Saraikistan Forum

Saraikistan Forum

Saraiki Culture

Saraiki culture is the culture of the Saraiki speaking people, called as Saraiki people, residing in Pakistan and outside Pakistan. The region where Saraiki is spoken in Pakistan is part of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and has been centre of culture and trade in Indian subcontinent. It has been centre of Sufism after 712 C.E. The region and its people are referred as Wasaib (Saraiki: وسیب) or politically as Saraikistan.

[edit] History

The roots of Saraiki culture and civilization go back to the distant past related to Indus Valley Civilization. Multan is considered as one of the ancient cities of the world. Greek, Persian, Mongol and Afghan influences were incorporated into the region of Saraiki speaking areas in the history.

[edit] Religion

Almost 99% population in Saraikistan region is Muslim. Islam came to this region with the Arab conquest of Sindh in eighth century. Majority of Muslims are Sunnis while Shia population is also in considerable size. The region is home to many Sufism. There is a saying in Persian that Multan is the 'city of dust (because of its sandy climate), summer, beggars and graveyards' (Gard, Garma, Gada o Goristan)[1]. It is also called as the city of saints (madinatul Auliya مدینۃالاولیا). The city has been a focal point for many religions, in particular becoming a central abode for Sufism, the mystical side of Islam. The city has attracted Sufi saints from far places of the globe. Multan has been the centre of Suhrawardiyya, one of the major Sufi orders, called as Tariqa. It has the shrines of Hazrat Baha-ud-din Zakariya and Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam.

Similarly, Uch Sharif has been the centre of Qadiriyya Sufi order. Allama Iqbal while referring to the two great Sufi saints of Saraiki region, Khwaja Ghulam Farid and Muhammad Suleman Taunsvi, said that this region can not be empty from spirituality. The tomb of Sakhi Sarwar in Dera Ghazi Khan is also very popular shrine in Pakistan.

[edit] Saraiki Literature

[edit] Poetry

Saraiki is famous for its Sufi poetry. Khawaja Ghulam Farid (1845-1901), his famous collection is Deewan-e-Farid, and Sachal Sar Mast (1739–1829) are the most celebrated Sufi poets in Saraiki and their poems known as Kafi are still famous.

The beloved's intense glances call for blood
The dark hair wildly flows The Kohl of the eyes is fiercely black
And slays the lovers with no excuse
My appearance in ruins, I sit and wait
While the beloved has settled in Malheer I feel the sting of the cruel dart
My heart the, abode of pain and grief A life of tears, I have led Farid
-one of Khwaja Ghulam Farid's poems (translated)

Shakir Shujabadi (Kalam-e-Shakir, Khuda Janey, Shakir Diyan Ghazlan, Peelay Patr, Munafqan Tu Khuda Bachaway, Shakir De Dohray are his famous books) is very well recognized modern poet.[2]

[edit] Saraiki folklore

Saraiki areas in the south are equally rich in folklore.

[edit] Architecture

Multan is one of the oldest cities in South Asia, with many tombs, shrines, temples, cathedrals and mausoleums, as well as a historical fort. Today Multan is a combination of old and the new Pakistan culture. There is a big hustle bustle in the old city and comfort of a five star hotel and fine dining in the new. The old city has a various bazaars selling mystical artifacts, perfumes to arts and crafts. There are also elaborately decorated shrines of the Sufi saints, tombs of various travellers and important people within the old city of Multan. The prime attractions of Multan are its mausoleums of Sufi saints. The Mausoleum of Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakariya, as well as the Mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam are the prime attractions of the city. Their lofty domes of are visible, from miles and dominate the skyline of Multan. Another popular shrine is the Mausoleum of Shams-ud-Din, commonly known as Shah Shamsuddin Sabzwari is located about half a mile to the east of the Multan Fort, on the high bank of the old bed of the Ravi River. Another famous and beautiful mausoleum of a warrior sufi saint and poet Hazrat Hafiz Muhammad Jamal Multani (1747-1811 AD) is situated near Aam Khas garden outside Daulat Gate, Multan.

There are many beautiful buildings, castles and palaces in Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Mankera.

[edit] Dress

People usually wear Shalwar kameez, which is the national dress of Pakistan. The traditional male dress is Lungi with Chola (kameez). Chadar is also an important part of male and female dress. Women wear bochanrr and men wear Patki on the head. Women also used to wear ghagra but it is not used only for wedding and parties.

[edit] Saraiki Cuisine

Flowers of Sohanjrraan or Sohanjna (Moringa oleifera) is one of the most famous vegetable dish in South Punjab. Sohan Halwa is traditional sweet made by boiling a mixture of water, sugar, milk and cornflour until it becomes solid.

[edit] Traditional Saraiki Sports

Geeti Danna (Saraiki: گیٹی ڈنا) is one of the famous traditional sports especially in boys in rural areas along with other sports like Baandar Killa, Pittu Garam, Stapu and Kabaddi.

[edit] Art and Music

[edit] Jhumar

Jhumar or Jhoomar is the traditional Saraiki folk dance. It is a lively form of music and dance that originated in the Multan and Balochistan. It is slower and more rhythmic. The word "Jhumar" comes from Jhum/Jhoom, which means Swaying. The songs evoke a quality which reminds of swaying. Though the content of these songs is varied - they are usually love with emotional songs too. The Jhumar is a dance of ecstasy. Jhumar is performed usually at the wedding ceremonies. It is a living demonstration of the happiness. The dance is mostly performed by the Balochi and Saraiki people of Southern Punjab. The emphasis of Jhumar is recreating the gaits of animals and birds. The movement of animals, the ploughing of the field, sowing of seeds and harvesting are shown in the original progression. The dance is also performed in circle, to the tune of emotional songs. Performed exclusively by men, it is a common feature to see three generations - father, son and grandson - dancing all together at wedings. The dance is without acrobatics. Each region of Southern Punjab has its own variation of Jhumar. The movement of the arms only is considered its main forte. Feet are musically placed in front and backwards and turnings are taken to the right, sometimes the dancers place their one hand below the ribs on the left and gesticulate with the right hand. This dance does not tire out its performers and it is normally danced on moonlight nights in the villages away from the habitation. The dancers of this dance let-off a sound, "Dee Dee" in tune with the beat of the dance which adds to its grace.

[edit] Saraiki Music

Saraiki folk music revolves around the desert's beauty and following are the famous Saraiki singers who perform folk and Sufi music.

Many modern Pakistan Singers like Hadiqa Kiyani and Ali Zafar have also sung Saraiki folk songs. Shakeel Awan,Hussain Baksh,Munir Awan, Naeem Hazarvi, Shahzad Awan, Tariq Hazarvi, Sanam Afreen, Saeed Hazara, Afshan Zebi, and Manzoor Hussain Basir are new Saraiki singers.

[edit] Charpai and Hamacha

In the city there is Charpai, locally known as khatt and Hamacha culture. Charpai and Hamacha means a big wooden cart, which are kepts at Chowks and Baithaks. You can find these Hamachas in every chowks, baithaks and wisakh. Normally peoples sit on charpai and hamacha in the evening and on holidays. There they discuss their daily personal, social and political issues in friendly environment. The biggest charpai of the world is also in Dera Ghazi Khan according to Guinness World Records.

[edit] Fairs and Festivals

Seasonal festivals are very common especially in rural areas.


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