23 reasons why I love Pakistan and you should too!
In a country with a population of over 188.2 million people, a lot can go wrong, but a lot can go right too!
Here is a list of 23 things that make Pakistan home.
1. The men
We may belong to a patriarchal society, but not all men are alike. They don’t all suffer from the disease of misogyny. True gems like Abdul Sattar Eidhi, Ansar Burney and Imran Khan also exist in our society, individuals who play a pivotal role in the betterment of society.
2. The women
Contrary to the patriarchal outlook of Pakistan’s society, our women do more than just cook and clean. Women break barriers, they do the unthinkable. They win ICC matches against India - yup, they do.
3. The natural beauty
Calmness and serenity tends to take over the mind and soul when visiting places like the Swat Valley and the Karakoram Mountains.
4. The music
Pakistan’s very own version of pop/rock boy bands included the endlessly talented Junoon, Strings, Awaz and Vital Signs. And on the other hand there are Sufi and Qawali legends like Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Abida Parveen along with the multi lingual genius Madam Noor Jehan. How many other countries can boast the same set of musical talent?
5. The shows
Over the past couple of decades, the Pakistani drama industry has truly evolved. The writers revolve their stories around real life events or social problems that are relatable by most, if not all.
6. The fashion
The Pakistani fashion industry has been booming across the world, they have even made their way onto Hollywood ramps! I mean, it was our designer Rizwan Beyg from whom Princess Diana ordered dresses she had fallen in love with.
7. The weddings
Come hell or high water, our weddings are always elaborate and stretched over a period of at least 15 days. They are vibrant, loud and have a never ending supply of food. A Pakistani wedding is an experience you must have once in your life.
8. The food
Who can resist a plate of spicy nihari with a freshly made naan and a bottle of Coke? Life really doesn’t get any better. And that’s just ONE of the delicious dishes this gem of a country has to offer.
9. The humour in every situation
Whether our politicians are arguing on talk shows or a man riding a rickshaw with a real life teddy bear, we aren’t afraid to point fingers at ourselves and crack up.
10. The people
One doesn’t need millions to help others out; you just have to be Pakistani. We put others before ourselves, and even though we aren’t obligated, we go out of our way to cater to each other’s needs.
11. The abundance of talent
From a young age, we have been trained to work for what we want; nothing comes easily to the common man. Pakistanis living in Pakistan and abroad – privileged or not – strive through every struggle and come out stronger than ever.
12. The education
Pakistan currently has a literacy rate of almost 60 per cent, which is steadily rising. Our students avail opportunities and attend various delegations, representing our country in the best way possible.
13. Being resourceful is knowing the right people
In Pakistan, no task is too difficult. All you have to do is make sure you know a person with power and authority and voila, the sky’s the limit.
14. Nothing is spared from our critical analysis, even TV shows
Whether it’s a show or a lost match, Pakistanis critically analyse every situation; that lead to some very heated, but enjoyable dinner table conversations.
15. The architecture
Pakistan is home to some of the oldest architectural remains including Mohenjodaro and Takht-i-Bahi. It is also home to modern buildings including the Centarurus Mall and Theatre in Lahore.
16. The truck art
Our truck art can literally define a Pakistani for a foreigner. It is colourful, funny, culturally rooted, bold and just... beautiful. That is Pakistan - in its truest, rawest forms.
17. Pakistan International Airline (PIA)
Jacqueline Kennedy, Ava Gardner, Stewart Granger, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto; are just few of the passengers PIA has had on board. PIA, despite its ups and downs, is a great source of pride for the nation.
18. The cricket team
We see their hard work, we see them pour their sweat and blood into each game, and sometimes that is not enough to win. Yet they never give up and their passion remains intact.
19. Boom Boom
Shahid Afridi has been the nation’s heart throb. Irrespective of his unpredictably, each time he approaches the pitch, our eyes are glued to the screens, in anticipation of some boom boom!
20. The supporters
Clad in green jerseys, supporters of our cricket team can be seen playing out on the streets, everybody wanting to be Shoaib Akhtar or Shahid Afridi. Before every match, children paint their faces and we pray for our teams success, despite the love-hate relationship we have with our team. Whether we win or not, our hearts will thump with pride as soon as our team walks out and onto that field.
Our sehris and iftaris are nothing short of a grand buffet. With glasses filled with cold water and Rooh Afza, and plates filled with fruit chaat and cholay, there isn’t anything more exhilarating than spending Ramazan in Pakistan. It is never the same anywhere else in the world.
On a blistering hot day, nothing is better than an ice cold bottle of Pakola to quench your thirst, putting your throat out of its misery. Yup, we have a green coloured soda here, and it tastes like Pakistan - amazing! Try it if you haven’t.
23. Top Pops
Top Pops were my favourite chips to munch on in school, and after a long break, they have relaunched! I just hope the toy whistle gift still comes in the packet.
It is easy to keep our focus on the flaws that exist in our nation, simply because they are constantly revealed. But no matter the circumstances, there are certain things that are irreplaceable in our motherland. The calmness I feel as soon as I land in Karachi, the strong odour while leaving the baggage claim area, the first bite of a delicious chicken cheese roll from Hot & Spicy, the beautifully lit up buildings, the dangerously reckless driving and lots more insignificantly significant things, make Pakistan home. Don’t take it for granted.
HAPPY PAKISTAN DAY!