Etiquette in Pakistan

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In Pakistan, Islamic culture is predominant but Pakistan also has cultural etiquette based mainly on South Asian influence, as well as British.

Introduction and greeting[edit]

Hand Shake
  • It is considered rude to introduce yourself to strangers, it is generally advisable to ask some mutual acquaintance to introduce you. Strangers will speak with each other in the "formal" register of Urdu, and using the familiar register will be seen as very rude.[1]
  • People of opposite sex do not shake hands when they greet each other. It is sometimes usual among men to put the left hand on your chest (heart) when shaking hands. In urban Sindh and in other parts of the country, men and women usually lower their head and lift their hand to their forehead to make the "adab" gesture when greeting each other.[2]
  • When being introduced to elders or strangers while seated it is customary to get up as sign of respect.[2]
  • It is advisable to ask a person how they wish to be addressed.[1]

Business meeting[edit]

  • English is widely spoken and understood in major cities.[3] The local dialect is called Pakistani English.
  • If at all possible, try not to schedule meetings during Ramadan. The workday is shortened, and since Muslims fast, they will not be able to offer you tea, which is a sign of hospitality.[1]
  • Meeting are not scheduled at namaz time.[1]


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Karin Mittmann; Zafar Ihsan. Culture shock! Pakistan – a guide to customs and etiquette.