By: Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti
The Sindhi Sindhi Culture Day also called Sindhi Topi Day is a day observed in December of every year throughout the world by the people of Sindh to show love and affection for their culture. People wear the colourful Ajrak and topi, the two symbols of Sindhi civilization and culture. Countless rallies, song and dance programmes and various cultural events were organized on the day. Almost all political parties held programmes of commemoration.
Sindhi Culture Day is celebrated not only in Pakistan but throughout the world. It was celebrated for the first time on December 6, 2009 as the Sindhi Topi Day as a backlash to the comments of an anchor Dr Shahid Masood who had criticized the then President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari for wearing a Sindhi cap on his foreign tours. People across Sindh province condemned Masood’s comments which ultimately resulted in the announcement of celebrating the Sindhi Topi Day. Moreover, the KTN Group had started issuing a call for observing a unity day, and a large number of people responded to the call and started celebrating the culture and the unity days. Ever since, Sindhi media groups have started to celebrate the day as ‘Sindhi Cultural Day’ or ‘Ekta Day’. The Sindhi language TV channels including KTN, Sindh TV, Awaz TV and Mehran TV broadcast special programmes on the culture of Sindh , besides these media outlets separately arrange the mega musical events, which also attract large audience to celebrate the Culture Day every year. Now Urdu and english channles also broadcast programmes and news on this day.
On that occasion, the musical programmes and rallies are held in many cities to mark the day with zeal. Major hallmarks of cities and towns are decorated with Sindhi Ajrak to highlight the cultural values of Sindh. The people across Sindh exchange gifts of Ajrak and Topi at various ceremonies. Even, the children and women are dressed up in Ajrak, assembling at the grand gathering, where famous Sindhi singers sing Sindhi songs, which depicts love and progress of Sindh. The musical performances of the artists compel the participants to dance on Sindhi tunes and Ahmad mughal’s famous cultural song ‘Jeay Sindh Jeay-Sindh Wara Jean Sindhi Topi Ajrak wara Jean’.
All Political, social and religious organizations of Sindh, besides the Sindh culture department and administrations of various schools, colleges and universities, organize variety of events including seminars, debates, folk music programmes, drama and theatrics performances, tableau and literary sittings to mark this annual festivity. Sindhi culture, history and heritage are highlighted at the events. There is doubt in it that this day has become an avenue towards peace and brotherhood.