Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pakistan and India, Similarities in Culture

Pakistan and India

It was year 1947 when the Pakistan and India won independence from Britain and became neighbouring states. Ever since, both the countries have fought many wars, have several ongoing disputes and have been famous as arch rivals or even enemies around the World. While at first glance it may look like Pakistan and India have many dissimilarities which is true in different ways but on comparing the two countries many similarities are visible as well, keeping in mind both the countries had been existing as united subcontinent for centuries. Therefore analysing the geography, climate, festivals, people and their life, culture, food, sports and music of the two countries makes for a unique comparison.

Firstly, there are many similarities between the geography of Pakistan and India. They are neighbouring countries and are located in Asia, more specifically South Asia. Both Pakistan and India have one of the highest populations in the World, India is 2nd and Pakistan 5th most populous country. Similarly, both the countries have a common neighbour in China and are bounded by Arabian Sea. Historically as well both the counties have been part of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and the Mughal Empire. In contrast, India is one of the largest countries of the World with an area of 1,269,219 square miles, almost four times the size of Pakistan which has an area of 310,403 square miles. Also, India is neighbours with total of 11 countries while Pakistan has just 4 neighbouring countries.

Secondly, climate of both the countries is similar in many ways and varies from tropical to temperate. The weather ranges from extreme hot to extreme cold in both the countries and they are blessed with all the four seasons of winter, summer, spring and autumn. In addition, they have the monsoon season which results in heavy rains. On the other hand, India has most of its water requirements fulfilled by the heavy rainfalls in monsoon season and throughout the year. The monsoon season is not that extreme in Pakistan and there are patches of no rain for months, therefore it has to depend on the melting glaciers to fulfil its water needs.

Thirdly, the countries share common festivals as well. Since most people in both countries have agricultural land they both celebrate common seasonal and agricultural festivals such as Baisakhi, which is a thanksgiving day for farmers and Basant, which is celebrated at the end of winter season. Conversely, Pakistan is a Muslim country and India is a Hindu state so there are many festivals that are not common among them. In Pakistan events like Eid ul Fitar, Eid ul Adha and Muharram are commemorated which are totally Islamic, on the other hand in India festivals like Diwali and Holi are celebrated which are totally Hindu festivals.

Fourthly, there are many similarities between the people of the two countries. Historically people of both the counties have coexisted together and even though both have different religions and ways of life, they have influenced each other in many ways. People celebrate marriages usually in the spring season in both the countries, the way of celebrating is almost the same with the celebrations starting weeks before. Plus, the concept of family is similar where the male in the family has the upper hand and is usually responsible for the family. However, the way of people greeting each other is different. In Pakistan most men and women hug each other or shake hands while saying Salam to greet each other, people in India greet each other by touching both their palms while putting hands together and saying Namaste to each other.

Moving on to the fifth point, there exists a cultural unity between the two countries. Folk tales such as Heer Ranjha, Sheeri farhad and Mirza Sahiban are mutually famous. Islamic Sufism, poetry and Sufi music is well known throughout Pakistan and India. Another similarity is between the language, Hindi and Urdu have so many common words that it becomes difficult to differentiate between them and usually are regarded as different dialects of the same language. But, there are many dissimilarities as well. In Pakistani culture sacrificing a cow is common while Indians consider cow sacred and it has religious importance. Plus, In Pakistan most of the men and woman wear Shalwar Kameez while in India most of the girls wear Saari and most men wear Kurta Dhoti.

Moreover, it is a strange coincidence that the national sport of Pakistan and India is hockey but the most famous sport in both the countries is Cricket. Kabaddi is another traditional sport played only in both the subcontinent countries. Love for music is also common in both the countries thanks to the almost common language with singers from Pakistan frequently singing in Indian movies. Despite the music similarity, most of the music produced in India is for the movies, while in Pakistan the famous type of music is folk and pop music.

Finally, there are many similarities in the traditional food of the two countries going back to the times of Mughal Empire. Dishes like Halwa Puri, Daal Chawal, Chicken Karahi, Biryani and the drink of Lassi are not only famous in Pakistan they are equally liked in India as well. Sweet dish is common with Kheer and Mithai the most famous sweet dishes. Conversely, most food dishes in Pakistan consist of Beef and Mutton, while Indians avoid eating red meat and most of their food consists of Herbs and Vegetables. In Pakistan curry and spice is a basic requirement while Indian food is a little less spicy than the Pakistani food.

In conclusion, as explained in the above paragraphs that along with the similarities both countries have geographically, common culture and festivals, similarities in food, sports, music and the way people live their lives, there are also several differences which make both the countries unique in their own way, exciting for a neutral to visit, explore, try new things and for them it can turn out to be a worthwhile experience. 


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  3. One mistake spotted
    India is not a Hindu state
    It celebrates every religion
    It's a diverse country