The Arts and Literature

Pakistan has a long tradition of art and poetry. The focus of Islamic art is on geometric patterns and designs and is judged to be one of the most complex in the world. Symmetric and elaborate designs grace mosques and the ancient palaces of the Mogul Dynasty, the Muslim empire of India prior to British rule.

The Mogul influence is also evident in Pakistan's architecture with its delicate and sophisticated motifs and designs.

In Pakistani culture, writing has been developed into an art form. Calligraphy is drawn from the Koran and then embellished with elaborate designs. It is often featured on large scrolls hung in the interior of mosques, palaces and Pakistani homes. The fascination with colorful and abstract art forms is apparent in the paintings that adorn the sides of buses and trucks and is a unique characteristic of Pakistani cities.

For entertainment, Pakistani films, as well as dramas made for television and video are popular. Poetry is an integral part of Pakistani culture. Qawwalis, a devotional song, is one of the most revered forms of poetry set to music and is accompanied by a hand clapping chorus. The ghazal is a lyrical form of rhythmic chanting that is set to music and addresses the trials and tribulations of a lover.

Below is a translation of a qawwali: The poetry and the devotion is evident in the lines:
"I have no one to turn to but you (God)
may I be blessed with your Divine attention"

Whereas the romantic verse in the ghazal goes:

"This intoxication that is gradually overpowering me
Is the result of the magic of your eyes."
Did you know?

A traditional art form is pottery. Often it is engraved or painted with elaborate designs and then glazed.