Category Archives: About
14th of August 1947 marks the day a large number of Muslims migrated from India to a land that was to be called Pakistan. And this struggle was not an easy one. Many sacrifices took place. Many families lost their homes. Many mothers lost their sons and many wives were widowed.
The topic of Independence, National pride and patriotism is an emotional one and sometimes even sensitive one for the people of Pakistan.
The newly migrated people were homeless, without a shelter and tired…yet they were happy to finally get what the struggled for more than 41 years. The leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, our founder was remarkable and that was what gave them hope.
It was this day…now 65 years ago, that our blood turned green and our spirits took the shape of a crescent moon and star, as seen on our National Flag.
Our leadership pays tribute to our founding fathers at their monumental tombs. All the buildings, private and government buildings are brightly illuminated. It looks like green grandeur spreading across the sky. But that is not all, different concerts are also held where only our national songs are sung. All day long, our legends and living legends are paid many salutations.
The youth take to the roads wearing Pakistani flags over their heads and bodies to be a part of enthusiasm. Young girls and boys spend time out on the streets toying around with crackers and miniature fireworks.
In fact the minute August comes, one can hear the crackers going off, through which one gets to know about the enthusiasm for the arriving Independence Day. That is exactly what I have been doing with my friends for many years.
But more or less Independence Day is all about getting along together. People getting together and spreading love and patriotism.
It is about fulfilling the dream of our forefathers and carrying on their legacy.
On this day every year…we all go green.
Food, it keeps us going. It satisfies our hunger. It gives us a pleasing effect. It is mostly there when we want it to be. But food is actually more than that. Food is what connects people and is a keeper of tradition. Through food, one can know more about the culture and tradition of any place. And so today I will arrange for you a big buffet with food from my country, Pakistan.
Pakistan does not actually have a singular traditional food, because “khana”, which is food in Urdu, comes from the four different provinces. Muslims are forbidden to eat pork or consume alcohol and strict Halal dietary guidelines are observed. Hence, Pakistanis being mostly Muslims, follow the same food code.
Pakistani cuisine uses spices, and one way of putting it would be “we love spices like we love food”. Meat cooked to the core, is a favorite of almost every one. But Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the largest meat lovers. The most famous food in KPK would be Meat Karahi. Karahi is merely a thick circular pot, and it is called so because it is cooked in this pot. Meat Karahi is an infusion of spices in a form of thick curry, and the succulent meat is enriched with this flavor. It is eaten with the popular form of bread in Pakistan, Naan, which is roasted inside a hearth.
Chapal Kebab, literal translation “shoe kebabs”, are the most famous and the most delicious form of food. It is made from minced meat, and given the shape of the welt of a shoe, and fried on a plain cooking implement. A rice dish called Kabuli Palau is also a specialty. Pashtuns are known to make the best green tea to finish off the food. It is called Peshawari Kehwa, “Green Tea from Peshawar”. They add many fragrant herbs and some spices and cook it till it is pink in color.
A famous dish from the land of valiant Balochis, is the meat Sajji. It is a roast meat: either chicken or goat, the whole of which roasted on an open flame. It is cooked till the meat is tender. Another form is whole roast, which is called Dam Pukht. This is a very special dish, and goat meat is always used in it. The whole goat is used, and the centre is filled with rice which is cooked with nuts and carrots. The interesting thing about Dam Pukht is that the meat is roasted by digging a pit inside earth and putting coal on top of it. Naan is actually a favorite throughout Pakistan. And everywhere you go and whatever you eat, Naan is eaten with almost everything.If I talk about Punjab, I will talk about Lahore first, because it is considered as the food hub of Pakistan. Their motto is, “We live to eat and not eat to live”. Food cultures from all over Pakistan are celebrated here. Gawal Mandi is a famous and most old hangout for food lovers here. You can find the best Fried Fish over here, which has perfect balance of spices and is cooked to perfection. Dahi Bhalla (balls made from flour and ground grain, fried and served with yoghurt) is another popular dish. But what kind of food is famous in Punjab, you ask? To start with, a good breakfast this includes a large dose of buttermilk taken with Halwa Puri. Halwa is a very common and delicious dessert of South Asia. There are many types of halwa, like almond fudge, semolina halwa, carrot halwa, gourd halwa, pumpkin halwa and many more. It is made up of Butter and is garnished with lots of dry friuts. Puri is made from wheat flour and is deep fried in oil. It is served with a kind of gram curry or Halwa and other vegetable. Nihari is another popular dish, it is basically a curry stew made with either beaf or lamb.
