WikiLeaks inspires feminine hygiene billboards in Pakistan

wikileaked.jpg

Kabobfest blog published the photograph of a billboard in Pakistan, above, and explains:

Pakistan's been a major player in the whole Cablegate fiasco. From the U.S being terrified of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of extremists to false leaks, heavily anti-Indian and conspiratorial, being spread throughout the country vis a vis some of the most respected newspapers in the region. Thus, it's only natural and appropriate that Pakistanis would try to have some fun with this.
What Wikileaks Failed to Absorb (thanks, Bassam Tariq)

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  1. Today I learned: Advertisements in Pakistan are written in English, rather than Punjabi or Urdu, or any other more commonly spoken script.

    I wonder why that is… Some artifact of colonialism? The fact these companies are probably US owned? Trying to appeal to a certain class? Do the majority of Pakistani people understand written English? It seems odd.

    1. It’s quite common to see English language billboards in India.

      There’s No Milk Like Cow’s Milk!

        1. In India they use British English. I would guess Pakistan is the same way since it has the same British influence.

          It’s funny though, they can tell you’re a native English speaker, but that can’t place accents at all. I’m American and had Indians legitimately curious as to whether I might be English or Australian.

    2. Yeah, Pakistan’s official language is, in fact, english, and most road signs, ad,s and official stuff is written in it, because it’s the one language everyone in the country can fluently read.

      I’m nut sure *how* it got that way, only that it is that way now.

    3. All educated Pakistani’s can speak english… Those in the cities anyway…. not the uneducated population thats present in our villages…. so yes all advertisements are in English and very few sometimes in Urdu.

  2. My first thought wasn’t “English?” it was “giant billboards for sanitary napkins?”

    I admit subscribing to the stereotype that islamic countries are more sexually repressive than the US… but I guess that’s not logically possible.

    I dunno, seeing English didn’t surprise me. Move over Esparanto, English is the global lingua franca. For now.

  3. Being a Pakistani and living in Karachi…

    English is understood by everyone and we have no trouble reading it.

    Pakistan was a British colony for 200 years. That’s why.

    And yes, it’s not surprising for any place in the world now since English today is a global language.

    1. Pakistan came into existence on August 14th 1947 after the partition of India. So there is no question of Pakistan being a british colony for 200 years.

    2. Being a Pakistani and living in Karachi…

      English is understood by everyone and we have no trouble reading it.

      Not everybody lives in Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad. Many Pakistanis have more pressing problems than learning English or getting an education (and indeed about half of your compatriots cannot read at all, be it English or any other language).

  4. +++How do they spell color, and story? What do they call the last letter in the alphabet?+++

    Colour. Zed.

    But thanks to the internet, American is taking over from English.

    The internet and chating and blogging have been the death of the Queen’s English. In this area American is King.

    1. I wouldn’t lament the Queen’s English just yet… wait until you start calling each other dude and bro for that.

  5. +++So there is no question of Pakistan being a british colony for 200 years.+++

    The area of India that was Pakistan (and the rest of India) was a British colony for 200 years.

    Sheesh…..

  6. Copra Candy, the parts of British India that became Pakistan were among the last to be conquered by the British, mostly in the 1840s in the wars against Sindh and against the Sikhs who ruled most of the Punjab. So 100 years, not 200.

  7. I cannot believe a country thats so scared of women would let a tampon commercial be so public. I mean, you couldn’t show a movie ad with a couple kissing, right?

    1. I cannot believe a country thats so scared of women would let a tampon commercial be so public. I mean, you couldn’t show a movie ad with a couple kissing, right?

      I get the impression that in Pakistan there is a big difference between the middle class cities and the “outback”.
      In Malaysia I noticed that they have TV advertisements for shampoo aimed at Muslim women who never show their hair in public. The ads even have the obligatory shower scene shot from the shoulders up, but cunningly not showing any hair.

  8. +++the last to be conquered by the British+++

    The last to be British… and first to get rid of them.

    Pakistan is exactly 24 hours older than India. LOL

  9. +++a country thats so scared of women+++

    So that’s why we had a woman as Prime Minster? Twice? Because we “were scared of her”???

    hahahahahahahahahaha

    1. Pakistan elected a woman because she was dynastically next in line.
      Which is something, sure, but i believe it takes 4 male witnesses to convict someone of rape, no?

