Until now, in-depth cultural information on Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country formed in 1947 after the dissolution of British rule in India, has been scarce. This crucial South Asian hotspot, in the news for tensions with neighboring India over nuclear capacity and security issues, finally is illuminated for general readers. This narrative encapsulates the historical pluralistic traditions, such as religious practices, languages, and ethnosocial ties, that Pakistanis share with their neighbors. The coverage of culture and customs is contextualized throughout with the richness of the past and present Indus Valley civilization.
The author is a native of Pakistan and provides authoritative insight into the many aspects of history and contemporary life. Western readers will be exposed to a range of folk traditions that coexist with modern influences from globalization. Descriptions of unfamiliar cultural phenomena such as the architecture of shrines and tombs, the distinctive dress of different groups, Pakistani Muslim courtship and marriage rituals, and lively kite-flying contests are some of the highlights.