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Cultural commonalities of Iran and Pakistan

Persian has been the official language of subcontinent including Pakistan for nearly one thousand years. In 18th century the British Government put an end to it’s status through a Govt order and replaced it by English. Nonetheless, Persian has not finished up till now and various segments of the educated people including academicians, Scholars, Poets and Writers yet know or endeavor to learn it. It is being taught in colleges and Universities and the collections of Persian poetry are yet published. Similarly Persian books, and Magazines are also published by public and private sectors. Many Persian speaking poet in various areas still write poetry in this living language, and the teachers and professors of Persian teach and write this language. Persian manuscripts are preserved and protected in various museums and national libraries of the country. Sixty to seventy percent of Allama Iqbal poetry is in Persian. Sixty percent of the words, phrases, and idioms of Urdu are derived from Persian.

Archedogical Monuments
The epitaphs and epigraphs engraved on the graves, mosques, monasteries, and archeological remains and buildings including the most ancient graveyard of Makli in Balouchistan are nearly all in Persian language testifying this fact that the history of the relations of both the country has many common factors.

Prescribed form of Writing
Both Urdu and Persian have a common from of writing known as Nastaaliq which is an evidence to the commonalities of both sides.

A number of Iranian painters, designers and architect migrated in the Safvid and Taimurian era from Iran to the Subcontinent and erected and constructed many Mughal buildings, Gardens, Tombs, Mosques etc, which manifest the Iranian art style of architecture. For example we can point to the Royal Mosque & Shalamar Garden Lahore, and Mahabat Khan Mosque Peshawar, Jehangir Park Lahore and scores of other specimens of Iranian architecture.

Legends and Tales
A number of Indian legends such as “Kalila and Damna” has been translated to Persian and are in vogue in the cultures of both the countries.

Pakistani dress (Shalwar, Kamiz) is similar to the kurd dress and the ancient dress Iranian used in the Qajar and Safvid era. The Qaraqul caps (made of goat skin) which were most popular some times ago and still a part of Pakistani’s national dress was in vogue in Iran as well.

Halva, Kebab, Khorist and Abgosht (spicy curry), Yakhni (soup) Ash (haleem), roasted lever, and kehwa (green tea) are some foods common between the two countries.

Celebration of Nauoroze is a usual custom among the Shia community of Pakistan with the difference that it is a single day celebration as compared to Iran where it persists a week.
Moreover, the passage of time has turned it a bit mild and slow reducing it’s intensity. Some families set the table of Nauoroze known as “Haft Seen” and drop rose in a water bowl at the time of Tahweel (Nauroze’s entering). They also wear new clothes and present gifts to their children, family, and tribesmen and consider all these functions to be the part of their traditions.

The various traditions of this month such as mourner’s marches, chest beating, Alam (flag) and Tazia are similar to that in Iran. So are the Majalis (Roza Khwani) of Imam Hussain (A.S) held here and there. Some people also give alms and Nazar (food to the participants after a majlis).

Eid Fitr and Qurban
The celebration of these two Islamic festivals are similar in both the countries. Muslims offer Eid prayers, give Fitra (an alms) and visit their families and friends and entertain them with sweet and various fruits. They put on new clothes and embrace each other.

The Eminent Luminaries of Gnosticism and Religion
Those Gnostics and religious leaders who migrated from Iran to the Sub-continent played a role and took part in propagation and expansion of religion particularly in Kashmir, Punjab NWFP and Sindh. The most important of the lot were Meer Syed Ali Hamdani, (R.A). Data Ganj Baksh (Usman Ali Hajweri), Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. All of them served the people of this area through Shariat and Tareeqat, and not only propagated and promoted Islam and it’s culture but also Persian language (which was their media of mass contact.) Collection of the poetries of some of them are yet a guidance factor for the people. And their works are the source of deliverance and salvation of the people here.

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