Saturday, 20 March 2010

Pakistan Day special: Creative celebrations

By Saira Owais Adil
Saturday, 20 Mar, 2010 DAWN Young World

Monotonous, routine celebrations are held all over the country to mark the Pakistan Resolution Day on March 23. The schools, media and government organisations all follow strictly unchanged programmes. School children are dressed up in neat uniforms, polished shoes and appear tidy to perform on the same national songs as they have been doing for years.
March 23 is actually the day when the meaning of independence for the Muslims of the Subcontinent was clearly laid out to the world. Now after 70 years of the event, we, the young generation, today need our elders’ help in comprehending the ‘national’ thought that led to the whole process of independence! Children can only be expected to be ‘patriotic’ when they understand the meaning of ‘patriotism’.

Let’s make a different start this time and instead of performing at the school half-heartedly or bunking the functions altogether, try to give your school authorities some exciting suggestions. Ask your school head or teacher to organise different activities with the objective of creating a better understanding of the term “independence”.
Do something creative. Paint your own Pakistan – the way you think a perfect Pakistan would look like. Draw and paint what you like about your country and how you would like things to be. If you are better at words than the brush, write how you want things to be, portraying a ‘better Pakistan’ in your own way!
How about making a huge map of Pakistan for your class or to be displayed anywhere else in the school, and decorate it with smiles, colours and gestures of love – all that we are losing fast with each passing day.

And just mounting the national flag and placing the small flags on strings round the classroom is not enough. A flag drawing competition would be more exciting and full of fun. Rather than just painting and colouring the flag on a paper, you can try making it with different materials. Of course you can’t change its colour or design, just use various textures and materials, coloured green and white, to lend a beautiful touch to our national flag.

Instead of merely reciting the toughest of the national songs, request your teacher to make you understand what the poet is actually trying to say. In a casual set up, not that of the typical classroom teaching style, lectures given to make students become aware of the meaning of the different national songs, some information about the poet and the occasion when it was first written would go a long way in making everyone realise the significance of the words and remember it for a long time to come. By becoming aware of the true meaning of the words that are being sung, it will bring out feelings of national pride and patriotism and make any performance more powerful.

A competition of short poems and national songs can also be held where participants would have to write national songs or poems. This can also be done as a class exercise where everyone just pens down what is in their hearts about their beloved country.

Make posters, badges and cards in which you present your own idea of what being a citizen of a free nation means to you and share it with your friends and teachers. If you are going out somewhere with your friends or family to on this national holiday, order a combination of pistachio and vanilla flavours in ice cream. Now that’s a pretty patriotic combination!
This is our country and we all feel proud of it. So why not fuel up your passion and come up with imaginative ways to celebrate this day and pledge to do what we can to make it a better place to live.

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