Today’s News in Six Caps

Posted on November 27, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Culture & Heritage, Photo of the Day, Society
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Adil Najam

Rereading MQ’s ‘Caps of Pakistan‘ as I was thumbing through today’s news from Pakistan I was suddenly struck by how many of the news photos that flashed by me had Pakistani wearing caps in them. I thought I would share a sampling, and maybe others (including MQ himself) could give a commentary on some of them.

The first two pictures are the ones that fascinate me the most – both are from a ‘Tourist Festival’ held in Peshawar this week to attract tourists to Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, a region that has been so ravaged by extremist violence of various kinds. The first photograph is of a Pakistani model presenting the creation of a local designer. Interestingly, while caps are not often worn by women in Pakistan a number of the creations that this particular fashion show included traditional or traditionally inspired headgear for women. The second picture is of musicians at the festival wearing traditional headgear, as described by MQ in his ‘Caps of Pakistan.’

The second and third photographs are both from recent protests by religious groups against the possible pardoning of Asiya Bibi. One of a protestor, one of a policemen. Neither cap may be rooted specifically in Pakistani heritage per se, but both have become permanent features of our political landscape.

The fifth picture is also not particularly ‘Pakistani’ but is seen so often in the Pakistan news-scape that it deserves inclusion: a Pakistani batsman at the playoff game against Sri Lanka which won Pakistan the Asian bronze medal in cricket.

The final picture in this group is President Asif Ali Zardari landing in Sri Lanka on a state visit wearing a Sindhi topi. While both Nawaz Sharif and then Gen. Musharraf used traditional caps as props in their public speeches in different regions of Pakistan, Mr. Zardari has used the cap much more as a regular headgear. I am very glad he has done so and I think he wears the Sindhi topi with distinction. I certainly believe that our traditional caps and turbans should be supported and encouraged much more.

13 Comments on “Today’s News in Six Caps”

  1. Junaid says:
    November 27th, 2010 3:12 pm

    Nice one, Adil. Nice continuation from last post.
    I like the first picture, the cap, I think is inspired by the one worn in Kailash.

    But the picture and news that scares me is the third one. Not the cap but the raw anger on this young man’s face. This is not the face of a healthy mind!

  2. Ali Dada says:
    November 27th, 2010 3:18 pm


    sick of people who always seem to act ‘enlightened’ and always point of negatives.

    Did your mind stop to think that maybe the guy is celebrating a ‘six’ by his favorite batsman/team? How about he is a flood victim and eagerly waiting for flood relief distribution?

    Junaid, it is you who don’t have a healthy mind.

  3. Ali Dada says:
    November 27th, 2010 3:23 pm

    Junaid, my apologies, disregard my previous post. Just read the article and you are right.

    I was wrong – the young lad is certainly too angry to be healthy.

  4. Osman says:
    November 27th, 2010 3:25 pm

    The Zardari pic is interesting. Is he singing a song to his Sri Lankan hosts?

  5. MQ says:
    November 27th, 2010 4:16 pm

    Adil, it’s a good addition to the earlier pictures.

    1.The one at the top left, somewhat similar to Kailash women’s cap, is probably a Gojri cap. The Gujjar women of Kaghan, Kohistan and Swat wear similar caps. (Gujjars are mostly herdsmen and live in the mountainous regions of Pakhutnkhwa.) These caps are made of black cotton cloth, and are heavily embroidered in different colors. They look quite attractive. I can’t quite make out in this picture, but they usually have a triangular flap or tail at the back. (I mean the caps.)
    2. Top right: is the white pakol with a decorative feather stuck in the folds.

    3. Middle row left: The cap worn by the seemingly angry young man has become quite ubiquitous these days; it is popular among madrassa students; others wear it, too, when going to the mosque.
    4. Middle right: is a standard police beret, but too tight for the man’s head — and badly worn.

  6. Watan Aziz says:
    November 27th, 2010 8:45 pm

    [Sultan Rahi On]

    Whayyy, tussi topi topi karday ho; koi post Punjabi pagay dey begaar puri neh hoandi.

    Pujabi paga ahway ahway!

    [Sultan Rahi off]

    Which begs the question, MQ, why is Punjabi pagri not discussed here at ATP?

    After all, there are more “istyles” and types of pagri then the topis.

    And add to it the versatility of the the pagri, the context, the representation, etc., it speaks volumes by appearance alone.

    BTW, went back to Heer Ranja, and in one song, Ijaz is wearing a very fancy pagri.

    Deko, iss ko take it easy lowe!

  7. Naan Haleem says:
    November 27th, 2010 10:12 pm

    Hamarey sar ki phaTi TopioN pe tanz na kar
    Hamarey taaj ajaeb gharoN meiN rakhey haiN

  8. Hassan says:
    November 28th, 2010 1:14 am

    You should include a picture of Rahman Malik also. I think his hair is also a ‘topi’ and he himself is a topi drama :-)

  9. AHsn says:
    November 28th, 2010 3:22 am

    قدامت پرستی میں گزرے زمانے
    سناتے رہے ہم پرا نے فسا نے

  10. Farooqui says:
    November 28th, 2010 11:15 am

    I would wager that the cap this is today worn mos often in Pakistan is the Swati cap. This is interesting because that is not how it used to be. So as we think about what has changed certainly that cap, during the 1980s, because adopted by all of Pakistan.

  11. Wasim says:
    November 28th, 2010 11:49 am

    This sunni tehrik ‘topi drama’ is another dangerous sign. Can never understand the logic of those who have the power protesting against those who do not!

  12. Gifts Pakistan says:
    November 28th, 2010 12:54 pm

    Is mein ek hi Topi hai jo sab per bhaari hai. or puri Awam ko pehnai jaa rahi hai.

  13. December 11th, 2010 3:54 am

    You can get these Pakistani Caps / Pakistan Hats from:

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