The govt wants to promote Pakistani culture internationally and here are our recommendations on how to do it
Caretaker Federal Minister for National Heritage and Culture and renowned actor Jamal Shah has said that during his tenure, his ministry will take extraordinary measures to promote Pakistani art and culture in the global arena. “We want to strengthen the economy through promotion of art and culture,” he said, adding, “efforts will be made to promote digital and visual art.” He said performing arts will also be patronised to provide healthy entertainment to the people.
We’re glad to know that the government is finally looking to do something to promote Pakistani art and culture and we have some suggestions on ways to promote our work on a global scale.
The sound of Pakistan
Although Pakistan is a blend of many unique cultures and traditions, there is one thing that unites us all — music! The biggest projection of Pakistani arts and culture can be done through the promotion of classical music internationally.
Pakistan has ghazal maestros such as Mehdi Hasan, Nayyara Noor, and Ghulam Ali Khan and a rich tradition of qawwals such as the Sabri Brothers and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Promotion of these traditions, especially the rich poetic history associated with them will not only portray a positive view of Pakistan, but also lead to greater influx of cultural tourism in Pakistan; thus causing a positive impact on the economy as well.
P-Pop & P-Drama?
Another thing that the minister should consider is following the Korea model. South Korea has been successful in projecting their TV dramas, films, and music to an international audience. With K-Pop phenomena such as BTS and BLACKPINK as well as a huge array of K-dramas becoming international sensations, South Korea has successfully managed to gain international recognition and reap the economic benefits of capitalising on its arts and culture.
The South Korean government incentivises art and culture through its annual Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards, which are awarded to artists who contribute to the development of Korean popular culture.
Pakistani TV shows and, more recently, pop music are already popular among the wider South Asian audience. The promotion of these contemporary streams will help international Millennial and Gen-Z audiences gravitate towards Pakistani arts and media, causing a considerable amount of social and monetary capital to gravitate towards Pakistan.
Think with your stomach
The one thing we can never forget when it comes to Pakistani culture is our cuisine! Our diversity is reflected through our cuisine. Here, Pakistan can adopt a model similar to the Global Thai Programme, through which a diplomatic initiative was launched by the Thai government to increase Thai restaurants abroad, providing monetary support and training to chefs and entrepreneurs. Through advertising the diversity in the cuisines of Pakistan and providing support, the government can ensure that the cuisines are accurately made while suiting the palettes of international consumers as well.
The promotion of Pakistani cuisines, be it Karachi’s biryani or Peshawar’s chapli kababs; Quetta’s sajji, Lahore’s chargha or Gilgit’s mamtu can draw foodies towards Pakistan and its food. It is also the best way to celebrate the diverse cultures that make up Pakistan.
Our art, culture, and cuisine deserve to have the spotlight and be the main character!