“Khayi k Paan Banaras Wala Khul Jaye Band Akal ka
Tala”! As these lines depicts, Paan has something to do with sharpening
of mind, but this is not the case. Paan has been an essential part of
our cuisine since a long time. In case you are wondering how these
lyrics fit to the effectiveness of Pan let us tell you how it is
Take a heart shaped Paan leaf put some katha, chalia, soonf, supari,
tobacco roll it over and fold it. Open your mouth and explore the
traditional Paan flavor that takes you to a new world completely.
Healthy ingredients aren’t it? Paan eating culture draws its evolution
since ancient times when Paan was served to Rajas, Maharajas, and even
our very own Mughals after meals. Paan has deep cultural roots that
still prevail in our culture strongly.
The fact is that not everything that we have received from our ancestors
is beneficial. The attractive aroma of Paan draws the attention of
millions who are unaware of the disastrous health hazards attached to
it. In this article we will explore the culture of Paan eating that
prevails in our society, and the health hazards associated with it.
Paan Culture in Pakistan
It’s not the children but the elders of our country that believes in
Paan eating more than anyone else. Paan eating is followed religiously
by our Nani’s and Dadi’s who keeps a silver Paan ka dabba with them all
the time. Paan business in Pakistan is run and managed by Memon traders,
hailing from western India and migrated to Pakistan after partition. The
Memon and Muhajir families are known for consuming numerous numbers of
Paans in a day. However, it is an occasional delight for many who buy it
from street vendors. The culture of Paan chewing has gained influence in
Punjab where a Paan shop can be found in every street. The famous
Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore possesses an entire street called “Paan Gali”
dedicated for Paan lovers. Who can miss out the traditionally decorated
Paan Shop in F-8 Islamabad! Visit the shop and you will witness Mughal
style pitchers, paintings, flowers, and pan maker wearing traditional
dress. One can definitely expect Shah Jahan to walk out and offer you
Paan Spitting – A menace to the society
Many a times you have witnesses the red spitted Paan on roads, bus
stops, government hospitals, walls and where not! Undoubtedly, spitting
Paan on public places has been polluting our country since a long time.
It is heart breaking to see cultured and civilized people spitting paan
anywhere they want to. This habit has grown to menace as our streets,
roads, corners have turned red. There has been no effective action taken
against those involved in this pollution and therefore this has grown to
an unstoppable issue.
Health Hazards Associated with
There is no doubt about the fact that Paan has been polluting our lives.
The irony is that most of us are unaware of the health hazards the pan
carries with it. According to the report by International Agency for
Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Health Organization (WHO) there are
clear evidences of the fact that chewing betel and paan eating is
carcinogenic to humans. Chewing paan, gutka, aur chalia increases the
risk of oral cancer. People who are habitual of Paan should try to stop
consuming it immediately.