“Tujhe sb hai ptaa…hai na Ma??” (You know and understand all my pains and my problems mother, right?) Today, looking back at my life, and feeling your support in all I did in my life and will do, I find it strange that you are the person whom I often tell that “you don’t know it Ma”..(Ami apko nh pta)
Who can love me more than you Ma? No one can ever do that. You have always loved me more than anyone else. You have always been there in the most impossible of situations. You have been my courage, my strength, through out my tough times. You gave me life, and allowed me to live. You allowed me to be happy, and to make me happy, you forgot what your happiness was. Your selflessness, your sacrifice brought me to the point where I am today Ma. You are the only one in this world to whom my success is her own success. You selfless being-My Mother!
I want you to know that I love you. And I know that I have not always been the best daughter in the world Ma, but you were and you are as always, the best mother in the world! God blessed me with you. God couldn’t have been here physically all the time, so he sent you. From my birth to my tooth aches, from the first day I crawled to when I fell in the cave thing near our residence in Murree, from my first school day to my convocations of these two Masters degrees, from my first step to the last, I owe it to you Ma. Thanks for taking care of me all my life (Please do that for the rest of my life too, for I cant survive without you). Thanks for all those parathey in the breakfast (one of which is on the breakfast table right now, and is getting cold as usual). Thanks for allowing me to have parties at home with my friends. Thanks for holding my hand and walking through the rough and tough of life. Thanks for sleeping on the wet part of the bed and allowing me to sleep on the dry part, after I wet the bed as a 6 months old. Thanks for the positive energy you have always given me Ma. Thanks for this confidence I carry today. Thanks for allowing me to be ME.
I know I can never say it enough, that I love you Ma! You mean everything to me. Am happy that you are here with me, and that I know what you mean to me before its too late. Be there. I need you more now, and will need you even more in the future Ma!
Happy Mother’s Day Ma! Dedicated to my Mother, Mrs. Nargis Sarfraz. Leave comments as tributes to your moms today. They deserve it.
Eid-ul-Azha or the greater Eid is celebrated on the 10th of Zilhaj, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is a three day festival. It is celebrated to commemorate the obedience of Abraham who readily agreed to sacrifice his son Ismail for Allah’s pleasure.
A cattle market is set up outside the city premises from where people can buy goats, sheep, cows and camels. Cows and camels have seven shares so those who cannot afford to sacrifice a whole animal can have a share. The animal has to be free of any physical deformities and injuries. It must not be too young as well. People generally buy animals a week or ten days prior to Eid. Different stalls selling fodder are set up through out the city. Children love to take care of the animals and are often seen roaming in the streets with the animals.
The Eid day begins with special prayers offered in open places and mosques. Then animals are slaughtered as soon as the butcher arrives. The meat is divided into three parts, one is kept for home, the second part is distributed among relatives and the third portion is given to the poor people. The hides are donated to charity organizations. Animals can be sacrificed till 12 noon of the third day.
In the evenings families hold barbecues and enjoy themselves. The T.V channels in Pakistan telecast special Eid programs.
Eid-ul-Azha is more than sacrificing animals and having barbecues. It is about sharing. While meat is the main dish in Pakistani households but sadly this cannot be said for all. There are many families who get to eat meat only on special occasions and festivals. Islam teaches us benevolence by sharing sacrificial meat with the poor, the spirit of brotherhood is rekindled. Some affluent families do not keep a share for themselves but distribute it among the poor and the needy.
Festivals like Eid are celebrated to infuse a spirit of brotherhood and compassion and to bring joy to all. Above all it is a way to thank the Almighty for his numerous blessings.
Basant or the kite flying festival is celebrated in Lahore in early March to mark the advent of the spring season. It has nothing to do with religion and is not new to the area either. For centuries this has been a ritual to welcome spring.
Basant is mostly celebrated in Lahore with much pomp and show and vigor than in any other part of the Pakistan. It would not be wrong to say that basant is truly celebrated in Lahore only. People from adjoining cities go to Lahore to take part in the festivities The Basant fever catches up from the month of February. The skilled kite makers prepare colorful kites and strings. People buy lots of kites to take part in the festival. Yellow is the dominant color and ladies, get special clothes stitched for this occasion.
On Basant day, people gather on the rooftops to fly kites. Kite flying competitions are held, the air is thick with tension and drummers beat drums to encourage the kite fliers. The cries of “Bo kata” fill the air whenever a kite goes down. Special dishes are prepared for the occasion and kite flying continues well after dark. At night dinners, musical concerts and plain old family gatherings complete the day.
