Pakistan is one of the most intriguing and interesting countries in the world. This is because within its mountainous boundaries on one side and its desert dunes on the other, it contains a multitude of cultures stemming from a great variety of ethnic groups. Each ethnic group, whether they live in the northern mountain peaks or the southern desert lands, bring with them age-old traditions, fascinating cultures, all varieties of food, bright clothes and enchanting myths, creating a land of unprecedented uniqueness. You need to visit Pakistan at least once in your life because the soul of the people and the beauty of its natural landscape topped with the fascinating aspects of its rich culture are sure to make it an experience you will always treasure.
The Natural Beauty
Pakistan is famous for its geographical magnificence because it contains all the varieties of natural phenomena starting from rolling hills leading to towering peaks in the north. It has vast fields and rivers, towards the province of Sindh we begin to witness oceans, and finally there are vast deserts making it a complete treasury of nature’s gifts. One reason the landscape remains so enchanting is because most of it is still preserved in its rawest and most natural form. Let us not forget that Pakistan is proud to lay claim to five of the highest and most glorious mountains in the world.
The Cultural Diversity
Pakistan has four provinces, with each having its own culture, traditions, dialect and palette of food and art. This cultural diversity stems from the ethnic variation causing it to have profound and long lasting effects on the entire culture as a whole. If you travel across the entire country, crossing over to each different province is almost like going to a new country where you will notice the difference in the way people look, dress, speak and behave. This diversity is what enriches the variety of food we have, the great range of music and instruments we play, the enriched variety of songs and literature we read as well as the great number of local dialects we own. It is a truly fascinating experience because you are able to experience a multitude of unique cultures under the umbrella of one collective culture, making your trip a lesson in diversity.
The food in Pakistan is famous for its specialized use of all sorts of herbs and spices. Every traditional dish is a special concoction whose recipe has been perfected through generations to give it a perfect taste. Each dish, whether it is lentils or chicken roast or even lamb has to be seasoned and cooked to perfection, and therefore when the final dish is prepared it is a pleasure to eat every single bite. The country is also famous for its unique sweets known as ‘Mithai’, sweet goods made with local recipes and topped with an assortment of nuts. Pakistan is known for its agriculture and therefore you should be prepared to taste the kind of organic fruits and vegetables you can only dream of.
The Local Bazaars
There is a thriving market culture that is still alive in Pakistan. There are hundreds of market places in every city and district, each with their own unique culture. The interesting thing about the local bazaars is that each shop still has an owner who has been there for decades and can answer any question put forth about his trade. The owners of clothes shops will tell you about any type of cloth in the world whereas the silver jeweler will tell you about any kind of silver present anywhere in the world. This relationship that the vendors have with customers is so precious in today’s modern age of impersonal shopping that any purchase can be transformed into a great bonding session and an even greater lesson about the product.
Beautifully Ornamented Handicrafts
This country has such an abundance of craftsmen that are so marvelously skilled at producing certain goods because they have learned a particular skill from their fathers, who in turn learned it from their fathers. There are beautifully woven carpets that take more than six months to create due to the intricacy of the designs embossed on them. There are magnificent embroideries done on all sorts of clothes, special jewelry is also cut to perfection using hands instead of machines. Utensils made from copper and silver follow the same pattern of unique craftsmanship, making the country a haven for handmade handicrafts that are not available in this variety anywhere else in the world.
Entrancing Local Music
Most musicians on the outskirts of cities and rural locations along with some in urban centers, prefer to use the traditional instruments of the east such as the flute, the rubab, the harmonium and the tabla (local drum). Along with the beauty of the sound produced by these local instruments, there are notes and hymns that go back more than 1,000 years, that are sung by local musicians that can put you into a state of intoxication without any substance. No matter how many rock and metal concerts you have attended, the experience of listening to a Qawwali (Devotional music) will be a musical experience that will resonate with you forever.
The Unique Hospitality
Anyone who comes from abroad is pleasantly surprised at how all the locals go out of their way to be hospitable to their guests. Whether you are in one of the major cities or backpacking in the Northern areas, anyone who crosses your path will tell you all you need to know about the area and the conversation will always end in them inviting you as a guest to their house for either tea or dinner. There is hardly anyone who does not offer foreigners a sightseeing tour of the area in which they are staying so that they can see all the unique things that are unknown to travelers.