The Culture Of Pakistan Cultural Studies Essay

Culture of Pakistan is very diverse it stems it stems from the fact that what is now Pakistan has in the past been invaded and occupied by many people like as the white Huns, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and various others groups. There are different in culture of Pakistan. It’s among the different ethnic groups in matters in their dress food and religion and also pre Islamic customs differ from Islamic practices. Pakistan is the first region of south Asia to receive the full impact of Islam and developed Islamic identity.

Pakistan geography is the mixture of south Asia, central Asia and west Asia so the culture of Pakistan is unique then the rest of countries, it’s a combination of Islamic, regional, English and global influences, Increasing globalization has improved the pressure of western culture and Pakistan culture. They are easy access to western products, culture and foods.

4.1 Religion

Religion is not only the base of the social system of Pakistan but it is also an effective force that can provide the meeting ground for all the regional cultures of Pakistan.

The main religion in Pakistan is islam which followed by 95.98% of people. The remaining 2.5% practice Christianity, Hinduism and other religions.

4.2 Language

A common language could create natural understanding to such an extent that speaker and listener comes together at one cultural level. Among the other religion languages and dialects Urdu is a language which is spoken and understands throughout the country.

There are main two common languages are urdu and English and other languages are Punjabis, Pasto, Sindhi, and Balochi and other regional languages are Saraiki, Hindko and Brahui.

4.3 Geography

Variety of physical contours, it has green fertile plains, hot deserts, beautiful valleys, snow clad mountains and magnificent coast line. Having a diverse range of physical features, customs, traditions and habits of the people living in different regions has provided a a rich cultural heritage to Pakistan.

In the southern portion the city of Karachi is well known for its shorelines. Karachi was the original capital when the Pakistan was created in 1947 nearby Arabian Sea. In the northern section of the country consist of mountains, and also famous Khyber Pass is situated in this area.

The city of Islamabad is in middle of the country, was officially the capital of Pakistan is in 1961. It becomes the active capital in 1966, Rawalpindi is famous ancient city of the country it consist famous government buildings and also wide variety of modern hotels and international airport.

4.4 Literature

The Pakistani literature comes after the India Pakistan partition. Basic main two types of literature, urdu literature and English literature of south Asia over a period of time. A body of literature became unique and Pakistan has emerged in nearly all major languages of Pakistan is Urdu, English, Punjabi, Pashto, Seraiki, Balochi and Sindhi. Pakistani academy of letter is the main official platform of Pakistani literature.

4.5 Poetry

Poetry is art and profession in Pakistan. It was originated in Persian empire. After the independence poetry is written in Urdu language and also regional language. Faiz ahmad is considered to have been Pakistan’s greatest poet. Pakistan is known as land of poetry And nearly all Pakistani has written some poetry.

4.6 Performing arts

4.6.1 Music

The Pakistani music has a large variety, folk and traditional music are famous in Pakistan, such as Qawwali and Gazal Gayaki in to modern forms synchronization of Qawwali and western music is popular.

In addition Pakistan is home of many folk singers like as the late Alam Lohar, who is well known in Indian Punjab, The entrance of Afghan refugees in the west provinces has rekindled Pashto and Persian music and they established Peshawar a hub for Afghan musicians and a centre for distribution Afghan music abroad.

4.6.2 Dances

Kathak is a classical dance developed in the Mughal era and other folk dances are Bhangada, Luddi, Sammi of Punjab, Lewa, chap of Baluchistan, Attan and Khattak of Khyber and Dhammal, Ho jamalo, Jumro of sindh.

4.6.3 Drama and theatre

There are very similar to stage plays in theatre. They are performed in the lollywood industry. Lollywood industry is the Pakistan’s film industry but Bollywood movies of India are also most popular in Pakistan.


The television board of Pakistan is called Pakistan Television Corporation and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation were the dominant media outlets, but there are now numerous private television channels in the media. Various American, European, and Asian television program and films are available to the most of the Pakistani population via private Television Network, cable, and satellite television for entertainment.

