I`ve been asked whether I would like to live in Pakistan or Norway a few times now, and I think it`s an interesting question. Mainly because my opinions are divided. Norway and Pakistan are different countries in so many ways, that I don`t know where to begin. And yes, I haven`t lived in Pakistan but I`ve spent enough time here to know that my life in Norway suits me better.
I like being in Pakistan because of my family. Two of my aunts and their families live here, along with other family members as well. But the way of looking at things is too much for me… I like some things with the Pakistani culture, like the food, clothes and the idea that family`s important. But there are many things that annoy me, as well. One thing that has gotten to me for quite a long time now, is the phrase “what will people say?” God, that one sentence ruins my mood, because I know it kills more dreams and ideas than people will ever realise. It`s worse in small towns – people are more tensed about what people will think about your dressing, appearance and the way you act. As a “foreigner” in one way, it sometimes looks like everything`s okay on the surface, but I know that`s not completely true. I`m glad this idea isn`t stuck that much in people`s minds in Norway, because I don`t care that much about what people say. I`d be wrong if I said that I don`t care at all, but I believe in individualism more than many people here and I value feelings, thoughts and emotions more than what dress someone`s wearing.
This might look like a negative post, but I just want to share another thing that bothers me and makes me appreciate my life in Norway more. The women`s situation here in Pakistan makes me very sad… Women that get married when they`re 17-20, without having a little of their lives sorted out. Some want to, but many don`t and I know that. Don`t tell me women in Pakistan are living a good life because many more study now, because education is only a part of it. I`m glad more women seem to attend college and university now, but there`s still this idea that it`s more important for men to study. Some can`t leave the house without their husbands. There`s this idea that woman should stay at home and take care of the house and their kids, and act a certain way. Pakistan`s one of the worst countries to be woman in, according to some research done by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. I guess that says a lot.
It`s not that I absolutely can`t live in Pakistan, but I don`t think I could live in Pakistan AND live the life I`m living in Norway. I`m more free in Norway and it`s where my life is. I`m able to go to the mall alone and I can finish my studies. Also, the way of thinking there is different and makes it easier for me to live my life there as I want to live it.