Our Last Pakistan Day

We all wore shalwar kameezes yesterday to join the school celebration of Pakistan Day. This was both a fun and a sad day for me. The Pakistan Day fair at school has always been my favorite school activity, so I became a little sentimental towards the end when I realized this was our last opportunity to celebrate it.

It was hard to say if there were more or better items on sale at the mela, but I was pleased to see some familiar faces among the vendors. I’ve been looking forward to this day, more so than the previous years, because I wanted to get a few more souvenirs of Pakistan before we leave the country for good in June. But James had to be entertained first. We picked a basketball, cricket ball, and cricket hat for him. Well, I made an executive decision on the hat, because James hates hats. I also got him a balloon and quickly pushed the stroller away in the opposite direction while he kept gesturing and making uh-uh noises at more balls and balloons.

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We made our way to his dad’s music room, and right outside were the camels, ox cart, and horse cart for children to ride on. That got his attention. Brian finally showed up, munching a paratha roll. We decided to go to the cafeteria so James could have his favorite chapati. Then while Brian looked after James, I did my rounds with the vendors and bought some kurtas, pashmina scarves, bangles, rugs, etc. And of course I didn’t have enough cash. But one vendor graciously told me to just come by his shop whenever I could to pay. And still I didn’t have enough to buy a piece of truck art to add to my collection. Unfortunately the guy doesn’t have a shop in Islamabad either. I was disappointed, while Brian’s reaction can only be described as relieved.

The highlight of the day was of course the assembly program. I was so proud and happy for Brian when the All-Girls Choir sand the Pakistan national anthem acapella and in 3-part harmony. They sang so beautifully, and with just a few hours of practice. It has always been Brian’s goal for years to have his choir perform the national anthem. Now we’re thinking about recording it so it can be played over and over again.

The school hired a coordinator to handle everything, and he brought dancers and musicians to perform traditional dances. I was also looking forward to the Khattak dance, which is a military dance performed with swords. There were also impressive performances by Punjabi dancers and musicians.

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