Pakistan — a land of cultural diversity | By Sheikh Fakhar-e-Alam


Pakistan — a land of cultural diversity

PAKISTAN has a rich and unique cultural heritage that has actively preserved its established traditions and testimony throughout history.

It is like a rainbow of diverse social, ethnic, linguistic and cultural homeland, a country of over 220 million people.

Just like their awesome culture, Pakistanis are passionate, emotional, expressive and colourful people.

Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Kashmiri, Pashtun and a bunch of other groups largely contribute to the enhancement of cultural diversity.

Walter Lippmann once said that “Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear”.

Different regions across the country have their own different flavours and varieties. Pakistani culture is as diverse as its people.

From people of different religions and places, to diversity in food cuisines, languages and dresses sustain the variety in a greater manner.

Pakistan’s beauty is truly manifested through the combination of green and white colours in its national flag.

This multilingual, multi-ethnic and multicultural society depict Pakistan’s rich pluralistic image.

Pakistanis have various major components of their personality and versatility like courage, generosity, self-respect, justice, hospitality, tolerance and loyalty.

This cultural diversity leads to the promotion of tolerance, acceptance, harmony and peace.

“Pakistan beauty and splendour” a photographic book by Irfan Saghir Mirza shows that Pakistan is the best place for landscape photography and videography.

Diverse culture has exposed Pakistani musicians to many different poetic forums and styles, along with languages and literature.

From traditional singing style like Qawwali to folk music and Urdu songs; everything is on fleek when it comes to Pakistan’s sense of music.

In the words of Robert Alan “cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity”. Western music has also grabbed limelight in Pakistan with an increasing pace.

The nation has also produced legendary international singers, like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Noor Jahan, Reshma, Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Parveen Shakir, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ahmad Faraz who have left a tremendous influence on the culture and the collective conscience of the people.

Book titled “Explore the beauty of Pakistan” by Zahid Sultan is also a great piece of work which shows that Pakistan is a land blessed with enormously rich historical heritage, diverse culture, high adventure and unmatched natural beauty.

Sufism has added great beauty to the already unique Islamic flavour of the country.

Some of the country’s most spiritually advanced and unifying messages of love are found in Sufi poetry.

The leading Punjabi sufi poets are Sultan Bahoo, Bulley Shah, Waris Shah and Mian Muhammad Buksh.

Sindh also is the land of great mystics such as Sachal Sarmast, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.

Pushtuns have also produced great poets and mystics like Rahman Baba, Khushaal Khan Khattak and Pir Baba, who have all propagated the message of eternal love.

The land of Balochistan has given nativity to dynamic poets named Gul Khan Naseer, Attah Shad, Sayeed Zahoor Shah Hashmi and Yousaf Ali Khan Magsi.

Book titled “The beauty of Pakistan” by Graham Hancock and co-authored by Mohamed Amin and Duncan Willetts gives general idea of multi cultures in Pakistan, including historical information and background to some tourist sites as well.

This diversity makes our country a more interesting place to live, as people from diverse cultures contribute language skills, new ways of thinking, new knowledge, and different experiences.

Cultural diversity supports the idea that every person can make a unique and positive contribution to the larger society.

Pakistan is a place where diversity is recognized and respected, various cultural ideas are acknowledged and valued, contribution from all groups are encouraged, people are empowered to achieve their full potential and differences are celebrated.

Pakistani truck art is not the only world-famous example of its craftsmanship. Passed down through generations, Pakistani craft includes a plethora of styles, materials

and aesthetics. Calligraphy in Arabic is one of the most prominent skills found in many local buildings and sites and wall hangings like copper work, paintings and carved wood.

Pottery, especially blue pottery, typical of Sindh and Multan, is loved all over the world for its look. Naqashi, or the art-making of camel-skin lamps, is another example of local craft.

Pakistan also derives in tourism, as places like Swat, Hunza, Thatta, Mohenjo Daro and Lahore hold a lot of historical information and needless beauty.

Pakistan is a virtual heaven for many cultures and ethnicities; from Eids to Christmas, Ashura to Eid Miladun Nabi, Ramzan to Easter, Basant to Holi all religious/cultural events are held in an atmosphere of social harmony.

Government should plan a short, medium and long term policies for projection of Pakistan’s cultural diversity

. In this regard, there is a pressing need to engage domestic print and electronic media for proliferation and projection of the beautiful attractions of the country.

Government should also offer its full support to international travel V-loggers, photo artists and journalists to come and work freely through offering easy visa schemes followed by facilitation at home ground.
— The writer is an academic researcher & media analyst.