Rural Pakistan: More Colors, More Scenes [4 of 4]

A local version of the Merry Go Round is one of the most popular enjoyment for village kids. The carousel carries the mark from “London to America”, a fascinating invitation to children. “Have a ride in my carousel, reach London and then to America”. OK guys, want to go to London? come on. Try it!



Text: Nayyar Hashmey

Images: Saraiki Youth Forum/Value9


Village pottery is a handicraft that is popular among the young as well as the old. Here in this picture a village lass is painting money boxes for children. Such beautifully painted money boxes as well as water pitchers are used by the village folk as water containers as well as for money saving by the kids.
This type of pottery is so attractive that many people in the rural areas as well as those in the big urban centres  use it as souvenirs too.

In the desert districts of Pakistan, because of the nomadic way of life, main wealth of the people are their cattle which are bred and milked or shorn for their wool. But of very special significance in th economy of these villages is camel. This ship of the desert not only brings food, clothing and all other items of daily use but is also the principal vehicle for travel and transport.
Camel is also a special favorite of the children. They play with it, have a joy ride (under supervision of their parents), travel on long distances and sometimes also play the part of a camel guide when the kid leads the camel with a string and the camel follows its young master without any harm to the kid.

Another attractive buyline for the youngs of rural Pakistan. The chicks are painted in different bright colors by sellers and the children love such stuff painted in rainbow colors. Its another matter that they don’t know these chicks are painted and think they are born with such bright rich colors.

A woman churning yogurt to get lassi and butter, a daily morning core which village women never miss to accomplish every day in the morning.

Another view of a village home immaculately kept by the dwellers of the house.

Makai di roti (bread made of corn flour) taken with Mustard Saag is a delicacy which is loved by all. Its not only relished by the rural folk but also is as much liked by the city dwellers as it is loved in the villages of Pakistan.

A village man milking his buffalo.

Iss pik ko daikh ke kutchh yaad aya?

These gondola type boats are very popular in the Saraiki belt. But of special significance are such boats, a common sight in River Indus near Sukkur and other cities, towns and villages around the beaches of Indus River in Sindh.
During my visits to Sukkur, I frequently saw such Pakistani gondolas either moored along the shores of Indus river or sailing in the wide span of waters of Sindhu Darya.
What fascinated me there was these boats which had complete paraphernalia of a home but the occupants spoke the language which was not Sindhi but the Saraiki boli [spoken in Mianwali/Bhakkar and adjoining areas].
I was told by locals that these people migrated from Mianwali district to Sindh many many years before.
[In this picture here, food bags are being loaded on one such boat].

Gondola type boats with brightly colored pictures, drawings and buntings / multicolored flags are parked on the bank of Indus River, in the area of Attock Khurd. Mostly people of district Attock & Nowshera do visit on weekends.
Attock Khurd is famous for Shrine of Hazrat Jee Baba (Ziarat), Indus River, Qila Wali Ziarat & for enjoying the bank of Darya-e-Sindh. Some of boatmen fix audio players with powerful loudspeakers to increase passengers. Image via

When there is will there is way.These goats demonstrate the truth in this old saying. To graze, they would reach any height! yes, any height!

One day, while I was on my way home, I found the weather to be irresistibly awesome. Especially the sun, setting on the western horizon amid layers of clouds – it shone like a jewel amid a mix of grey and crimson fluff which melted evenly across the canvas due to it’s heat. Needless to state, I seized the camera right away and hence started the clicking frenzy. (Text adapted from

Rural Pakistan much like its urban counterpart, is rich in history, heritage and culture. To express their feelings, their inspiration as well as their fascination with things equestrian, our village folk celebrate their holidays and festivals where dancing horses are the fulcrum of all such activities.
The horses trained for dancing are to be beautiful and though they may look like royal horses, are not the thoroughbred type. They are the local breeds trained to dance on the beat of a dhol (drum).
The horse dance competitions and shows are arranged on different formal events and occasions like a village mela [fair] a political function, wedding ceremony, or a cattle competition.
At the melas in Pakistan’s rural heartland, the horse dance shows are held to entertain people where horse lovers shower money on horses to show their joy and love for the equine dance.
Eqestrian dance is mainly a feature of rich Pakistani culture especially in rural areas of Punjab, where such dance performance is considered an essential part of the overall celebrations at a function. A popular nuance of the equestrian dance in Sindh and Baloch culture is found in camel dance.

A game played mainly by girls, stapoo is common amongst children in Pakistani rural areas. The game is played within a small boundary (court), drawn on the ground and with a piece of stone (theekri).

Tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven for cooking meat, poultry, fish and bread [chappati]. In this technique, the meat is usually coated or marinated with a paste of assorted herbs and spices, skewered into long metallic stick and cooked in the extremely hot and smoky conditions created by the tandoor.
The design of a tandoor is a hybrid of the masonry oven and the makeshift earth oven, which is used exclusively for radiant heat and live fire cooking. The oven is dug into the earth and bears a thick clay enclosure where the heat can easily reach upto 400 degrees Celsius. Some of the best known tandoor recipes are tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, chicken kebab and tandoori roti.
In the image above, a village woman is busy making one such tandoor. Gradually will she raise the cylinder which will ultimately turn into a professionally looking good sized tandoor.

In search of water in the desert

For the sweet tooth: Yummy Jalebis

A house in a locale typical of the deserts in the  Saraiki belt, Cholistan and Sindh.

Pakistan India border runs through a stretch of desert spread over 500 km from the Rann of Kutch to Bahawalpour in Punjab. The deserts of Thar in Sindh, Rajasthan (India) and Cholistan (Punjab)  form a continuous belt of dry, sparsely populated land.
Contrary to a general impression,Thar Desert, however is not an inhospitable, empty wasteland, but is often called with good reasons, the “Friendly Desert”. It is accessible, not too hot and colorful, and makes a perfect four-day trip from Karachi.
More than half a million people, majority of them Hindus, live in the desert which is spread over 13,000 square km.  The women of Thar wear long, full red or orange skirts and cover their heads with embroidered or tie-dyed shawls. The people live in round mud-walled busts thatched with grass and surrounded with thick thorn hedges.
There is always plenty of activity in the villages: women come with pots on their heads or with donkeys to fetch water, whereas the herds of camels and cattle drink from the pond. The wells are generally very deep and animals are needed to haul the water up-a 50 meter deep well which requires the strength of a camel, while the shallower wells can be worked by two or four donkeys harnessed together.
Wandering Sindhi musicians sometimes sit by the wells or at the shires and give impromptu concerts.

A boatman takes passengers to their desired destination.

And at the end once again an assortment of Pakistani mithai for your sweet tooth.
Pakistanis generally have a passion for traditional sweets. Sweets have always been a part of every household since thousands of years and as such are an integral part of all occasions. But its especially the village folk in Pakistan who gorge on sweets in weddings, fairs & festivals, parties, and to celebrate all small happy moments.


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Note:  As always, click the individual image to view in full size.

You might also like: 

1. Colors of Punjab, Rural Pakistan [in four parts] 2. King’s Treatment 3. Life in a Pakistani Village 4. Kanjwani Mela – The Spirit Lives On…
Source: Saraiki Youth Forum  Value9
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4 replies to “Rural Pakistan: More Colors, More Scenes [4 of 4]

  1. Our Country, PAKISTAN’s Remote Rural Areas are More Beautiful & Rich in Natural Beauty of Greenry, Water, fresh & Healthy air. Above all, it’s totally Free from Pollutions of Noise, Smoke & Dust, giving a free Healthy Life for all.Pakistan Zindah Baad!

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