Culture of Lahore


The culture of Lahore is a manifestation of the lifestyle, festivals, literature, music, language, politics, cuisine and socio-economic conditions of the people. North-west of Lahore contains the heart of Lahore – its original cultural property in the form of mosques, forts, gateways, residential buildings, palaces, tombs, alleyways and open squares. These when coupled with the traditional cultural activities and social relationships, enhance the character of the Walled City with its individual buildings and bazaars. Old Lahore is the dense, tottering, bazaar-city of Kipling’s stories, and some of his titles, like The Gate of a Hundred Sorrows, could serve as name plaques every few steps. Old Lahore is anarchic, energetic, crowded, feeble, exuberant, and aromatic; however, it lost much of its grandeur when most of it was burnt down during the partition of British India.

The true “Lahori” life is visible everywhere when one walks through its narrow winding alleys. In early morning, the traditional breakfast of “Halwa and Poori” is seen being made by the corner of the street. One really enjoys the paper thin “Poori” made of flour and fried in boiling hot oil with a “Bhaaji” a dish made of grams and potatoes with pickle and onions, followed by “Halwa” a sweet made of sooji, sugar and ghee. After this rather heavy feast, Lahoris never forget to drink a glass of “Lassi” made from yogurt, sugar and water in one gulp.

Life inside the Walled City of Lahore is lively and fascinating. The marriages are a scene to be seen. During the spring season, the festival of kite flying or Basant attracts rich and poor from all parts of Lahore to the Walled City. The life inside the Heera Mandi or the red-light area being the part of the Walled City is different from the rest of the Walled City of Lahore. One can see the dancing girls standing in the jharokas of the brothels and music being played especially after late evening.