Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Pakistan Day...and other forms of patriotism

One of the mailing lists I am on, I got a "Happy Pakistan Day" from an Indian earlier in the day. Here's my reply:

Thank you.

Pakistan Pa'indhabaad!
(which loosely translates to "Pakistan For Ever!")

Or as we used to say in Pakistan, God Bless Pakistan--and please hurry!

I've always felt it helps to understand countries and their people by how they came into being; the nature of their formation. Thus:
  • The US is a frontier state and still often behaves like a frontier town and often both the nation and individuals will behave out of a sense of justice and fairplay that others would call taking the law into their own hands. And where everyone is fiercely independent and won't brook you getting into their bidness--yet total strangers will stop and help you if you need help in the street...or try to con you into paying them to change your tire. (As happened to me once on 8th Avenue and about 20th street in Manhattan.)
  • India is an ancient culture. And cultures are beautiful; cultures have rules...rules that don't have to make sense, rules that can't be questioned, rules that just are.
  • Pakistan, on the other hand is a dream; a dream our grandfather's generation saw. A dream of a place where things would be perfect for a community and everyone would live out their lives to their full potential. But then, some crazy sh#$ can happen in dreams. And in the way things really turn out when dreams come true ;)

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