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The HAT Project 2006/07 is supporting 20 exchange fellowships between England, South Asia and Australia

Tabitha Moses

Residency at Beaconhouse National University

The Old City

Posted by Tabitha Moses on 10th November 2006

This week I met up with Michael, a Christian Pakistani guide and native of Lahore's Old City (or Walled City, though few of the original walls remain). We spent the day exploring. Just walking through the streets is so interesting. Everywhere you look there is a photograph waiting to be taken, but words and pictures cannot adequately convey the sense of being there. You don't get the sounds of the motorbike, rickshaw and car horns, the smells of spices, sewers, exhaust fumes, cooking, the sensation of squeezing between moving vehicles, stalls and animals, avoiding puddles, holes, cow, sheep, horse or goat dung, mounds of earth and bricks (construction happens all around), sounds of men calling their wares, the occasional radio blasting out Pakistani music, seeing interesting details from the corner of your eye, the jumble of architectural styles (Moghul, Sikh and English, along with modern concrete constructions), higgledy piggledy old buildings leaning towards each other, cracked and bulging walls, delapidated ornate wooden balconies, beautiful carved wooden gates, glimpses into shady rooms where all sorts of activities take place, but mostly things being made by hand, Michael pointing out the occasional madrassa, mosque, Sufi shrine or ex-Hindu temple, and trying to drink in these sights, smells and sounds all at once. Different parts of the Old City are devoted to specific bazaars, so there is a street for musical instruments, wedding coaches, traditional footwear, modern footwear, shoemaking equipment, sequinned wedding fabric, embroidery supplies, toys, bangles, gold jewellery, silver jewellery, dried fruit, kitchenware, and more. Shops selling, and making, knives and scissors, sweets, fried snacks and milk are found throughout. Also, the small tea stalls and tandoor clay ovens where flat breads are made. This was an inspiring day. Click here to see some pictures.

Click on image to open QuickTime movie


Tabitha Moses talks to conference during cHAT week at Sanskriti, Delhi, India. March 2007