There are also small film industries based in Lahore and Peshawar. Although Bollywood films have been prohibited from being played in public cinemas since 1965, Indian film stars are yet generally popular among Pakistan’s people due to the fact that Pakistanis are easily able to purchase Bollywood films from local shops for private home watching. But recently Pakistan allowed some Bollywood films to be shown in cinemas.

4.7 Visual arts

4.7.1 Graphic arts

In Pakistan there are a large variety of graphic art for example hand painted clay products, hand design for Baltik products and block painting which called Ajrak. Pakistani vehicle art is a popular folk art.


Muslims brought with them the artistic traditions of Baghdad when they came in to south part of Asia. In the starting era the walls and roofs of palaces, forts and other buildings were decorated with pictoral and floral painting and designs. Gradually art of the painting gained firm ground.

Mughal emperors were loving of paintings. Humayun brought with him two Persian painters for the painting of him, Mir Syed Tabrezi and Khawaja Abdul Samad. They adorned the story of Amir Hamza was pictorially rendered through paintings by these luminaries. During the period of Akbar the number of painters in the palace increased manifold. This helped and support the art of paintings. The matching of colours reached its top. The painters rendered pictorial copies of many a book and their fine paintings decorated a number of important public buildings and important places.

Jahangir was a great expert and admirer of painting art. He could gave the name of the painter by looking at his painting. During that days the art of painting reached its climax. Beautiful plants, flowers, animals, birds and natural scenes were painted by the Jahangir’s Painter. The paintings of battle scenes, sieges and animal fights was painted with realism and unparalleled attraction in the painting.

The art of painting has developed slowly-slowly in the Muslim of south part Asia. In the starting decorative paintings and embroidery were made on the walls and ceilings of buildings and forts. The Mughal rulers were very fond of paintings. The traditional art of painting occupies a prominent place in the hearts of the people of Pakistan. Abdul Rehman Ghugtai, Haji Mohammad Sharif, Jamil Nagshare are the most famous painters.

4.7.2 Calligraphy

Love and devotion for calligraphy is the reflection of love and faith of the Muslims Quran writing good and stylish has been popular amongst the Muslim for all the times in Pakistan. Mehmood Ghaznavi and Aurangzeb, alamgir were the master of calligraphy.

4.8 Food

95% population of Pakistan is Muslims so there are main two types of food customs that are followed in daily life. One fact is that Muslim don’t eat pork therefore chicken, fish, lamb and beef are the general food. And second fact is that during the Ramadan month fasting is a daily activity of people.

Spices and curries are main part of any Pakistani recipe. Spices uses in the daily life are chili powder, turmeric, black and red pepper, saffron, cumin seed, paprika, ginger, bay leaf, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, nutmeg and poppy seed. Because of use of spice and curry the side dish of Pakistan is plain rice, in the south part of the country food is more exotic and highly spiced.

Food does play a role on many occasions. Such event if the Eid-ul-azha, Muslims who can afforded it are required to sacrifices a sheep, go at, camel or cow giving to god. The meat of the sacrificed animal is separated in to three equal parts; first one is donated to the poor, second given to relatives and friends, And third is cooked at home. Eating the meat is the part of celebration in the Pakistan.

Pakistani cuisine is the lesser known food of the sub-continent and is rich in tradition, full of marvelous and diverse dishes. Pakistan was created in 1947 when India was partitioned and has a predominantly Muslim population. Although Pakistan is relatively new, the cuisine has developed many more years and incorporates elements from its neighbours – India, Afghanistan and Iran. The varied regions also means there are a whole range of different foods – from the fertile valleys and the sea of Sindh province; to pastoral Baluchistan, from neighboring Iran; to the Punjab with its five rivers and the rugged North West Frontier.


A characteristic of Pakistani lunch is it consists of meat curries or lentils along with rice. Breads like as roti or naan they are regularly served for dinner but have become general during the day so that rice perhaps served for dinner. Popular dishes are including aloo gosht or any vegetable with mutton. Chicken dishes are like chicken karahi and chicken korma this dishes are also popular. on the other hand, People who live near the main rivers they also eat fish for lunch, which is sometimes cooked in the tandoori style. Roadside food stalls often sell just lentils and tandoori roti, or masala stews with chapatis.


