by Fatima Naqvi.
Every nation has its own charm, something that brings people together and makes them one. One could think of a thousand things that serve as a unifying factor for Pakistanis, such as, our passion for cricket or our ability to rise above any crisis that we are faced with. Although these are true, but one single factor that brings Pakistanis together is our undying devotion to tea (chai). In fact, it would not be an understatement to say that most Pakistanis would readily pay for a cup of tea with their souls if cash ran out. As much as it is our weakness, it is also our strength.
Chai is synonymous with all things wonderful, the warmth of home, the love of family, the laughter one shares with friends, and of course the lifesaving cup of chai that gets one through work on Mondays. For a Pakistani, chai is the first thing we think about once we wake up. Some prefer it strong, others prefer a light milky flavour, but everyone needs it!
So what makes it such a national favourite? The truth is that chai is a part of our origin and history. Our love for chai goes back to the time when Pakistan was created. Families have passed on their authentic and unique methods of brewing the mix the right way; some mix the milk and tea, some leave them separated and others just use tea bags, but wherever one goes across Pakistan they would definitely meet a friendly face over a cup of hot tea.
Everyone remembers getting together at the neighborhood’s favourite Quetta Hotel for doodh patti and as if by magic, cups would line up as the circles around the tables grew bigger and the laughter grew louder. The cups of tea would accompany hot parathas, especially when we talk about hotels in Nathiagali Pakistan, their welcome aroma wafting through the crowded café. The life of a metropolis does not let anyone complete their days without a hot and holy cup of tea. When driving home from work sons and daughters would await the one simmering in their mothers’ tea pot ready to remove the stress of a tough day in the stroke of a single sip. Nobody ever takes just one.
The fine art of making chai has been learnt by our Pakhtun brothers. Almost all Pakistani’s will say that they have never had chai like the one they tasted at a Pathan hotel; people swear by their chai they make and how the extra cinnamon makes the experience simply divine. It is also interesting to note that the different regions of the country have their own unique chai styles. For example, Kashmiri chai, which is pink in color, is a popular choice and often served at winter weddings. The warm aroma of Kashmiri chai is an excellent reason to visit the country, along with the breathtaking views.
I can safely say we are chai people. The offer of tea is a mark of hospitality and the national slogan for guests is, ‘Chai lenge ya thanda (Do you want tea or a drink?).’ We might not realize the extent to which chai has a role in our lives, but it is only after we sit down to wonder that we would realize just how different and boring life would have been had we been missing a hot cup of chai.
Explore the love of chai with traveling and pamper yourself while staying in Pakistan best hotels!