5 signs of a True Punjabi
Pakistan is full of diversity and a galaxy of cultural varieties. Every race and ethnic group owns an array of different customs and values. Being a Punjabi myself and coming from the heart of Punjab, Lahore. I lived almost each of the Punjabi traditions.
All existing tribes in Pakistan respect each other and humbly accept the differences that make the country peaceful. Speaking about traits of my very own tribe will give a fair taste of Punjabi thali flavors. These are somewhat common traits in other Punjabi tribes as well. Some traits however vary a little tribe to tribe and being specific to some areas.
Khabas is what we love most, regardless of the consequences,dhabas ad all sorts of eateries than flourish. Everything Halal can be a ripe for taste buds. Quality to some is not important when quantity is served. Winter special saag with butter topping served with Makai ki roti soaked in desi ghee followed by lasi, is the must in all Punjabi families. Sweet is another weakness. The sugar composition of in our blood perhaps on the higher side than all other ingredients. We have a sweet tooth. One spoon raw sugar is a treat for our taste buds on each random entry to the kitchen.
Our day starts with parathas and ends with a heavy dinner without followed by any workout. Yes we got accommodating stomachs. Achar is our favorite side-line and we find true happiness while messing up the purity of milk with seven up and calling it dhoodh soda. Make us eat a lavish continental dinner and we will find a room for roti immediately after. Tea, coffee, and Qahwa still have a place to be absorbed.
Mitti pao/Jaan deyo
What you will do if someone tells you to guess a Punjabi without asking them directly. You look at the way they walk and talk. Very casual, completely comfortable and easy-going. You will hardly find a Punjabi frowning and sulking over anything for more than a minute. Besides that they have built-in buffers in their throat. They least understand the concept of soft speaking. They don’t have a button to lower down the volume hence they are not known for keeping secrets and staying calm about gossip.
Aunties got another level of trust, they would tell you a particular gossip starting with ‘kisi naal gal na kri’ and the chain continues until it reaches where it matters. Give them an entire life to plan a strategy, they will tell you “ho hu jay GA, kar kur la gay” and they happily end up with “tey fer hun ki kareay?.
Weddings are incomplete without banghra and band. A week before the wedding, we start playing dholak. I am sure you all know marriages are our national events for matchmaking of young girls and boys. They find rhythm in every sound. Be it the flood of horns on-road or pen ticking. You will find their hands and feet tipping on a very random noise. It’s said that Punjabis play with every item they find around their hands. They never let their hands rest. If you see a Punjabi sitting free and holding some item in hand, leave that on God’s mercy. You won’t find it back safe. Punjabi dy hath nai rehndy.
Invest thousand bucks in sending a Punjabi kid to English medium school, they will show you the perfection at speaking English in Punjabi. As like any other language it got many dialects. You will understand all of them if you find two Punjabis fighting. They are fond of fights. A fearless nation when it comes to street fights. In fact the women don’t hesitate while displaying their catfights to the whole street. See them when an auntie break committee out of nowhere. You see a cultured, educated gentleman in corporate attire, just annoy him a bit and the spontaneous response will be a typical Punjabi slang.
Lineage and background
At least one time in life all Punjabis heard the migration story of a family member from the preceding generation. Many of us have a village back in India from where our ancestors migrated. We all are told that our grand to grandparents were either from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ambala, Batal, and Hoshiarpur. They keep telling each other ‘asi ty sikho musalman hue aan’ .
Be it a human nature to take pride in caste and tribe but Punjabis believe this with a religious spirit. When we want people to boost our self-esteem, we throw the trump card by mentioning our caste. We are less recognized by our names and more by our relations and subcastes. Uska beta, flan ka pota, falan ka falan. Pride in blood still staying strong in us despite all the modernity.
The writer (Urza Umar Chahal) is a freelancer content, copywriter and an accredited leadership trainer.