Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pizza Party & Turkish hearts

Last Saturday we arranged a Pizza party from the profit we gained in Global Village stall. We arranged it in a Pizza restaurant owned by a Turk Muslim (or Arab?). They serve all halal food and no pig or alcohol. Invited were all Pakistanis and Indian Muslims. It rained all day long that day. The time of the party was at 4 pm and as could be expected: everybody arrived late except 4 of us. We ordered party pizzas of different tastes and had a lot of it. About 25 people attended this party.

See photos here

Afterwards when we approached the owner for the bill, he refused to charge us telling us to donate the money to Earth Quake victims in Pakistan. Surprised we offered him to take half of the money leaving the other half for Quake aid. But he again refused. Moved deeply by his passion we came back and donated the money.

The Carneval season is ending and this calls for the biggest festivels in North-West Germany. This Monday they'll have big parades through cities. I intend to go to Köln (Cologne) to see the Carneval parade since its not so big in my city.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Protests in Pakistan against Denmark cartoons

We are hearing horrific stories about violence in protests in Pakistan against Danish cartoons. This is neither normal nor expected. We are all surprised to hear such news. I have talked to family and friends in Pakistan and everybody says that this is not right. Nobody supports this mode of protesting. Endangering the lives of civilians in Danish embassies or companies while attacking them is not correct at all. Burning vehicles on roads is total madness. These vehicles and small shops belong to poor or middle-class people. What did they do wrong? Why should they pay for this?

But this all is not done by the general public. There are news in local newspapers that this violence is always started before the protestants reach the scene. I also heard interviews of protest organizers in BBC Pakistan news and they said that violence broke out a couple of hours before their protest was to start. Newspaper also told of groups of mysterious people doing violence before the processions reached there. So there are some elements who induce violence into these protests, and most probably they are international. The general public is against this violence. This is evident from the fact that there were huge protests in Pakistan some time ago against Iraq war but none were violent. I also heard of the protest organizer saying in the news that now the protests are against the Pakistan govt. Anyways, i think that the protest organizers should now volunteerily call-off their peaceful protests so that the trouble-makers cannot take advantage of them any more.

Having said that, we also believe that Danish paper didn't do right by publishing those cartoons. We love our Prophet (pbuh) much more than our parents and ourselves. It was very painful to see these cartoons. But the protest against it should always be peaceful and legal. We have protested by voting in online polls and signing petitions etc and these methods are legal.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Many faces of India

When i came to Germany i discovered an astonishing fact: India doesn't have a national language!! People in South India can't speak Hindi. Then how do they communicate with the North? They use English. Thats strange as it sounds. So, now whenever we meet an Indian, we ask him whether he can speak Hindi. However, Muslims in South India can speak Urdu. But most of them cannot read it since it has an arabic script.

Whenever we speak Urdu with Indians, they speak pure Urdu and don't use words of Hindi (Sansikrat). Thats strange as well. Because when we hear Indian poiticians in news or when we hear Indian news channels, then tend to use at least some Sansikrat words. But Indian students here don't. I don't know whether they do it for us or is it their normal way of speaking.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Global Village at university

Yesterday night we participated in an event called Global Village held in the university. Students of different countries are asked to put up stalls depicting their culture. We also made a big stall with many things. Almost all the stalls had some presentation about their country runing on a projecter. We had cooked Chicken Biryani, Samosa, Pakora and (Carrot) Halwa, which all sell out despite the chillis in Biryani. Women had placed some jewelery and other stuff on the tables with posters and pictures hanging on boards behind us. Some of us wore Shalwaar Kameez. The event started at 7 pm and continued for two and a half hours. Many people came to see the event.

Besides us, the Iranians had prepared a very nice stall with cloth, carpet and traditional utensils; and the Indonesians had placed dresses and some sweets. Some East European states including Russia made good stalls. Indians also put up a good stall but without food this time. Germans had a stall in center with a tiny German flag stuck into every edible item. Americans had a small stall offering info and cookies. French and Swiss stalls offered free bread and cheese. I'll put up pictures of the event soon since i haven't got them yet (i chose to make a movie with my camcorder instead of taking snaps :)