(Painting by Hoda Fathianpour)
When you have to look up the translation for a Punjabi song when you’re technically Punjabi, you know something’s wrong =P.
I’ve never appreciated culture. When I was younger, Arif Lohar’s Punjabi folk tunes used to play on PTV and I never appreciated his “Chimta”, the symbol of his unique style. I thought Truck Art was too gaudy. I used to get bored on Mehndi’s because the ceremonies took forever, which is strange in retrospect. I should have picked up Punjabi from my grandmother, but never did. I always picked bracelets over bangles, because bangles break so easily. I always thought nose piercings were very unpractical and will never get one.
It’s strange that I’ve lived almost all my life in Pakistan and didn’t appreciate the very things that give the country it’s character…While I followed politics and read newspapers, I made the mistake of neglecting a very essential aspect to understanding all of it. I lived here, without really living here.
Not to say I don’t disapprove a lot of the things that exist in South-Asian culture. The preferential treatment of boys in society, for example, always used to irk me; The fact that girls are supposed to be docile creatures who only dream of getting married (not that I disagree with marriage. I will always pick raising a family over a career, but I feel that a girl(and boy both) should have a solid education and an independent mind before saying their “Qubool hai”s; Et Cetera.
I’ve learned, however, that I under-appreciated the more positive aspects of our culture…
Goal for 2010: Appreciate the good parts of society and stop being a total cynic :).
Jugni taar khaeein vich thaal
Kuch ni nibna bandiya naal
Rakhi saabat sidh amaal
Chad duniya dey janjaal
(Alif Allah (Chambe di bootee)- Arif Lohar)
O my creation, share whatever you have
Remove yourself from worldly concerns
There is nothing that you can get from other human beings that you can take to the after-life
Just keep your actions and intentions pure