Characteristics of Pakistani Society and Culture
Characteristics of Pakistani culture:
According to E.B. Taylor,
“Culture is a complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, customs and all other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of a society.”
Every great nation enjoys its own culture. Similarly, Pakistani culture is very distinct due to its Islamic nature and rich historical background. Pakistani culture has the following characteristics:
i- Islamic values and traditions.
ii- National and regional languages.
iii- Mixed culture.
iv- Rich literature
v- Male dominated society.
vi- Variety of Dresses
vii- Fairs and Festival
i- Islamic Values:
Pakistani culture is a part of the contemporary Islamic civilization which draws its value and traditions from Islam and rich Islamic history. Majority of population comprises of Muslims and follows teachings of Islam, i-e., belief in one Allah, Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad P.B.U.H, brotherhood, equality and social justice etc. Islam is religion of peace and patience. Pakistani society is very cooperative. National calendar is marked by religious days which are observed with great devotion.
ii- National and Regional Languages:
Pakistan is a large country which comprises of four provinces, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA). All of these component parts have their own regional languages. As such Punjabi, Pashtu, Sindhi, Balochi, Barohi and Kashmiri are regional languages. However, Urdu is the national language which is spoken and understood in all parts of the country.
iii- Mixed Culture:
Practically speaking Pakistani culture is a beautiful blend of the Punjabi, Sindhi, Pathan, Baluchi, Barohi, Seraiki and Kashmiri cultures. In addition, the presence of Hindu community in Sindh gives touches of dance and music in the Sindhi region. The Hindus sing Bhajan but Pakistani culture has adopted Qawwali which is a praise of the Holy Prophet P.B.U.H.
iv- Rich Literature:
Pakistani culture is rich in the literatures of Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtu, Baruhi, Baluchi and Kashmiri languages. Urdu literature boasts of the masterpieces of Maulana Azad, Iqbal, Shibli, Hali, Ghalib, Agha Hashar, Manto and Faiz whereas the Punjabi literature stands out with great names like Waris Shah, Sultan Bahu, Ghulam Farid, Bulhay Shah and Shah Hussain etc. Similarly, Sindhi literature glitters with the masterpieces of Shah Abdul Latif, Sachal Sarmast, Shah Qadir Bakhsh, and Faqir Nabi Bakhsh. The Pushto literature also boasts of names like Sheikh Saleh, Raghoon Khan, Akhund dardeeza, Khushal Khan Khattak and Rahman Baba. The Baluchi literature comprises of masterpieces of Jam Durk, Muhammad Ali, Zahoor Shah Hashmi, Ghani Parvez, Hasrat Baluch, Abbas Ali Zemi and Aziz Bugti etc.
v- Male Dominated Society:
Pakistani society is dominated by male members. Each family is headed by the senior most male member who is responsible for arranging the bread and butter of the family.
vii- Variety of Dresses:
Pakistani culture is rich in variety of dresses: The people of Punjab, the Pathans of NWFP, the Baluchi people and the Sindhis wear their own distinct dresses. These dresses are very colourful and prominent and give attractive look during national fairs and festivals.
viii-Fairs and Festivals:
The culture of Pakistan has great tradition of Fairs and festivals. These fairs are held in all parts of the country. Moreover, annual urs of great saints are held to commemorate their anniversaries. On these occasions, fairs are also held in which people take part in great numbers. Out of these the Horse and Cattle shows of Lahore, Mianwali and Sibi are famous wheseas the Polo festival fo Gilgit is prominent at national and international level. Moreover annual urs of Hazrat Daata Ganj Bakhsh, Madhu Lal Hussain, Baba Bulhay Shah, Baba Farid Gunj Shakar, Baba Gulu Shah, Pir Jamaat Ali Shah, Abdul Latif Bhitaii, Hazrat Noshah Ganj Bakhsh, Bari Imam, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, and Bahauddin Zakriya are celebrated with great fervour.
Pakistani people are great lovers of sports and games. Modern games like hockey, cricket, football, badminton, squash, table tennis and lawn tennis are played throughout the coutnry. In addition wrestling, boxing, and athletics are also very popular among masses. Pakistan has produced great sportsmen in the past. These include Bholu in Wrestling, Hanif, Miandad, Imran, Wasim Akram, and Inzamam in cricket, Shehnaz sheikh, Islahuddin, KHalid mahmood, Akhtar Rasool, and Munir Dar in hockey and Jahangir, Jansher in squash.
Pakistan enjoys great distinction in handicrafts at international level. Wooden furniture of Chiniot, sports goods of Sialkot and embroidery of Multan and Hyderabad is world famous.