Most Pakistanis are brought up speaking Urdu and English, our national and official languages. Many of us slip into English during ordinary conversation rather than speaking Urdu. Even those who struggle with English do their hardest to smuggle in a line or two because they believe it will help them fit in with the "cooler" set. How come? Is it because we don't take pride in our own language? We are all well aware of Urdu's beauty; its poetry, elegance, and rhythm are extraordinary. I'm not sure when the trend began, but in one way or another, we're all drawn into the trap inadvertently or unintentionally.
Here is an incident that comes to my mind and happens to Professor Amna Khalid. Together with other LUMS fellows, she visited Istanbul. They stopped at a café one day while touring the city. The waiter inquired of them, "Where are you from." When they informed him, the waiter was shocked. His subsequent query was, "Are you brought up in England? Why don't you talk in the Pakistani language since you were born and raised there?"
He also explained to them how popular Turkey was as a tourism destination, drawing millions of visitors worldwide to Istanbul in particular. The Dutch, however, would speak Dutch when they came to visit. French would be spoken when the French arrived. The Chinese would speak Chinese when they came to visit. The same was held in Turkey; everyone spoke Turkish. He said that he was very proud of his language and culture and that he could not comprehend why someone would prefer to speak a foreign language over the language of their own nation.
I like how these nations cherish their sense of self, culture, and language. Like many of us, I am very proud of Pakistan and Urdu. Whatever the issues, it still defines us. We give our nation the respect it deserves by speaking and displaying our actual origins in Urdu, which is a lovely and charming language.
Aap kia kehty hai???