Monday, October 24, 2011

Moving to Pakistan (2) - Part -2

As I had mentioned earlier in 'Moving to Pakistan (2) - Part (1)', building of relationships and network is like planting a seed in the soil. First, it spreads the roots in the ground firmly, then grows a trunk and branches and leaves and later on bears the fruits. This is long and strenuous struggle. It takes years to develop the kind of networking with the people to thrive in the society. That the society knows you from  inside out to know who you really are. And then you can enjoy and benefit from those relationships.
I think most people are aware of the fact that most foreigners live in isolated communities in the foreign countries. Muslims like to interact with Muslims socially and it further narrows down to Pakistanis interacting with Pakistanis. It is mostly true for the first generation. The second generation modifies itself as they please.

During my years of studying, we had very close friendships with the locals and many others in the town. We socialized, studied, hung out together. Our American friends even invited us to their homes. Everything was going fine until we graduated and moved. I came to Richmond, Virginia for my job. Here I had to build my friendships all over again. It was quite difficult. I couldn’t get around the idea that the relationships and networking is time and place bound. If you change a place, you have to start over.
It isn’t like that in Pakistan. For an example, Multan is called ‘City of Saints’. Meaning, from early days of Muslims in the sub-continent, Saints had lived in this city for preaching and spreading of Islam. And the biggest saint of them all is a close family member. So, to begin with, they had sewn seed of the plant back in the day. That tree had developed fully over all these so many hundred years. We are the lucky ones to enjoy the fruits of the full grown tree. No matter where we go and live in Pakistan, we don’t have to exert our energies to make new friends. We are always blessed with good friends who know our family members already. And we can enjoy the labor of our family members and we only try to keep the relationships going. And pass those on to our future generation.

So these are some of the important things to consider when one is living in the society. There is a saying in the U.S., “It is not worth what you know, however, it is worth who you know.” Anyways, I am sharing only hard facts and my experience of moving to Pakistan. I am sure someone else can come up even forceful argument of moving from Pakistan and s/he could be rightful in their opinion. My intention is not to convince someone to do what I did. Everybody has to think in their own ways and every situation is different. I don’t want people to take my word and leave what they are doing and come back to their motherland immediately. No. That is not the point. But I do hope that my blog is an interesting read and may be a point of reference and something to talk about. This is extremely huge decision of moving back. There could be so many risks involved. So, please think it through thoroughly before you take a big step like this.

Anyways, there are many more interesting pieces of information to share. So, look for the next post in the near future.

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