Stories about pakistani society

Weddings in Pakistan: Down with the dowry, enough with the spending!

An often ignored reality that has plagued Pakistani society is that getting married is a financial nightmare. Marriage in our country is an occasion for insane displays of spending on outrageously lavish valimas, mehndi banquets, jewellery, give-aways, dowry and similar acts. What is interesting and downright appalling is that all classes of society are guilty of this madness. Our upper-class uses the occasion to show how wealthy they are. The middle-class, as always torn between the echelons of society, tries its best to spend as much as it can and register itself within the upper-class so as to feel accomplished. The poor take out the money ...

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The repercussions of being a working woman instead of a mother in Pakistan

Recently, I posted an article on Facebook titled, ‘Sorry but being a mother is not the most important job in the world’ only to be faced with the wrath of many women, both with and without children, about how insensitive this article was and how I would never understand the importance of motherhood until I had my own child. The reaction I received to the post points to two things. First, perhaps understandably, the reactions seemed to be based on emotions rather than a critical reading of what the article actually says. The author is in no way trying to deride or ...

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All in a day’s work: The modern Pakistani (super) woman

If you are a woman who belongs to the circle of society that sees itself as urban and educated, you will most likely find yourself adequately qualified with a degree and then promptly married off within a few years of working. Of course, that is if you managed to put your foot down in the first place to demand that you be allowed to work before marriage. Upon assuming marital responsibilities, it is but natural that your degree and work are pushed to the back seat, because now you are expected to take on domesticity as your foremost occupation. Or so ...

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My brother has Down Syndrome, not a contagious disease

Coming from a closely knit family, it was a tradition for all of us to personally go and receive any relative coming to Karachi, at the airport. My aunt was expected and all of us including my youngest brother, who is a special child, suffering from Down Syndrome, went down to receive her. On our way back from the airport, we decided to stop at a restaurant to enjoy some family time. The restaurant was jam packed with people, as it was a weekend. Mostly families from the colonies nearby were there with their kids. We led my brother to ...

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If you don’t convert, I can’t work with you

 September 18, 2012 The past three months had been quite busy for me since I was working day and night researching a business venture. Being a new concept within the market, the prospects for the project were pretty high provided that it was carried out properly. However, I was short on the amount of funds required for the project. Eager and motivated to step into the world of business,  I contacted a friend who introduced me to his uncle who, in turn, showed interest in my project. His uncle was a retired senior government official and had sufficient experience of heading ...

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Let us be known for our hospitality

Thanks to the world media, we are known around the globe by our various identifiers – some good, some not so good and some which are just plain wrong. We are cricket fanatics, extremists, terrorists, we even think that giving polio vaccine to our children will make them infertile! Don’t even get me started on how the Indian media depicts us ─ that falls, without a shred of a doubt, in the ‘just-plain-wrong’ category. Pakistan, however, is a lot more than what the world perceives it to be; Pakistanis are hospitable, kind and generous people. Keep on reading and you might well ...

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Talking about blasphemy in English, over dessert

If you wish to have a peaceful meal always avoid broaching subjects like the blasphemy laws at the dinner table. Be extra careful if steak has been served where sharp knives are at hand. In fact it is best to remain perfectly silent until dessert is served. Once knives are replaced by small, curved silver spoons you can go ahead and exercise your freedom of speech as per your kind pleasure. (You may want to ensure your body guard is around though.) If you truly wish to remain a dominant member of the dinner-table chatter, always speak in English. Remember: 1. ...

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Calling all language snobs

A culture that does not respect, nay deems inferior, its mother tongue, the language of its forefathers is a culture whose native country is doomed to forever spiral the seventh circle of hell… and here we are! Now, before I am ostracized and the townsfolk burn me at the stake, hear me out. I know on the blasphemy scale that statement would rate pretty high; insulting Pakistanis and being condescending towards religion in the same sentence? Sacrilege! But even as you feel self righteously indignant I’m pretty sure a certain part of you is wondering if that’s why life might be ...

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Being a woman in Pakistan

Society, especially Pakistani society, thrives on gossip and slander. While urban socialites love talking of women’s emancipation and rights in general, they often fail to see the rigid mindsets within their own circle. Back biting and slander are not viewed as vices or sins in our society where every other person likes to preach. In fact, people feel they have a right to comment, criticize and judge especially if an issue or circumstance pertains to a woman. Try to make it work As long as a woman continues to be the sufferering victim (bechari) in any situation, people are satisfied. They ...

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