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Customs & Traditions in Pakistan

Updated: May 5, 2021

Home> Countries> Asia> Pakistan> Customs & Traditions


General & food Traditions

  • Pakistani do not use first names, unless among close friends.

  • You have to use titles it shows respect.

  • Pakistani cuisine, given the variety of ethnicity and geography, is very diverse. However, you can be assured of two things:

1. Red meat is halal and slaughtered according to Islam; and

2.Pork is forbidden and impossible to find.

  • Curry and spices are used very often in Pakistani cuisine, as a consequence, plain white rice is the most common side dish. Lentils are also very common.

  • Southern Pakistani food is much spicier.

  • Pakistani drink green tea throughout the day.

  • As for Pakistani dresses, you will find that Pakistani are very formal, and also respectful of the Islamic code.

  • Women's clothes are also conservative, covering the skin and very loose.

  • Pakistani men are required to cover their bodies between the navel and the knee.

  • There are specific topics that you can't talk about it with Pakistanis that you do not have a close relationship with like: Dating, Challenging Islamic beliefs, Alcohol, Sex, Homosexuality.



Family

  • Loyalty to family is the most important thing in Pakistani lives.

  • The mother is the main caregiver for her children and the kids spend the majority of their time with her.

  • The extended family also plays a key role in a child’s socialization and will support the child’s care.

  • Living close to the extended family also emphasizes the transmission of Pakistani customs and traditions across generations.

  • Casual dating is disapproved and many marriages are arranged by the family elders even today.

  • When there is no marriage arrangement, parent approval is still necessary, marriage is seen as a responsibility of the parents, especially due to the need of protecting the family’s honor.

  • The newborn child is also swaddled in a piece of clothing that once belonged to the grandfather.

  • Where possible, the paternal grandfather is asked to name a newborn child.

  • Following Islamic tradition, once a name has been given, the child’s head is shaved and the weight of the hair is used to determine an equal weight in gold or silver which is then given as a charitable contribution.

  • Women stay at home and men go to work. When a woman works, they are usually involved in fields such as nursing or teaching or manage her own businesses.

  • The reason the women stay at home is that Pakistani families are larger (6 children is considered normal) and the woman is responsible for raising the children, along with the extended family as well.

  • Islamic values such as prayer, ablution, fasting, respect elders...etc are implanted from early childhood.

  • Hiring relatives is a common practice that has a positive spin in Pakistani culture, due to the high sense of loyalty.

  • Forming new relationships is very important in Pakistan.

  • It is very inappropriate when someone asks questions to a Pakistani about any of their female relatives, especially their wives.

  • Women have the same rights as men, including voting and being educated.




Names

  • The majority of Pakistani names are derived from Arabic, Turkish and Persian names.

  • Children may be given one, two, or sometimes even three names at birth.

  • If the person has more than one given name, one of them is chosen as the person’s most called name, by which he is referred to informally.

  • Pakistani names usually include a name that identifies a person’s class or other status indicators.

  • For females, tribal names or titles rarely feature in the person’s full name.

  • Instead, her full name would be composed of her given names only, or if given only one name, her given name together with her father’s most called name.

  • After marriage, the full name would be her most called name appended with her husband’s most called name.