Sunday, June 03, 2007

Because Heart Hai Pakistani

Picture by Nahal SA Pakistani, living in America, muses on her land.

[This is the tenth article in the Proud, Powerful and Pak series.]

[Text and picture by Nahal S; an interior designer and an accomplished photographer, she lives in Chicago. Click here to reach her picture library.]

Pakistan Paindabad asked me to write top 5 reasons to love Pakistan. The first thing that came to my mind was - do I need reasons to love my motherland!

Sufism

One of the most significant facets of Islamic civilization is the mystical tradition called Sufism. The teachings and writings of famous Sufi saints like Ibn 'Arabi and Rumi echoes even to this day in the vibrant culture of Pakistani life.

Culture -Vulture

Pakistan has a rich cultural and traditional background going back to the Indus Valley Civilization. No, beyond that for our culture derives from or was influenced by Greeks, White Huns, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Mongols and various Eurasian cultures. Pakistan has too many things to be proud of - its folk lore, dances and songs. Beautiful hand embroidery from Thar, Bhawalpur and Multan is famous all around the globe. And can we be pardoned for not mentioning the kite festival of Basant which turns Lahore into a giant marigold flower?

Taste

Having inherited the culinary traditions of the Moguls, the Turks, the Central Asians and the Iranians, eating in Pakistan is a rich experience. Cooked as per strict Islamic codes, our cuisine is opulent in taste. We cook dishes like Biryani, Karhai, Pilau etc in weddings and birthdays. Our famous Doodhpatti chai, of course, is the most delicious thing on earth.

History & Literature

What glorious historical past we have! Mohenjodaro and Harappa have been the centers of ancient civilizations (5000 years old). There are great ruins and relics near Quetta. The Shah Jahan Mosque at Thatta, the ancient capital of Sindh, and Bambore dazzles the senses with their ancient mosaic art.

Pakistan also has its share of excellent poets and writers in Urdu, English and other regional languages. Bapsi Sidhwa and Mohsin Hamid are just some of the few international names. Lahore, of course, stands out for its publishing industry.

Beauty

Allah be praised! We are the land of mighty mountains, gurgling rivers, sparkling springs, dense forests, lush green fields, cheerful meadows, rugged high lands and parched low lands.

For nature lovers Pakistan's Northern areas present a mighty feast. The changing terrain and the topography, the snow clad mountains and the gorges, mountains and valleys, hilly terraces, rough and rugged tracks, the winding and narrow routes, the cataracts and the canyons, the riotous rivers, the thirst quenching springs, the brakes and the bushes, the chinar and poplar trees captures imagination and make you click your cameras. Northern areas are also famous for hand woven carpets that gleam in a myriad of colors. Forget not Swat, the land of shy damsels. The scenic beauty there is simply enchanting.

Above all I love Pakistan because its people have smiling hearts and shinning faces.

[Pakistanis from all walks of life are invited to share what they believe are the five best things about their country. You too must be a part of this. Send your favourites to mayankaustensoofi@gmail.com.]

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