Picture of the Day: Tangay walla khair mangda

Posted on June 16, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Culture & Heritage, Photo of the Day, Society
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Adil Najam

All this talk of the London Taxi coming to Pakistan has sent me into a bout of nostalgia about the Tanga (anglicized by some to become a ‘Tonga’). Its still there, but fast on the way to extinction; especially after the arrival of the Qingqi (a ‘Qingqi’ is the poor man’s London Taxi; or what Tangas become with globalization; more on teh ‘Qingqi’ later).

I remember going to school on a tanga that worked kind of like a communal school bus; I wish my children can still ride on one before it disappears totally.

10 Comments on “Picture of the Day: Tangay walla khair mangda”

  1. Bilal Zuberi says:
    June 16th, 2006 8:13 pm

    I still remember the Tangas at the Empress Market bus stop in Saddar, Karachi. The noise, the pollution and the smell of dung, while repugnant in many ways in sweltering Karachi June heat, was still remindful of the days when one could ride one of the ‘Shahi Sawaris’ in the evening and go to watch a movie on Bunder road. All that is mostly gone now. All that we have left is the noise, pollution and stinking smell of millions of motorcyclists trying to race their way past the city dwellers.

  2. shirazi says:
    June 17th, 2006 12:33 am

    I still use Tanga when I go home (in the village). It will take another five decades (or more) before animal power is replaced with machenical power in here.

  3. June 17th, 2006 2:03 am

    Qingqi (pronounced ching-chee) is a joint venture formed in 1985 between Jinan Qingqi and Suzuki of Japan.
    Its a kind of Vespa.
    http://www.qingqi.com.cn/ebusiness/en/index.asp

    Tangas are available here in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

  4. June 17th, 2006 2:47 am

    Glad to know that the Tanga is not going extinct, even if it is disappearing from the large ccities.

    I must confess that I would not count the Pennsylvania Dutch Country carraige (traditional although it is) as a Tanga… after all, what is the tanga without the ‘tangay wallah’… or walli… anyone remember the movie ‘Yakkey Walli’?

  5. June 17th, 2006 8:17 pm

    lol…very true…just like its not fun riding a yellow cab unless it is driven by a NYC Cabbie!!! Unfortunately Ive never had a chanse to experience a Tanga Sawari as of yet !!! lets see what the future awaits…

  6. iFaqeer says:
    June 20th, 2006 4:11 am

    Not every equine-powered carriage is a Tonga, Altamash…and Adil. One of the last vehicles my grandfather owned was what is called (in the Lucknow area, at least) a “khaRkhaRa”; which looked more like a horse cart (as in a donkey cart, a ghadha gaaRee, but with a horse in front.

    And Bilal, you sure you’re not talking about a “Victoria” (a horse carriage like you see in Central Park, New York) and not a Tanga? You don’t look too much older than I am, and I only remember Victorias in that area…except, maybe for the route from the Bus Depot and past the EME Workshop and past…what was it? Civil Lines?

    Adil is right about the cultural significance of Tangas…for a lot of Pakistanis, the subject line is one of those that, once it gets inside ones head will echo and re-echo for the next few days…

  7. iFaqeer says:
    June 20th, 2006 4:14 am

    …Tanga Lahore dha howay thay paaawaaaiN…Jhang dhaa….

    Told you it would echo and re-echo…

  8. iFaqeer says:
    June 21st, 2006 5:00 pm

    …ni tangay walla khair mang dha…

    [and so it goes...]

  9. June 27th, 2006 11:04 pm

    Tanga or Victoria – I still wish we had more of them in Karachi. Now I only see some next to Avari Towers. It would be a joy to ride them on Clifton beach. And why are they not used more oftem at weddings etc. Where have the good old days of a decorated tanga and the military band gone when I am getting close to marriage time :).

  10. iFaqeer says:
    June 29th, 2006 6:45 pm

    Took my son for a Victoria ride from the Marriott down to the Clifton beach in 2001. It is an experience! Try it some time.

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