The Shanaakht Festival

The Shanaakht Festival The Citizens Archive of Pakistan brings to you The Shanaakht festival a chance to rediscover your identity. This five day event will run from the 8th to 12th of April 2009 at the Arts Council Karachi. The theme this year is early Pakistan.

Shanaakht caters to all youngsters from every part of society. To find out the past, present and future of Pakistan, there are an exciting range of exhibits- films, documentaries, talk shows, art and photography exhibitions, theatre, concerts and lots more!

Join us to celebrate being Pakistani in every way!

You can also Be a part of the magic by volunteering for this amazing festival! You get a chance to add to your CV a volunteer experience that is unique and exciting and allows you to work with great artistes such as Amean J, Sheema Kirmani, Rahat Kazmi, Durriya Kazi.

Be part of a spectacular musical event featuring some of Pakistan’s hottest musical talents. Find potential to learn more about not only your history, but your future.

Be a part of history in the making! The slots are filling up fast!!

Write to us at
call at 0312 509 6093.

urdu_boyGet your very own CAP T-Shirts and Volunteer badges at our exclusive two-day briefing session a week before the festival. 

send us a copy of your ID card and passport size photographs by March 25th at the latest, It’s even better to scan your ID card and passport size photographs and email them to us on or please call 0312- 509 6093 if you want to drop them off personally- Please remember to call in advance to get directions and access to our office.

We are now looking for volunteers specifically for the following times:

8th, 9th and 10th April – 2 pm to 7 pm and  7 pm to 12 am (midnight)

11th and 12th April – 9 am to 2 pm,  2 pm to 7 pm and 7 pm to 12 am (midnight)

Credits: Batool Habib

73 Comments so far

  1. balma on March 25th, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

    KD Sahib,
    I meant firqa’a – as in firqavaaraanah fasaadaat…..not fiqha – as in fiqha-e-hanafi…… but, in this context (angoor kaa sharbat in Ramzan) either one is OK.

    Odin: I didn’t know this Turkish curse word ….do they actually use the word ‘roma’ or some another word to refer to the gypises?

  2. kabirdas on March 25th, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

    @ wasiq

    " because majority of panjabi girls and MQM boys&girls are computer literate in this town…."

    Sir, what do you exactly mean by ‘MQM boys and girls’. I expect you will answer this question for me and not by pass it.

  3. odin on March 25th, 2009 @ 11:04 pm


    I forgot the exact word they use in Turkish but I know very well that they are discriminated in Turkey although unlike Europeans most of the Turks have brown complexion, just like Romas.

  4. odin on March 25th, 2009 @ 11:07 pm


    I’ve heard of Kabir but don’t know much about him. Care to enlighten us?

  5. kabirdas on March 25th, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

    @ balma and odin

    Dictionary definition of Roma reads as follows:

    A member of a people with dark skin and hair who speak Romany and who traditionally live by seasonal work and fortunetelling; they are believed to have originated in northern India but now are living on all continents (but mostly in Europe, North Africa, and North America)

  6. kabirdas on March 25th, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

    @ balma and odin

    Seems the Europeans did not exactly love their neighbours (which they profess as an article of their faith)as the following verse shows:

    The only man that e’er I knew
    Who didn’t make me almost spew
    Was Fuseli: he was both Turk and Jew.
    And so, dear Christian friends, how do you do?

  7. kabirdas on March 25th, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

    @ odin

    1. He was a humantarian. He believed in the brotherhood of Muslims and Hindoos in India.

    2. His name was a mix of Arabic (Kabir) and Das ( Hindi). No body knew whether he was Hindoo or Muslim.

    3. When he died Muslims wanted to bury him as a Muslim and Hindoos as a Hindoo. I believe ultimately Hindoos won and he was buried as a Hindoo.

    4. He is famous for his Dohas in which he laments about the contradictions of life.

    One of his famous doha reads as follows:

    Rangi ko narangi kahaiN
    Kharay doodh ko khoya
    Chalti ko gaRi kahiN
    Yay dekh Kabira roia

    For more details request google for Kabir Das

  8. بستنی (wasiq) on March 26th, 2009 @ 8:38 am

    @KD sarkar…..what do you exactly mean by ‘MQM boys and girls’. I expect you will answer this question for me and not by pass it.

    no sir why would I by-pass such a simple query… MQM boys and girls i meant the same party line definition…."workers,supporters and sympathizers…."