Barbeque is a favorite among Pakistanis all over. Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan, is famous for barbequed Quails. If you want anything lighter, then Daal is something you should not miss. Different types of pulses, made into a curry like form and taken with either boiled rise or chapatti, is a well known form of food supplement around here.
Qulfi, a frozen milk based dessert, came to our native land from India, served with pistachios and almonds is something no one should miss. Other desserts include Ras Malai, Sweet Rice, which are called Matanjan, and assorted confectioneries.
Moving on towards Sindh, Sindhi Biryani is the king of all biryanis. Biryani is a rice dish with meat, potatoes and spices and herbs for flavor and smell. Sindhi Curry which is vegetables mixed with chick pea flavor is a special food item from Sindh. Meethi Aloo, a famous dish from Sindh and eaten almost everywhere in Pakistan. To make this dish, you need to combine hot chili peppers, garlic, and fennel leaves (fresh or dry). With these ingredients, you can easily convert a simple potato into a curry to be consumed with puri, chapati, rice or bread. In Sindhi cuisine, you will find several dishes that have unique recipes such as the ones above. Fish curry is another very unique dish made in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a land of an incredible culture and tradition. And like everything else, our food is also a huge part of our heritage.
So yes, this was a big buffet. And no this is not the only food we are into. But due to less space and less time, this is all for now.
Written by: Amna Javed
They say marriages are made in heaven. They may be right. But before the heaven is experienced by the people who are in it together, it has to go through a couple of rituals which are entirely made on Earth. Like everywhere else, weddings are highly anticipated and celebrated in Pakistan as well. Although the whole wedding business has evolved, many things are still done traditionally.
The main thing about a Muslim wedding that makes the bond between two people is called Nikah. It is like a contract that binds two people together. After the Nikah is finalized the bride and groom are pronounced Husband and Wife. The Nikah is usually held in a mosque in a very simple way.
But till the Nikah is finalized there are a few pre-marriage ceremonies. The Mayoon takes place at least a week before the wedding. This ritual is a traditional one and is anticipated on the bride’s part. The girl is not allowed to go shopping or step outside the house or even work inside the house when she “sits for mayoon” so she can get the maximum amount of rest and take care of herself. The groom is not allowed to see the bride to be during this time because it is a function of privacy.
Chol is a Turkish word from which Cholistan is derived; literally meaning Land of the Desert. People live a semi nomadic life. Siraiki is the language spoken here. It is considered one of the most fascinating languages of Pakistan.
Although a barren land, it is very fertile in arts and crafts. Livestock is the chief source of food here. Other than that, textile, weaving, leather-work and especially pottery are famous in Cholistan.
A few of the important days in Pakistan
- March 23 – Pakistan Day – Serves as a memorial to Pakistan Resolution on March 23, 1940 in Lahore
- May 1- Labor day – Labor day in Pakistan
- August 14 Independence Day- Serves as a memorial to Pakistan’s independence from the United Kingdom on August 14, 1947
- September 6 – Defence Day – Serves as a memorial to the official start of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
- November 9-Birthday of Muhammad Iqbal – Birthday of national poet Muhammad Iqbal
- December 25- Birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah; – Christmas Day and Birthday of Pakistan foundar Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Islamic days include:
- Rabi`-ul-Awwal 12-Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi-Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
- Ramadan last Friday-Jumu’ah-tul-Wida-It occurs on last Friday in Ramadan before Eid-ul-Fitr
- Ramadan 21-29-It occurs on last ten nights in Ramadan
- Shawwal 1-Eid-ul-Fitr- Serves as a memorial to the end of Ramadan (Ramazan).
- Dhul Hijja 10-Eid ul-Adha-
- Muharram 10-Ashura-Martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain