Every Pakistani Person will go through this…
I live in England. I went to an English school and I speak English. I also live in a cultural household. I have very let’s say cultural parents and I also speak Punjabi/Urdu. There will always be a clash of culture in my life, but I do know that every Pakistani person will experience the exact same reality I’m experiencing. If you grew up in a Pakistani household with Pakistani parents, here are some actions that you will recognize.
1) Random people come unannounced
I don’t know if it’s just my family, but we never lock our doors during the day because we regularly go in and out the house. As long as at least 1 person is in then it’s fine. What’s not fine is when a “guest” just walks in. Not only is this Aunty Jee coming unannounced, she also hasn’t knocked on the door. There I am sitting on the sofa watching Big Brother with my trousers rolled up and my legs hanging out and the next minute there’s an Aunty saying Salaam to me. Like come on. Knock on the freaking door! There might be a 5% chance a Pakistani person will knock on the door and if they do knock we have 5 seconds of putting on Geo News, sort out the cushions on the sofa and one by one put all the dishes that were on the table in the kitchen.
2) The Pakistani community sees everything
I live in a street where there’s a handful of Pakistani’s. Every Asian knows everyone. This is the “Pakistani community” of course with a cultural community comes gossiping Aunties. I sit in my garden without a dupata on my head, to them it’s like I’m committing a crime. I walk out in moderate English clothes and all of a sudden there’s a rumour that I’ve gone off the rails. I talk to a gora in my class about the science homework and straight away, I’m a horror to them. I swear to you, it’s a street full of reporters and journalist!
3) Our parents’ friends are either “Uncle or Aunty”
I was at my friends Steph’s house the other day and I met her mum for the first time. I got drawn into a quick hug and I’m all ready to say “You orite Aunty” but I stopped myself because she introduced herself as “Claire” I’m standing there with this weird feeling because as you know all Pakistani kids call people who are older than them Aunty or Uncle. Don’t even ask why. These people aren’t even related to us and all of a sudden I have 50 Aunties and Uncles. We don’t even say Aunty or Uncle it’s” Aaanty and Aaancle” in a Pakistani accent.
4) Our Desi Ethics
Every time we go to someone else’s house and they offer you food we always have to say “No” You hear our Mum go ” Naa teek hai” or “Hum nai pehlay bee kaah Liya hai“ When I really want to say “God yes, please make those samosas!” I’m cursing my mum in my head because I have been out all day with her, shopping for some stupid dishes and I’m starving! And because of our backwards bladdy ethics I’m getting nothing. Even in our own house when we cook a whole meal for the 1 guest that came. We have to wait to eat until the mehmaan left. And once we hear the bang of that door, we’re rushing for that food.
5) Going to Pakistan
When we go to Pakistan we don’t just pack one suitcase for a week. Nope. That is unheard of in a Pakistani house hold. We all have to have 5 suitcases each and guess what we probably use ½ of a case for our own stuff the other 4 suitcases will be full of shit we need to give to our fam back home. I swear to you I’m not allowed to have a new coat and in the cases there’s 7 coats for my cousins. What is that even about! When you eventually get to Pakistan we get treated like fucking Queens. Everyone there thinks we are some high class people and we have a glam life. In reality we are nothing.
6) Obsessed with cricket?
You might hate sports. When the rugby is on it’s nothing to us. When it’s the world cup football match? Still nothing. When cricket comes on we’re still not interested. But when cricket is on and Pakistan is playing suddenly you know everything about the sport. The whole family is in the room routing for Pakistan to play. I’m hearing my Mum cursing for the 100th time beside me. I live in England and even if England and Pakistan are playing against each other we somehow route for Pakistan. It’s just how it is.
7) Everyone will find out
Gossip. Have I mentioned how Pakistanis are attracted to gossip? Gossip is a whole other thing. I get a D in a test, then it will go straight to the family back home. In 5 seconds the whole family in Pakistan knows.
8) Pakistani News channels
Every single Pakistani kid will have heard of ARY News & Geo News. We’ll spend most of our time sitting next to our Dad’s in silence, watching this shit and honestly nothing sinks in.