From Dnieper to Indus | by Hafsa Mustansar


From Dnieper to Indus

IT is considered that life always exists along the water; where there is water there is life. A glance at the primitive times gives an idea about the emergence of great civilizations.

In this connection, Dnieper River in Ukraine and the Indus in Pakistan do not require any explanation.

These mighty rivers gave birth to the world’s oldest civilizations and cultures. The famous Trypillian and Harrapan cultures of the ancient times originated along these rivers.

Located in Eastern Europe and bordered with Bulgaria, Hungary, Belarus and Romania, Ukraine is famously known as bread basket of Europe. It has also been accounted as the heart of Europe.

Ukraine’s rich history has set this country at the core of the first eastern Slavic State. Its Carpathian Mountains have an aura like Himalayans.

Both Pakistan and Ukraine have striking similarities in many aspects: The Trypillian culture bears colours of Harappan culture.

The evidence collected after excavations shows that people of this civilization produced painted ceramics, built two storied dwellings and worked on copper.

They maintained direct or indirect relations with other cultures of that time, carried out economic and cultural exchanges not only within Europe but also with Mesopotamia and Asia.

Every Trypillian community had its own taste for shapes and ornaments of pottery, a trend also found in the Harappan culture.

Besides, the Trypillian communities used three hundred signs which they used to paint on pottery and statuettes. Such signs also bear resemblance with the Harappan pottery signs.

In the present times, remarkable resemblance can be seen in the motifs, patterns and colour preference between people of Pakistan and Ukraine. In addition, Ukrainian people also have similar facial features like Pashtuns in Pakistan.

All civilizations sooner or later are relegated to oblivion and become part of history forever (Mykhailo Videiko) An analysis and comparison of Trypillian material culture, pottery, statuettes types and technologies of buildings dwellings, typical instruments and tools of labour shows that Trypillian culture emerged as a result of interaction of several cultures of Neolithic age and it has common cultural features of Harappan culture of South Asia.

Simultaneously, Pakistan’s history stretches back thousands of years. With the land having pre-historic settlements, the earliest being to Lower Paleolithic (CA. 700,000 to 400,000 BC) and having been part of the Macedonian, Afghan, Turkic, Persian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Mughal and British Empires, its history and heritage consists of some extremely diverse sites that have contributed to the identity of the region.

Pakistan, the house of great civilizations of the pre-historic world, is the land that produced remarkable art that blended the ideas of the eastern and western world.

It makes a difference in the cultural heritage of Pakistan and deserves the attention of the whole world.

With having striking cultural similarities with Pakistan, Ukraine is portraying itself in favourable light. Let’s embrace the commonalties of both countries and ignore the differences.

We should follow the principle of some intellectuals: successful states are all alike to make difference in the field of cultural heritage globally.

The best solution for improving cultural ties may come from getting to know each other as whole instead of just believing on opinions.

We should need to be live more connected into the connected planet by strengthening cultural ties to bring the Pakistan closer together with Ukraine.
—The writer an MPhil in Asian Studies, is associated with Ukraine Embassy.