Dinner is considered as the main meal of the day in the whole family member gathers for the occasion. Food which requires more preparation and which is spicier are prepared. Lentils are also a dinner time staple. These foods are served with roti or naan along with pickle, yogurt and salad. The dinner may sometimes be followed by fresh fruit, or on festive occasions, traditional desserts like shahi tukray, gajraila, kheer, qulfi, gulab jamun, or ras malai.


Pakistani snacks are comprising food items in Pakistan that are easy to prepare, spicy, usually fried, and eaten in the evening or early morning with tea, coffee or with any one of the meals as a side-dish. A given snack may be part of their local culture, and its preparation and/or reputation can vary from place to place. These snacks are often prepared and sold by hawkers on railway stations, footpaths, and other such places like bus station although they may also be served at restaurants and hotels. Some typical snacks are dahi bhala, chana masala, chaat, papar, and pakora. Others include katchauri, samosas, pakoras-either neem pakoras or besan pakoras, vegetable or beef, gol gappay, bhail puri or daal seu and egg rolls. Nuts, such as pistachios and pine nuts, are also often eaten at home in Pakistan.

Main dishes of Pakistan


There are various kinds of pulses, or legumes, make up an significant part of the Pakistani dishes. While daal and Channa are popular ingredients in home style cooking, they are usually considered to be an inexpensive source of food. Because of this reason, they are in general not served to guests who are invited for dinner or during special occasions. Combining meat with lentils and pulses, whether in simple preparations or in elaborate dishes such as haleem, is also a distinctively Pakistani touch not commonly seen in neighboring India where a substantial number of its population are vegetarians.

Barbeque and Kebabs

Meat and grilled meat has played major role in Pakistan region for centuries. Sajji is a Baluchi dish comes from Western Pakistan, made of lamb with spices that has also become popular in the many part of country. Another Balochi meat dish involves building a large outdoor fire and slowly cooking chickens. The chickens are placed on skewers which are staked into the ground in close proximity to the fire, so that the radiant heat slowly cooks the chickens.

Kebabs are a staple item in Pakistani food today, and one can find various varieties of kebabs all over the country. Each region has its own different varieties of kebabs but some like the Shami kebab, Seekh kebab, and Chicken Tikka are especially popular varieties all over the country. Generally, kebabs from Balochistan and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tend to be identical to the Afghan style of barbecue, with coriander and salt being the only seasoning used. Regional kebab recipes come from Karachi and the wider Sindh region is famous for their spicy kebabs, usually marinated in a mixture of spices, lemon juice and yoghurt. Barbecued food is also popular in some cities of Pakistan’s Punjab such as Lahore, Gujranwala and Sialkot. Al-Hamra Restaurant and Bundu Khan kebab House are famous in Pakistan for their taste and variety of kebabs. Kebab houses are one of the most profitable food businesses in Pakistan.

Rice dishes

Pakistan is a major exporter and consumer of rice and its items. Basmati rice is the most popular type of rice consumed in Pakistan.

Dishes are made with rice include many varieties of pulao like as:

Maash pulao – A sweet and sour pulao baked with mung beans, apricots and bulghur.

Yakhni pulao – Meat and stock added. Creates a brown rice.

Matar pulao – Pulao made with peas.

Biryani is a popular dish in Pakistan and has many varieties such as Lahori and Sindhi biryani. Tahiri, which is also a form of vegetarian biryani, is also popular. All of the main dishes are eaten together with bread. To eat, a small fragment of bread is torn off with the right hand and used to scoop and hold small portions of the main dish. Pickles made out of carrots, lemon, mangoes, etc. are also commonly used to further spice up the food.

4.9 Marriage

In Pakistan marriage is known as “Nikah” in these is formal legal document is signed by the bride and groom among of several family members or witness these establish that the couple is legally married.