  9. balma on March 26th, 2009 @ 9:43 am

    Kabir Das Sahib,
    I didn’t know that Hindus bury their dead:-)

    As a kid, I was fascinated by their marghaTs. I visited one near Gutter baghicha in Karachi few times. Maataa jee say choup kar. Aik dafa’a choTay bhai nay chughli khaae ( I refused to let him join my friend and me on our trip to the marghaT). Oos din maataa jee kee chappal thee, aur balma’s koolhaas and I stil remember the line vividly….jaisay kal kee baat ho: bachhay qabristaan aur marghaT akailay nahi’n jaataay! Oh, balmaa kay kaan bhee maRoRay jaa rahay thay:-)
    Meray saalaay dost kee bhee bohut piTaai huee thee oos din. My chugli khore brother stopped at my friend’s house on his way back to home:-)

  10. kabirdas on March 26th, 2009 @ 9:56 am

    @ wasiq

    " …."workers,supporters and sympathizers…."

    Meaning so called Urdu speaking or Mohajirs ? Yes or no ???

  11. kabirdas on March 26th, 2009 @ 10:17 am

    @ balma
    On first thought, being a Pakistani, I am tempted to say that it was a typo on my part. While typing ‘buried’ I hit the wrong key ‘n’ for ‘i’:-) But then on second thought I reckon I should admit I made a mistake in the flow of the things.

    But why didn’t you tell your Maataa jee that you didn’t go alone to the Marghat which was a fact:-) You went with your friend. You don’t have a legal mind like KD.

    And then I am sure your MaaTaa jee wouldn’t have minded so much your going to a Quabristan a place of ‘Nake-roohs’ as opposed to a Marghat a place of ‘Budroohs’:-)

  12. kabirdas on March 26th, 2009 @ 10:19 am

    @ balma

    Please read ‘i’ for ‘n’ and not ‘n’ for ‘i’.

  13. odin on March 26th, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

    You are right again. However, Muslim Punjabis (as opposed to Sikh Punjabis)speak Delhi urdu by virtue of the fact that Punjab had close association with UP during Mughal period.

    Persian had always been the official language during Muslim rule. Even during Sikh’s rule the official language of Punjab was Persian.

    When the British annexed Punjab they had decided to use Urdu as Punjab’s official language to get rid of Persian cultural and lingual influence over Punjab and to bring it closer to the rest of British India. Although many other British officials wanted Punjabi to be used as official language just as Bengali was in Bengal.

    It is on record that Urdu was as foreign to Punjabis in those day as say Bengali. Only few people in Lahore could speak Urdu whereas in the rest of Punjab this language was virtually non-exitent. They even had to bring officials from UP because in Punab the British could not find enough people who could read and write in Urdu.

  14. odin on March 26th, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

    a. He is proud of being a Pendu.

    I never call anybody Pendu or Akhrot of Sindhi Maroo, although I have to accept there are tons of Urdu speaking who are a victim of their own arrogance and ignorance.

  15. balma on March 26th, 2009 @ 6:41 pm

    ‘i’ for ‘n’?

    Aik nuktay nay khudaa say judaa kar diyaa!

    KD, you do have a legal mind:-)
    May be you should work with Aitezaz Hussain!

  16. kabirdas on March 26th, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

    @ odin

    " It is on record that Urdu was as foreign to Punjabis in those day as say Bengali."

    I didn’t know that. You may not believe me but I always thought Punjabi language was perhaps a dialect or rather a distorted form of Urdu. I remember earlier on also you had mentioned that Punjabi was a much older language than Urdu. Thanks for leting me know all this.

    By the way when I started to speak as a child I was in Shahjahanpour and
    Urdu was the first language that I spoke and then continued to speak all my life. Wonder then why I did not get my Quaf and Kaaf right. Perhaps because my parents didn’t pronounce Quaf and Kaaf right.

    It just now ocurred to me that this must be the reason. My own kids who were born and brought up in Karachi and never spoke a word of Punjabi outside or inside the house don’t pronounce Quaf and Kaaf correctly.

    Shows this is something you pick up from your parents at home than learn it at School. Interesting.

    So it may be correct to say,in a way that, once a Pendu always a Pendu :-)

  17. balma on March 26th, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

    I doubt if many people in Shahjahanpur had correct sheen-qaaf, it being a small town. btw, I have heard Shahjahanpur people are known for their gaalis. Any stories from yaad-e-maazi?

  18. kabirdas on March 26th, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

    @ odin

    "I never call anybody Pendu or Akhrot of Sindhi Maroo"

    You wouldn’t being a well educated person as I can make out from some of your comments. Neither do I. As a matter of fact I used to object to people calling Urdu speaking people of Pakistan as Hindoustani even though they did not use this term in a derogatory sense as such. Right or wrong I somehow like the term Mohajir for them though most of them are technically no more Mohajirs.

