financial contribution to the country’s economy through the remittances they send back through a money transfer to Pakistan, which they keep repeating.
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Did you know that Pakistani migrants sent back $29.87 billion in inward remittances in 2022? This quantum fell below $31.31 billion in 2021, according to reports by the World Bank. Let’s now understand Pakistani culture. But before understanding the culture of Pakistan, let’s first look at the essential elements of a culture.
The following are the key building blocks of a culture.
Norms are small practices that are unique to every culture. That is one of the reasons why you feel comfortable in one culture and strange in another.
Language is an area where the culture expresses itself the most. Every country despite having a national language has dialects and regional languages, which is where the cultural diversity lies.
Cultural festivals are largely oriented around superstitions and religious beliefs. But these are not always rooted in them and thus are diverse.
Different cultures have different rituals and ceremonies that are important to celebrate. Veteran’s Day in the US is an example of remembering fallen soldiers.
Holidays are also different in every culture. Eid and Moharram holidays in Pakistan and other Muslim countries are prime examples of it.
Certain cultures are known for their cuisine and food. For example, the Japanese culture is famous for Sushi, seafood, and Salmon-based dishes.
Architecture is also unique to every culture. You will hardly find similar architecture and construction designs in different cultures.
Every culture is based on a different religion. And even if two countries share the same religion, their followers will practice rituals differently.
Values are unique to every culture. Political values, religious values, moral values, and so on are practised differently.
What is acceptable in one culture should not necessarily be acceptable in another, and is, therefore, a taboo. Therefore, telling modesty apart from immodesty is relative.
No two cultures pride themselves on the same sports. But the best part is that sports are easily interchangeable between cultures.
Clothes and outfits are also completely different and vary from culture to culture. But like sports, one culture’s clothes can be worn in another provided they are within the adopting culture’s bounds. Other elements include music, pastimes, social hierarchy, symbols, dance, and art.
Let’s now study Pakistani culture which has its uniqueness which is appreciated abroad when you work in a foreign country, earn a living and send money to Pakistan online.
Pakistan is an Islamic state and is thus by and large a conservative and religious society. The following are key components of Pakistani culture.
Pakistan came into existence to provide a system of living for its people that centres around Islam. A majority follow Islam in Pakistan.
Urdu is the national language, spoken and understood across the country. Other languages include Baluchi, Sindhi, Punjabi, and Pushto.
Most of the country’s literature reflects the Islamic code and focuses on delivering the message of love and harmony. Sufi poetry occupies significance in the literature.
The Shalwar Kameez is the traditional dress code which modified in different regions. Pakistani cuisine strictly conforms to Islamic principles.
Pakistani culture is a mixed culture. Several minorities form the society but a majority are Muslims.
In Pakistani culture, males enjoy dominance both individually and on a larger scale.
The country’s art and architecture are magnificent as they are a fine blend of geometric figures and floral patches borrowed from nature.
Embroidery, glazed pottery, woodwork, carpet masking, truck art, metal crafts, leather works, and ivory are essential components of Pakistani culture.
Cricket, squash, hockey, polo, wrestling, and football are all deeply integrated sports in the culture.
The education system of Pakistan is based on the ideology of the country except for modern educational institutions.
Eid ul Fitr, Eid ul Azha, and Ramazan are all critically important religious festivals in Pakistani culture.
These are some of the highlights of Pakistani culture.
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Pakistani culture is influenced by South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, the West and Europe. It is known for hospitality, love for music, dance and food. These factors create appeal for outsiders.
It is because they are considered religious, hard-working, and family-oriented. They integrate well into other cultures and also foreigners tend to reciprocate the hospitality that they get when they come to Pakistan.
The essential elements include Islam, family values, hospitality, love for music and dance and love for traditional cuisine.
Some unique aspects of Pakistani culture include the tradition of Mehndi (Henna) Kabaddi (a form of wrestling) as a sport and the kite-flying festival (Basant).
Some of the most significant festivals and sports in Pakistani culture include Basant, Eid ul Fitr, Eid ul Azha, Moharram, Kabaddi and cricket.