      1. “Pakistan elected a woman because she was dynastically next in line.”

        You might make the same argument about the Kennedy, Bush and Clinton dynasties in the US…

  10. +++Pakistan elected a woman because she was dynastically next in line.+++

    No, she was ELECTED in a popular vote and she headed the largest political party.

    I think there is some sand in your eye when it comes to Pakistan, or indeed any place that isn’t the USA.

    That’s OK. I understand.

    +++i believe it takes 4 male witnesses to convict someone of rape, no?+++

    No.

  11. It takes forensic evidence to convict someone of rape in Pakistan.

    Perhaps you have heard of it? “Forensic evidence”?

  12. And even after Pakistan was created, the Queen was the Head of State for a number of years. And the Pakistan Air Force was called the Royal Pakistan Air Force, for example.

    Even today, we have not cut our ties off… that is quite silly of you if you assume that.

    Our legal system is still 90% British, for example.

  13. It appears some commentators may be confusing Pakistan for Palestine… There are some significant differences! Haha I do hope I am wrong!

  14. Alright, the impression of Pakistan being a repressive theocratic shithole* isn’t unwarranted, but do realize that not all of Pakistan is like that. Like any other country, most urban areas are significantly more progressive, to the extent of seeming like a completely different country. The contrast between the south and the northwest is mind-boggling. Although the urbanites aren’t nearly as liberal as commoners in Western liberal democracies, they aren’t the ones burning American flags in the streets.

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Pakistan

  15. Pakistan is really two countries in one.

    The pakistan that western media shows to its viewers is a pakistan mired in poverty, overrun with religious nuts and a desperately failing state.

    However, believe it or not, there is another pakistan that comprises of educated middle class folks that have more in common with an average middle class westerner than the bearded crazies that they show in western media.

    The problem in pakistan is that over the years the political and military establishment has been soft on islamic terrorists as it pursued a proxy war against india. As a result the crazies have been getting stronger and stronger to the point that they now threaten the middle class with their vision of a repressive and sharia minded religious theological state. Pakistan is at the verge of folding in to this fundamentalist islamic threat unless the all powerful military relizes its folly and steps in to reverse the trend.

    -MrIndia

    1. and indeed about half of your compatriots cannot read at all, be it English or any other language…..

      But that situation is even worse in India. Most Indians can’t read or write either.

      1. That’s an odd response. I don’t know what relevance a comparison with India has to the literacy rate of Pakistan.

  16. +++Pakistan is at the verge of folding in to this fundamentalist islamic threat+++

    I assure you, that is not the case.

    And this billboard proves it! hahahahahahaha

  17. The point is, for historical reasons, the literacy rate is low in this whole region. I think Sri Lanka is the one with the best literacy rate?

    It is what it is.

    Even then we can get away with billboards like the one above.

    Imagine if we had 100% literacy, you would see billboards I would have trouble swallowing. LOL

    But rest assured, even if someone here can’t read, you should assume they would understand anything spoken in English.

    This is a common mistake I’ve seen Americans here make… they talk loud, thinking they have privacy.

    It can be very funny sometimes.

  18. WAIT A SECOND!
    Poor, repressed Pakistan can put feminine hygiene products onto billboards but the f!!!!ing USA cannot? Cuz I have never seen anything like it here.
    I feel cheated. No, SRSLY, I do.

  19. Many Pakistanis are much happier speaking English than Urdu as Urdu only really came to Pakistan post-Partition.

  20. I have lived in Pakistan for 5 years and this is not abnormal, neither is people going out to parties and drinking and smoking and taking drugs and having sex before marriage and knocking about the streets in the middle of the night or two guys living together or two girls living together as sexual partners or skinny dipping in lakes and playing polo and scuba diving and hand gliding and car racing etc etc etc………….It’s not that different from anywhere else in the world and yes, like the rest of the world, there are the multitude of other social problems that we all have to deal with etc etc etc….don’t think a simple tampon ad is anything unusual…there are girls in skimpy tops in ads, and on tv…..It’s really got a bad wrap everywhere I understands people’s perceptions but they’re mostly wrong…..

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