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Luglio 2024 | A land of many cultures

A land of many cultures

A land of many cultures

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. Pakistan is the site of several ancient cultures, including the 8,500-year-old Neolithic site of Mehrgarh in Balochistan, the Indus Valley civilization of the Bronze Age, and the ancient Gandhara civilization.

The name Pakistan was coined by a Pakistan Movement activist, who in January 1933 first published it in the pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym. He explained: “It is composed of letters taken from the names of all our homelands: Panjab, Afghania, Kashmir and Sindh, and Baluchistan.” He added, “Pakistan is both a Persian and Urdu word. It means the land of the Paks –  the spiritually pure and clean people.” Etymologists note that pāk means ‘pure’ in Persian and Pashto and the Persian suffix -stan means ‘land’ or ‘place of’.

Pakistan’s fauna mirrors its diverse climate. The country boasts around 668 bird species, including: crows, sparrows, mynas, hawks, falcons, and eagles. The southern plains harbor mongooses, the small Indian civet, hares, the Asiatic jackal, the Indian pangolin. Indus is home to crocodiles, while surrounding areas host boars, deer, and porcupines. Central Pakistan’s sandy scrub-lands shelter Asiatic jackals, striped hyenas, wildcats, and leopards. The mountainous north hosts a variety of animals like the Marco Polo sheep, the Markhor goat, the Asian black bear, and the Himalayan brown bear.

Pakistani cuisine, rooted in the royal kitchens of 16th-century Mughal emperors, blends influences from British, Indian, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern culinary traditions. Pakistani dishes are heavily spiced with garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili, and garam masala. Roti, a wheat-based flatbread, accompanies most meals, alongside curry, meat, veggies, and lentils. Rice is also common, served plain, spiced, or in sweet dishes. Lassi, a traditional drink from the Punjab region, and black tea with milk and sugar are popular beverages enjoyed nationwide. Sohan halwa, a beloved sweet dish from southern Punjab, is savored across Pakistan.

Cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan, followed by football. Field hockey is the national sport. Other sports like Squash, Polo, and traditional games are also enjoyed.

 

Glossary:

to coin: coniare:

a pamphlet: un libretto, un depliant;

a homeland: una patria;

Urdu: lingua ufficiale del Pakistan.

Pashto: lingua dell’Afganistan, parlata anche in Pakistan;

to boast: (in questo contesto) sfoggiare, presentare;

to harbor: essere la casa di;

a mongoose: una mangusta;

a civet: uno zibetto (un felino di taglia piccola però più grande di un normale gatto domestico);

a hare: una lepre;

a jackal: uno sciacallo;

a pangolin: un pangolino (una specie di armadillo asiatico)

a boar: un cinghiale;

a deer: un cervo;

a porcupine: un’istrice;

the scrub-lands: il terreno boscoso;

a striped hyena: una iena striata;

a wildcat: una lince;

to root: (in questo contesto) radicarsi, provenire;

to blend: miscelare

turmeric: curcuma;

garam masala: miscela di spezie usata nella cucina indiana, la quale usa principalmente le seguenti: pepe bianco e nero, cannella, coriandolo, cumino, cardamomo, chiodi di garofano e noce moscata;

wheat-based: a base di frumento;

a flatbread: una piadina, una pita o qualsiasi pane a forma piatta;

alongside: accanto a, vicino a, assieme a, lungo;

to savor: assaporare.

 

Immersing in Pakistan Culture

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