We Are Loosing Our Traditions!

Few days back I was at a dinner at an Afghani family’s home. I was dying with hunger and the dinner served quite late, as some of the guests were arriving from Karachi and they did not make it until late.

The seating arrangement was very traditional. If you could remember the Arabian sitting, with carpets around the room by the wall. There was a red carpet in the middle. It was comfortable other then the fact or problem that whenever a guest arrived, we had to get up to greed him/her and that was a hell of a task. My sister has old kneecaps :) so we had to help her getting up. Once I forgot to offer my hand to her and she hardly made it by the time the guests had already sat down :). It was hard for everyone to get up after every 10 minutes especially before the dinner as if it was after, it would have been a great exercise.

Now came the food and before that the “dusterkhan” we all sat down and ate in a traditional way. The food included kebab curry, chicken, and a vegetable curry and Kabuli pulao. The curry was served in plates there were no curry bowls. Only the Kabuli pulao was in a dish. Than there was, a big platter filled with fruits. How can I forget the afghani Nan” bread”, Long and hot. The food was delicious, it really was. I abhor cooking but for the first time I wanted to know the recipe.

After finishing the delightful food, we were served with green tea. It was without sugar and my sister asked me if they drink tea like that? I said it seems so but its first time sugarless tea for me.

It was a great evening with green tea and live tablah played by the son of the hostess as we sang few songs. I was turning the taste of the food, the tea and great hospitality in my mind on our way back home from there and I was thinking how the minorities not only keep their traditions and respect them too. I remember once our dinning table was in a painter’s shop and we had to serve the guests on a dusterkhan” mat”. We were all embarrassed about it. Now I thought, there was nothing to be embarrassed about we were serving them in our traditional way.

In this modern society as we are earning more for our living, our standard of living is changing, but it does not mean we should forget about all our traditions. Why do we feel ashamed of them. We should be proud of what we have. I have never seen any house in Islamabad who serve in a traditional way or even live in according to that :( may be it is because we all are class conscious.

I remember I use to have a friend who never asked me to come to her house. I used to wonder why she never asked me. As I was anxious to know why, I asked her one day and she told me that she has a small house and thought that her friends will feel awkward there.

This is how every one of us is living his life, trying to show off things that they do not have in reality. Soon we will find ourselves in a whirlwind of passion and race of materialism and fake identity.

We hate to go to our neighbors. Once I come to know that people have a perception about the islamabadians that they do not care about their neighbors even if one of the neighbor dies. Many families from Rawalpindi and other cities do not want to settle in Islamabad because they think that people here are proud and have attitude problems. Not all the perceptions are completely wrong being a citizen of this lovely city I know these are the core problems.

Have we ever give it a thought that why we are not what we should be. Everyone complains about it but no one does anything. We blame society for becoming heartless. Did we ever ask who the society is? It’s you and me. We make the society. We the people, every one of us. Everyone is running behind the things that other people like and we all are in a race of trying to empress others. We have lost the ability to stop for a moment and reflect on what is actually good, beneficial or unworthy of our attention.

We are trying to follow everything that comes in from abroad without discernment that there are good thing as well as bad same as there are many good things still alive in our own heritage that we should promote to add the colors in this universe of human diversity in Unity.

9 Comments so far

  1. Backlawa (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 12:53 am

    hain? are you saying that the use of Table & furniture is wrong what next… you r going to ask us to wear leaves instead of cloths?

    Tradition also asks women to wear burka while Islam does not what do u have to say about that??

  2. Yahya (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 3:55 am

    “you r going to ask us to wear leaves instead of cloths?”

    Do you want her to? :)

    Sorry Ghalia, this is only for Backlawa, please keep your eye closed when you pass by here.

  3. Phil (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 6:29 am


  4. TheRepublicOfPakistan (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 6:29 am

    Good post Ghalia :)
    times are changing are we going to be like a tree which bends with the wind or like a raging river that makes its own way. Choice is yours :)

    (I guess its a little cheezy, OH WELL)

  5. Wholesale Amish Furniture (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 11:42 am

    The middle class tends to suffer in this high lifestyle race. They are always trying to ape the high class while they can’t really afford it. The clan of wannabes has grown with everyone wanting to lead the good life.

  6. Ghalia Aymen (unregistered) on November 10th, 2006 @ 8:48 pm

    hello MAKLAWA..LOL BAKLAWA I WOULD PREFER FOR MY READERS TO read the whole esay then answer to it
    “We are trying to follow everything that comes in from abroad without discernment that there are good thing as well as bad same as there are many good things still alive in our own heritage that we should promote to add the colors in this universe of human diversity in Unity.”

    what i was trying to say was not to discredit dinning tables and chairs, all i was saying was just because we have dinning table and chairs convenience does not mean sitting on the floor and eating is anything to be embarrassed about.every country and culture has good and bad both and its mould. Education and modernity requires us to discern both and then pick what is good and leave behind what is not useful anymore. That is what is called civilization and progress

    and thanks to those who understud:)


  7. A for Apple (unregistered) on November 10th, 2006 @ 11:26 pm

    Lovely post it was ghalia … !

  8. Original-Anon (unregistered) on November 11th, 2006 @ 2:44 am

    ‘Losing’ not ‘loosing’

  9. Yahya (unregistered) on November 11th, 2006 @ 4:37 am

    understood not understud. :) but we understud.

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