If you are living anywhere in the metros (Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad), then you must be wondering like many others that where did all these Chinese people are coming from? It started gradually and now thanks to CPEC and “Pak Cheen Dosti”, we will be seeing more Chinese flying in and settling down here. We already have good number of Chinese companies investing in Pakistan (not to mention how big QMobile has gotten over all these years in terms of popularity and market share). Then Infinix launched, now AliBaba has decided to invest some millions in our market (if I remember correctly?). I mean, WOW! All this sounds really wonderful in terms of our economic growth and for the betterment of employment opportunities as well. However, as everyone keeps on mentioning the East India company scenario to me, I am being more cynical (Conspiracy theories and all). As for now, I hope we reap the short term benefits and shape up the economy as much as possible.
Nevertheless, some brands are really working on the insights – how Chinese people are moving here and adapting to our lifestyle – and Shan played it rightly by featuring a Chinese family trying to fit-in in a local neighborhood. Although, the part where the Chinese woman cooks amazing food than the desis (SERIOUSLY GUYS?) is a bit exaggerated, I still loved the idea of warm welcome. That is how we desis are, we welcome our neighbors especially if they are a gora/chinese/african/anything foreign (Sachi baat!). Also, some people pointed out that why did she had to wear a dupatta on her head and all. I would like add that one of my bhabhis (cousin’s wife) is a Filipino and she dresses up like us and covered her head initially when she met the elders. So the point is, you are doing it out of respect. You want to be loved and accepted like everyone else so there’s no harm in showing something which actually happens at times. In fact, I saw a Chinese family last week only at Dolmen and the lady (wife) was in a desi attire and she looked so cute lol. There wasn’t any need to wear that as a lot of people coming at Dolmen are from various backgrounds and most of them are adorned in western clothes but the Chinese woman choose to wear shalwar kameez. So you see she wanted to be culturally relevant, just like the one in the ad. I’d say well done to the team for taking care of such minor details. 🙂
Another factor which I really loved is #KhaanaWithParosi. I’ve seen how close knitted neighborhoods used to be, at least I remember a few things from my childhood. I remember how close I was to my neighboring kids, how we would go out every evening to play, how their mothers would feed me when I am their place and how my mother would cook us things when we would all gather at my place after playing outside for hours. There were days when Mom would specially take out food for neighbors if it’s something special for lunch/dinner. Even my neighborhood aunties would send Cholay Biryani at times. She was Punjabi and made the best Cholay Biryani ever! I also remember the days when Doodh soda would be sent along with some candies (I think that happens in Muharram if I remember correctly?). How can I forget Iftar time during Ramazan. It was so good to share iftar with the neighbors and you could see how everyone else celebrates their Ramazan. Going to each other’s places on Eids and on other big occasions was a normal routine which feels like lost in history now. People are less receptive towards such welcome, but I am glad Shan picked up this factor. I am hoping to be more welcoming towards my neighbors like we used to back in our childhood. And I hope this tradition goes strong because it is the need of the hour to share love and peace and what’s the better place to start then from your home?
Overall, this Shan ad is very beautifully depicting how we are so culturally apart yet food is the one that connects us all and helps break the ice. The entire feel of the ad along with the background music is so well connected (Full audio is up at Patari) with the theme and I am sure it is relatable to a lot of people. No wonder the video has crossed 6 million views only in a month of its release!
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