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Saturday, 16 June 2007

Customs and traditions in Pakistan

Hello Smokey and Everyone

It’s so nice to see you Smokey! You are sweet and seem very lazy but I like you. Hmmm! Jo has quite smart pets who can use the computers too. Smokey a kiss for you for the homework and some fish too (I hope you are not vegetarian).

Ok Smokey, have fun! It’s time talk to Jo. As you asked Jo, whether balti is a Pakistani dish or Indian. It’s an Indian dish and is also liked in Pakistan. But there are many dishes that are shared by both India and Pakistan and are cooked almost the same way. On the whole, you will find minor no differences between the foods in the two countries. Baltistan (Bal is pronounced as ble in the word able) is an area in Pakistan and has no connection with the dish balti as such. A little information about Baltistan, it is also known as Baltiyul, the language spoken here is Balti. Baltistan is often called little ‘Tibet’. I hope you will find it informative.

I think before I start writing about the customs and traditions in Pakistan, I must do my homework first.
1) Naheed is a talented artist, isn’t she?
2) Naheed draws beautifully, doesn’t she?
3) Today is Saturday, isn’t it?
4) You are good at English, aren’t you?
5) I am quite a grumpy cat, aren’t I?

And Jo is a nice teacher, isn’t she?

Let’s talk about the customs and traditions. According to my knowledge these two are a part of a culture along with religion, language and the way of living. Some customs and traditions are such that we like to follow them, some need changes and some are a kind that after a long time of practice we come to realise that we better not to follow them.

In Pakistan, man is considered to owe the responsibility to look after his family; in terms of clothing and shelter, and woman is supposed to look after her family, her home. Here I would like to throw some light on the view of Islam about the rights of man and woman. They are equal, they both have a right to get education, they are treated equally and are respected equally. In some matters the man is given superiority over the woman. It is just like, there are two students and both have secured equal marks in exams. One secured highest marks in math and the other secured highest in science, but the sum of their total marks is equal. Physically, man is considered stronger than woman and that’s why he’s been given the responsibility to look after his family as a bread winner and protect his family. However, there are no restrictions on women and they are respected.

It’s a custom that elderly members are considered to be the important members of a family. Their opinion is highly considered in all the matters. Marriages are both arranged and love, it’s usually a boy’s family that sends proposal for marriage to the girl’s family. A traditional Pakistani wedding lasts for three to four days. The first two days are of a family get to gather as women paint their hands with beautiful henna designs. It’s a tradition that a bride’s hands and feet are painted with henna in a very special way. Groom doesn’t paint his hands with henna of course, but his little finger is painted by his sisters and cousins to wish him happiness.

Third day is a very special day as this is the day when the wedding takes place. The bride and the groom are dressed in their best wedding clothes and are given official papers to sign which is followed by Nikkah; it’s a recitation of few verses from the Quran. There is a wedding reception after Nikkah, where all the friends and family members gather to celebrate the occasion. I like to attend wedding receptions very much because one gets a delicious feast of various foods and I love food. Then the time comes for the ‘Rukhsati’, it’s a time when bride meets her family and weeps as she is leaving her home to begin a new life with her new family.

A picture for you of a Pakistani wedding couple.

This is my cousin brother and his bride

I hope you liked the picture of a traditional wedding I tried to paint. Let’s talk about how we welcome our guests. Suppose you come to my home as guests, if you come at the lunch time, my mother will never let you go without lunch. She will serve you with a delicious food that she will make in a jiffy. If you come in the evening, you are surely going to have a cup of tea and snacks and she will insist to have dinner with us too. At the time of saying bye she will present you a gift.

In some parts of Pakistan, it is a custom that when there are guest at home, they are served with the best food. They present women a shawl as a gift which is considered to be a sign of respect to them and to men a shawl and a hat for the same reasons.

Here’s something about the homes we live, all kinds of homes you will see here from the bigger ones to the smaller ones. My home is perfect according to our family size and when there are guests, it never falls short of space. There are three rooms, two bathrooms, a balcony, a common space and a kitchen.

James had asked me the difference between the masjid and mosque. There is no difference between the two. Masjid is an Arabic word for the place where people worship. Mosque is an English word for this.

A bit about music in Pakistan, you can hear rock, jazz, pop, classical and almost all kind of music here. I like classical music and I’m very selective about music. My favourites are, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Sajjad Ali, The Beatles and Whitney Houston. I like to listen to them.

