This is Why Appreciating Easter Can Save Pakistanis

By Sarmad Amer | 27 Mar, 2016

Pakistanis love a chance to celebrate. Be it the cricket team winning that one match after a season of poor performances or the country’s national holiday celebrations; Pakistanis drive out on the roads, holler at the top of their lungs and dance to the beats of the dhol wallah (some do it while stunt biking).

 

In Pakistan, the numerous holidays that take place are enthusiastically celebrated.

Source: Times of Karachi

There’s the two Eids (three, if you throw in the Rabiulawal 12), Independence Day, Shab-e-Baraat, Pakistan Day, Iqbal Day and of course the Jinnah day.  But hold on, aren’t we forgetting something? What about the non-Muslim holidays?

 

There was news a while ago that Holi, Easter and Diwali will be Official Holidays.

Source: Dawn

These non-Muslim holidays provide an opportunity to celebrate diversity and let go of self-imposed societal barriers that cause close-mindedness; if anything, these holidays add value to our culture. There’s a chance you’re familiar with some of these holidays already – Christmas, Holi, Easter. And since it’s Easter today, let’s talk a bit more about it.

 

Easter brings the message of forgiveness and acceptance, something everyone can learn more about.

Source: Dawn

Let’s start with a very brief history lesson. What is Easter? If you follow American pop culture, you know it has something to do with colorful eggs and a bunny that collects them. Easter, in fact, is the holiest days in Christian theology. It is the day when, after being crucified by the Romans, Jesus Christ was resurrected by God. According to the Book of Peter, “[God] has given [Christians] a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). This is where the message of hope, forgiveness and acceptance comes from. Having resurrected Christ, God showed Christians that He truly holds Christ dear to his heart and that the followers of his faith can have hope of His mercy by following in his path of forgiveness and love. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on this interpretation so I won’t vouch for its accuracy but that’s exactly what religious texts allow us to do, as long as one is taking a positive message away from it, the purpose is kind of fulfilled, right?

 

Now, one does not need to be a Christian to be moved by the message here.

Source: Christians in Pakistan

What matters is picking out the good things and learning from them, no matter who they come from. This is how we can celebrate the essence of being a Pakistani: a nation of those who should be able to freely choose to wear the badge of their faith without fear of persecution.

Let’s not forget what Mr. Jinnah said

Via: Express Tribune

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

Damn. Quaid-e-Azam was such a boss.

 

Of course, non-Muslims do celebrate their occasions but what use is that celebration if it’s held behind closed doors (and in fear)?

Source: Asia News

Muslims, as the majority, can at least join hands in providing an environment where people from other faiths can feel as comfortable as we do when reveling in our joyous occasions out in the streets.

Last year, a group of college students in Lahore made a human chain around the Churches in the city to mark the dark day of March 15th. Maybe we can all learn something from this and expand upon it. Acts like this may sound like publicity stunts, but hey at least they’re doing something.

 

 

We all have strong opinions against Amreekans brandishing us all as terrorists in one giant sweeping stereotype.

Source: The Friday Times

At the same time, we also need to take a look at ourselves as we might be turning into the same ‘oppressor’ that we have very strong reservations against. It is time now that we start recognizing that being Pakistani does not mean one has to be of a particular faith, look a certain way and speak a particular language – just as being Muslim is not the sole proprietorship of Arabic speaking, camel riding, gun toting, fundamentalists that have come to be associated with the name of the faith.

 

Life is too short to keep on perpetuating hatred and divisions that generations have already squabbled with.

Having been brought up in a world that is ever connected, aware of its surroundings and riddled with much more than the past, we need to step up. I may have sounded very preachy but the enormity of the situation does not allow us to make light of the situation with humor.

Source: Express Tribune

At times, it can be hard for many of us to want to love this place but there is always hope that there will come a day when everyone can feel as proud of being a Pakistani as some of us do.

Cover Image via: 99volo

Zarra ye bhee check karein:

Pakistanis Can Now Officially Celebrate Holi, Diwali and Easter

Holi in Pakistan

68 Non-Muslims from Pakistan That Have Made the Country a Better Place

shabaz bhatti

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