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is a relatively recent name given to the lands and country of Pakistan. It is directly
translated from Urdu or Persian to mean "land of the pure" (stan
means "land of" or "country of"). However, the name was also
perhaps chosen because it was an acronym of the regions that make up modern day
Pakistan, although what regions specifically are in doubt: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir,
Sindh, Turkharistan, Afghanistan & Baluchistan. The "i" was either
added to ease pronunciation or was added to include Iran or the Indus Valley at
a later date. Likewise, Turkharistan and Afghanistan seem to be more recent additions
to the name as Baluchistan seemed to originally include the entire "-tan."
WARNING: Terrorist threats continue
in Pakistan, please read this travel
warning before going!
Pakistan is home to some of the most fertile land on
earth in the delta of, and the lands surrounding the Indus River. This region has
been home to people for centuries and over time hundreds of ethnic groups have come
and gone until the people that live there today settled. This land provides multiple
foods and animals as the people spent much of history in this region as farmers.
As with any fertile land that is accessible, others came to take the land or trade
with them and the people of Pakistan today are truly
the result of these various people as their way of life shifted to both farming
and trading as the primary industries.
Despite the openness and willingness to trade with anyone, over time the people
of Pakistan became Muslims and this later became the
primary means of differentiating themselves from the people of
India. Although few people are devout Muslims today, the religion has played
a significant role in their culture as dietary restrictions have been introduced,
dress and behavior have changed, and in the greater world, Pakistan now looks to
the west instead of to the east when it comes to allies and politics.
In more recent times Pakistan has been thrown further
into flux. Most of the population continues to work on farms, but the
British introduced new technologies from the Industrial Revolution and the
cities of Pakistan have used this technology to create a new urban lifestyle and
jobs that were never available in the past. This is creating a divide among the
people by generation as the youth is growing up with high tech communication and
are focused on growth in this sector, while many people in the older generations
tend to be more conservative and remain in the villages and on their farms.
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