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Culture of Pakistan and America

by Shain David
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Culture of Pakistan and America

The word “culture” holds different meanings for people who come from different cultures.

Generally, culture refers to the traditions, values, lifestyles, customs and the heritage of an individual. Culture basically enlightens us about a person’s way of life. Mostly people follow the culture of their ancestors as it is difficult to grow up with certain norms and values and then decide that you do not want to be a part of that culture anymore. Culture plays a vital role in a personality of an individual as during the primary socialization process, an individual grows up in the cultural environment provided by their family and people tend to internalize things quickly when they’re young. For example, children watch cartoons and grasp whatever they can from those cartoon characters since young people are eager to learn and curious to know about their surroundings.

However, not everyone likes to stick to their cultural values given their situation.

For instance, an individual might come from a harsh culture that does not take into account the aspect of respect. These types of norms in a culture might be the cause as to why people drift apart from their cultures. The idea that many people get derived away from their parent cultures is not offbeat. In this essay, we will discuss two cultures; the American culture and the Pakistani culture (Shamama-tus-Sabah and Gilani). Both cultures seem to be poles apart. Pakistani culture is often referred to as the eastern culture while American culture is known as western culture in many parts of the world.

In Pakistani culture, families traditionally tend to stay together.

The family structure that is most common in Pakistan is the extended family structure as most of the households comprise of two or more than two generations. This means that grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts live under the same roof typically. There are many reasons as to why extended family structure is widespread among Pakistani culture. Many families tend to stay together due to financial issues. As there is a lack of employment opportunities for the working class families in Pakistan, there is usually one person who earns and supports the family. There tends to be a tremendous amount of pressure on that one earning individual as there are a lot of people dependent on his earnings. Therefore, kin in Pakistani culture are strongly integrated and stay close for most of the time.

Typically, fathers hold the stronger position in the family as they are the earning individuals who run the family.

Thus, they are more likely to take important decisions or all decisions of the family, for that matter. Also, since Pakistan is known for its patriarchal culture, it is not bizarre that male members usually hold a dominant status in the family. In the modern world, education has notched up a step and people are encouraging education for women in Pakistan. In the past, females were mostly discouraged to be educated as the patriarchal society believed that if women were given education rights, they would knock down the patriarchy and break all the traditional norms and values (Fazal). However, women are still bound to their country and not many of them are allowed to go abroad or away from their families for higher education. There are some exceptional, liberal families that do not put limitations on their children and let them do what they are passionate about.

Another stereotype of the Pakistani culture is that any profession other than becoming a doctor or an engineer is frowned upon. Artists, musicians, actors, poets, authors and other such professions are not encourages at all, even by their families. If an individual tells their family that they want to become an artist, for instance, their family’s response would most probably be, “you are a disgrace to the family”. Pakistani culture is not as liberal as the American culture but it has come a long way from its traditional form and has a long way to go until every individual feels liberated and has a sense of their free will.

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