This Society in Pakistan Celebrates Jane Austen in All Her Glory
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.’ The most iconic first line from the Pride and Prejudice rings true even today in contemporary Indian and Pakistani societies.
Every 20-year-old is given unsolicited marriage advice and the options are simple. Either get married for companionship or for upward social mobility or to lessen their parents’ burden.
Laaleen Sukhera, a communications consultant in Pakistan and an avid Austen reader picked up on the many similarities between the Regency era and contemporary Pakistan and created a Facebook page to celebrate the author’s greatness. She called it the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan. In two years, the society galvanised into a tricity venture, Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore and even spread its wings across the UK.
Sukhera was 12 when she picked up her first Austen book. Like many others, she first read Pride and Prejudice, and since then, she has returned to Austen enough times to feel like her characters are real people.
What Does the Society Do?
They casually meet up and discuss Austen’s classic world and her relevance in contemporary Pakistan. They annually meet up dressed as fictional characters, the women talk as the characters they’ve dressed up as, discussing Austen and her books.
Wanna join the club? Check out their Facebook page and go ahead!
(Editor: Purnendu Pritam)
(Would you like to contribute to our Independence Day campaign to celebrate the mother tongue? Here's your chance! This Independence Day, khul ke bol with BOL – Love your Bhasha. Sing, write, perform, spew poetry – whatever you like – in your mother tongue. Send us your BOL at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp it to 9910181818.)