Skip to Content

Cultural Distinctions: India and Pakistan

Cultural Distinctions: India and Pakistan

There are many differences between Indians and Pakistanis. But one of the main differences is that Indians belong to India and practice Hinduism or Sikhism, while Pakistanis live in Pakistan and most of the people in Pakistan are Muslims. There are some similarities between the two, but besides those similarities, they are vastly different.

There are multiple differences between the two, but the main difference is the distinction between religions. Although they have been very similar in their ways of speaking and culture, overall, both of them are distinguished based on their religion, language, ethnicity, and cultural values as well.

Whenever you search for information about the culture of both those nations, you get mixed feedback. Sometimes people spread negativity and hatred towards the opposite nation due to the history they have been through. Individual judgment is provided for the whole nation along with experiences of a single person’s nature. Apart from that, some of the honest answers make you realize how compatible they are.

I will be discussing with you all the similarities and differences between the culture, language, and basic values of Pakistanis and Indians. No biasedness will be shown, and you will end up judging them based on your perspective.

Let’s get started.

How do you differentiate between Indians and Pakistanis?

First of all, I would like to tell you that India is a union of states, and each state speaks a different language and has a variety of dialects. In India, there is no distinct ethnicity or race. Each of the Indians claims to speak multiple languages and dialects. Pakistan, which has many ethnic groups, has a similar structure.

India is distinguished by the recognition of states based on language and tribes. However, Pakistan has no groupings based on tribes or language. The area is divided uniformly into provinces.

Pakistan has been divided into these , i.e., Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, and NWFP, or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Hinduism accounts for the religion of the majority in India while most of the Pakistanis are Muslims.

Thus, both of these nations have distinct provinces and recognized tribal communities, which differ in further detail.

Which languages are spoken in India and Pakistan?

Urdu is the national language of Pakistan while most of the Indians speak Hindi.

Talking about the languages, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, English, Kashmiri, and other official languages are spoken in India.

While Pakistan’s official language is Urdu, many other languages are widely spoken in the country, including Punjabi, Gujarati, Balochi, Pashto, Sindhi, and Kashmiri.

Apart from Punjab, Punjabis live predominantly in all parts of Pakistan

India does not have a national language, but many people speak Hindi in India, that’s why it is considered as their national Language.

On the other hand, Urdu is the national language of Pakistan as the majority of Pakistanis speak it. Punjabi is the second most spoken language in Pakistan after Urdu.

What do you know about the ethnicity of Indians and Pakistanis?

The majority of ethnic groups indigenous to India are not found in Pakistan, and vice versa. Demographics are based on ethnicity. The ethnic groups of the two countries are quite distinctive, and they do not overlap with each other. This does not account for the immigrants.

Due to the previously shared British and Ghaznavid rules, they have a lingua franca.

Aside from that, most of the languages that are spoken in India are not in Pakistan and vice versa.

The main difference is that Pakistan was established as a homeland for Muslims, so during partition, many Muslims from India migrated to Pakistan, while Hindus from what is now Pakistan migrated to India.

All in all, Pakistan’s main ethnicities are now Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun, Baluch, and a few others.

There are many people in the eastern Punjab of India who have the same ethnicity as the Punjabis of Pakistan yet have different religions. This is due to the partition, in which some of the people stayed and some migrated.

Map of India represented beautifully
India has more area as compared to Pakistan, as shown on the map

On the other hand, some Hindu Sindhis migrated to India and became a part of it, particularly in the north. While some are known as Mohajirs, they are Muslims from the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who have migrated to Pakistan.

So, in a nutshell, it is difficult for anyone to distinguish between a Pakistani and a North Indian based solely on appearance. You need to consider ethnicity and religion as major factors when contrasting them.

Though it is difficult to tell whether a man or woman is Indian or Pakistani at first glance due to the same body color and facial appearance, one can identify with an accent.

There are many more ethnicities in India, particularly in the south and east than in Pakistan.

Check out this video on Indians vs. Pakistanis

How do Indians and Pakistanis differ, genetically?

Indians and Pakistanis have distinguishing genetics too. Some of them are listed here:

  • Pakistanis are Caucasians with Australoid ancestors.
  • Indians are Australoid with Caucasian ancestors.
  • Afghans are Caucasians with mongoloid ancestors.

Overall, only ten percent of Indians are related to twenty-five percent of Pakistanis. Pakistan has more Caucasian genes than Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and parts of North Africa combined.

Genetically, 90% of Indians are a completely different race.

In addition to that, both nations differ in skin color, dressing and styling too.

How is a Pakistani different from an Indian?

