Karachi, the bustling cosmopolitan city of Pakistan and one of the largest populated city in the world.
It has a lot to offer for the visitor, from the rough sea water to the waterless desert. The city always remain under heavy construction and now it has some tallest buildings of the region.
The days are sunny and the night are cold. Rain falls are un-scheduled and any time a sunny day can convert into thunder stroms.
Sunday is a holyday, and peoples comes out of there homes on this particular day. English is widely understandable and visitors will not face any problems when buying food or having shopping.
In Karachi there are three local Television channels offering 24 hrs programming in URDU and ENGLISH.
Now, when ever you plan to go abrord, consider Karachi as your first destination,,,,,,While I was there, I went to three WEDDINGS, only a portion of the weddings the family went to and they refused many more invitations. Sometimes they went to 2 or 3 a night!
The Three Days of a Traditional Wedding MEHNDI (HENNA) This is the event where you put Henna on the bride and groom's hands. This event is very colorful and full of traditional songs and dances. It is spread over 2 days - one day over at the groom's place to put Henna on groom's hand and the second day over at the BRIDE'S house to put Henna on her hand. Sometimes, both parties agree to have a single function on just one day and split the cost.
NIKAH/SHADI This part of the ceremony is given by the bride's family.
Nikah This is the signing of official paperwork in the presence of a Molvi (Islamic priest). After signing these papers and doing some religious ceremony, the couple is declared husband and wife.
Shadi This is the actual wedding ceremony and all guests are invited. Nikah is performed in the presence of the guests and then they eat (suprise, surprise).
Walima The groom's side invites all the guests to meet on this, the third day. Both husband and wife welcome the guests and mingle around with them while people eat dinner.
I went to two or three Mehndi. They are usually held at the bride's house. Around the time of the wedding, it's always easy to find the bride's house. It, and the nearby trees, lamposts, and bushes, are covered with strings of white lights. It's an ostentatious display that only American Christmases can rival.
Somewhere on the property they set up a tent, which is also filled hundreds of bright hot lights. During the winter, they are run by a generator because, being the dry season, the power could be cut off at any minute.
The men and women would dance and sing in their seperate tents. The women were allowed to relax a little and behave as they might not in public.
Here, the bride and groom enter.
The bride had a symbolic gift placed in the middle of the room called Mehndi (named after the day). I never quite figured out the significance, but here are pictures of two of them.
The bride's outfit is very elaborate. Someone on the net was nice enough to send me a picture. The bride dressed like this on the second and third days of the wedding. I noticed she did not lift her eyes and look at people.
To the right is the picture of the bride and groom together.
I enjoyed the wedding ceremonies. At one point, I tried on the men's traditional wedding hat
But, when we actually went to the weddings, I wore the shelvar qameez. I found them quite comfortable and even took a few back with me,,,
Graffiti can be seen in Karachi
Sometimes you'll run accross anti American graffiti in Pakistan. It's definitely an exception to everyday experience, however.Related to:
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