The other Muslim marriage tradition known as “Mayun” or “Lagan” which take place four or five days before the marriage and it starts with the bridge retiring to a secluded area of home. Before the one day of marriage there is a menhdi ceremony, in this ceremony bride’s hands and feet are painted with menhdi it’s also known as heena.

4.10 Dress

In Pakistan different parts lave different physical features and climates. Hence cultured differences found between the people of hills and land. The national dress of the Pakistan is shalwar qameez for both men and women. There is two type of version of shalwar qameez are available one is light cotton version for summer and second one is heavier wool version for winter, the other dresses are sherwani and achkan.

Men’s Clothing

Men all over Pakistan prefer shalwar kameez with additional accessories which include Pakistani Achkan, Waistcoat and Sherwani with the shalwar kameez and with Churidar Pajama. Jinnah Cap, Fez it also called Rumi Topi and Taqiyah is used with Shalwar Kameez. Khussa is a popular foot wear of men with shalwar kameez. Men are like to wear traditional shawls made of Pashmina and other warm materials especially in North part of the Pakistan.

In regional clothing, Balochi people wear shalwar kameez of thick cloth with very wide shalwar for prevent themselves from the hot wind of dry Sulaiman Range and Desert. They wear Balochi turban made of a very long cloth, generally in white color for prevent their head from sun rays.Sindhi people wear shalwar kameez with traditional Sindhi cap and Ajrak of beautiful designs of embroidery which are made locally.

Women’s Clothing

Shalwar Kameez

The most favorite dressing of Pakistani women is shalwar kameez which is comes in different styles, colors and designs. It is comes with different shirt length, sleeve length, necklines and different types of shalwars like patiala salwar, churidar pajama and simple trouser. Kurta is also wear by women which are in latest designs. Dupatta is an necessary part of shalwar kameez and considered a symbol of woman’s respect.It is used with different embroidery designs.

Other Traditional Dresses

Pakistani women have very large variety of traditional dresses additional than Shalwar Kameez but they mostly wear them at special occasions like Wedding, Engagement, Mehndi and other ceremonies. Among these dresses Saris are very popular and its each design and color seems unique from the other. Like Gharara, Farsi payzama, Dhoti, Lahenga style sari etc.

Regional Clothing

In regional clothing, Balochi women prefer to wear heavy embroided Shalwar Kameez and Dupatta according to the weather conditions of country. They also wear Kameez full of heavy Embroided Shisha work. Sindhi costumes have different styles and some women use Ajrak as Dupatta. these women also wear bangles with clothing in their traditional way. Punjabi prefers lite embroidery on simple Shalwar Kameez and Kurta. Traditional Lacha and Bangles are also used with clothing. Paranda is the special traditional, colorful and unique Punjabi item which is used to tie the hair of women. Pathan women wear Kameez with a farak with a Dupatta.

Religious Clothing

Women’s religious clothing we indicate the dressing in which they try to cover all their body parts except their face and hands while they go outside from their home. Generally women cover their heads with Dupatta or Chadar in outdoors but religious women prefer to wear Scarf, Burqa and Hijab and wear lose, long and full sleeve shirts.

4.11 Festival

Name of festival

Celebration time



14th of Shaaban, the 8th Islamic month

Prayers, fireworks, exchange of sweet dishes and visits


end of fasting month on 1st of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic Calendar

prayer after sun-rise, exchange of sweet dishes, visits

Sibi Festival

Last week of February

Traditional sports, handicrafts exhibition, folk music and dances

Sindh Horse & Cattle Show

Last week of February

Traditional sports, handicrafts exhibition, folk music and dances


Last week of February

Traditional sports, exhibition of handicrafts, folk music and dances


mid February every year

Pakistan Day

23 March

Military parade at provincial capitals and Islamabad

Mela Chiraghan (Festival of lamps)

Last week of March

Held for one week outside Shalimar Gardens, Lahore

Horse & Cattle Show

End of March till 1st week of April

Local games, folk dances, music, cattle races and exhibition of local handicrafts


