Pakistan, a country located in South Asia that shares borders with Afghanistan, China, India and Iran, is a culturally rich Islamic state. If you have ever been to Pakistan, you must have seen the great diversity of cultures and traditions that create a very colorful and exciting sight. However, one thing that all cultures here in Pakistan have in common is the unmatched and heartwarming hospitality shown by people from all regions and corners of the country.
Among the many beautiful traditions that prevail here, one of the most common is that of giving each other gifts, especially to guests from abroad. Guests from abroad are treated with the utmost care and friendliness and the Pakistani people take great pride in making their guests feel at home and look forward to welcoming them with open arms. There is a rich tradition of making phone calls to other people’s homes. If invited to a Pakistani’s home, it is customary to bring a small gift for your guest, such as flowers, sweets, or chocolates. It is considered proper etiquette not to open gifts after receiving them. Also, the gift should be presented by the guest with both hands.
In addition to presenting gifts when visiting a Pakistani home, it is also customary to present gifts at weddings to the newlyweds, usually clothes, decorative items or small jewelry. Birthdays and housewarming are two very tastefully celebrated occasions, just as they are celebrated around the world, with a rich tradition of giving gifts to the birthday girl / boy. It is also considered customary for parents of a newborn to distribute sweets among relatives and friends.
This tradition of presenting guests with sweets and gifts is undoubtedly a beautiful tradition that still prevails among the Pakistani people. The Pakistani community is well united with people extremely close to each other according to the spirit of their religious convictions.
Two of the most important occasions that Pakistanis celebrate are religious occasions; Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated as the end of 30 days of continuous fasting during the month of Ramadan. People visit each other during these two important religious celebrations and it is customary to exchange sweets, bracelets, henna and other such gifts.
On the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, all Pakistanis exchange sacrificial meat and also distribute it among the poor. Aside from this, it is customary for pilgrims who go for the hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca to bring holy water and dates for their friends and family, both of whom are revered for their connection to the holy land (Mecca is considered a place sacred by Muslims all over the world). Indeed, it would not be wrong to conclude that gift exchanging is probably one of the most common traditions practiced in Pakistan. It is a practice so deeply engraved in the culture that it has practically formed the most important part of it.
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