Art and Culture

Pakistani Cultural Night at Near East University

By Margaret Sheard …

We had arranged to visit the Pakistani Cultural Night which had been arranged at Near East University Grand Library Hall on Saturday 24th March, and not knowing quite what this would all be about we decided to go along and discover something of the Pakistani culture.

Well, all I can say is that the Pakistani community certainly know how to celebrate their culture and traditions.  The evening’s programme was a little late starting and by the time it did the Grand Library Hall was full to capacity, with all of the seating taken and young men who had come along for the event were even standing in the aisles and at the back of the hall.

The compères were a male and a female student who spoke in English for most of the evening, which was useful for us. Everyone was asked to stand for the Pakistan national anthem which was then followed by the national anthem of the TRNC.  A professor of the university was introduced and he gave a speech referring to the students and their education and the good relationship between the people of the TRNC and Pakistan.

There were one or two hiccups with the projector while showing a film about Pakistan but these were soon remedied and I was amazed at the enthusiasm of the audience who whistled and cheered at almost every image shown, especially the Pakistani flag.

Following the film show, there was a fashion parade of traditional Pakistani costumes, male and female, and again this was saluted with cheers from the audience as each couple came on the stage in their colourful dress.

There was also a lot of traditional dancing and at one point, a member of the audience went onto the stage to join them.  Incidentally, he was very good.   The traditional dancing was mainly males, although there was also a group of female dancers as well.

There was a second film show, which featured some of the lovely buildings and areas in Pakistan which we found very interesting although it was quite short.

A duo on guitar and vocals had a little problem with the sound but this again was soon remedied and this was then followed by some sketches which brought a lot of laughter from the audience although we were a bit lost as it was in the Pakistani language.

As the event had started late we assumed it would not be finishing at 10pm as advertised and so decided to make a move for our journey back to Girne.   It was still in full swing as we left and I am sure there was still much cheering from the audience who had really enjoyed the occasion.

I must say that with such a packed house of young students it was nice to see how well behaved they were, even with the excitement of young men dancing in the aisles and jumping up from their seats when there was something they liked.

Well done to the organisers, a very good evening.