Pakistan Culture


Pakistan was part of the Indian territory until the mid-twentieth century, and in the wake of Indian culture, and of all those civilizations that inhabit or have inhabited the shared regions, such as Baluchistan, Kashmir, Indostan, Punjab, Thar, the culture and the artistic and folkloric heritage that belong to it are placed. Precisely the reason behind the separation, the religious and Muslim dimension in particular, is therefore an important component of national society and culture, although Hinduism and Buddhism were also born in these lands. In the country there are buildings and temples of all religions, and not secondary is the Christian community with its own values, symbols and customs. The cultural panorama is therefore enlivened by different traditions which, in many areas, are transformed into a rich and colorful mix of colors, flavors, aromas and sounds. According to animalerts, the main literary works, in the various languages ​​spoken in the country, and the artistic ones, from prehistory to the contemporary age, are of religious and popular subject; moghūl. Art and architecture have found maximum enhancement in the selection of sites declared World Heritage by UNESCO: the archaeological ruins of Moen-jo Daro (1980); the Buddhist ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Sahr-i-Bahlol (1980); Taxila (1980); the fort and gardens of Shalimār in Lahore (1981); the historical monuments of Thatta (1981); the fort of Rohtas (1997). Also worth mentioning are the institutions responsible for the protection of this extraordinary historical-artistic heritage, such as, for example, the National Museum of Pakistan, in Karāchi, and the Lahore Museum. Even in music, traditional (Ghazal style singers are Mehdi Ḥassān, Ghulam Ali), popular, devotional (qawwali) and modern, elements of tribal traditions, literary and religious ancestry, Western influences converge. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948-1947) is one of the best representatives of the genre that combines tradition and modernity. Finally, it must be said that modernity has clearly reached Pakistan in more than one aspect linked to urban realities: the family (nuclear instead of extended), the architecture of many areas of the main centers, the birth of a sort of new bourgeoisie.


It is above all an expression of the Urdu language; in the twentieth century, the main exponent of poetry was undoubtedly Muḥammad Iqbāl (1873-1938), considered a national poet and supporter, in his writings, of the most typical values ​​of Islam as well as of the Pakistani cause; vice versa in the prose Mīrzā Muḥammad Hadi “Rusva” (1857-1931) stood out. In the western part of the country a certain literary tradition is found in the four most widespread languages: pashtō, pañjābī, sindhī and balūcī. The first, spoken by the Paṭhāne tribes, had the greatest cantor in Khushḥāl-Khan (1613-1689), considered the father of the Pashto, and is highly dedicated, like the others, to popular themes. The pañjābī literature is richer, to which reference is also made, citing among the most recent authors Sufi Tabassum (1899-1978), a poet who wrote in Urdu, Persian and, precisely, pañjābī. Sindhī literature is mainly configured around the figure of Shāh ʽAbdu’l Latīf Bhitā’i (1689-1752) and his work the Risālō (Treatise), a collection of verses on the life of the Sind under the Kalhōrā dynasty (18th century), to which Shaik Ayāz (1923-1997) wrote par excellence. Still vital, Sindhi literature has found purity of accents in ʽĀrif Ghīlānī. Mostly entrusted to the oral tradition is the balūcī literature, centered on the events between the Rind and Lashārī tribes. Among other authors of Pakistani origin: Zulfikar Ghose (b. 1935) critic, novelist, poet and Alamgir Hashmi (b. 1951).


From a dozen films every year around 1950, about fifty in the early 1960s, Pakistan produced over a hundred before the split of Bangladesh in 1971 (which cost it, among other things, the loss of the production center in Dhaka and the his Institute of Cinema). However, neither the advent of television in urban areas nor the very high tax on cinema tickets have halted the development of a show that remains the most popular, even if it has not yet reached a small part of the public in the countryside. The prevailing and now stereotyped themes concern love stories, religious and mythological fantasies, a tamed folklore. Rarely have we ventured into more realistic terrain, also because censorship has always been vigilant by not allowing social denunciations or political satire, while the producers despise the “art film” and the documentaries are government monopoly and therefore resolved in propaganda and tourism. Despite these conditions, a quality cinema made its way in its time under the dual influence of the Bengali lyricism of Satyajit Ray and Italian Neorealism. To both he was indebted, in 1958, When the day will be born by AJ Kardar (1926-2002), the first masterpiece of the new trend then illustrated by One among a million (1967) by Raza Mir, Scandalo (1969) by Iqbal Shahzad, Non c ‘is greater glory (1971) than Kardar himself. The best of the directors of this generation, Zahir Raihan, already established in 1963 with The Glass Wall, came in 1970 to symbolize in Lampi di vita through the figure of an authoritarian mother, Ayub Khan’s tyrannical decade (1958-68) and to give national cinema the first political film. In the 1970s, production shrank to the center of Karachi, with films spoken in urdū, sindhī and pañjābī. In 1980, at the Festival of Nations in Taormina, Jamil Dehlavi’s Blood of Hussain was awarded, which he then directed Jinnah (1998) and Infinite Justice (2006). The end of the twentieth century marked a period of crisis for Pakistani cinema, due to factors such as the increase in ticket prices caused by deregulation measures, the conversion of many cinemas into theaters, whose shows make the owners much more money. high, the diffusion of cable TV, in addition to the widespread perception of a low quality of the product-film, from many points of view and especially in comparison with the fervent productions of neighboring India. Among the active directors, however, Shoaib Mansoor, Syed Noor (b.1951), Mehreen Jabbar (b.1971) should be noted.

Pakistan Culture

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