Pakistan Day Parade in New York City, 2010

Posted on August 1, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Pakistanis Abroad
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Adil Najam

New York City’s annual Pakistan Day parade is one of the largest Pakistan day festivals held outside of Pakistan (the one in London is reputedly much larger) and has been held annually for at least 25 years. I have always wanted to attend one of these, but never have. Till now.

As it turns out, Geo TV’s North American channels are to telecast the parade live this year and asked me to come over to assist in the broadcast. The thought of Pakistaniat running amuck on the streets of New York – from 26th to 41st streets on Madison Avenue, with over 10,000 people expected to attend – was too enticing to miss out on. Typically, and not surprisingly, there is lots of good Pakistani food, colorful Pakistanis dresses galore, bhangras good and bad, dhols and music all around, and good-natured chaos and frenzy. What, then, is not to like!

This year’s Pakistan Day celebrations kick off amidst much bad news. But that too has become a pattern in recent years. All the more reason to use this occasion to think about Pakistan, our own Pakistaniat, and what both mean to us and to what we are and are viewed as by the world. Behind all the noise and festivities, that must be the biggest reason for such a celebration. I hope those at the parade will not let sad events dampen their Pakistaniat or their expression of it; but I also hope that we will all also use such an occasion to think about what we can give back to Pakistan, especially to those being displaced by the current rain and flood havoc hitting Pakistan.

Also, it seems like a good opportunity to try out this “Live Tweets” thing. Lets see how that works, I will try to update regularly on Twitter and here is a live feed to all tweets with the hashtag #PakDayParadeNYC. If any readers are at the parade, or wish to add to the Twitter chatter, Tweet away with hashtag #PakDayParadeNYC and it will show up in the window below (I hope!).

Pictures from earlier Pakistan Day parades in New York City:

32 Comments on “Pakistan Day Parade in New York City, 2010”

  1. Arifa says:
    August 1st, 2010 2:08 pm

    Well done
    good show

  2. Dilawar says:
    August 1st, 2010 3:09 pm

    Oh, I did nit realize it was today
    going there now
    nice post

  3. August 1st, 2010 6:01 pm

    You are right.We support you.

  4. Wasif says:
    August 1st, 2010 7:40 pm

    Just got back
    the concert was so so but the people watching was great and the feeling of being in Pakistan was terrific.

  5. Y= says:
    August 1st, 2010 11:23 pm

    Went to the parade and had also gone to the Sufi music festival two weeks ago. What amazed me is how different the crowds at the two were. Pakistanis in both cases, but very different social and economic class. Might as well have been from different countries!

  6. Risatnum says:
    August 1st, 2010 11:34 pm

    It wasn’t 10K today! Reportedly in years past there were many more attendees, but not this time.

  7. Haroon says:
    August 1st, 2010 11:42 pm

    Wasn’t there. But like the “twitter thing”. Interesting way to cover a live event.

  8. siyasi aadmi says:
    August 2nd, 2010 12:25 am

    Great to see you Adil doing commentary on the event. Although a lot to be desired since you were cutt off by either breaks o concert singers but anyway it was great show.

    Couple of issue that I would like to point out.

    I agree there were too many shields and guess what almost all of those were presented to the same organizing comittee members. One member was presented a shield because he arranged for the singer “Anniee” , wow.

    Also the whole presentation ceremony was more of a photo opportunity for the committee members, distribution was so dis organized and at one point they had 12 people on the stage and all those were so called community members who only show up on these events :) , I would like Adil Bhai to comment on it.

    The only one deserving girl who was a pakistani student who received a shield on her remarkable achievement, the compere ended his statement by saying this “Iss Larki nay hamara Sir Gharoor seh Buland Kar diya hai “:)

    Adil , I think you were needed on the front more than the back.

    Also did anyone counted how many times Adil Bhai mentioned the word “Pakistaniat” in his talk. I think the count is 5 atleast : )

  9. Kamal says:
    August 2nd, 2010 1:24 am

    It was good coverage on GEO and I enjoyed seeing Adil Najam doing the discussion.

    I think such events are far more powerful than any diplomacy in actually showing the human side of our image.

    Loved the pictures of the colorful Pakistani dresses everywhere.

  10. Adil Najam says:
    August 2nd, 2010 1:34 am

    Dear Siyasi Admi,

    Thank you for the kind words. Let me just respond to your last point. You are right! Although I probably used the word Pakistaniat much more like 12 or 15 times at least!

    In my own defense, however, I never once used it in the context of plugging the blog :-) I had agreed to do this simply because I really believe that such events are an expression of exactly that: our Pakistaniat. In fact, mid-way through this I thought I was using the word too much and tried hard to think of an alternative, but just could not think of one, because what I wanted to talk about was our “Pakistaniness” and that is our “Pakistaniat.”

