How to (re)Introduce Your Non-Pakistani Friends to Pakistan

0
1185
Screen-grab from 'Raat' by The Sketches

I won’t lie, the point of this post is to simply talk about some stuff that I’ve been loving. But, as I was looking over the videos I chose, I realized that there was in fact a theme. And so, I just thought that I’d turn it into a full blown tourism spiel. If you have non-Pakistani friends, chances are they have some perceptions about the country. I’ll also wager that these perceptions are not the best. And as someone with a pulse, you might want to challenge these.

So, in honour of every non-Pakistani that ever wanted to know more about Pakistan than ‘this is where Homeland was shot’ (and it wasn’t) here is my list. These videos vary in terms of origin. They vary in terms of theme. But they have one thing in common, they offer a unique vantage point for the country.

And, also, they’re pretty.

 

  1. Find My Pakistan

Okay, so I know that this one isn’t recent. But, it is so, so good. Published by the local travel company, Find My Adventure, more than a year ago, it still holds up.

Never have I have I been more inclined to backpack across the Hunza Valley, climb K-2, and dive into river Ravi. And fun fact, I’m scared of spiders. And my own shadow.

This is a triumph on so many levels. I could marvel at the picturesque scenery. But really, we all have always known that Pakistan is stunning.

(Unless you’re a non-Pakistani who was introduced to Pakistan through G. I. Joe. In which case, yeah this place is pretty breathtaking.)

I could talk about the creative decisions and camera angles. I could even gush about how well the song fits. But really, this is a collection of little things done really, really well. Because of which, this is perfection.

 

  1. Wanna Go to Pindi?

Excuse the turn of phrase. I know that I have the swag of a wet kitten.

But I needed a lead-in for this song. Which incidentally is what inspired this post. Some time ago, we had this fun little exchange on twitter.

And I maintain what I said; this is an experience. And, as with anything related to Pakistani rap, it is uninhibited, and unapologetic. It is also refreshing.

Now, I have always believed that we should not sugar coat Pakistan for foreign eyes. Simply because you can’t sugar coat Pakistan. For proof, turn on Fox News, and feel thy self-respect (and brain cells) die.

Because of the dogma surrounding Pakistan, the only people who will give it the time of day are kindred spirits. Themselves sick of the mainstream narrative, and hence looking for all things rare and unaffected. This song, and the experimental video, are just that.

 

  1. Folk Fairy tales

I had the pleasure of seeing this beautiful, animated video before it was published. And if you want to present Pakistan’s folk tradition to non-Pakistani eyes, this is the answer. My love for animation has been well documented. I will say it again, I love animated films.

What is interesting here though, is that the animation reminds me of traditional art. I’m not sure if you’ve seen local tapestries or even hand painting, but this echoes both. Albeit without being obvious.

In the past, I have praised may of their songs, but this is the best thing The Sketches have published.

 

For Anyone Who Wants to Give This Place a Second Glance

Listen, I maybe sickeningly optimistic, but I have no delusions about perfection. Pakistan isn’t perfect. And, it’s also a little more imperfect than many other countries. But, it isn’t one-dimensional. It isn’t all bad. And, hear me out, you may have misjudged it.

So, if you’re willing, maybe look over what I’ve shared and find another piece of the country?

Liked it? Take a second to support Ushah Kazi on Patreon!