5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pakistan (With A Special Shoutout To My Friends Volunteering To Fight COVID-19)

Estella sits on the rooftop of Sethi House in Peshawar

Pakistan is a land of history, culture and nature combined. Being a less popular destination, there are so many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From its people, culture, food, to its languages and safety concerns, here are 5 things you didn’t know about Pakistan.

1. Friendly people and their hospitality

Feeling welcome in a country is what all travellers want. Rest assured your wish will be granted in any parts of Pakistan. Not having heaps of foreign tourists on their land, people get curious and most would want to invite you over for a meal and introduce you to their family.

Be prepared for the whole village to greet you upon your arrival. If you are there to visit friends, their friends and families of friends’ will all want to meet you and show you around for a true Pakistani experience.

Hospitality in Pakistan is unmatched. Everyone wants to take you home to show you off and treat you like a king. You will feel pampered in a very good way.

2. Pakistan is a meat heaven

The majority of food choices contain meat in restaurants. Chicken, beef and lamb being the most common. Veggie options are easily available in supermarket, if not in restaurants. Food is not pricey in Pakistan and the quality is exceptional.

Each region has their local speciality. For example, painda is famous in Peshawar (in the north-west of Pakistan). The bread soaked in sauces will make your mouth water just from the smell. So many cuisines special to local regions that you have to try.

3. Weddings are a big thing

Pakistanis take their weddings very seriously. The family puts light decorations up all over the house as a symbol and a tradition.

Weddings are for everyone. You don’t have to know the bride or groom to attend one. Random strangers often crash weddings with the good heart to send their blessings while the host would make sure to prepare extra food for any party-goers ready to join.

Celebrations are not exclusive. If you can be happy for the couple, you are welcome here.

4. Urdu is not similar to Arabic

One thing people often mistake in Pakistan is thinking Urdu and Arabic are similar, or even just different dialects of the same language. Knowing how proud Pakistanis are for their culture and language, this is a mistake you don’t want to make.

Saying Urdu and Arabic are similar is like saying Cantonese and Mandarin are similar, or that German and Italian are similar. Some alphabets maybe the same, but the structure, grammar and usage are not at all comparable.

5. Pakistan is very safe

Misconception flying around about Pakistan being dangerous is outdated. The country is safe and the people take their security with no joke. In all major shops, armed guards are standing by for safety measures. Security checkpoints are in place before you enter a hotel or any major complex.

The level of security they place keeps everyone safe. Shootings, armed robbery and heavy crimes are rare in most parts of the country. Petty crimes are just as common as anywhere else in the world. Keep your personal belongings in check and Pakistan will keep you safe.

Many more to be discovered

More than just these 5 things to know about the country gifted by nature, a trip there will not disappoint you. Everything comes together and Pakistan excels in almost every aspect regarding tourist hospitality!

A special shoutout to my friends volunteering for Darmaan in Peshawar, Pakistan, to distribute necessities like food and face masks to those in need. Many are volunteering because of their love for their people and their country. Please follow them on Instagram for more.

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