Description of Figure/Doll

Handcrafted male doll from the Balochi area of Pakistan. He is wearing a white turban on his head and a traditional cotton shalwar (long shirt with loose pants). His body is made with cloth and wire and his facial features are painted on his face. To learn more about the culture in Pakistan, read his story.

Pakistan

Location: Middle East

Capital: Islamabad

Main language: Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi

Currency: Pakistani Rupee

Figure/Doll

Construction: cloth, wire

Height in Centimeters: 23

Height in Inches: 9

A Visit to Islamabad: Learning about the Muslim Culture

Reading Level: 6.50

My name is Kiran, and my grandparents are from Pakistan. Although I grew up in New York, my parents sent me to visit my relatives in Islamabad, Pakistan last summer. The flight from New York took 15 hours and I was very tired when we landed. I peered through the crowd trying to find my Uncle Bilal and my cousin Sauri. When I found them I was surprised to see that they both wore the traditional Shalwar, a long loose garment. I felt out of place with my short skirt and sleeveless blouse. As I ran towards my relatives, both men and women stared at me with disapproval. Sauri’s expression told me that such clothes in her country were not acceptable.

After we greeted each other, Sauri told me that women in Pakistan culture should always cover their heads and bodies. She said that even elbows and legs were not to be exposed in public. With a serious look on her face she said, “Tomorrow I will lend you some proper Pakistanian clothes.”

As we left the airport, Uncle Bilal surprised me by waving to a horse drawn taxi called a tonga. Up we climbed and off we went to the clip-clop of hoof beats. Buses, motored taxis, and rickshaws whizzed by as we traveled through the city.

Sauri lives with her parents in a small apartment. As we climbed the steps, I recognized the familiar smells of Pakistani food. Deep fried bread called puri, meat curries, lentil mush, spicy spinach, cabbage, peas, rice, sliced barbecued beef and even mutton were all set out like a buffet at a party. They went out of their way to welcome me.

Prayer is an important part of daily life in Pakistan. Uncle Bilal wears a turban when he goes to the mosque. The prophet Mohammed started the Islam religion about 1500 years ago. Muslims believe Mohammed was the last and most important of many prophets, including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Mohammed was born in Mecca (or Makkah), which is in Saudi Arabia. Mecca is still a holy city, and only Muslims are allowed to visit. They have guards at the city gates to keep others out. The holy book of Islam is called the Koran (or Quran). The Koran was written by Mohammed, and it means “the timeless words of God.” All Muslims must live by the Five Pillars—daily prayer, faith, giving to charity, fasting, and pilgrimage.

I really enjoyed my visit in Pakistan. The people were great, and the culture was fascinating. I really hope I will be able to return one day.


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