There may be cultural similarities between north Indian and Pakistani communities, but people from the south or east of India have no cultural similarities with Pakistanis. Both of them have startling differences in terms of education, the economy, and women in the workforce. The South Indians are not at all similar to the Pakistanis.

You can tell who is a Pakistani and an Indian through their dialects, dressing, and food as well. They have some staunch habits that are unbreakable.

Although Pakistanis and Indians differ from each other on many grounds, they have some similarities too that sometimes make it hard to tell who’s who.

For example, if a person is brought up abroad, he may have adopted their culture or might be a mix of the two. Therefore, it may be hard to know which culture he belongs to. All Muslims are not Pakistanis, nor do all Hindus belong to India.

 So, the best way to distinguish between them is to directly ask where they belong. They will give a simple answer in the way you ask.

If you encounter someone rude or arrogant, just judge him by the way he speaks, the religion he follows, and the habits he has. Though, it is not the best idea.

Population1.3 Billion169 Million
National LanguageHindi Urdu
Literacy Rate69.3 %59.13%
Ethnicity10% Muslims, majority of HindusThe majority are Muslims, a minority of Christians
Capital CityNew DelhiIslamabad
Key differences between India and Pakistan
An image of Wall pieces having Pakistan's flag
Metal wall pieces of Pakistan’s flag

What are the cultural differences between India and Pakistan?

Pakistan is grouped into five ethnic groups, as given below: 

  • Punjabis,
  • Pasthus,
  • Sindhis,
  • Balochis
  • Kashmiris

“The fight for independence from the British Raj” is the only thing that brought all of them on a single platform. Most Indians have no connection to the people who live in Pakistan’s eastern provinces, which border Iran and Afghanistan.

People of Indian ancestry who live in Pashtun-dominated areas have adopted their way of life. Pashtuns are Caucasians, whereas Indians are not.

Balochis have their own distinct identity. In most ways, they are more closely related to Iranians than to Indians. India is a country that is both complex and diverse.

Because they are primarily of a different ancestry than Indians. Of course, Pakistanis and Indians look similar, but this similarity has been exaggerated to the point of generalization.

Because Punjab constitutes roughly half of Pakistan, Punjabis are the most common type of Pakistani. India, which is much larger in size, has a much larger number of ethnic groups. So the answer is that more Pakistanis look punjabi than anything else, and India is so vast that a look cannot be stereotyped.

Finally, while Punjab is an ancient culture, Pakistan and India are new countries created by a man in a room with a map. In reality, there is no discernible difference.

An image showing the map of Pakistan along with its districts
The map of Pakistan

Are Pakistanis basically Indians?

Yes, Indians and Pakistanis have the same ancestors. But they do differ in many ways. Pakistan in 2018 is not the same as India before August 1947. Pakistan simply means “pure land.” It is a made-up state.

I was born after Partition, but my ancestors made me believe that India and Pakistan had always been one nation. If a Pakistani tells you he isn’t Indian, it’s because he isn’t, both politically and legally.

But, no matter what anyone tells you, we are all the same ethnically and genetically.

Modern Pakistan was never influenced by modern India. The Turks, Mughals, and Persians all had an impact on it. Baluchistan and Pashtunistan make up half of Pakistan’s population.

They are diverse individuals with diverse cultures, foods, arts, music, literature, and religion.

People who believe that Pakistanis and Indians are the same, are just living in a false paradise or they are fooled by the faith of Akhand Bharat.

Are Pakistanis descendants of Indians?

No, Pakistanis are not descendants of Indians. Pakistani people have their religion, culture, society, and tradition. They believe in Islam, and Pakistan is an Islamic state; however, India is multicultural; it is home to many different cultures and religions.

Pakistan, on the other hand, is a descendant of India. Because Pakistan was previously known as India, after the British left India, it was divided into two parts, which are now known as Pakistan and India.

Keeping in mind all these facts, we assure you that Pakistanis are the descendants of Indians.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Pakistanis are the ones who believe in Islam and practice Islam in the majority, while Indians are those who predominantly follow Hinduism. Although Christianity is one of the minorities in Pakistan, most of the people are Muslims. Similarly, Sikhism and Buddhism are classified as minorities in India.

India is divided into several groups based on tribes and linguistics. Pakistanis are divided into provinces with different cultures yet the same religion nationally. Hindi is the national language of India and Pakistanis speak Urdu. There are other languages such as Marathi, Malayalam, and Gujrati which are spoken in India. Pakistan has a diverse group of people who speak Pushto, Sindhi, Balochi, and Punjabi.

Thus, both nations belonged to “Hindustan” before partition. Therefore, they share a common ancestor. But they have distinctive cultures, dress, dialects, religions, and ethnicity.

Other Articles

Click here to view the web story version of this article.

Skip to content