|001 Badshahi, Lahore||002 Moti Masjid Mosque, Lahore||003 Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore|
|004 Balahisar Fort, Peshawar||005 Islamia College, Peshawar||006 Bhong Mosque, Punjab|
|007 Faisal Mosque|
|The society of Pakistan (Urdu: ثقافت پاکستان), although relatively diverse depending on which one of Pakistan's provinces, has been greatly influenced by the cultures of Central Asia and the Middle East. Pakistan is the home of many ancient civilizations, including the Indus Valley Civilization that influenced the cultures of the rest of South Asia. Many cultural practices and monuments have been inherited from the rule of many rulers of the region that have added their cultural traditions to the region. One of the most influenced cultures being the Mughals.
Pakistan has a wealthy cultural and ethnic background going back to Indus Valley Civilization, 2800 BC – 1800 BC. The region of Pakistan has been invaded in the past, occupied and settled by many different people, including Aryans (Iranic tribes), Greeks, White Huns, Arabs, Turks, Mongols and various Eurasian groups. And indeed the region has formed a distinct cultural unit within the main cultural complex of South Asia from earlier times. There are differences in culture among the different ethnic groups in matters such as dress, food, and religion, especially where pre-Islamic customs differ from Islamic practices. The cultural origins come from the civilizations of India and eastern Afghanistan, with significant influences from Persia, Turkestan and Hellenistic Greece. However, it was the first part of the subcontinent to receive the full impact of Islam. Hence it has developed an identity of its own.
Frere Hall - a beautiful structure built during the British Raj
Diwan-e-Khas: The hall of special audience with the emperor
Ancient sites in Pakistan include Buddhist monuments, Hindu/Buddhist temples, Palaces and Monuments built by Emperors, tombs, pleasure grounds and Anglo-Mogul mansions - some in a state of dereliction which makes their former grandeur more emphatic. Sculpture is dominated by Graeco-Buddhist friezes, and crafts by ceramics, jewellery, silk goods and engraved woodwork and metalwork.
Pakistani society is largely multilingual and multicultural. Though cultures within the country differ to some extenct, more similarities than differences can be found as most Pakistanis are of mainly Aryan heritage. However, over 50 years of integration, a distinctive "Pakistani" Culture has sprung up especially in the urban areas. Education is highly regarded by members of every socio-economic stratum. The traditional family values are highly respected and considered sacred, although urban families have grown into a nuclear family system, owing to the socio-economic constraints imposed by the traditional joint family system.
The past few decades have seen emergence of a middle class in cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Quetta, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Peshawar, Abbottabad and Multan. The North-western part of Pakistan, bordering with Afghanistan, is highly conservative and dominated by regional tribal customs dating back hundreds of years.
The 17th Century Badshahi Mosque built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Lahore.
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