    By the way in Punjab I have seen many Punjabis calling some other Punjabi a Pendu if they feel the other Punjabi is errrrr well I don’t know how to put it—–let us say if they feel the other Punjabi IS bit of a Pendu :-)
    Sounds like a pot calling a kettle black :-)

    By the way is it ‘Sindhi Maroo’ or ‘Sindhi Manoo’. I thought the word was ‘Manoo’ and also thought that it was perhaps a Hindi word meaning a ‘man’ or a ‘person’. What do you think ?

    It is so nice sometime to talk to a WELL educated person like you and balma. Note the stress on the word ‘well’. Next to a WELL educatd person I prefer to talk to an uneducated person because talking to him I find rather interesting. Talking to a educated person who is not well educated is always a pain for me.

  19. kabirdas on March 26th, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

    @ balma

    "‘i’ for ‘n’?"

    Yes a ‘ nukta’ makes a lot of difference.
    Recently a friend of mine named, Zahir Shah, had to go through so much trouble in reconciliation of his name as shown in his ID card with his actual name which he wrote in his application for passport. His ID card had his name written in Urdu without a ‘nukta’ over ‘toay’ which made his name as Tahir Shah instead of Zahir Shah. Because of this confusion he didn’t get his passport on time to attend a wedding in Englnd.

    When Mrs Zahir Shah told her tailor who was preparing her dress for the wedding the reason for their not going to England any more the tailor master recited a hilarious ‘shair’ describing what difference a nukta can make. Unfortunately I can’t recall this shair right now.

    However Zahir Shah now appreciates the importance of a ‘nukta’ more than anybody else. So much so that he has now also become extremely careful in dotting his ‘is’ and crossing his ‘ts’ :-)

    This also reminds me of a line which Bulhay Shah (Punjabi soofi poet) repeats after every four lines of one of his poem. This line goes as follows:

    Aik nuktay tay gal mukdi ay, Aik nuktay tay gal mukdi ay

    Sometime when I think of this line I want to use it as a proof that Bulhay Shah had great insight of Quantum Mechanics. I want to do this like Mulla is trying to prove that all science is there in Quran.

  20. kabirdas on March 26th, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

    @ balma
    " May be you should work with Aitezaz Hussain!"
    May be we make a good team. He practices law and I often think about the philosphy of law and whether it is in harmony with the laws of nature or not. And thank God it is not otherwise our civilisation would have been cahotic. I wouldn’t say more on this subject and you should thank me and not God for that:-)

  21. kabirdas on March 26th, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

    @ balma

    " I doubt if many people in Shahjahanpur had correct sheen-qaaf, it being a small town."

    Sir pray, what has the size of a town got to do with correct pronunciation of the language spoken by its residents ? They were Urdu spaeking (Ahl-e-Zuban) weren’t they though from a different stock ie Afghan or Pathan.

    I have many memories of Shahjahanpour but was too young to have known their competence at galis. However, I have a vivd memory of my once using a gali and getting severly punished by my father for it. I had called my younger sister a ‘gadhi’ (female donkey):-)

  22. بستنی (wasiq) on March 26th, 2009 @ 10:25 pm

    @KD sarkar……Meaning so called Urdu speaking or Mohajirs ? Yes or no ???

    I do hereby solemnly swear ….geeta’s lil sister is a little taller than Margret….
    what’s going on KD…do you have any doubts about the MQM…not being urdu speaking…anymore….or have you heard any MQM girl speaking english in an Australian accent….? lol!

  23. kabirdas on March 26th, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

    @ wasiq

    Sir, soryy to put you to so much trouble for answering such simple questions. Your answers to my questions have now helped me to understand your earlier statement better which reads as follows:

    " majority of panjabi girls and MQM boys&girls are computer literate in this town…."

    Now in the light of your statement will it be correct to assume:

    a. Majority of boys of other communities living in Karachi are not computer literate.

    b. Majority of boys and girls who are what we generally call Mohajirs or Urdu speaking but who are not supporters of MQM are not computer literate.

    Sir, now I don’t have all that much difficulty in accepting proposition ‘a’ above but find proposition ‘b’ above rather illogical to accept. Would you care to explain how an Urdu speaking boy or girl is more likely to become computer literate just by becoming a supporter of MQM.

    While you are at it will you also let me know what do the acronyms MQM stand for? Is it Mohajir or Mothadda Quomi Movement?

    Please let me inform you in advance that I have nothing against MQM in its either form though I would prefer it as a Quomi movement led by middle class educated people of Pakistan irrespective of their ethnicity.

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