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Pak Tea House » culture

Come on Pakistan! Culture isn’t a static thing

By Raja Arsalan Khan Pakistani intelligentsia cannot challenge the Taliban through a comprehensive narrative because of the confusion it is suffering from. We are unique; we are supreme; we are here to tell people how to live; we are destined to change the whole world; only the Muslims have contributed to the human progress; everything should must Islamized; everyone except Muslims are our enemies. It is the executive summary of education imparted to our students while we seek an answer to the question: how to root out militancy from society. And unfortunately, media (now a 24/7 business) is complicating the problem by constantly bashing the West and reminding people about so-called negative influence of non-Muslim world and unending conspiracies designed by Jews, Hindus and Christians to consume us. Even a cursory look at the extremism … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Islam, Pakistan, Religion

Did Pakistan TV Debate Prompt Burning of Yoga Center?

Pak Tea House was noted by the famous US media outlet NBC NEWS in this story below. Wish we were quoted in a more positive news story. By Wajahat S. Khan ISLAMABAD – Armed men may have burned down a yoga center in Pakistan after it was criticized during a provocative television talk show, local observers said Monday. The Art of Living, a non-profit organization whose spiritual leader is an Indian yogi, was set on fire Saturday evening, three weeks after outspoken television anchor Arshad Sharif suggested it was a potential threat to Pakistan’s national security. The two nuclear armed nations are fierce rivals and have fought four wars and countless skirmishes. In a Feb. 14 episode of his prime-time show “Kyoon?” – meaning “Why?” – Sharif suggested that the facility’s spiritual leader, India yoga … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Citizens, culture, human rights, India, Islamabad, Media, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, secular Pakistan, Terrorism, violence

Karachi Literature Festival: Bigger & Better!

Karachi Literature Festival: Bigger & Better!

By Abdullah Zaidi One thing which was clear from the onset as KLF approached was that it was going to be bigger and better than before. There were new exciting writers to look forward to: Omar Shahid Hamid and Bilal Tanweer. Then scholar Ashish Nandy was making an appearance at a Literature Festival in Pakistan for the first time. Lastly, the presence of regulars such as Mohammad Hanif offered nothing but good. Geo-Political Value of Pakistan – … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Literature

The new face of fascism

Saad Hafiz Benito Mussolini’s infamous quote on fascism, adapted to Pakistan, reads, “Everything for the Taliban, nothing outside the Taliban, nothing above the Taliban.” The quote accurately captures the remarkable hubris of fascism, its frightening, xenophobic and coercive impulses. Fascism brings with it a thick set of assumptions about the world’s past, present and future. It represents a complete vision of life that crosses class divisions and carries no pluralist opposition. The objective, unchanged through time, is to establish control over the people, its main thrust to remake society and rule over every dimension of life. Like their predecessors in history, the new fascists draw their allure from their anathema towards half measures and compromises, their simplicity, their appeal to the imagination and their zest for action but also their intolerance … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture

Valentine’s Day at Centaurus Mall

Valentine’s Day at Centaurus Mall

By Waqas Rafique It was Friday and the colours of the Valentine’s Day were in full bloom. I tossed my vehicle into an annoyingly long queue of cars outside the Centaurus Mall, Islamabad, with a friend. All we wanted was a late afternoon snack. However, when we reached at the main gate, the security guard informed that we couldn’t go inside the mall since it was a “family day”. Awkwardly surprised, I told him that my … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture

Poles Apart

Haider Rifaat After witnessing the current situation in Pakistan, I have come across many individuals who assess other nations based on stereotypical beliefs. There are numerous factors which make Pakistan and the U.S. entirely different. However, one of the most vital factors which has created a rift between the two countries is the cultural difference. Pakistan and the U.S. have not been able to get along well on account of the distinct cultures. Several conservatives who mainly dwell in the rural regions of Pakistan do not approve of western clothing. In contrast, the U.S. supports diverse cultures and people from different religious affiliations. Moreover, modernization has become a trend in Pakistan, yet people who belong from traditional backgrounds oppose western customs, particularly the openness in the society. Keeping the culture aspect aside, there … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture

The Flowers’ Stalks: selling books on Lahore’s streets

The Flowers’ Stalks: selling books on Lahore’s streets

  By Behzad Taimur The Sun is mellow and the early Sunday morning birdsong comes drifting down slowing through the air, and settles softly on a small street just off of Lahore’s famous Anarkali bazaar, like dust settles down once a gust of wind has blown past. The street is littered with small stalls of old books – each stall is a sheet of paper or a clump of rags with innumerable books lying on top. This, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, culture, Education, Heritage, History, Literature

