Truck art in Pakistan

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Truck art in Pakistan

Do you like decorating your vehicles? We bet you do; even kids like their bikes decorated with colorful laces and bells. So is the case with Pakistani truck drivers. They spend a lot of money on decorating their trucks. Truck art depicts culture in Pakistan. Pakistan is a country which is close to nature. And Pakistani people takes their culture and traditions very seriously. Not all of them, but major cities and most of the cities among all of them in Pakistan, people love celebrating cultural festivals and keep presenting their culture occasionally.

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Truck Art is Culture !

Truck art is a part of culture. Trucks are not just a means of transportation they are a source to represent their culture in a best possible way in a most prominent manner. Trucks and truck art has a very long history and they can proudly say that it’s now ruling internationally, all over the world. We will tell you about that later. First of all, let’s see how far does the history goes back when it comes to truck art.

When we talk about the origin of truck art in Pakistan, Trucks history goes back to 1920 when the Bedford trucks were brought to Pakistan and they ruled over the streets of country. The large prows were fixed on the front of each truck which is known as Taj or crown. They were also accompanied by wooden panels and beautifully decorated bumpers. This front crown and decorated bumper makes truck even more attractive and easy to recognize as it is specialty of trucks and you can have all the decorations you want in front of your truck. So when they started using those trucks for the transportation of goods and materials, each company designed their own logo to specify the trucks to be their own. The other reason was to make it easy for those illiterate drivers to recognize their trucks. Which they later found their own through truck art. Pakistani truck drivers might be illiterate (most of them) but they are best at what they do and no doubt, creative as well. You can tell that by seeing all those trucks in Pakistan, every single one of them is unmatched and unbelievably designed and decorated.

Truck art is proudly represented by South Asian regions; they are not just creator of truck art but they have taken it up to some other level. Truck art depicts Pakistani culture and it manifests history, passion, love, storytelling, patriotism and a lot more. This is very important to know here that truck art is not just some useless and unfair waste of money. Truck art in Pakistan, along with representing culture, also represents a lot of other things. Every single embellishment on each truck has its distinctive significance. you might not get all of them but they do. And they know what they are decorating their trucks with.
sometimes it is decorated with big portraits of the beloved hero of country the one they adore and sometimes they decorate with many small adornments which separately signifies different things.

If anyone of you have ever been to Pakistan and seen one of those trucks, you must know that the sight of seeing such a truck is unforgettable and leaves one mesmerized. Here is another interesting and entertaining fact about truck art is that they also grace their trucks with hand written calligraphy and this calligraphy is all different for all trucks. Some of them are about love, some write quotes about mothers, about being blessed, and some phrases are just funny and you can say made for truck arts and made up to humor people. Some of these phrases are;

  • ‘Qaatil Haseena’ (Killer Queen)
  • ‘Faasla naa rakhain, pyaar honay dain’ (Don’t keep distance, let love happen)
  • ‘Dil baraye Farokht’ (Heart for sale)
  • Shouq da koi mull ni (No price for your passion)

Just like these, there are many humorous things written on these trucks, as well as inspirational quotes and sometimes poetry.

Truck art is not just about paintings and calligraphy. Truck drivers like decorating their trucks with many other things like jingling bells on front bumper, chains with bells, colorful battery oriented lights which make them look beautiful and more visible. They also sometime use small bells, beads, motifs of different kind they adore like birds, animals, person or whatever. They use bright color paints, mirrors, stickers, glitters and what not. There is this thing in South Asian countries as well, according to which a lot of people in South Asian countries, including Pakistan, believes that when someone sees your happiness and success with bad intentions, feel envious and says bad thing about your success or happiness, you catch the evil eye influence which can harm them or their loved ones, or their sources of income or happiness. So, in order to keep evil eye out, some of them put something black and ugly in front of their truck, mostly under the bumper. Things like small black shoe or black piece of cloth usually works for them, or at least it looks like it does.

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Where can you see Pakistani Truck Art ?

Karachi, the biggest city of Pakistan is known as a hub for truck art but they have sources and centers in other cities like Rawalpindi, Swat, Multan etc. Another good thing about truck art is that you can find amazingly decorated trucks all over Pakistan and they look so beautiful like a giant decoration piece.

Truck art is now popular all over the world. in early 1970’s, Europeans took back with them pictures of some beautifully carved trucks and being praised a lot, Pakistani Government later organized exhibitions all around the world, which let that amazing talent introduced to the world in an astonishing manner. Below is the picture of a tram in Australia, which is decorated and inspired by world-famous Pakistani Truck art.

Not just this, there are other countries who have set an example by decorating their vehicles after being inspired by Pakistani Truck art. Like a scooter in Japan and more. Here is the picture of Pakistani Truck painted with vibrant colors and presenting their specific folk-art form in an exhibition in UK.

If you ever visit Pakistan, we suggest you must check out one of these trucks, usually wandering on roads as they are the biggest source of transporting goods and animals. You will be amazed by the concept once you encountered with one of them by yourself.

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