In April for 01 week

Cultural activities, local sports and handicrafts exhibition


10 Zilhaj, 12th month of Islamic Calendar

prayers after sun set, sacrifice of goats, sheep, cows or camels and distribution of meat among relatives, friends and poor

Joshi or Chilimjusht

14-15 May

Folk dances, music and exchange of dishes

Shandur Polo Festival


15-16 July


12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal – the 3rd month of Islamic Calendar

Independence Day

14 August

Meeting, processions, rallies, decorations and illustrations all over the country

Defense of Pakistan Day

6 September

exhibitions of military equipment

Air force Day

7 September

Display of latest aircraft of Pakistan Air force and air show


20 – 25 September

Reaping grapes and walnuts, dancing and singing

Lok Mela

1st week of October, for one week

Folk Music, songs, music contests, folk dances, craftsmen at work, exhibition and sale of handicrafts


18-21 October

Welcoming of winter with first snow-fall

Birthday of Allama Muhammad Iqbal

09 November

Singing a National Poet

4.12 Sport

The national sport of Pakistan is hockey the hockey is traditionally it had been played almost exclusively in the western province of Baluchistan, but the cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan. There are many games played in Pakistan which reflected cultural identity.

Wrestling, hockey, cricket, basket ball kabaddi and squash are some of the games played all over the country at the international level Pakistan have competed many times at summer Olympics in failed hockey, boxing athletics, swimming and shooting.

4.13 Etiquettes in Pakistan

In Pakistan, Culture of Pakistan is Islamic but Pakistan also has their cultural etiquette based generally on South Asia’s influence, like as British. Culture of Pakistan is rich and vibrant. Guests will find their hosts to be polite and friendly. English is largely spoken in major cities such as Karachi, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Lahore and other business community. Pakistan is an especially understanding place despite its governance upon Islam. Guests should note that there is a large cultural and economic gap between the social classes in country. Over the past decade, the middle class of country in particular has been precious by Pakistan’s economic and political disturbance, but it is still fast increasing. It is best, however not compulsory for guests to have a local host who can assist and accompany them right through their trip. The new etiquette in Pakistan is a combination of western and eastern part etiquette as Pakistan people are very much attracted to the western and eastern norms and values.

4.13.1 Introduction and Greetings

People of who are opposite sex do not shake hands when they meet each other. It is sometimes common among men when shaking hands. In urban are Sindh and in other parts of the country, men and women usually lower their head and lift their hand to their forehead to make the “adab” gesture when giving greeting each other.

When being launch to elders or strangers while seated it is customary to get up it’s a sign of respect.

Generally, women who are know each other they kiss and hug as greeting while men who know each other they often hug each other as a form of welcome Pakistanis take their time during greetings and ask about the person’s health and their family.

It is also general for a Pakistani to reply “well” or “Thank God” when asked about their health even if you are visiting them at a hospital. Same as, it is common to say “Allah ka shuker hai” or “Alhamdulillah” as an answer to any inquiry about person’s health, family or business condition regardless of actualities.

4.13.2 Dress

Pakistan is a country where women rights are generally protected and women are generally respected. This is due to the governance of Islamic laws because it awards high status to the women. Pakistanis hold their women in high esteem and protect them from outside.

4.13.3 Gift Giving

It is usual to take a gift if you are taken to person’s home.

The gift is generally Pakistan’s sweets, chocolates and flowers.

Do not give white flowers as gift because they are used in weddings.

Do not give alcoholic items and any other alcohol.

Gifts are not open again of the provider.

Gifts are given and taken with both hands.

It is usual to receive a gift showing pleasure and respect even one doesn’t like the provider.

4.13.4 Business Meetings

English is generally spoken and understood in Pakistan. The local language is called Pakistani English.

Appointments are required and should be made, in writing, 3 to 4 weeks in advance, although meetings with private companies can often be arranged with less number of notice.

The best time to schedule meetings is at the morning or afternoon.

If at all possible, try not to schedule meetings during Ramadan month. The workday is reduced, and since Muslims fast, they will not be able to offer you tea, which is a sign of unfriendliness.

You should arrive at meetings on proper time, but be prepared.

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