Lesson 3: Pakistan

Pakistan was born as an independent nation in 1947 as part of British decolonization when “British India” split in two. Pakistan actually began as a nation in two parts itself, consisting of the current land of Pakistan, which is west of India, and a nation east of India that’s now Bangladesh (which became independent in 1971). Pakistan was always meant to be a Muslim-majority nation (95% are Muslim), a foil to the primarily Hindu India. When Pakistan and India separated millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan and millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India. A difficult time.

Pakistan has continued to be a tricky place, politically speaking; since independence it has alternated between periods of military domination and relatively unstable civilian rule. Today civilians rule the roost, but every day the country faces challenges like ongoing conflicts with Taliban insurgents (note the grown-up content in this link), huge IMF debt and the occasional cricket scandal.


MUSIC: The music of Pakistan tells the tale of the country’s geographic location at a crossroads between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, drawing on Pashto, Farsi, Punjabi and many other folk styles . . .

LANGUAGE: Pakistan is home to more than sixty languages, many of which have twisted into each other enough over the millennia that linguists sometimes have a hard time discerning which is a separate language and which is a dialect . . .

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