Friday, August 15, 2008

A little bit about the green and white

happy bokeh day, originally uploaded by Rabujee.

A couple weeks ago I had my final exams for a couple courses I took this summer. I was studying in a group study session on the day of the last final when I was asked by one of my classmates where I am "originally from." I guess all this time he had been under the impression that I was of Arabian descent as most people assume owing to the Islamic head-covering I wear (termed Hijab in Arabic). When I told him I was from Pakistan he began to question me about the country's history. His first question was when did it break apart from Hindustan and become a sovereign state. I answered 1947 and he looked surprised and muttered something like "I thought it was like...1999." I was a bit amused at this and realized people really don't know much about Pakistan and since today (August 14th) is the official Independance Day of my land of origin, I thought to blog some little known facts about it that I researched. Hope you guys enjoy the read and learn a little from this. =)

Here goes:
1. Pakistan stands bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast.

2. Pakistan has been invaded by Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Afghans and Mongols, in the past (how come the British aren't included in this list as well??).

3. The geography of the country ranges from high mountains in the south to hills in the west. Vehement rivers, steep valleys, snow covered peaks and gigantic glaciers make up the north of the country. (Nope, its not all desert)

4. It is the home of 8 languages of which the national language is Urdu (not Pakistanian as I've heard some people say lol) and the offical language is English. The remainder include Balochi, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Sindhi and Siraiki.

5. The majority follow Islam followed by a minority of Christians and Hindus.

6. Like the USA has 50 states, Pakistan has 4 provinces: Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Baluchistan. (NWFP is short for North Western Frontier Province)

7. Pakistan is home to the second highest mountain on earth called K2 (after Mount Everest); this mountain comes in the Karakoram mountain range.

8.Mehrgarh, lying on the Kachi plain of Balochistan, dates back to 6000 BC and is one of the earliest known farming villages in the Indus Valley.

9. Pakistan has the second largest Muslim population in the world, after Indonesia.

10. The silk route actually exists in Pakistan today, built in the 60's and 70's by the Pakistani and Chinese government. This unique highway follows the ancient silk road over a breathtaking knot of mountain ranges that incorporates the Karakorum, Pamir, Kunlun, Hindukush, and Himalaya mountains.

11. Pagan tribes also still exist but more and more are converting to Islam. These are people known as the Kalash residing in the Hindu Kush mountains (specifically in Chitral). (If I could add a photo, I would but seriously guys look up the Kalash on flickr or google images , they are a unique people).

12. Finally, lets pay some homage to my Bangladeshi friends =D. Yes, Pakistan was initially two regions, East and West named for their location relative to India. East Pakistan gained independance in 1971 and became Bangladesh.

Well, that should do for now although this doesn't even put a dent into the rich culture, diversity, and history of Pakistan. Its one of my goals, God-willing, to learn about it one day AND be able to tour the different regions of the country and see/experience everything first-hand.
Lastly, a little about the picture I posted. Well, I was supposed to take a more fitting picture today but due to a MASSIVE migraine I just couldn't get to it. SO, I dug into the archives and found this. I chose it mainly for the colors green and white as they are the colors of the Pakistani flag.

And, of course its not August 14th anymore so I'm already late on this post. 15 minutes into August 15th and I guess I'll leave with a Happy Independance Day to India now. In fact, Happy Independance Day to all of Southeastern Asia tehehe.



Constructive Attitude said...

Dude, when I was reading the book "Three cups of tea" i read about K2 and the Hindu Kush..

Haha @ #12..your funny.

Oh yeahhh and I didnt know it had the second largest Muslim population. I knew Indonesia was number one, but i thought an Arab country would be number 2 or Malaysia for some reason, shows how much i know..

provoking invoking said...

pakistan zindaabad!

here's something i learned today:
while the word "pakistan" translates to "land of purity", it actually got its name through acronym! (taking the names of the various provinces and homelands of pakistani peoples)

Punjab, Afghania [North-West Frontier Province], Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and Balochistan

i think that's neat..

Artistic Logic said...

Ms. Attitude: i knew you would write a comment including something about the book "3 cups of tea" i just knew it lol...and how would you relate to # 12??? (tehe)
I was surprised myself about it having the 2nd largest Muslim population....
good to know right? =)

Ms. Provoking:
woo hoo... i never knew that i honestly just took the name to be the Land of the Pure... thats really cool though =D

Anonymous said...

well yea pakistan means the land of pure... its so beautiful everyone should see it... one thing u ddnt add in it that pakistan is the first muslim nuclear country and now iran is trying to become nuclear too... so its defence is so strong that no one can dare to touch it... i hope ull include this too...
and what ever you said was good.

Mrs. Cullen said...

my best friend speaks siraiki=)

Mrs. Cullen said...

where did you hear about the acronym?? because i have trouble believing that=/