Wrestlers, Pigeon Fanciers, and Kite Flyers: Traditional Sports and Pastimes in Lahore
In today's Pakistan the dominant conservative mindset tends to marginalize leisure activities. However, traditional sports and pastimes, games and play, entertainment and amusement are an expression of happiness and joy and an integral part of popular culture. They represent a cultural system and preserve cultural values. The dimension of playfulness inherent in traditional sports and pastimes is clearly articulated in the culture of the Punjab in general and of Lahore in particular, especially in the Walled City. The popular pastimes selected for this study, namely wrestling, flying pigeons and kite fighting, are almost emblematic of the Walled City, an urban space where wrestlers, pigeon fanciers and kite flyers appear to be the veritable custodians of Lahori culture. This is the first book that details these traditional sports and pastimes, which, the authors argue, form an integral part of social life in Pakistan and create important bonds between various communities.