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The Culture Of Pakistan: An Interview With Sohail Shah

1116 words - 5 pages

I am always fascinated with other people's cultures. The New York or Californian culture always amazes me although these states are in the United States. These areas of the nation seem very different than Texas. I do not have any friends that have recently moved here from another culture so, I set out to my neighborhood Stop N Go. The clerks at this convenience store are all from other countries. One clerk whom I have talked to many times, named Sohail Shah, always spoke of Pakistan. I often listened to his stories of being in the Karachi police force or of Pakistan's different customs. Sohail Shah, a thirty year old male clerk at the Stop N Go located on North Braeswood near Chimney Rock, ...view middle of the document...

When Sohail lived in Pakistan, he lived in a house with his whole family. As an adult, he lived with his parents and siblings as well as his wife and children. The house was large enough to accommodate over fourteen people. All the women stayed home to keep up the house and prepare meals. If the women were to go to the market, they would completely cover themselves except for their eyes. Women were not to be seen in public without covers. Also, the wives wait for their husbands to come home before eating. The Koran approves of polygamy, allowing up to four wives. If a Pakistani decides to marry a second wife, his first wife must approve of her. Shah says polygamy is not very common in Pakistan. A typical day in Pakistan for Shah was to wake up before sunrise and pray. His wife would prepare breakfast for him before he left for work. He would leave for his police work when an armored truck stopped at his house. He was an officer in the police force before being promoted to the secret police. Shah rode around Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, in the truck with twelve other rifle carrying policemen the entire day. Although there is nearly zero crime in Pakistan, the threat of terrorism keeps the police busy. The crime situation is based on severe punishments such as amputation of a hand for stealing. In addition, the people of Pakistan have a very strong conscience. People leave their homes and businesses unlocked while away. When Sohail returned home, his wife would have dinner already made for him and his entire family would eat when all the men returned from work. While the men are away, the women take care of the children, bake bread, and make pottery or baskets to sell at the market. His large family would then discuss different topics of interest before retiring. I found that the funeral arrangements are somewhat strange. First, women may go to the wake when a person dies but may not enter the cemetery. When a person is buried, he or she is dressed in white and wrapped in a woven...

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