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 Pakistani Culture USA   

With Marvel Comics' recent creation of the Pakistani American superhero Kamala Khan, a new generation of American children are getting to know the persona of a strong, accomplished Pakistani American woman.  If you're an adult, though, the Pakistani American you know best may be your doctor, business associate, or perhaps your company IT pro.  Pakistani Americans tend to pursue higher education at rates above the U.S. average  -- and because they come from a multi-cultural society, they often are able to reach out well to their neighbors and workmates.  Of the 554,000 Pakistani Americans in the US today, about 17,000 are doctors, while many others are leaders in high-tech, business, or finance. 

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Pakistani American festivals are family-friendly, with music, dance, colorful dress, and lots of delicious food.  Pakistan Independence Day is celebrated annually on or near August 14 in several U.S. cities, and all are welcome.  One of the biggest celebrations is in New Jersey (pictured here), with a lively parade (pictured top of page) that draws crowds of up to 15,000, including from New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  

At Virginia's Pakistan Day celebration, music and dance (pictured here), are major draws.  The simple fun of a parachute-like giant flag (pictured two photos above)  is just one of the activities to keep kids happy and engaged;  others include carnival rides, magicians, athletic events and pony rides.  Because the festival is held near our nation's capitol, it often includes national dignitaries and celebrity artists, and typically attracts thousands.

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English is the official language of Pakistan, taught in schools there nationwide,  despite the fact that most Pakistanis speak Punjabi, Pashto or other languages at home.  This interesting choice may be practical, but it also reflects and fosters the desire of many Pakistanis to build relations with the U.S. and other English-speaking countries.  Here in the U.S., several local and national organizations work to further that goal.  For anyone wanting to help build world peace, one friendship at a time, these organizations are a great place to start.


Pakistani American Assoc of Connecticut

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PACE of Georgia


PAFA of Indiana

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American Pakistan Foundation

The Iftar is a feast celebrated worldwide when Muslims end the fast they observe during the month of Ramadan.  Since Islam is the predominant religion of Pakistan, this lovely, often lavish event is celebrated by many Pakistani Americans.  And here's some great news:  sharing the feast with guests is a common tradition.  At Idara-e-Jaferia Islamic Center of Burtonsville, Maryland, for example, the mosque maintains a relationship with a local Christian church and a Jewish synogogue, and typically invites the members of each to the annual Iftar.  Mosque members are so welcoming they tend to serve guests first, even though most members have fasted all day, and most guests have not.  Iftars may also be celebrated in people's homes, in restaurants, or -- surprise! -- at the White House (pictures below).


If you are fortunate enough to be a guest at an Iftar, it is a truly moving honor. To be a good guest, one needs only to follow the usual rules of smiles and thanks, plus religious respect ones of modest dress, leaving shoes at the door if others do so, and sitting by gender if others are.  Non-Muslims are not, however, expected to fast, wear Muslim clothes, or recite prayers.  While the event has religious roots, it is (rather like the Mardi Gras that ends the fasting of Lent) a very fun party. 

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Media Spotlight

ਐਡਵੈਂਚਰ ਦਾ ਅਨੰਦ ਲਓ 

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