Death of a Nation

Death of a Nation

by Hafsa Khawaja Holding on in the midst of political, social and economic storms, the Pakistan of today is an illustration of an almighty bedlam. Unsurprisingly, death and destruction have now eased into humdrum routinely occurrences for most people; Predictably throwing a cloak of desensitization over them; giving rise to chronic apathy. A common trend that has been nurtured in this environment is the juxtaposition of tragedies for comparisons to exhibit selectivity of people’s reactions and responses. To question … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, culture, drama, History, human rights, Identity, Opinion, Pakistan, Society, violence, war

Greasing the wheels

By Saad Hafiz: The view that corruption is widespread in public places is generally held around the world, but it is not just in governments that corruption is found. It has permeated all levels of society. Corruption has been around for just about as long as institutions and opportunities of any sort. [The King] shall protect trade routes from harassment by courtiers, state officials, thieves and frontier guards…(and) frontier officers shall make good what is lost…Just as it is impossible not to taste honey or poison that one may find at the tip of one’s tongue, so it is impossible for one dealing with government funds not to taste, at least a little bit, of the King’s wealth. –From the treatise The Arthashastra by Kautilya (chief minister to the king in ancient … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture

Thumbs Down Part I

Thumbs Down Part I

I was in the United States for one month on an exchange program for youth leaders from Pakistan. Apart from innumerable things that I liked while I was there, some aspects of American life did not appeal to me as much as the rest of them. Following are some of those snippets of Daily American Life that I noticed and was not too pleased about. Extravagance United States, unlike Pakistan, has abundance of many things, including food … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogroll, Citizens, culture, Economy, Education, History, Imperialism, Multinational Corporations, USA

Orientalism Today

About three weeks ago, in an interview that was part of a tour to launch his latest book, Salman Rusdhie was asked about what he thought about the protests that erupted in Muslim countries as a result of the film, “Innocence of Muslims” (or the “Life of Muhammed,” or “Muslim Innocence, depending on reports). He responded by calling the video a “disgraceful little malevolent thing ” and the violence that erupted as a consequence of the film, “the release of a much larger outrage.” Rushdie went on to comment on the topic, saying “He’s clearly set out to provoke, and he’s obviously unleashed a much bigger reaction that he hoped for. One of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be … Read entire article »

Filed under: Colonialism, culture, Media, Uncategorized

Culture Shock – American Lifestyle

By Kashif: A life-changing event for me was a trip to the United States of America (USA), when I was selected as a Fulbright Scholar. The US is a dreamland for almost everyone; considering the number of visitors in New York and Chicago per day waiting in a queue would certainly testify my above mentioned assertion. I couldn’t believe I am in the US until the first day at the school. The whole system, the organized processes, students’ maturity, students’ goals, professors’ friendliness and among others, impressed me a lot and instantly broke the prejudice being carried in my mind about America and American people. The mind-change was a little bit quick and I realized I am still in a danger zone as my friends and family members kept on calling and … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture

Manto: An Author of Tales for Children

By: Josh Shahryar It was with much sorrow that I learned that Saadat Hasan Manto has been posthumously awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian honor. Too late? Maybe. However, that news opened too many old wounds in my heart. Wounds that I had to write something about if I was to find some closure. You see, to the rest of the world, Manto is a fearless story-teller, who spoke to adults, aiming to open their eyes to endemic oppression around them. To me, though, he will forever be a writer who spoke to children. The news of the posthumous – and might I add tragically late – recognition he received from the government of Pakistan took me back down memory lane to the moment I first encountered his words that seemed so out of … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Literature, Pakistan, Writers

Fashion week pakistan

Fashion week pakistan

By  The fashion police   The wait is finally up!!! Fashion Pakistan Week 3 is coming back with a bang!  Fashion Pakistan proudly announces the date of Fashion Pakistan Week 3 is this April 2012, now all you fashionistas need to save this date!  This is one fashion week you won’t want to miss, as Pakistan’s most powerful and influential designers will all be under one roof for one week only! Fashion Pakistan Week 3 is a … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Fashion

Dismantling the barriers of hate

Dismantling the barriers of hate

  By Ghazala Akbar Midway between the cities of Lahore in Pakistan and Amritsar in India each about 25 km away is the village called Wagah. It stands on an ancient pathway that stretches from Kabul in the North West to Calcutta in the North East and beyond to Shonargaon in Bangladesh. Known variously in history as Uttara Patha, Sadaq – e -Azam or the Grand Trunk road, it was until very recently, the only road link … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, culture, Democracy, India, Pakistan, Politics, secular Pakistan, Society