Jawad Ahmed, the Pakistani pop singer, recently visited China with the delegation of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani and performed at a reception arranged to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.
Jawad was honored in China on his second visit. He was in China three years ago when his mother had a liver transplant operation in Tianjin. The operation was successful, but could not save his mother who later suffered a post-operative infection and passed away. Jawad feels very close to China after the incident.
While talking to a daily publication, Jawad told that he was having a conversation with Pakistan’s Ambassador in China (during his mother’s recovery period) about doing cultural exchanges between Pakistan and China.
However, changing situations had put that plan on hold and the singer was approached two years later by Salman Bashir (Ex-Pakistan Ambassador in China) again, who now serves as the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, to do something about it again.
This time it became an initiative for the singer, who felt motivated to do something for China, whatever he can, to help the outspreading of art, culture, and cinema if possible. Though there are no concrete plans, Jawad Ahmad has been brewing up some ideas.
While defining the art, cultural and musical diversity of Pakistan, Jawad told the Chinese media:
“Pakistani music is actually one of the most diversified music of the world. If you come to visit Pakistan, you’ll find at least 8 to 10 different sorts of music with their own sets of instrumentation. So it will be a very novel experience for you.”
According to Jawad, there is a huge following of feet tapping music in Pakistan, the upbeat music people dance to. “Dance and music is a tradition in Pakistan, especially when you talk about ‘Bhangra,’ a genre of music found only in Pakistan and in India, something I think most exportable to other countries. I would say if I do something in China, something like as an ice breaker, it would be a Bhangra.”
A Bhangra song features a wide variety of musical instruments playing at the same time and a huge orchestra is used. Jawad pointed out that most percussion instruments are not known in China, the tune and tempo is very unique to Chinese people.
While talking about the inspirations and music running on Chinese televisions and music stations, Jawad said : “What I feel in China, people who are singing on TV or MTV are mostly influenced by the West, their music, drums, or instruments are basically Western. I see Chinese people really liberating themselves from one kind of music only, they are trying to explore other horizons as well. I think it is the right time Chinese should listen to Pakistan music.”
Though young Pakistanis listen to pop music influenced by Western courtiers, Jawad said traditional music in Pakistan is more widely accepted, because there is something in the roots.
Expectations of Cultural Exchanges in the Future
As for cultural exchanges, Jawad said, “there isn’t anything done either in China or in Pakistan.” Though people from older generations have a lot of love for each other, young people don’t know that much. There is a lot of room for cultural exchanges, and the pop singer would like to do his part.
“If you ask me, I would like to be the demander; I would appeal to Chinese people, to give their ears.””
Whether Jawad is looking for some new music market for him in China or really wants Chinese people to attract towards Pakistani Music, this cultural exchange will definitely bridge the two nations more closer. The hearts of Chinese and Pakistani people are always close to each other but doesn’t dance on the same beat. If Jawad manages to break this language barrier via his music he can add another chapter in the history of Pakistani Music, similar to as made by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan earlier.
How do you guys think about this new development, let us know in the comments below 🙂