11 Key Traits of Pakistani Culture

Americans in particular and Westerners in general should understand that Pakistani culture is traditionally conservative and religious.

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Ideologically, Pakistan is an Islamic State.

Pakistan’s very foundation centers around Islam, and Pakistani culture is primarily based on the Islamic way of life.

All other cultural aspects are inspired by Islam. Pakistani culture is highlighted by its grandeur, simplicity, firm convictions and noble deeds and ideas.

Here are 11 key traits of Pakistani culture.

1. Religious Uniformity

Pakistan came into existence to provide its people a system of life based on Islam. The people, in spite of some language differences, customs and traditions commonly follow one religion. Islam is practiced by all Pakistanis.

2. Language

A number of languages are spoken in Pakistan. Some of them are Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto and Baluchi. But Urdu is spoken and understand in all parts of Pakistan. Being the official language, it is the media of communication between all regions of Pakistan.

3. Literature and Poetry

Literature is an important aspects of our cultural life. Most of our poets reflect Islamic code and deliver the message of love and brotherhood. Similarity of thought among poets and writers of all regions is an important factor of our cultural life.

Sufi poets occupy an honored place. Sufis like Lal Shahbaz, Data Ganj Baksh, Shah Abdul Lateef, Sachal Sarmast, Hazrat Sultan Bahu and Waris Shah rendered meritorious services for the spread of Islam in the subcontinent.

4. Dress and Diet

Dress is an important manifestation of culture. Regional dresses of Pakistan have under gone changes due to local traditions, economic conditions, and wealth. But in all provinces people generally wear the traditional dress by Salwar Kameez.

The food we consume and social etiquette confirms strictly with Islamic principles.

5. Mixed Culture

Pakistani culture is a mixed culture although majority of people are Muslims by birth and faith. However there is great influence of Hindu and British culture on present Pakistani society.

6. Male Dominated Society

In Pakistani culture the male member of the family enjoys the key position. Family is headed by a male member and in most cases, he is the soul sources of income for other members of the family.

7. Arts and Architecture

The iconoclasm of Islam has given a characteristic form and pattern in the use of elegant designs, based on geometric figures and floral forms borrowed from nature. The Shah Jahan Mosque, Shalimar Garden, Badshahi Mosque, Shahi Qila and many such graceful buildings are a living proof of the splendid Mughal architecture.

8. Handicrafts

Embroidery, leather works, glazed pottery, wood work, carpet making, metal crafts, and ivory are the essential parts of our culture. Pakistani craftsmen are considered the best in their craftsmanship. They are known for the high quality works which is very popular in foreign countries.

9. Sports

Games like wrestling, hockey, cricket, football, squash etc are popular in every part of our country. These games reflect our cultural identity.

10. Education

Pakistan’s educational system plays a vital role in the formation of culture, unity and solidarity of the nation. Therefore, it is important that the entire curriculum from kindergarten to high school be placed in accordance with the ideology of Pakistan.

11. Religious Festivals

Festivals play an important part of our culture. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are our two main religious festivals. They are celebrated with great happiness throughout the country.

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Saira Ronaq is a writer and graduate student in gender studies at the University of KarachiRead other articles by Saira.

  • Alka Namjoshi

    Nice culture

  • Warda

    “Islam is practised by all Pakistanis”. So no religious minorities? No Christians, Hindus, or Atheists? What about the Ahmadis who were constitutionally declared to be non-Muslims? Either you ignore them completely or you rightly say that they practise Islam. Furthermore, are there no Muslims in Pakistan who don’t practice (no namaz, rosa)?
    Please do not ignore the very existence of religious minorities and instead help fight against their discrimination.

    • Fatima

      You can calm down.
      They’re called minorities for a reason.

      • Patima

        Because they’re inferior to whites?

  • Tank

    Limited and narrow minded report. Not all Pakistani’s are muslim.

  • Nik

    Pakistan wasn’t founded as a place for an islamic way of life. Jinnahs goal was to create a state where all minorities could live in peace and that the state would be secular. I say this as a Pakistani this article sucks and you did a terrible job representing our culture

    • Proud PAKISTANI

      ohh please keep your facts correct pakistan’s formation was solely based on the fact that muslims wanted a seperate homeland where they can practice islam independently it is a islamic country 98% people living in pakistan are muslims your india was supposed to be secular but unfortunatly hindu extremism prevails, your country has failed to provide social security to dalits let alone muslims and christians p.s pehle apna mulk dekho phir pakistan k bare me bolo jahan pakistanio ke baat hote hae moo utha k a jate han stop poking your nose and get over pakistan and stop commenting as pakistanis. we are happy with who we are and what we have PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  • Patima

    Wow. A bunch of “values” with no logical foundation. Sounds like a great place for my daughter to be stoned to death.

    • MissF

      Wow. Just wow. Was this ignorant and racist comment really needed?
      Would you mind telling just which value written in this article seems to be with “no logical foundation” and makes you think such stupid thing? There may have been such incidents occurred in Pakistan, but this does not give you any right to throw such insult and disrespect an entire country only because of a few crazy people.
      I’m a girl living in Pakistan. Never faced any form of misogyny. Living happily here with no problems. Pakistani culture is beautiful and so is the country and its people.
      Learn to bother giving some respect to countries’ cultures and avoid foolish stereotyping.

  • bushra naheed

    No doubt Pakistan is an Islamic country but sadly say the article does not show a really islamic country and you are right to show the present confused culture which is far from Islam . Our governent and its constitution is quite unislamic in the every walk of life , the people of Pakistan are unknown to sheria laws given in the Quran and its practices followed by Hadshrat Mohammed (sawpbuh) after the victory of Makka .The reason is that all the 72 sects are quarrelling each other and only the sect of 73 is giving the true message of islam and its practices are clearly shown by believer called Muslim Ahmedhies and a time will come when the people of the world accept islam and almost whole world become under islam . Mostly islamic countries including Pakistan are going under pressure by unislamc powers and are going unislamic code of life .