Best wishes to Sleepy Smokey and All



Hi Naheed! I really enjoy reading your today´s blog. I learnt a bit more about you and your country. Thanks for that! Good night, Ana Paula.

Hello Naheed, I've read your blog daily and in little words I want to congratulate you for your attention by answering the several questions and mainly for the dedication to tell us the news about your wonderful country. This is significant because it increases even further the participation of everyone and at the same time, with this exchange of information, the opportunity people have to improve their English. Regards to you and your family. All the best, Julio.

Hi Naheed! You describe the Pakistani wedding in an interesting way, however, you don't justify 'Nikkah', saying it only recitation of few verses from the Quran. 'Nikkah' is the act of acceptance from both sides followed by recitation.

Hi dear Naheed ! Well down ! I take my hat off to you ! You 've done grates jobs in your three past Blogs ! You described Pakistan very well , but I wish you be kind enough to put some photo of places that you introduce to us . Pleas don't forgot doing it . Your description of Islam point of view about differences between men and women was grate . Also I loved your traditional wedding . But does always bride wears red dress in the wedding ceremony or only in traditional wedding ceremony they wear red dress ?Again thank you and see your nexts Blogs

You wrote about the treatment that is given to a woman in your country. What do you think about Iran, which is a Muslim country. Are the women treated equally ?

Dear Naheed, It was very interesting reading your blog today! I'm from Italy...and your country seems to be a completely different world for me! I'd like to ask a question: do you mind telling me how people celebrate the birth of a baby in Pakistan? Here in Italy we don't have typical ways to celebrate it..but if I had had a baby I would have organized a spectacular reception..the miracle of birth is the greatest gift which God gave to human beings! Many many thanks, Fulvio

Hi, Naheed. The bride is wearing the beautiful gown, isn't she? Are there any traditional clothes for men? We have a wedding and a wedding reception in one day. The Beatles is one of my favorites as well.

Dear Naheed, I loved the way of your explanation about the rights of man and woman in Islam. In Turkey, I think this difference is only made in Turkey, masjid is the place where one only can pray (namaz),it's smaller than mosque, whereas in mosques the Imam's make speeches and special ceremonies take places. Best wishes.

Hello Naheed! There are lot of interesting subjects to speak with you today! Since the last July to Easter I used to have once or twice a weak an English lesson with as young and lovely student teacher as you are.She helped me much. You and Jo are on her place now and I like these lessons (as all previous bloggers)much too, because to write `homeworks´(comments) come easily from the heart here. I like the foto especially wonderful red colour. You maybe can come on one special day to visit my little old towm. Beautiful caste here is wellknown with its Golden Hall where people over the whole country come for their wedding ceremonies. I saw here famous Slovak ice-hockey NHL star, Miro Šatan, on this occassion and even scotish men wearing their kilts (yes teacher Alex-say somebody him!). But what I the most share with you is love to scatching and painting. You see how close we are!I like to paint birds as you maybe read in Stephen`s column. Are there in your country pelicans?I`ve drawn the funny birds with aquarel pencils. Keep comming your nice post!

Wow! Naheed! Your description has been witty and informative. I am dumbfounded :()

Hi Naheed ... Keep smiling !! Amazingly regarding Thai tradition when our guest drop in my house , I normally give a big welcome served by food ,beverage and another thing that I can supply. On the other hand guest who is a friend or other persons must take gift when he drop by my hose. It is my warm tradition. I think our tradition have something in common in aspect of welcome our guest and wedding. Anyway in the first picture I love it but to be honest I never see it before. I think it is the fake fish in the tray comparing to Thai fish in the dish. That are all my comment today. Enjoy your life!!! < wisarut >

Hi Naheed, Thank for your introduction. In Taiwan, to treat people a meal is a nice way to entertain a guest. And the guests customarily offer a gift to the hosts. It’s a polite way to see friends at their home. However, if friends see each other frequently, the guests don’t need to offer a gift. In Pakistan, as you said’ Hostess will give the guest a gift (shawl and/or hat)’, what I think is :‘if I go to your home 3 times a week, I could get 3 shawls and hats in a week, couldn’t I?’ Best Regards

haan aapa Gee! i am glad to read all this and u have drawn a great picture of our custom. and u'll be surprized how i got u here...:)

Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.

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