Independence Day, otherwise known as Youm-e-Azadi to us, is celebrated every year on the 14th of August and is one of our many beloved national holidays. For anyone not familiar with what Pakistan celebrates, well Mr. Jinnah worked pretty hard to give us (not only Muslims but just about anyone who wanted to move) a sovereign and independent Pakistan, ending the British Raj. 70 years later, despite all the hardships Pakistan and the people of Pakistan face, they still get together to celebrate it on one day (unlike Eid lol because Peshawar obviously can’t celebrate it the day before).
So here are the 14 things everyone experiences on 14th of August:
1. Distant ‘hawai firing.’
Because we’re obviously facing a shortage of fireworks, so we turn to guns. This is just how we celebrate, the people finally get to put their toys to use and let the whole neighborhood know how ecstatic they are to be free.
The kids don’t get left behind either, so if your house isn’t too noisy, you’ll be able to hear fire crackers going off in your street. Don’t worry if you live in a quite neighborhood though, because as soon as you hit the roads you’ll hear them there too!
3. Pindi Bouys
Pindi bouys, Pindi bouys everywhere! More than anyone in Pakistan, it’s the ‘Pindi Bouys’ who are happy to be free. So expect to see loads of them with their flashy bikes, flashy clothing, with their shades on that they’ll be rocking at night and their enthusiasm along with their love for their beloved country.
4. Pindi Bouys dancing mid road
We’re definitely not having bloc barbeques so for entertainment we hit the roads to celebrate. Just going from one place another but all of a sudden everything comes to halt when the ‘Pindi Bouys ‘ decide to stop mid road and show off their dance skills. Are they dancing to Pakistani songs? No buddy, get ready to jam to Honey Singh on your independence day, and you can definitely expect to hear ‘Just do that do that do that do that pani wala dance‘.
5. Decorated cars cruising around town
Not only are these ‘Pindi Bouys’ going to provide sole entertainment to you by dancing, screaming and shouting, but their cars are something not to be missed (and don’t worry you won’t). Decorated with all sorts of magical trinkets and what not, their cars will stand out.
6. Motorists who took the silencers outta their bikes
See there will be two kinds of ‘Pindi Bouys’: the ones popping out from the car windows and then we have the ones on their bikes. The ones on the bikes will make sure that we do not miss out on their existence . These Dare Devils will also entertain you with their stunts and you can totally expect to see one or two of them fall.
7. All those Pakistani jazba songs on the radio and TV and everywhere else
“Yeh Jazba Junoon tu himat na har!”, “Dil Dil Pakistan Jaan Jaan Pakistan” or something more subtle like “Mera Pegham Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan” are all songs we know by heart so every time these songs hit the radio you can expect the family in the car next to you singing it all together.
8. Traffic jams
By now, with the very detailed analysis of the ‘Pindi Bouys’ behavior, being out there you should expect yourself to be stuck on the same road for about an hour at least ( don’t worry it’ll be entertaining!).
9. Painted faces all around you
While everything else in Pakistan turns green and white, how could we leave our face alone? After all that’s the first thing someone sees.
10. Patriotism oozing for every corner
On this day one should expect everyyyyone to be patriotic. That guy you know who’s always complaining about being stuck in Pakistan , comparing it with just about every other country will decide to join the Pakistan Army so don’t be surprised.
11. Street Vendors ripping you off
Only on this day (or when Pakistan has a cricket match) will we remember our beautiful flag. All year long we won’t need it, nor do we remember what happened to the one we got last year. Therefore the street vendors will rip you off so expect the prices to be high, very high.
12. News channels keeping us informed with the “Official” celebration
They’ll bombard us with interviews featuring little kids telling us how much they love their country (we know what really happens “hanjee baita cameray may dekh ker Apnay bolna hai Pakistan Zindabaad”), numerous ‘naujawano ka dhol ki thaap per raks’ – never gets old. But apart from that, good old PTV will show us just about every clip recorded since the time of Pakistan’s birth. And eventually giving us the updates on the ‘Laathi Charge‘ carried out by the police at night because things got outta control.
13. Some random number wishing you
Koi reh na giya ho toh this person also makes sure to celebrate his/her independence with a really cheesy text.
14. Green and white errrthing
The weather in the first 2 weeks of August is always green with a chance of white! When it’s finally the 14th, everything turns green and white (ain’t no harm in pride but literally everything). Clothes, cars, billboards, shops, everyone on TV – before you know it, everywhere you turn you’ll see green.
But apart from all the things to expect, 70 years later here we are a free nation (or we like to think so), fighting everyday for our existence, trying to make the world believe we really didn’t have anything to do with Osama, figuring out why we need the metro bus and not more education.
Here’s to many more prosperous years to come and hoping that everyone has a festive independence day.
Cover image via: AP Photo/Fareed Khan