    I really mean this honestly, and I hope that you will take from this fact that I really really believe in this concept of Pakistaniat, which is why I named this blog what it is named. It really was not a cheap plug for the blog :-)

  11. Aisha Iqbal says:
    August 2nd, 2010 3:03 am

    Every year we want to go to the parade but always end up missing it. This year is obviously no different. However, we usually make it to the mela in Brooklyn at Coney Island Avenue & Foster. Usually both the parade and mela occur during the hottest days in mid August. Does anyone know when the mela in brooklyn is or has it also passed?

  12. siyasi aadmi says:
    August 2nd, 2010 7:04 am

    Dear Adil,

    I know that the occasion was appropriate and of course Pakistaniat was the appropriate one. I was just having fun here :)

    It would ‘ve have been great had we had some fellow pakistaniat bloggers there as well who were part of it.

  13. NYC guy says:
    August 2nd, 2010 7:21 am

    @Aisha Iqbal,
    For the past couple of years, New York City Area has the most Pakistan day events planned within a radius of 20 miles. Although the largest was yesterday but there are two more that are planned this weekend. One is Brooklyn Mela on August 7th, And another on in East Meadow Long island on the lush green Eisenhower Park. So you don’t have any excuse this time :)

    BTW, Abrar ul Haq is coming in Brooklyn while Long Island one is featuring Fakhir and Humera Arshad

  14. Ben says:
    August 2nd, 2010 7:30 am

    What will happen in London where British PM is facing the rage of Pakistanis but also of a saner segment of British society over his remarks against Pakistan made in India. As a matter of fact, the entire visit of David Cameron was meant to protect British business interests in India. Most notable is the case of Vodafone facing rage of Indian tax authorities which Mr Cameron wanted to bail out of a tax liability of billions of dollars. Read more at:

  15. Asma says:
    August 2nd, 2010 8:13 pm

    We do not have such a parade in the UAE. We should.

  16. Abdullah says:
    August 2nd, 2010 9:15 pm

    I feel bad for having missed the parade. although i have subscribed to Pak consulate email list, there was no communication about the parade. actually i received the consulate newsletter just days before the parade and there was no mention of the event at all. hope it went well and you had fun

  17. Abdullah says:
    August 2nd, 2010 9:24 pm

    at NYC guy

    could you please tell me more about the location of mela in Brooklyn. thanks

  18. August 2nd, 2010 11:33 pm

    Pakistan Day Parade’s positive side is to unite Pakistan Nationals and Other Nationals together.

    Pakistan’s Government should support Pakistan Day Prade all over the world!

  19. Iftikhar says:
    August 3rd, 2010 12:01 am

    Good to see this covered on your blog. We need to recognize and encourage these community events.

  20. ATP Administrator says:
    August 3rd, 2010 12:03 am

    New pictures added from the 2010 Pakistan Day parade. The four pictures at the top are from the 2010 parade, the four pictures at the end of the post are from earlier parades.

  21. risatnum says:
    August 3rd, 2010 2:32 am

    @ Y = could you say more about the differences? How could you tell, what were the indicators for the class difference?

  22. NYC Guy says:
    August 3rd, 2010 7:28 am


    Brooklyn Mela August 7th
    Between Foster and Coney Island Ave in Brooklyn, NY

    Long Island Mela August 8th
    In Eisenhower Park

    This is just an idea, may be we should put a post on pakistaniat with google map where all events that are being planned across the globe and people should provide the dates and locations of the event.

  23. Mahmood says:
    August 3rd, 2010 1:33 pm

    I think teh main purpose of these things is building the community itself, rather than outreach to Americans

  24. Afsaryab says:
    August 3rd, 2010 7:04 pm

    Nice coverage. Good that you are giving space to such news, it is important to encourage these events whenever we can.

  25. August 3rd, 2010 10:28 pm

    We were very proud to be the Portable toilet company that served the Parade in NYC this Sunday, it was a true pleasure to do business with the organizers of the Pakistan Day Parade.

  26. registry says:
    August 4th, 2010 5:08 pm

    A good article Thank you!

  27. abdullah says:
    August 4th, 2010 11:19 pm

    @NYC Guy – thank you so much. Appreciate if you could let us know what time the mela normally happens? In the morning or afternoon?

    Thanks a milliom

  28. Suleri says:
    August 5th, 2010 6:57 am

    It was a very good effort, certainly.

  29. risatnum says:
    August 5th, 2010 1:13 pm

    Abdullah, I posted some information about the mela this weekend at Looks like its taking place on Sunday.

  30. Rabi says:
    August 5th, 2010 5:41 pm

    Saw Adil Najam on the TV… very good job, sir.

  31. sadia says:
    August 11th, 2010 4:26 am

    pakistan zindabad .. abhi bhi logo kay dil mai josh hai

    love u pakistan

  32. Nusrat says:
    August 11th, 2010 5:28 pm

    Good effort,

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