Some Islamic fundamentalists term basant as non-Islamic, however, for a lively Lahorite, it is a form of entertainment and a healthy activity.
Guru Nanak was born in 1469 in Nankana a small village some 40 miles from Lahore the provincial capital of Punjab, Pakistan. Although according to the Hindu calendar his birthday falls on 14th April, it is celebrated in November in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.
Sikhism is based on the teachings of Guru Nanak and the 9 other gurus that followed him. The Sikh festivals mostly revolve around the birth celebrations of its gurus and are known as GurPurabs. Basically the birthdays of all the Gurus are celebrated in the same way only the hymns are different. These birth celebrations last for three days.
Millions of Sikhs all over the world celebrate the GurPurab with religious fervor. The celebrations begin with Akhand Path the continuous recitation of Guru Granth the Sikh Holy Book. The recitation occurs without break for 48 hours. A team of men and women carry out the recitations for 2-3 hours each and so the process continues for till the dawn of the birthday itself. A day prior to the birthday, a procession is taken out in which the Guru Granth is carried over a float bedecked with flowers. Five men representing the Panj Piaray (the five beloved) lead the procession carrying the Sikh flag the Nishan Sahib. They are accompanied by musicians and singers singing religious songs. During the festivals the worship places of the Sikhs the Gurdwaras are illuminated and adorned with flowers, flags and banners. The big day commences with the sinning of the morning hymns known as the Asadi Var. These are followed by the Keertas the musical recital of the hymns from Guru Granth. In the end lectures on Sikhism called Kathas are delivered and poems praising Guru Nanak are also recited.
A lunch organized by volunteers is served in the afternoon. The recitation of hymns continues till evening and the festivities usually end with a display of fireworks.
August 14, Independence Day of Pakistan
Every year on August 14th, Pakistan celebrates its independence day from the British Rule. It is also known as the “Yom-e-Istiqlal”. Just like any independence day in the world, August 14th is a national holiday in Pakistan. Throughout the country, this day is celebrated with flag raising ceremonies, fireworks, and tributes to the national heroes. These celebrations take place in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. In the course of the event, the Prime Minister and President of the country raise the national flag at the Parliament and Presidential Buildings, and they deliver speeches that are televised on national TV. The speeches highlight the government’s achievements, as well as its goals for the future.
The August 14th Independence day of Pakistan brings to mind the words of “Quaid-e-Azam”, who is the father of the nation. His words highlight bringing discipline, faith, and unity to the people of Pakistan. It was in the year 1947, on August 14th, that Independence Day of Pakistan was officially announced.
Part of the Independence Day celebration in Pakistan is the lighting of candles at midnight by students. This is to bring hope and luck for the future. Cultural programs and activities also take place in different provincial capitals of the country most particularly in the colleges and schools. Friends and families gather for outings, lunches or dinner during the celebration. Competitions and entertainment programs are held among societies, cultural centers, and even housing colonies for the observance of the special holiday.
Various sports festivals are celebrated throughout the world but only five are considered popular to many people. Among these are the Kite Festival in Pakistan, the Tour de France Festival in France, the Tibet Horse Festival in Tibet, the Nadaam Festival in Mongolia, and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in the USA.
The Kite Festival in Lahore, Pakistan is celebrated during spring season. In this festival, people stayed on their rooftops for the traditional kite flying. The festival is celebrated for five days as thousands of kites litter the skies. It is participated by various kite fighters both amateur and professional. During the event, kite fighters try to cut and snag each other’s kites down.
The Tour de France is a festival celebrated throughout France. It is a 23-day tour that starts from the borders of the country and finishes in Paris. This festival is not only one of the popular sports festivals in the world but also the hardest one. Its tour usually covers more than 3,500 kilometers of the most grueling terrains and mountainous areas in the country. The tour is divided in segments or stages for the participants.
The Tibet Horse Festival is held every August in Tibet. In this festival, thousands of herdsmen participate in an archery and horse race contests as they dress themselves in outfits as well as their horses in fineries.
The Nadaam Festival in Mongolia takes place in July. It is an annual celebration held across the country reminiscing the manly sports of horseback racing, archery, and wrestling. It is a three-day event with traditional dancing and parades prior the beginning of the sports event.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in USA is a colorful hot air balloon festival held every October during fall season. It is a nine-day even where more than 750 balloons are flown to the skies. It is also the most photographed and largest event in the world.