WHO ARE THE SINDHIS?
The Sindhis are an ethnic group native to the Sindh region of Pakistan, which is located in the southeast of the country, right next to the Indian state of Rajasthan. The Sindhi population is predominantly Muslim, but there is also a significant Hindu minority. Sindhi culture is characterized by a rich mix of influences, reflecting the region's history as a crossroads of trade and cultural exchange. Sindhi language, part of the Indo-Aryan language family, is spoken by the Sindhi people, and it is one of Pakistan's official languages. Sindhis are known for their distinct cultural practices and traditions, including Sindhi cuisine, folk music, literature, and the celebration of Sufi festivals.
The history of the Sindhis can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished around 3000 BCE. This civilization, one of the earliest in the world, was known for its well-planned cities, advanced plumbing systems, and development of written language. The culture and traditions of the Sindhis are strongly linked to this ancient civilization. Over the centuries, the region of Sindh was invaded and settled by various groups, including Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, and Mughals. Each of these invasions left its mark on Sindhi culture and society, leading to a diverse and rich blend of influences.
The major turning point in Sindhi history was the arrival of Islam in the 8th century CE with the Arab conquest led by Muhammad bin Qasim. The conversion to Islam resulted in a profound change in Sindhi society and culture. Sindh became a center of Islamic learning and culture, attracting scholars, saints, and traders from all over the Islamic world. The influence of Islam can be seen in Sindhi literature, which includes a rich tradition of Sufi poetry and folk tales.
The modern history of the Sindhis was heavily influenced by the Partition of India in 1947. Sindh became part of Pakistan, leading to a massive population exchange between India and Pakistan. Many Sindhi Hindus migrated to India, while Muslim refugees from India settled in Sindh. Despite these upheavals, Sindhis have maintained a strong sense of cultural identity. Today, the Sindhi diaspora is spread across the world, contributing to various fields such as business, politics, academia, and the arts, while keeping their unique cultural heritage alive.
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