Tag Archives: pakistani

Pakistani Romeo and Juliet

Main piece:

A boy and girl fall in love, but there’s a river between them. The woman knows pottery and they were going to elope together. The girl decides to run away from home because her parents want to have her marry someone else but the girl escapes but doesn’t know how to swim. She decides to use her pottery as a float to help her cross the river to be with her lover but as she floats across the water the pottery dissolves away because it’s made of clay.  

Background information (Why does the informant know or like this piece? Where or who did they learn it from? What does it mean to them?):

Informant heard it from school by a teacher in a literature class when he was learning back at home in Pakistan. It is just a story to him that he knew as a young boy.

Context (When or where would this be performed? Under what circumstance?):

This story is the Pakistani version of Romeo and Juliet. It is told to children as fiction.

Personal Analysis:

It’s somewhat similar to Romeo and Juliet but it has hints of a culture different from American culture. For instance, the use of pottery as a major item in the story shows that it was a much more common practice and custom. I’m not surprised they have a traditional story like this. Star crossed lovers seems to be common not just in the U.S. but around the world. Kids find these stories entertaining anyway.

Anarkali

Main piece:

The story is called Anarkali, which is the name of the main character girl. There is an emperor called Jehangir. When he was the prince and his dad was king, he had a court entertainment. The prince saw a beautiful dancer Anarkali but she was poor. The king ordered to have Anarkali buried alive in a wall as a sign to show others what happens if lower class tries to intermarry or associate with upper class. Now there’s a famous tomb.

 

Background information (Why does the informant know or like this piece? Where or who did they learn it from? What does it mean to them?):

Nobody knows if it’s a real story, but there’s a movie based on it. Apparently people broke the wall and found a skeleton. The moral of the story is that love is reserved for rich people and there should be no inter caste marriage because social class is important.

Context (When or where would this be performed? Under what circumstance?):

He watched the bollywood movie Mughal-e-Azam, but he also heard a similar version from his family growing up.

Personal Analysis:

This sounds very harsh. I could see how it could be adapted from a real story or at least fabricated and distributed so that the poor people will be too scared to think about marrying rich. It’s very different from children’s stories that are very G rated, because Anarkali’s punishment was so severe.