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Pakistani

 

Geography & Topography

Capital: Islamabad

Area: 796,095 km²

Population: 176 745 364

Language: Punjabi, Sindhi, Siraiki, Pashtu, Urdu, English

Religion: Sunni and Shiite Islam, Christian, Hindu

Currency: Pakistani rupee

History

Pakistan is situated in the western part of the Middle East, between Afghanistan and India, there is a natural border on the south: the Arabian Sea . The name Pakistan is from the Urdu words Pak (meaning pure) and stan (meaning country).

Pakistan was a part of the British India, which became independent from the British colonization in 1947. After 25 years following independence, both India and Pakistan have laid claim to the Kashmir region; this territorial dispute led to war, and remains unresolved today.

Performing Arts

Music

The most recognizable instruments in traditional Pakistani music are:

The Dholak or dholaki, is a hand drum. Dholak is a double headed drum with the bass head on one side & the treble head on the other. The traditional Dholak are laced with ropes. The inside of this instrument is made of a mixture of tar, clay and sand which allows a rhythmic sound.

The Harmonium is a keyboard instrument similar to a pump organ, but smaller. It was invented in England but has become most popular in India and other eastern nations. It is played by pressing down keys on the front with one hand and pumping an air pump in the back. Some harmoniums come with foot pedals to control the pump, allowing two-handed play.

Rubab

The Rubab known as “the lion of instruments” is a short-necked lute whose body is carved out of a single piece of wood, with a membrane, covering the hollow bowl of the sound-chamber, upon which the bridge is positioned. It has three melody strings tuned in fourths, three drone strings and 11 or 12 sympathetic strings.

Dance

Folk dances are used to celebrate events like child birth, weddings, spiritual or religious rituals. The most popular dances are: Punjabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, or Baluchistan. Sindh folk Singers and women play a vital role to transmit the Sindhi folklore. They sang the folktales of Sindh in songs with passion in every village of Sindh.

The Bhaṅgṛā refers to several types of Punjab dances. This is a traditional dance that used to be practiced until 1947 to celebrate the harvesting times. In the 1950s, a new folkloric dance, representative of the state of Punjab and composed of man’s Punjabi dance styles, was created and eventually received the title of Bhaṅgṛā.

 

 

 

 

 

Some interesting facts:

  • The word Pakistan also means in Urdu Holy, Sacred, Clean, Free and Independent.
  • The official language of Pakistan is English, but the national language is Urdu (which is closely related to Hindi).
  • The national dress of Pakistan is the Shalwar Qameez for both men and women.
  • Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world.
  • In the last five years, Pakistan’s literacy rate has grown by 250%.

Pakistan Community in Australia:

More information on the Pakistan community: