Pakistan's culture is very diverse. This stems from the
fact that what is now Pakistan has in the past been invaded and occupied by
many different peoples, including White Huns, Persians, Arabs, Turks,
Mongols and various Eurasian groups. There are differences in culture among
the different ethnic groups in matters such as dress, food, and religion,
especially where indigenous pre-Islamic customs differ from Islamic
Despite tense relations with India, Indian movies are popular in Pakistan.
Ironically, Indian films are officially illegal, but they can easily be
found across Pakistan. An indigenous movie industry exists in Pakistan, and
is known as Lollywood, producing over forty feature-length films a year.
Music is also very popular in Pakistan, and ranges from traditional styles
(such as Qawwali ) to more modern groups that try to fuse traditional
Pakistani music with western music.
Increasing globalization has increased the influence of Western culture in
Pakistan, especially among the affluent, who have easy access to Western
products, television, media, and food. Many Western food chains have
established themselves in Pakistan, and are found in the major cities. At
the same time, there is also a reactionary movement within Pakistan that
wants to turn away from Western influences, and this has manifested itself
in a return to more traditional roots, often conflated with Islam.
A large Pakistani diaspora exists, especially in the United Kingdom, United
States, Canada and Australia as well as in the Scandinavian nations. A large
number of Pakistanis are also living in the Middle east. These emigrants and
their children influence Pakistan culturally and economically, by travelling
to Pakistan, and especially by returning or investing there.
Perhaps the most popular sport in Pakistan is cricket, and large amounts of
Pakistanis gather around TV sets to watch the Pakistani team play in World
competitions, especially against Pakistan's rival India. Pakistan has one of
the top teams in international cricket, one that won the World Cup in 1992.
Field Hockey is also an important sport in Pakistan, Pakistan having won the
gold medal at the Olympics a number of times in the sport. Football or
Soccer is played in Pakistan as well, but is not as popular as cricket or
field hockey. Polo is believed to have originated in the Northern parts of
Pakistan, and continues to be an important sport there with large
competitions throughout the year.