Although, English is widely spoken in Pakistan, Urdu is the official language. The other languages that are spoken in Pakistan are Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi, Hindko, Saraiki, Brahvietc.
The majority of Pakistan’s population are Muslims and they follow the Islamic religion in a strict fashion. They offer namaz (prayers) five times everyday. Ramadan, the most important festival of the Muslims, is also considered as a sacred month. During this month, they fast from morning till sunset without drinking water and are strictly prohibited from smoking and consuming alcohol. The last day of Ramdan is Eid which is celebrated with great fervor with family and friends.
Islam is the major religion in Pakistan, but is not the only one. The minority population comprises of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and the Persians. Christmas (also the birthday of Ali Jinnah, first governor-general of Pakistan), Jashn-e-Baharan (spring festival celebrated by the Punjabis), Baisakhi Purnima (the birth date of Buddha) and Naoroz (Parsi New Year) are among some of the festivals celebrated in Pakistan.
The architecture of Pakistan is miscellaneous, as every nation that invaded and settled in this country has left a mark on it. In ancient times, this Islamic country was a part of the Indus Valley Civilization and the architectures of Mohenjo Daro, Harappa and Kot Diji, are considered as the heritage sites.
One can also see the Buddhist monuments that were constructed during the time when Buddhism was prevalent in Pakistan. The advent of the Moghuls put an end to the Buddhist architecture. During this time, due to the influence of Greeks and Persians, there was an amalgamation of these styles in the architecture of the country which was known as the ‘Greco-Buddhist’ style.
The invasion of the Mughal empire led to the development of Islamic architecture. The Shah Jahan Mosque of Thatta is the first building that was constructed according to the principles of Mughal architecture. One of the very important monuments that came up during this period is the Badshahi Mosque. It was built during the rule of Emperor Aurangzeb, and is flanked by the magnificent Alamgiri gate.
Later, during the time of colonization, the constructions were majorly of Indo-Western style. Today, in the post-colonial era, we can see a mixture of all these styles along with the modernized structures.
Although, field hockey is the national game of Pakistan, cricket is a game that is followed with lot of passion. In recent times, even soccer has become popular among the people. The country also internationally represents in sports like swimming, boxing, shooting and athletics.
Art and Literature
Poetry is the most important form of literature in Pakistan. One of the most known exponent of Urdu poetry is Mirza Ghalib. He has written various poems in Urdu and Persian. His poems are still read and loved by Urdu and Hindi speaking people around the globe.
Pakistani literature is not restricted only to Urdu poetry. There is an embodiment of works written in English, Punjabi, Sindhi and Pushto languages. Also, there are Pakistani diasporic writers around the world.
Music is a primary interest of the Pakistanis. Qawwali, which was said to have been introduced by Amir Khusrau, is one of the most traditional forms of music that exists in Pakistan. Film, Urdu and Punjabi pop music is also popular among the people. Nowadays, it is blended with western music and this amalgamation has developed into a popular music genre.
The most popular entertainment medium in Pakistan are the television and the radio. Pakistan’s film industry is referred to as Lollywood with a production of 40 motion pictures every year. Indian movies are also popular in Pakistan, although, it has been banned by the Government of Pakistan.
The Pakistanis are mostly conservative in nature. They follow a strict code of conduct. They live in a patriarchal family where the eldest male member is the head of the family. The elders are given lot of respect and their opinions are regarded with utmost importance while taking important decisions.
Although education is considered as a very important factor among the middle class people, most Pakistani women are not given the freedom to work. But nowadays, many joint families are disintegrating into nuclear families due to the social and economic limitations that are enforced by the joint family system.
Pakistan, is a country, that adheres to its traditional beliefs, values and customs especially in matters of religion. Although, the Pakistanis are deeply rooted in their cultural values, the nation is not lagging behind, with globalization affecting every part of the world. Westernization has embarked into the Pakistani culture which has paved the way for positive development.