Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Feature -Importance of Chai

Asalam Alaikum,

In America, generally people drink coffee rather than tea. I actually like tea better, though I do occasionally drink coffee.

Chai is very different drink than than the regular tea that is more common in America. In America I drank steeped tea with just sugar, whereas here the patti(tea leaves) are boiled with lots of milk and sugar. It is a little stronger than my normal method, but very tasty. Some people add different masaley(spices) to their chai, sometimes elichi(green cardamom) or loung(cloves), but that depends on each family and their preference.

Many people drink chai 3-4 times in a day. It is almost always served with breakfast, and then sometimes after lunch and dinner, and usually in the late afternoon/early evening around the time of maghrib(sunset prayer). If anyone is feeling unwell in our family chai is one of the first things everyone suggests.

Chai is often served to guests in Pakistani homes. People here are very hospitable. Usually when we visit someone's home, after all the greetings and a little chatting chai is served. Though it does depend on the time and the weather, if it is hot out then guests are usually served chilled juice.(like Rooh Afza, Tang or some soda)

Some people serve chai after the wedding dinner or the valima(reception) dinner. Many weddings that we have gone to in the cold season have served a simple "Kashmiri chai", which has some ground almonds and other things.

There are many little stalls with "chai waley"(tea sellers), mostly these are for men and women or families go to a more restaurant style place with a separate families section. There are also Chai waley in the market when we go, men who walk through the market with a large basket full of little cups, and a big thermos that has a pump dispenser on the top, this is mostly for the shop keepers so they don't have to leave their shop alone.


Anonymous said...

Honestly, you are a white chick. you will never be Pakistani so yeah, speak English and leave the other to them. jeez

Aishah said...

Salams Anonymous,
Welcome to my blog, please feel free to visit and read anytime you like but do keep in mind that there is a person with feelings writing this.

I know that I am a white chick, but this is my life, this is how I talk. I am working very hard to learn Urdu, and to raise my half Pakistani son to be bilingual. I don't speak purely English, but use as much Urdu as possible.

If you are Urdu speaking(as it seems you might be, to get your knickers in such a knot over a few Urdu words here and there), what you have done here is like if I tell you that you are a "Paki" and should just stop trying to speak English and stick to just Urdu. It is just rude.

It seems that I now have to post a comment policy as the number of rude comments is increasing.

Have a nice day- Salam and Allah Hafiz

Umme Yusuf said...

I love your Urdu spersed posts and find them most charming. And I'm sure most Pakistanis would be thrilled with having a white chick speak their language. Ignore the rude and anonymous.

Aishah said...

Asalam Alaikum Umme Yusuf,

Thank you for your kind words, they make me feel much better!

Thinking said...

hmmm....I love tea....and may be addicted to it....

Meliha said...

Liked what commenter Umme Yusuf said.

Through my own visits to Pakistan, I've found that people are VERY appreciative of whatever Urdu I do try to use...even if it comes out very broken and most times grammatically incorrect.
Do what you can and don't expect it to be perfect (I'm sure you're doing fine)...people will understand (and I'm sure some of them will enjoy speaking English to you as well).